OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) has given a series order to “Love Is __,” a new drama from Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil. The Akils will create and executive produce the series through their company Akil Productions. Mara Brock Akil will serve as show runner. The series, which had previously been in development at ABC as a multi-camera comedy, will be produced in association with Warner Horizon. It is slated to premiere in 2018.
“I’ve dreamed of working with the Akils,” said Oprah Winfrey. “I’ve been a huge fan of their work since first viewing ‘Girlfriends.’ They know just how to hit the cultural nerve to make you think and laugh at the same time.”
“To have a partner that brings the attention to detail and sheer excellence that Oprah has built an empire on is an absolute dream come true for Salim and me,” said Mara Brock Akil. “That, and it’s Oprah! ‘Love Is ___’ is not only a passion project, but is a personal one for us as well. We’re grateful to have her wholehearted support and magic touch behind this story.”
Based on the Akils’ relationship, the series will tell the story of a power couple navigating the landscape of Black Hollywood. Mara Brock Akil is the creator of “Girlfriends” and “Being Mary Jane.” She and husband Salim Akil, director of the film “Jumping the Broom,” co-created “The Game.” The two are executive producers of the CW’s upcoming DC Comics-based superhero series “Black Lightning,” on which Salim Akil serves as showrunner.
Compton native Isaiah Cooper made history earlier this month, when at 16 years old, he became the youngest black pilot to fly around the country. Now, he has farther lands to conquer as he hopes to fly around the world. In efforts to make this happen, rapper The Game is lending out a helping hand. Cooper has already started a GoFundMe page for financial support, but Game gave it an extra push when he shared it on his Instagram account.
A post shared by The Game (@losangelesconfidential) on
“I DONATED the 1st $1,000 & I’m up early & in a good supportive mood this morning & I hope you are too,” he wrote.
“So I will ask ALL MY FANS or just any person with a heart to pay it forward TODAY & DONATE any amount from as small as $1 to @aerosquad.zae #IsaiahCooper the youngest AFRICAN AMERICAN pilot to ever fly across AMERICA. He made the trip in 2 weeks & now has his mind set on being the youngest AFRICAN AMERICAN pilot to fly around the world when he’s 18 years old, the required age to be able to make the trip alone. This trip will have costs of things he will need to complete it, fuel, food equipment etc….. so PLEASE CLICK THE LINK IN MY BIO & DONATE ANYTHING you can to help him accomplish his dream,” he continued.
From helping single mothers buy groceries to raising awareness against police brutality, The Game has made it a point to help out those in need, and speak up on issues that truly matter. With that said, we hope we can see Isaiah all over the world. And as always, major kudos go to you Game.
*UPDATE: When this article was published, Cooper’s GoFundMe total was at $4,877. Click here to donate if you want to see this young man reach his goal to fly around the world.
article by Ben Poston, Veronica Rocha, Joseph Serna and Kate Mather via latimes.com
Rappers and Los Angeles-area natives the Game and Snoop Dogg led a unification march for men of color Friday morning to the Los Angeles Police Department’s graduation of its newest officers, hours after five Dallas police officers were shot and killed and seven others were wounded during a sniper attack.
About 6:30 a.m., the Game posted on his Instagram account a call for black, Mexican and men of all races to march to the Los Angeles Police Department’s headquarters to “make the Californian government & its law branches aware that from today forward, we will be UNIFIED as minorities & we will no longer allow them to hunt us or be hunted by us!!!”
He said women and children should stay away, “THIS IS OUR MISSION FOR THEM,” he wrote.
The Game, a Compton native whose legal name is Jayceon Terrell Taylor, said in his announcement the march had to be peaceful.
“Do not: bring any weapons or anything illegal. Do not come high or belligerent … We don’t need any HOT HEADS or anyone there for the wrong reasons… We will stand as we are, UNIFIED. I’m calling ALL GANGS, ALL RACES, ALL GROWN MEN affiliated or not & we will stand UNIFIED.”
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Snoop Dogg, whose real name is Calvin Broadus, said organizers didn’t know there was an LAPD recruit graduation scheduled for Friday morning. The point of the march was to reintroduce the Police Department to members of the community it serves, he told reporters at the scene.
About 50 men joined the march to LAPD headquarters.
“The mission is to reintroduce our community to the LAPD… just to get some understanding and dialogue,” he said. “We’re the ones they’re going to be dealing with, we’re the ones that are going to be pulled over. … We’re here on peace.”
The group began planning the march before dawn, the Game said. Organizers spoke with marchers about their unifying, peaceful message so it couldn’t be misconstrued by police, and conversely, so they would listen when law enforcement responded.
“We don’t have to fear each other today,” he said.
Platinum-selling rapper The Game donated half a million dollars to provide water to Flint, Michigan. On Tuesday, the Compton rapper posted a picture to his Instagram account of a wire transfer from his charity, the Robin Hood Project, to Avita for half a million bucks. Avita, an artesian alkaline water company, is matching The Game’s $500,000 for a grand total of $1,000,000.
It’s the biggest public celebrity donation so far to Flint, which is in the throes of a federal emergency after it came to light that its water supply contained high levels of lead, poisoning its people. Experts estimate that roughly 8,000 to 9,000 children under the age of six may have suffered permanent brain damage after being exposed to the tainted water. And that’s just the kids.
“It’s obviously a very big deal and a tragedy in Flint, and I saw people donating small amounts, and I just thought I’d go above and beyond that,” says The Game. “So I donated the funds from the first 11 shows of my European tour. Avita matched it and they’ll be one million bottles of water given out—33,000 bottles of water at a time because of trucking and shipping it in and out. It’s not easy shipping it out because of the snowstorms, and trucks being backed up. But we’ll get it there, however long it takes.”
“What Meek did was very generous, and that’s great. But what I want celebrities to do is to stop saying, ‘I pledge water.’ There are people who get up every morning and say they pledge allegiance to the flag, but don’t really honor it. Talk is cheap,” The Game said. “So I posted a picture of my wire transfer and I’ll post pictures of the water going into Flint every day until it’s done—not to brag, but to speak to the people who actually want to fix the problem.”
Unlike some of these other celebrities, The Game has a personal connection to the embattled City of Flint. “My sister lives in Flint with my nieces and nephews and her husband, and so it directly affected me,” he says. “I’ve got friends who are still stuck there, too. I’ve been on tour in Europe for weeks and weeks, and I wanted to do something. I try to do the best I can from wherever I am.”
Through his Robin Hood Project, The Game has donated millions to the less fortunate. “You know, the thing is man, when I first became a rapper I always said to myself that any amount of money that I acquire past getting me an apartment, a decent car, and the Internet I’d pay it forward,” says The Game.
“Once I accumulated a large amount of finances, I just started giving back randomly. At first I would do it to different places because I didn’t have a charity, then one day I came up with the Robin Hood Project because Robin Hood was my favorite cartoon back in the day—he’d rob from the rich and give to the poor. So I started giving money out of my own pockets. It wasn’t a tax write-off thing. It’s about helping your fellow people and doing the right thing, man.”
My first memory of being directly affected by the death of someone who lost their life to AIDS was when tennis legend Arthur Ashe died. My father broke the news to me. It was one of those unshakeable things — nearly impossible to process and even harder to understand. In a lot of ways it hit my Dad pretty hard. My parents had gone to college at UCLA with Arthur and growing up in our household, they made sure we knew he was way more than an incredible tennis player… he was an activist that paved the way for so many. He was “a great kind guy,” their classmate and hero.
Arthur had certainly had his health challenges… but athletic superheroes weren’t supposed to succumb to an incurable disease at 49. It was unfathomable. The news of his death hit over twenty-two years ago… and sadly we still do not have a cure for a disease that affects the black community (Africans & African- Americans) the most. Statistically, we make up more than forty percent of all new cases… and Jay Ellis (“The Game”) and famed British visual artist, Shantell Martin, know its time to do something about that. Their collaboration with amfAR (the Foundation for AIDS Research) and its “Countdown to A Cure for AIDS” initiative is something I can really get behind.
Out of this amfAR collaboration comes a limited edition beach towel. Designed exclusively for amfAR to help raise awareness and find a cure for HIV/AIDS, the towel’s design features Martin’s black & white illustrations and the inscription, “Be Epic, Cure AIDS,” a nod to amfAR’s “Countdown to a Cure for AIDS” initiative, aimed at developing the scientific basis of a cure by 2020.
This summer, I can’t think of a better accessory. This towel is exclusively sold at Scoop NYC locations and on amfAR’s website: http://shop.amfar.org/shantell-martin-amfar-towel.html for $40 with 100% of the proceeds supporting research to find a cure for HIV/AIDS. Let’s all do what we can.
Did you know:
Nearly 37 million people are now living with HIV. 2.6 million are under the age of 15.
In 2014, an estimated 2 million people were newly infected with HIV.
220,000 were under the age of 15.
Every day about 5,600 people contract HIV—more than 230 every hour.
In 2014, 1.2 million people died from AIDS.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, nearly 78 million people have contracted HIV and close to 39 million have died of AIDS- related causes.
As of March 2015, around 15 million people living with HIV (41% of the total) had access to antiretroviral therapy.
Joy Bryant is the co-lead of new ABC pilot The Advocate.
According to Deadline, the Parenthood actress will star alongside Coby Bell of The Game and Kim Raver.
The Advocate is inspired by the true story of former talent agent, Byrdie Lifson-Pompan, who teamed up with medical doctor and health education specialist, Valerie Ulene to launch a healthcare consulting company.
Bryant will play Dr. Ryan Clarke, a brilliant doctor who partners with Raver’s character Francis “Frankie” Reese to open a patient advocacy firm.
Coby Bell will take on the role of Chris, who is trying to keep the medical firm afloat.
The drama was written by Sheldon Turner, directed by Michael M. Robin and will be executive produced by Turner and Jennifer Klein. Byrdie Lifson-Pompan and Valerie Ulene will serve as consulting producers.
Compton rapper The Game is doing some good in the world. The rapper turned reality star just donated ten thousand dollars to the Philippines Disaster Relief following the typhoon that destroyed the country. In a statement released in Instagram, The Game said, “Thus hurts my heart knowing that many of those amongst the dead are little children. It is in these times where we as people if this world get the opportunity to unite with one another & give back, help, lend a hand, donate or just send prayers.”
The country, located in the southeastern region of Asia, was hit by the super storm leaving a trail of destruction and tragedy in its wake. As of now, 3,500 people are dead, more than 1,100 are still missing, and more than 12,000 people have suffered injuries. We will continue to send prayers and positive energy in the Philippines direction.
Atlanta lived up to its reputation as the Hollywood of the South on Saturday with the advance screening of BET’s upcoming film Being Mary Jane. The movie, starring Gabrielle Union, debuts on the cable channel on July 2 at 10:30 pm. The hour-long production will serve as a teaser for the anticipated Being Mary Jane series scheduled to hit the screens in January 2014. It is just one of a handful of shows drawing attention to BET’s newfound shift towards original programming.
A protagonist who is far from perfect
Being Mary Jane, which was shot in Atlanta, revolves around the main protagonist Mary Jane Paul (played by Union), a successful talk show host, who on the surface has an enviable lifestyle. Still, her life is far from perfect.
“It’s in her [Mary Jane Paul’s] low moments where she most expresses her humanity,” said creator Mara Brock Akil in a Q&A with entertainment journalist Kelly L. Carter after the screening at the stylish W Hotel in Midtown Atlanta.