Tag: African-American female directors

LisaRaye McCoy Confronts Colorism, Pigmentocracy In Her Directorial Debut, “Skinned”

"Skinned" to air on TV One (photo via newsone.com)
Made-for-TV film”Skinned” about skin bleaching to air on TV One (photo via newsone.com)

This weekend, TV One will premiere LisaRaye McCoy‘s directorial debut with the made-for-TV film Skinnedwhich tackles a very sensitive topic within the African-American community.

Skinned confronts colorism, pigmentocracy, and the outbreak of skin bleaching, as well as the use of lightening creams amongst many individuals in America and around the world. 

According to Black Enterprise and the University of Cape Town, skin bleaching has ballooned into a $10 billion market and the long-term effects of bleaching one’s skin is currently unknown. Black Enterprise reports 35 percent of South African women bleach their skin, and 77 percent of Nigerian women bleach their skin.

LisaRaye McCoy talks about "Skinned" on NewsOne Now (photo via newsone.com)
Director LisaRaye McCoy talks about “Skinned” on NewsOne Now (photo via newsone.com)

On Friday, McCoy, best known for her roles in The Players Club, All of Us, Single Ladies and the TV One reality series The Real McCoy, joined Roland Martin on NewsOne Now to discuss the notion of colorism within the Black community through the muse of Skinned’s main character, Jolie.

Essence Magazine reports, “Jolie is a young woman who is uncomfortable with her complexion and begins to experiment with bleaching and lightening creams to alter her skin tone.”

When asked why she wanted to tackle the issue of colorism in her directorial debut, McCoy said Studio 11 Films asked her to direct the movie and once she read the script, the message behind it forced her to ask, “Why do they want a light-skinned woman to direct a dark-skinned project?”

McCoy explained the reason was controversy. She said, “Controversy now sells and I wanted to have all eyes on this epidemic, because not only is it happening in Africa and our Caribbean nations, but here in America too.”

During their conversation, McCoy mentioned the lightening of former MLB star Sammy Sosa and late King of Pop Michael Jackson as instances of skin bleaching’s prevalence in our society.

McCoy later added that skin bleaching “causes skin cancer, yet it is an over-the-counter drug.”

Psychologist Dr. Kevin Washington, a board member of The Association of Black Psychologists, also joined Martin to discuss the epidemic. He said people of color have been “indoctrinated into a system of European superiority.”

“Anything that is associated with the dominate group becomes desirable,” said Dr. Washington. Adding, “Even in Cote d’Ivoire — just in May — they’ve banned skin bleaching for the purpose of health and racial identity.”

According to Washington, skin lightening “is not just a Black issue.” Dr. Washington said, “The idea of pigmentocracy takes over as a result of a hierarchy that is ascribed to the features associated with Whiteness in this country and globally.”

Watch Roland Martin, LisaRaye McCoy, and Dr. Kevin Washington discuss colorism, pigmentocracy, self-esteem, and Skinned, which premieres Saturday night at 8PM ET on TV One.

article via newsone.com

Regina King Joins “American Crime” Cast, Returns to “Big Bang Theory” and will Direct Upcoming Episode of “Scandal”

We’ll be seeing a lot of Regina King during the next season, both in front of and behind the camera.  King has joined the cast of John Ridley’s new ABC drama series, “American Crime,” and will return to CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” to reprise her role.

“American Crime,” which Ridley is writing, directing and executive producing, follows a racially-charged murder case and the trial that follows, as audiences will experience the murder and trial through the eyes of several different people who are, in some way, connected to the events. It’ll frankly tackle matters of race, class and gender politics in the USA.

King will play the devoutly religious sister of one of the series’ key characters, who comes to Modesto in order to help her brother handle a judicial system that she believes is stacked against him.  King will appear in 7 episodes of the new series, with an option for two additional.

As for her return to CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory”… The show is primarily centered on 5 characters living in Pasadena, California: roommates Leonard Hofstadter and Sheldon Cooper, both physicists; Penny, a waitress and aspiring actress who lives across the hall; and Leonard and Sheldon’s equally geeky and socially awkward friends and co-workers, mechanical engineer Howard Wolowitz and astrophysicist Raj Koothrappali.

King plays Mrs. Davis (a role she first played in 2013), who is the head of human resources where the physicists are employed, who previously was responsible for questioning Sheldon after he landed in hot water following an uncomfortable conversation with his sexy assistant, Alex (Margo Harshman).

Meanwhile, behind the camera, King will direct the 16th episode of ABC’s “Scandal” during its fourth season, which will air during the second half of the upcoming 4th season.  This comes after the actress made her feature film directing debut with a TV adaptation of author ReShonda Tate Billingsley’s novel “Let the Church Say Amen” for BET.

article by Tambay A. Obenson via Shadow And Act

“Middle of Nowhere” Director Ava DuVernay Takes on MLK Biopic “Selma”

Director Ava DuVernay arrives at Film Independent's 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival Premiere Of AFFRM & Participant Media's 'Middle Of Nowhere' at Regal Cinemas L.A. Live on June 20, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Valerie Macon/Getty Images)
Director Ava DuVernay arrives at Film Independent’s 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival Premiere Of AFFRM & Participant Media’s ‘Middle Of Nowhere’ at Regal Cinemas L.A. Live on June 20, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Valerie Macon/Getty Images)

Ava DuVernay is stepping into the director’s chair of Selma, an upcoming biopic of Martin Luther King Jr., according to Deadline.  Lee Daniels, the director of Precious and this year’s The Butler, had long been attached the project, which is one of several upcoming projects about the late civil rights icon.

Paul Greengrass (United 93) is helming Memphis, which recreates the final days of MLK’s life and Steven Spielberg is reportedly working on a movie about King’s admiration of Mahatma Gandhi.  When Daniels was due to direct Selma, it was reported that rock star Lenny Kravitz (who co-starred in Precious) has been cast in the pivotal role of Andrew Young. Now that DuVernay is taken over it is unclear in Kravitz will remain on board.

But her leading man very well may be a familiar face. Before dropping out, Daniels did cast British actor David Oyelowo (who appeared in Daniels’ The Paperboy) as MLK. Oyelowo won considerable critical acclaim for his performance in DuVernay’s indie film Middle of Nowhere, which won her the Best Director Award at the Sundance Film Festival last year.  In addition Hugh Jackman, Liam Neeson, Ray Winstone, Robert De Niro, and Cedric the Entertainer are all said to have been considering parts in the production.

article via thegrio.com