In My Orbit: Bryan Cranston’s Advice to Aspiring Actors

7 10 2013
Digital Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Digital Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This sage advice from one of my favorite actors can be applied to any profession. Shine. Be who you are. Honor the space. The outcome is not up to you…

Bryan Cranston\’s advice to aspiring actors

via Bryan Cranston’s Advice to Aspiring Actors.





In My Orbit: the legacy of the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington

16 08 2013
Over 200,00 marchers met on the Mall that day in 1963--are we honoring and living up to the legacy? Some are, others not so much (Wikimedia/USIA)

Over 200,00 marchers met on the Mall that day in 1963–are we honoring and living up to the legacy? Some are, others not so much (Wikimedia/USIA)

The Girl has been bouncing around her universe and the country, so the Blog has been a bit neglected. Sorry about that, and I plan to do better, even if it means shorter posts.

We are approaching the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. These types of milestones always get me reflective, as well as watching PBS and other documentaries like an obsessed person. My Washington Times Communities column does a bit of reflecting on what the legacy of this pivotal Civil Rights march means, and gives props to Don Lemon of CNN, and writer Danielle Belton for their perspectives. Give it a read.

Who I don’t give props to is Oprah Winfrey, and Russell Simmons. Oprah’s naked efforts at self-promotion with pegging a clerk’s supposed refusal to let her see a $39,000 purse as racism jumped the shark. Then to pretend she didn’t want to mention the name of the shop so as not to draw negative attention to them? You are frickin’ Oprah–the mere mention of it from your lips already did this. I am so glad that the shop owner and the clerk challenged her racism gripe. The whole brouhaha served its purpose, to promote her latest project, “The Butler”. I’ll wait for Redbox or DirectTV thank you very much. Way to go, Oprah: not only are you an entitled baby, but a poor example of honoring the legacy.

Russell Simmons ups the ante on Oprah by allowing a “Harriet Tubman sex video” on his All Def Digital YouTube site. Also an entitled baby, on top of being ridiculous and misogynistic, Simmons ultimately had the video taken down because his “buddies” at the NAACP asked him. Real big of you…

Simmons non-apology:

“‘I’m a very liberal person with thick skin,” wrote Simmons. “My first impression of the Harriet Tubman piece was that it was about what one of actors said in the video, that 162 years later, there’s still tremendous injustice. And with Harriet Tubman outwitting the slave master? I thought it was politically correct. Silly me. I can now understand why so many people are upset. I have taken down the video. Lastly, I would never condone violence against women in any form, and for all of those I offended, I am sincerely sorry.'”

Pathetic.

But the NAACP takes the cake. A rodeo clown at the Missouri State Fair chose to don an Obama mask and mock the President. In poor taste? Probably. A hate crime? Doubtful. Rodeo clowns have done the same thing to former Presidents George H.W., Clinton, and George W. so was it hate speech when they did it to them? Michelle Malkin takes it one step further by reminding us of the truly hateful speech and imagery directed at President George W. Bush during his eight years. So please, NAACP, cry me a river…

It took a Texas senator to call this group on the carpet for its inconsistency on what issues they choose to become outraged about:

“’A rodeo clown is really a nominal thing and it hurt no one,’ Stockman told FoxNews.com. ‘They didn’t speak out when George Bush was being portrayed as a murderer. To become relevant again, they need to become more of an honest broker and not have contrived anger.’

Stockman said the NAACP would better serve its constituents by focusing on ways to decrease unemployment among the black community. He also noted that the national civil rights group was silent after a July incident on a Florida bus where three black teens beat a fellow white student.”

Ouch. That must have stung.

 





In My Orbit: A viral article and CNN

29 06 2013
Digital Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Digital Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I talked to my dear friend Anna last night and said to her “I could not have scripted this day.”

That would be yesterday (Friday), when my morning was supposed to begin teaching a 6:30 am Yoga class. My alarm did not go off, so I woke up at 6 am–the time I’m supposed to be at the studio. Through my ingrained pre-planning (thank you, Mom) and Los Angeles traffic being non-existent (yes, Jesus lives!), I made it to my Yoga studio in 15 minutes, and was still able to teach the class. I’m grateful for that, as I wouldn’t want to disappoint the students–I know how important it is to start your day centered.

Unfortunately, I did not get that luxury!

I had no idea when I wrote my usual Washington Times Communities article on Thursday night that it would go viral. Rachel Jeantel’s testimony in the George Zimmerman murder trial was a hot topic for all the wrong reasons, and I wanted to speak to what I felt the heart of the issue should be. I took great pains to be consistent in writing a good story that I was passionate about, and attempted to file on time, knowing that I had a packed morning the next day.

Within an hour of my posting the piece, my editor emailed me to say it was trending at 2,495 hits. I was surprised, but immediately dismissed it, as I had to go to bed so that I could be rested for that early morning class.

After the eventful morning, I came home to a mailbox full of comments from the Communities page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.  That didn’t include the comments from “Shares” done by Twitter followers and Facebook friends to their pages.

I figured I would sit down, respond to what I could, and start writing an article for my other gig, Examiner.com. The best laid plans of mice and men…

My phone rang, and the Caller ID said “CNN” with a 212 area code. I thought, Seriously? This can’t be… but I picked up the call, and it indeed was. A producer from the Erin Burnett Outfront show asked if I could be a part of a panel. I let her know I needed to check with my editor and I would get back to her. My editor did not hesitate in approving this (she was over the moon about it), so I immediately called the producer back and said it was go. Wish everything went that quickly in Hollywood!

Two hours later, I was picked up by a car service, whisked to the CNN building on Sunset Boulevard, put in a make up chair, seated in a black box studio, and fitted with a mike and earpiece for the show. Ten minutes later, it was done.

For those interested, here’s a brief snippet of the panel:

Erin Burnett Outfront CNN Panel: Zimmerman Witness on Trial?

I was thanked for my time, the car service whisked me home and it was back to Friday as usual.

Or… not. The story is still striking a chord, and the commentary continues to come in, especially after the CNN appearance. Some positive, a lot of negative, some downright ridiculous. I hope the conversation grows stronger, and goes toward making a difference in how we train our children for the world.

I’m still bemused by the whole thing, almost like viewing it from a dream state–but it’s quite real. I was especially humbled by a woman’s comment on Twitter: “Brilliant. No words.  I’ve printed it out for our daughters. Sometimes it’s ‘easier’ hearing it from someone other than a parent.”

You become a writer to express your voice, and have an influence. It is quite sobering to see when you’ve done just that.

A friend just messaged me to check in to see how I’m doing, for which I am very grateful. He said, “Most people only talk about cultural influence…you actually did it… Hang in there boss.”

Hanging in. We’ll see where the next wave lands.





In My Orbit: Dances with Films gives Independent Film a Fresh Take

2 06 2013

Dances with Films Logo

The Girl spent Saturday at the Dances with Films festival doing some press coverage for the world premiere of an innovative documentary, With No Regrets: A Dancin’ Man’s Journey.

Dances with Films was formed in 1998 by a group of filmmakers who envisioned a festival where the quality of the work was the point of entry, and not “who you knew”. Now in its 16th year, the Fest is often a launch pad for filmmakers and those who represent film. Some have gone on to write, direct, and produce for studio projects, as well as found agency representation.

With No Regrets: A Dancin’ Man’s Journey chronicles the life of Tony Stevens, a dancer/choreographer whose career spanned 45-plus years.  Tony danced, choreographed, and worked alongside such luminaries as Chita Rivera, Bob Fosse, Liza Minnelli, Michael Bennett, Mary Tyler Moore and Dolly Parton; yet many outside of the dance world (and some within) don’t really know who he was.  This film seeks to remedy this.

Tonv Stevens Collage

George Fairfield directed this labor of love, and his wife, Crystal Chapman wrote the script. Here’s the preview of George’s work. Read my review of the film at my Examiner.com page.

Crystal Chapman was also Tony’s friend and protégé. She wrote a moving article about him giving more detail on the depth of his influence: Thinking Out Loud: I Remember Tony.

The Director and his film are working their way through the film festival circuit and other outlets. Follow George Fairfield’s YouTube channel and LinkedIn page to find out whether it will be viewing at a festival near you.

The Dances with Film festival runs from May 30-June 9, and tickets are still available for many of the films and shorts. They also have a noontime panel starting Monday, June 3rd, featuring entertainment industry heavyweights from across the spectrum.

I’ll get the opportunity over the next eight days to view more of the films , and do some more coverage of the Fest–it’s always refreshing to see new vision and talent come to life on the screen!





The Los Angeles Mayor’s Race, aka the Real Candidates of L.A. City (Part 2)

17 05 2013

DWBLA Collage

First off, happy Friday! I would like to welcome all the new followers to this blog. Thank you, for reading, and wanting to come along for the ride! I am very happy that my commentary has found a place of resonance with you.

So back to our L.A. Mayoral election, which is only days away (sigh). I am still not thrilled, but a little less apathetic. I had the opportunity to attend A Dialogue with Black L.A. (DWBLA) last weekend, and the main event was a Q&A with both Wendy Greuel and Eric Garcetti. After watching two debates, I was convinced of two things a) both candidates could have used more debate training, because they both come off liked canned fish, and b) these debates did not serve either the candidate (or the constituents for that matter) in presenting their ideas, or lack of them, to the public.

At DWBLA, each candidate individually had a little over an hour with Event host Starlett Quarles, asking questions and getting responses, then giving time for audience questions and responses. That  time gave me a much better read on the candidates as people and as leaders than what was afforded us in the debates. As I said in my Washington Times Communities column, the laid-back atmosphere made a difference:

“Studying the candidates in this more relaxed environment revealed how each one navigated when off script, and showed their capacity in giving answers not clearly laid out in their usual talking points.”

Read the rest over at the Communities site: “L.A. Mayor’s race: Lesser of two evils or diametric leadership styles?

I have to say that Eric Garcetti came off the best unscripted. The host was a personal friend, so that may have played into it. But it also showed that he pretty much believes what he espouses, because it was given matter-of-fact and off the cuff, without equivocation or parsing. He communicated clearly and articulately, and has a great sense of humor. He had the audience laughing and clapping on more than a few occasions.

Wendy Greuel is a control freak, and it showed in every talking point, and every time she pointed to her 36-point plan (or whatever it is called) to “Move Los Angeles Forward.” Hmmm… we’ve heard this language before in a national election, so if forward means wholesale into morass and scandal, then spare me! But I digress…

It was clear that she really was not comfortable with this type of forum, and if her incoherent and rambling answers were any indication, she desperately needed her script.

In my candidate research, the most scandalous thing I could uncover about Garcetti is that his penchant for urban planning and engineering (part of his educational background) has pissed off neighborhood activists. There are more than a dozen lawsuits brewing over the business and community developments in Hollywood and Echo Park–too much overbuilding, too many tall buildings, and too much gridlock. The latter is a Los Angeles problem no matter where you go, so every City leader is at fault here. Garcetti has also been accused of being in the back pocket of developers; as opposed to Greuel, who is in the back pocket of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to the tune of nearly $4 million dollars being poured into her campaign.

As a resident of Atwater Village, Garcetti’s former City Council District, I have no complaints about the encouragement of small business and building a community that mixes residential with commercial. It has done wonders for Atwater, and I can see it has enlivened Hollywood too. The only way I would have bothered venturing into Hollywood at night was either heavily armed or dead; with some of the revitalization, it has changed the atmosphere and made it much more habitable. One still needs to be wise–this is L.A. after all–but compared to the cesspool Hollywood was 15 or so years ago, it is now a totally different place.

I have no doubt that Garcetti visualizes replicating what he did in these communities across Los Angeles.  The Los Angeles Times confirmed the same last week in the article, “Garcetti’s Hollywood script“: “Hollywood is ‘a template for a new Los Angeles,’ Garcetti says, ‘a blueprint for a city where you can live near where you work, near where you play … where the hours you don’t have to spend in your car, you can spend with your family.'”

Garcetti is also a green activist (his house in Silverlake is supposed to be this ecological marvel), and had his hands all over last November’s Measure B, which in a nutshell, had the aforementioned evil LADWP in charge of green expansion and green contracts–akin to having the Fox in charge of the Hen House. Greuel has been on the attack regarding this (she had her hand in it too–Duh!), with little rebuttal or response from Garcetti. He’s not owning it, but he’s not denying it either.

The latest attack on Eric Garcetti is his endorsement of Occupy L.A. Occupy L.A. camped out on the City Hall lawn for weeks, building up waste, and straining city services. Garcetti, as City Council President, basically laid out the welcome mat, as did Mr. 11-percent, Mayor Smilin’ Tony. Stupid move on Garcetti’s part, but again, no surprise–it ties into his liberal and activist philosophies. He headed a group at Columbia called “Black Men for Anita Hill”, so that should tell you all you need to know. For him, bleeding hearts will always be the fashion.

L.A. Jobs PAC in sponsorship with the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce released this online attack ad just today pointing out this yawing gap in leadership. h/t: L.A. Weekly.

L.A. Weekly wrote a really good piece on the five key differences that distinguish Greuel from Garcetti. I found the last difference the most compelling:

“This may be the most fundamental difference between a Garcetti and a Greuel mayoralty. Garcetti has recently taken to quoting his friend, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who said in a commencement speech last year that ‘It is better to have your ship sunk at sea than have it rot in the harbor.’ And indeed, Garcetti has had his share of shipwrecks. He lured an electric car company to L.A. with a $1 million relocation package, only to have it go bankrupt. As council president, he approved the ‘modernization’ of billboards, unaware of the storm of protest that would follow. And have you seen those awful condos at Sunset and Alvarado? Of course, he can point to successes too, or he wouldn’t have won his district by 34 points in the primary. Greuel, on the other hand, is more risk averse. As a result, her sins are ones of omission. Her disappearing act during the city’s budget crisis is a prime example. As controller, she could have had as large a role as she wanted in shaping the public debate about budget cuts. Instead, she avoided the subject as much as possible. In part, her aversion to risk seems to be the legacy of her years working for Tom Bradley, who governed in a very cautious style. That style does not mean that nothing gets done, but that it happens slowly and carefully and only after all the risks have been weighed through careful deliberation. What Greuel chooses to focus on, she will probably achieve. Garcetti is more likely to fail, but also more likely to try harder things.”

As I pointed out in my WT Communities column, they’re leadership styles are diametric; so I see it not as lesser of two evils, but what type of leadership do you feel L.A. needs right now?

The choice is yours. Please go out and vote on Tuesday May 21–the City needs an engaged constituency putting a Mayor in the office who will focus on the people and their needs, and not solely on the people who paid the most to get them there.

 





In My Orbit: my Red Carpet Moment and the 2013 Oscars’ recap

25 02 2013

Farshad Farahat with Jennifer Oliver O'Connell (Formatted)So the Girl got the closest she’s ever been to a Red Carpet a few weeks ago at the 2013 MovieGuide Awards. You can get the skinny from the write-up I did for my Examiner.com column “On the Red Carpet at the 21st Annual MovieGuide® Awards“. Please give it a read, and feel free to comment!

The only thing I’ll rehash from that experience is my photo op with actor Farshad Farahat, whose star turn in Argo was critically acclaimed. Argo won the Best Picture Oscar last night, so I’m sure Mr. Farahat’s currency has risen exponentially. Well deserved, and I wish him all the best. Thanks for the opportunity to say that I met you when!

I enjoyed watching the show with industry friends who gave me the insider take on some of the Oscar guests and other gossip–gives some added color to an already colorful night! Here’s my summation of the evening:

Host Seth MacFarlane. Sue me, but I like Family Guy and American Dad, and I liked Seth MacFarlane as Host. Unlike several of the past Oscar hosts (since Billy Crystal’s first departure), MacFarlane did not desperately try to resurrect Crystal’s mojo (as if anyone could). He simply brought himself, his style, and his humor; and for the most part, it worked. If you have watched an episode of any one of his shows, or saw Ted, then you full well knew what expect. So what exactly is everyone so shocked and disappointed about?

I’m getting quite a chuckle reading the articles (many by women) about how sexist and misogynistic MacFarlane was, ad infinitum. Riddle me this: since when did Buzzfeed, the bastion of testosterone-laden muscle flexing, care about sexism?

And tell me, feminists, how do you rate the women MacFarlane lampooned in the “We Saw Your Boobs” sketch? Where is the commentary on a Hollywood that gives high kudos and awards to the female roles where pretty women ugly themselves (The Hours, Monster), or bare their comely parts (Monster’s BallThe Reader) in order to have their acting prowess recognized and score a big win? MacFarlane did swift work of  the sheer ridiculousness of this machine with just that one number, and I appreciated it. We will see if he is invited back next year; frankly, I hope so. As a musical/variety fan, it was nice to see singing, dancing, and movement incorporated back into the show in a fresh way.

Quentin Tarantino. As I wrote on my Twitter feed, Tarantino is a joke and a fraud who has parlayed video-game style revenge fantasies masquerading as high art to new levels. The same people who screamed about The Help being racist and a detriment to Black people are lauding and applauding a white man’s take on slavery in Django Unchained. More twisted logic and hypocrisy on display in that one. I refuse to see the movie, as being assaulted with the N-Word for two and a half hours is not my idea of a fun time. Suffice to say the fact that Tarantino eked out even two awards from this farcical product is egregious.

Jennifer Lawrence. Not really a fan of her work, although Silver Linings Playbook was watchable, and the roles were well acted. I have no idea whether Jennifer’s particular choice of attire was foisted upon her or if she actively chose it, but it clearly was not well thought out by someone. When Jennifer came up as a presenter before her category was announced, a Facebook friend joked about how many people were under her dress–it truly was a giant moving mass of fabric, and one has to learn to walk in such a contraption. I don’t think anyone gave Jen lessons, poor thing.  So when she took an almost face plant as she walked up the steps to receive her Best Actress award, I wasn’t surprised. I was among some Jennifer Lawrence haters, so they considered it schadenfreude. Interesting….

I rather admire Diane Keaton, who mostly eschews the pretty Barbie doll attire for a more polished, practical, and personal look. Should the day ever arrive when I get such an invite, I would probably trend in that direction.

In Memoriam: They gave the technical and behind-the-scenes folks some real honor, but they left out the likes of Andy Griffith, Ben Gazzara, Alex Karras, Gore Vidal, Richard Dawson, and Sylvia Kristel. These individuals were also television, literary, stage, and sports figures, so they received commemoration from those respective fields. But what hit home to me is that all the great ones are dying off, and fairly quickly. A fact of life, but still sad to see.

Daniel Day-Lewis. I have great admiration for this man’s talent. I think that appreciation also stems from the fact that he does not overly saturate himself. It’s obvious that he loves and delves deeply into his craft, yet he hasn’t appeared in a ton of movies. But each time he does appear, it screams for Oscar gold. This is a record third Best Actor Oscar: something that has never been accomplished in the 85-year history of the Academy Awards! So hats off to you, Mr. Daniel Day-Lewis, for bringing our 16th President to magnificent life, and being a credit and fine example of your profession.

Singing and Dancing. I love both, especially when they are done well. And all the numbers, from Charlize Theron and Channing Tatum (who knew she could dance?), to Seth himself doing an old soft shoe, and belting out a few tunes, was all great fun.

Unlike my criticism of Bouncey‘s lip-synching the Inauguration National Anthem, I cannot be critical of a 10-years-older Catherine Zeta-Jones doing the same while performing her “All that Jazz” dance number from the movie Chicago. One Facebook friend pointed out that actresses/dancers sing and dance on Broadway six days a week, but Catherine hasn’t been on Broadway (or much of anything for that matter) in quite some time. The fact that she can still dance and look fabulous while doing it, is enough for me.

I can be critical of Barbara Streisand, though. Babs still sings and tours (despite several “Farewell” performances… go figure), so this rendition of “The Way We Were”, though heartfelt, was not very good. Contrast that with the powerhouse performance of Shirley Bassey singing “Goldfinger”, and Streisand’s performance pales even further. Shirley is not a regular performer, but she’s still got her chops–and she looked awesome in that gold dress.

Jennifer Hudson represented as always, delivering an abridged version of “And I’m Telling You” with iron lungs. I recently watched Dreamgirls again, and I will say publicly that Jennifer had a fuller, lusher sound when she had a bit more… substance. My vocal coach agreed with me, though he said he’d never go on the record–but he admires my freedom to do so. Hey, I’m just a lowly writer who also sings–he actually has to work with these people. Enough said.

She’s still Jennifer Hudson, and still fabulous–so do yo’ thang, girl, do yo’ thang.

Adele. What more can I say about Adele? I’m a fangirl, not only because she is an awesome songwriter with pure vocal supremacy, but she’s a big girl and is neither apologetic, nor ashamed about it.  Adele performed with class and polish, despite the technical mess they made of it–who puts their orchestra in another building several blocks down?! Her Best Song win for Skyfall is just another jewel in a tremendously weighty crown.

Steven Spielberg/Lincoln. Well, one thing was glaringly obvious: Spielberg is no longer the favorite son.  Tommy Lee Jones was robbed by Christoph Waltz, who basically reprised his role in Inglorious Basterds with a different accent and costume. Then Tony Kushner, who is a brilliant writer, was trumped by Argo-writer Chris Terrio. So save for the Best Actor prize, folks in the Academy are no longer in paroxyms over Spielberg’s accomplishments: and Lincoln really was a stellar accomplishment all around.  Shame it wasn’t more recognized.

Argo. I must say I was impressed by Argo, and by Ben Affleck as director. I still say Lincoln deserved Best Picture, but I can’t be mad about it. It was predictable that a movie where Hollywood was the hero would receive the biggest film nod of the night, and sometimes the Academy is nothing less than predictable. Over the years, the Academy has picked some stinkers for Best Picture, but thankfully this was not one. Argo was a nicely conceived, historical vignette, weaved  with layers of humor, suspense, and intrigue in presenting its story. It worked for me, and for most audiences.

Michelle Obama’s Bangs. With poorly trimmed bangs and another ugly dress, Michelle Obama made a surprise appearance via satellite, to lecture us about the meaning of films and present the Best Picture Oscar. For me, part of the point of entertainment is to escape the routine and vagaries of life–and that includes politics. So for the Obamas to once again inject themselves some place where they clearly do not belong was jumping the shark. This is not just my conservative bent talking: Read the comments on the Yahoo! and The Hollywood Reporter articles. These publications aren’t exactly right-leaning, so the fact that these viewers were equally mystified or appalled speaks volumes.

Despite the inauspicious ending to the evening, all-in-all, it was one of the better Oscar telecasts. Here’s to more Red Carpets and Oscar brushes In My Orbit!

 





Your 15 Minutes

21 01 2013
Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Let’s be honest: enthusiasm for Oprah began to flag once she put herself out there to make Barack Obama our first “black” President. “A surprise: Oprah pays a real price for supporting Barack Obama” and “Oprah’s ex-fans trash her support of Obama over a woman“.

According to Ed Klein’s book, The Amateur, Obama, and specifically Michelle, have kicked her to the curb. “EXCLUSIVE: Jealous Michelle Obama’s ‘rage’ led to Oprah being shoved aside…” Oprah’s noticeable absence during the 2012 elections appears to give validity to this.

So Oprah has OWN (the Oprah Winfrey Network), whose claim to fame is boring interviews with people who only interest The O herself, Lisa Ling’s Our America which is mostly fully of freaks, weirdos, and anti-Christian idiots, and reruns of past Oprah episodes.  Baby, the thrill is gone.

Now Oprah is seeking to regain her former luster with a Lance Armstrong confessional interview. But the Kansas City Star rightly surmises that this interview is less about Lance, and more about Oprah:

“The person to gain the most from this interview is not Lance Armstrong but Oprah Winfrey,” said Robert Thompson, professor of television and popular culture at Syracuse University in New York.

“Those who counted Winfrey out, even predicted the demise of her empire, likely spoke too soon, Thompson said.

“That the OWN cable channel hasn’t taken off in two year’s time is no surprise, he said. Even though everything Winfrey touches is supposed to turn to gold, cable stations can take several years to gel, he said.

“But its fortunes indeed need pumping up, Thompson said, and this event is exactly the vehicle to do it. Sports doping is huge news, and Armstrong is one of the biggest interview catches in years.

‘This is what it takes to get a cable channel going,” he said. “And it sends the message that Oprah is still relevant.'” “Oprah Winfrey, America’s confessor, is back in the spotlight“.

Ummm, not so fast. This “coup” is overshadowed by the Oxygen network’s (an earlier Oprah offshoot) greenlighting production on All My Babies’ Mamas, starring marginal rapper Shawnty Lo, and his 11 kids by 10 different mothers. The show’s concept makes Honey Boo Boo look like a “normal” reality show–if such a thing exists.

Outcry from black leaders, protests, and a petition with 40,000 signatures appears to have tanked this sorry effort, and rightly so. There is enough on the news and music videos that place a glaring spotlight on the immoral and unsavory aspects of Black culture; do we really need a reality show to reinforce this? “Sources: Oxygen to cancel new show ‘All My Babies’ Mamas, starring Shawnty Lo

We will see what the ratings bring from the Lance Armstrong interview, but I’m sensing a collective yawn on all my fronts. It doesn’t take much to knock someone out of pop culture consciousness–such is the brutality of a perpetually wired society.

Robert Thompson, professor of television and popular culture at Syracuse University is betting Oprah could have a comeback, but my gut says the party is over.

Who will tell Oprah that her 15 minutes are up?








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