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Zeba Blay

Entries by Zeba Blay

Ava DuVernay On Why We Can't Write Off Criticism Of That 'Suffragette' Shoot

(0) Comments | Posted October 7, 2015 | 10:03 AM

Oscar-nominated director Ava DuVernay has weighed in on Time Out London's controversial "Suffragette" movie photoshoot. The magazine drew criticism this week after publishing portraits online of cast members Carey Mulligan, Meryl Streep, Romola Garai, and Anne-Marie Duff wearing shirts that say "I'd rather be a rebel than a...

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(3) Comments | Posted October 5, 2015 | 9:50 PM


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New Documentary 'Am I?' Explores What It Means To Be African And American

(0) Comments | Posted October 5, 2015 | 3:04 PM

Cultural identity is always complex, especially for those who straddle the lines of two worlds. So when you're an African living in America, how do you navigate what it means to "African-American?"

It's this idea that Sierra Leonean-American filmmaker Nadia Sasso explores in her documentary, "Am I: Too African to be American or Too American to be African?" The first in a series, the film features interviews with several women of African descent in media, including "Awkward Black Girl" creator Issa Rae, who is half-Senegalese. 

The film highlights issues that divide African and black American people in the United States, including internalized prejudices and a lack of community. 

"It's a fine line. You have to get your identity together. You've got to be able to be a chameleon sometimes, be in both places," says Sierra Leonean-American Mariama Jalloh-Heyward in the movie's first trailer (above). 

"Am I?" is touring the east coast in a series of pop-up screenings this month. For more info go to

H/T Blativity

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Why This 'Suffragette' Photoshoot Needs To Be Called Out

(6) Comments | Posted October 5, 2015 | 1:26 PM

So, this is how you do peak white feminism. 

A new photoshoot featuring the cast of the upcoming movie "Suffragette" has been getting a lot of attention online, and not the good kind. The shoot, in the October issue of Time Out London, shows stars Carey...

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Reclaiming The Word 'Slut' Is An Entirely Different Beast For Black Women

(1) Comments | Posted October 5, 2015 | 10:19 AM

On Oct. 3, model and entrepreneur Amber Rose held her first SlutWalk in LA, and led hundreds of supporters through the city streets to protest rape culture, victim-blaming, and slut-shaming.

Like SlutWalks before it, women marched in revealing clothes, some of them topless, all in an...

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절로 웃음이 나오는 '섹시' 할로윈 복장 26(사진)

(0) Comments | Posted October 2, 2015 | 5:03 PM

아아 할로윈. 할로윈이 한 달도 채 남지 않았다. 할로윈은 1년 중 가장 재밌는 날일 뿐만 아니라, 자신 안의 엽기적인 면을 꺼낼 수 있는 날이기도 하다. 할로윈에는 항상 의례적으로 많은 회사가 여성을 위한 '섹시 복장'을 내놓는다. 경찰은 할로윈이 되면 '섹시한 경찰'이 되고, 간호사는 '섹시한 간호사'가, 괴짜는 '섹시한 괴짜'가 된다....

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The War On 'Political Correctness' Is Pointless

(0) Comments | Posted October 2, 2015 | 2:50 PM

It's time that we accepted this reality: there is absolutely nothing wrong with being "politically correct." 

The phrase has been around for ages, its earliest uses were more literal -- in 1793 it was used in a U.S. Supreme Court judgement, as in "legally" correct....

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Rowan Blanchard Has Zero Time For Reporters Who Ask Girls About Dieting

(0) Comments | Posted October 1, 2015 | 12:56 PM

Rowan Blanchard continues to prove that she's not only one of the most talented, but the most aware young actresses in Hollywood today.  

The 13-year-old star of Disney Channel's "Girl Meets World" revealed in an Elle interview posted on Sept. 28 that she once had to...

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(2) Comments | Posted October 1, 2015 | 6:20 AM


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유명한 할리우드 영화 주인공을 흑인으로 변모시켰다(화보)

(0) Comments | Posted September 30, 2015 | 3:20 PM


두 명의 사진가가 강력한 흑인 모델들을 기용해 할리우드의 다양성 문제에 이의를 제기했다. 세네갈 출신 오마르 빅토 디옵과 프랑스-미국인 앙트완 템페는 2013년 '리-믹싱 할리우드'라는 프로젝트에 착수했다. 이 프로젝트의 목적은 고전적인 미국, 유럽 영화를 이용해 아프리카 사람의 역동적인 이미지로 창조하는 것이었다.

"영화는 가장 전 세계적인...

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26 Halloween Costumes That Never, Ever Needed To Be Sexy

(4) Comments | Posted September 30, 2015 | 12:44 PM

Ah, Halloween. That wonderful time of year when we all get to overindulge in candy and dress up in our favorite ghoulish or clever costumes. It's also, of course, a time when companies trot out the classic "sexy" costume for women. A cop becomes a "sexy" cop, a nurse becomes a "sexy"...

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Marion Cotillard Says There's No Room For Feminism In Hollywood

(0) Comments | Posted September 29, 2015 | 10:39 AM

Marion Cotillard elicited groans from feminists everywhere this week when she told Porter Magazine that feminism does not have a place in the film industry.

The French actress, whose new film "Macbeth" premiered at Cannes this year, expressed discomfort with the ongoing conversation about gender equality in...

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19 Creative Racebent Halloween Costumes That Aren't Offensive

(3) Comments | Posted September 29, 2015 | 10:25 AM

It seems that every year when Halloween rolls around, we have the same unfortunate conversations about cultural appropriation and why using blackface for Halloween costumes is never OK. 

In October 2013, actress Julianne Hough got called out for donning blackface when she dressed up as "Orange Is The New Black"...

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Photographers Reimagine Iconic Movies With Black Characters -- And It's Amazing

(0) Comments | Posted September 28, 2015 | 2:01 PM

Two photographers have tackled Hollywood's diversity problem by recasting iconic onscreen characters with fierce black models. Senegalese Omar Victor Diop and French-American Antoine Tempé teamed up in 2013 for a project called [re-]Mixing Hollywood, with the aim of using classic American and European films to create more...

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Does 'Scream Queens' Creator Ryan Murphy Have A Woman Problem?

(0) Comments | Posted September 25, 2015 | 3:00 PM

Over a successful, decades-spanning career as a writer and television showrunner, Ryan Murphy has been at the helm some of the most groundbreaking and popular shows on TV. But in the process, he's been called out for creating series that rely on harmful stereotypes, racist and

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The Imperfect But Important Feminism Of Cookie Lyon

(0) Comments | Posted September 21, 2015 | 3:27 PM

When "Empire" premiered earlier this year, the general consensus among fans and critics was that Taraji P. Henson's performance as Cookie Lyon was easily the best part of the show. Cookie had the flyest outfits, the most memorable moments, and the best one-liners: "Call me a bitch again, bitch."

But there were also many people who weighed in on another aspect of her character: Cookie Lyon was labelled television's new feminist icon. 

There's this urge in the current pop cultural landscape to declare celebrities, fictional characters, books, movies, TV shows and so on as either "feminist" or "un-feminist." It's an understandable compulsion -- in a time when social justice issues are constantly up for national discussion, we look more and more to movies, television, and celebrities as a kind of barometer for how much progress we're actually making. But it's also a slightly dangerous urge, dangerous because in naming something feminist or un-feminist there's the potential to miss out on nuance, to oversimplify. 

So what makes Cookie Lyon feminist, or at the very least a more positive representation of womanhood? There are a lot of obvious markers: her independence, her hunger and ambition, her unapologetic expression of her sexuality. Cookie, for lack of a better word, is tough. She doesn't take shit from anyone, not even from the man she loves, Lucious Lyon.

So many of the current conversations and running jokes about Cookie focus on this aspect of her -- the loud, brash, and defiant Cookie. Earlier this week, Jimmy Fallon released a fairly funny "Empire" parody in which a major punchline is Henson making a cameo, as Cookie, in which she curses out and then beats up a "Cookie wannabe" -- it's a gag we've also seen on "SNL," the BET Awards, even "Sesame Street."

But what makes Cookie a feminist hero are the complexities, contradictions, and weaknesses that we don't give much attention when praising her. One of the most striking things about last night's season two premiere of "Empire," where Cookie and sons Hakeem and Andre try to steal the company away from Luscious, is how being a mother plays into her character. 

Cookie is ruthless and shrewd, yes, but when she tells potential investor Mimi Whiteman (Marisa Tomei), "I'm doing this for me sons," there's a sense that the statement isn't solely for the sake of impressing Whiteman. For all her posturing, Cookie really does love her sons, she is invested in their futures, even as she pursues her own personal desires for power and dominance. This, perhaps, is the one thing that separates her from Luscious. 

It's what motivates Cookie to do the things she does that's the most fascinating thing about her character, that makes her so compelling even amid bad dialogue and ridiculous plot-twists. Her motivations operate on many levels -- she's trying to take back Empire because she feels she deserves it, it was her seed money that started the company, her vision it was based on. Regaining control of the company is ultimately more important than regaining the affections of a man who let her rot in jail for 20 years. And yet at the same time she also believes that the company is the one thing that can actually hold her family together (even as it tears it apart in reality). She's strong, but in those moments when she's talking to Lucious one-on-one, or being rejected by her favorite son Jamal, we also see a vulnerability, a desire to be accepted, that makes her human

Which leads to another declaration: it's the women on "Empire" who are the most intriguing, who have the most potential to unveil different shades of their characters that no one was expecting. 

In just the first season, Anika "Boo Boo Kitty" (Grace Gealey) and Andre's wife Rhonda (Kaitlin Doubleday) went from being stock villain characters to characters navigating a myriad of emotions and motivations. There is no black or white for any of the female characters on "Empire," but shades of gray that stop us before they can be dismissed merely as "sluts," "bitches" or "gold diggers." 

We need more human portrayals of women on TV, always. What good is a badass if she can't be flawed? From just the premiere, it looks like the upcoming season of "Empire" plans to further interrogate those flaws in Cookie, and indeed all the female characters on the show. None of them are perfectly feminist, but sometimes being perfectly anything isn't the point. 

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The Emmys Were Really A Celebration Of Black Sisterhood

(0) Comments | Posted September 21, 2015 | 10:08 AM

Last night's Emmy Awards show was full of amazing moments, but the moment was when Viola Davis took the stage to accept her Outstanding Lead Actress Drama award.

There were many things that made her win so profound. It was Davis's first Emmy win, ever (bringing her one...

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10 Moments For Women At The 2015 Emmys That Had Us Cheering

(0) Comments | Posted September 20, 2015 | 8:49 PM

Despite the fact that professional awards show hosts Amy Poehler and Tina Fey should host every award ceremony forever, the 2015 Emmys managed to deliver some greatness. Badass women took home awards (oh hey there, Viola Davis, Jill Soloway, Amy Schumer, Uzo Aduba and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, to name...

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Por que homens famosos conseguem se safar de casos de violência contra mulheres?

(4) Comments | Posted September 17, 2015 | 6:18 PM

dr dre

Em setembro, Straight Outta Compton tornou-se a biografia cinematográfica de músicos de maior sucesso da história: arrecadou 134 milhões de dólares nas três primeiras semanas de exibição.

Apesar do sucesso, o filme foi criticado por excluir personagens femininas, e a...

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왜 유명인 남성들은 여성에게 폭력을 휘두르고도 그냥 넘어갈 수 있는가?

(0) Comments | Posted September 16, 2015 | 4:38 PM

지난 달에 ‘스트레이트 아웃 오브 컴턴’은 개봉 이후 약 3주 동안 1억 3410만 달러를 벌어들이며 사상 최대 수익을 올린 음악 전기 영화 자리에 올랐다. 영화는 성공했지만 여성 캐릭터를 배제한 것에 대한 비판도 있었으며, 제작자이자 N.W.A.의 멤버였던 닥터 드레의 과거 폭력 전력이 도마에 오르기도 했다.

드레는 20년도...

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