Hundreds of people gathered outside NFL headquarters in New York City on Wednesday to show their support for quarterback Colin Kaepernick. With the start of the NFL season nearly two weeks away, Kaepernick remains a free agent, and it’s become evident that his current status has more to do with his national anthem protest last season than his skills on the football field.
At the “United We Stand” rally, the large crowd held signs while making sure their voices were heard and their presence was felt. Even Kaepernick’s fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi, came out to support their brother. Derrick Johnson, NAACP interim president and CEO, has sent a letter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, requesting a meeting to discuss “the issue of First Amendment rights and free speech issues surrounding players” in the league. Johnson insinuates that Kaepernick’s inability to sign with a team has to do with being blackballed by the NFL after taking a stand against racial injustice.
“As outlined in your office’s public statement, this act of dissent is well within the National Football League’s stated bylaws. Yet, as the NFL season quickly approaches, Mr. Kaepernick has spent an unprecedented amount of time as a free agent, and it is becoming increasingly apparent that this is no sheer coincidence,” Johnson wrote. “No player should be victimized and discriminated against because of his exercise of free speech—to do so is in violation of his rights under the Constitution and the NFL’s own regulations.”
Warner Bros. has optioned Brit Bennett’s debut novel and New York Times bestseller, ”The Mothers,” with Kerry Washington on board to produce. Washington will produce under the Simpson Street Banner, along with Natalie Krinsky. Bennett will write the script and executive produce.
Originally published in October 2016 by Riverhead, a division of Penguin, “The Mothers” is a story about young love, friendship, a big secret in a small community, and the things that ultimately haunt us most. At this time, Washington is just producing the project.
Simpson Street’s first production, “Confirmation,” earned critical acclaim as well as an Emmy nomination for best movie made for television. “The Mothers” will be their first feature project for Warner Bros. Washington also received an Emmy nomination for “Confirmation” and continues to star in the hit ABC series “Scandal.”
It seems as if last year’s #OscarsSoWhite backlash has had a marked effect on this year’s pool of projects and talent considered and honored as the 2017 awards season gets underway.
The 2017 Golden Globe nominations were announced this morning, and nominees of color were found in the majority of film and television categories. Indie film sensation “Moonlight”not only garnered a nod for Best Motion Picture, Drama, but also for directing and screenwriting by Barry Jenkins, in the Best Actress category for Naomie Harris, and Mahershala Ali was recognized in the supporting actor category.
Denzel Washington and Viola Davis were honored for their performances in “Fences”, Ruth Negga was nominated for her leading role in “Loving,” and Oscar winner Octavia Spencer grabbed a nomination for her supporting role in the upcoming space race drama “Hidden Figures.” Additionally, Pharrell Williams is in the running for Best Original Score — Motion Picture, for his work on the music for “Hidden Figures.”
On the television side, Donald Glover‘s “Atlanta” received nods in two categories; Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy and Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy. Anthony Anderson provides some competition for Glover in the acting category, and “Black-ish” is nominated for Best Comedy Television Series as well. Tracee Ellis Ross gained a nod in the Lead Comedy Actress category, as did “Insecure” star Issa Rae.
In limited series, actress Thandie Newton was nominated for Westworld, and Kerry Washington‘s portrayal of Anita Hill in “Confirmation” was also acknowledged. Emmy winner Courtney B. Vance gained a nod for his work as Johnny Cochran in “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”and the series was nominated in the Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television category alongside Academy Award-winning writer John Ridley’s “American Crime.”
ABC is developing a new drama with one of the networks most trusted stars, Kerry Washington. The “Scandal” star is on board to executive produce “Patrol,” a workplace drama about four female LAPD officers who attended the police academy together five years ago and are forced to reconnect after a high-stakes, traumatic secret returns to haunt them.
Washington is producing the potential series by way of her recently-launched production shingle Simpson Street. The actress has been expanding her behind-the-camera work lately. Simpson Street came fresh out of the gate with HBO’s “Confirmation,” in which Washington starred as Anita Hill, marking the company’s first project.
Chitra Elizabeth Sampath, who served as a writer/producer on the first season of ABC’s “Secrets and Lies,” wrote the “Patrol” script and will serve as a co-executive producer. Along with Washington, executive producers are Groundswell Productions’ Michael London and Janice Williams, plus Washington’s Simpson Street producing partner Sharla Sumpter Bridgett.
ABC is building on their relationship with one of their biggest stars, as “Scandal’s” Kerry Washington has signed an overall deal with ABC Studios and ABC Signature Studios.
Under the new pact, Washington will be expanding her behind-the-camera work, developing broadcast, cable and digital projects exclusively for ABC Studios and ABC Signature, which specializes in cable and digital content.
Washington has entered into the deal by way of her recently launched production company Simpson Street. The shingle debuted its first project earlier this month with HBO’s film “Confirmation” in which Washington starred as Anita Hill. ABC Signature was also behind the TV movie, which received positive reviews.
As part of the deal, first reported by Deadline, Sharla Sumpton Bridgett (“Coach Carter”) has been brought on as a development executive and producing partner at Simpson Street.
Kerry Washington, the star of Shonda Rhimes’ wildly popular Thursday-night show Scandal, is about to get even bigger with a new project on HBO.
Washingtonhas been announced as the star of an upcoming TV movie about Anita Hill, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The telepic, which is being developed by HBO Films and has a tentative title of Confirmation, will chronicle the nomination hearings held for Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas in 1991.
Thomas’ nomination that year by the first President Bush shook up the country after Hill accused the judge of sexual harassment in a leaked FBI interview. Hill was grilled by Senators about the allegations at Thomas’ confirmation hearing and lambasted by the judge himself.
Washington will play the part of Anita Hill and writer Susannah Grant will be responsible for the script and executive producing the project. Washington herself will also work as an executive producer alongside the CEO of Groundswell Productions, Michael London, and the company’s production president, Janice Williams.
Hollywood Reporter claims that the HBO project could take precedence over Washington’s role in a feature film called Unforgettable while she’s currently away from the Scandal set.
The news comes as HBO readies the rollout of its internet-streaming service HBO Go and plans for the next season of the sprawling fantasy show Game of Thrones.