Rebel Wilson Called Out by Mo’Nique for Claiming She’s First Plus-Size Rom-Com Star

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Actress Rebel Wilson responded to a critique from actress Mo’Nique saying that she never intended to erase the achievements of other plus-size actresses.

Mo’Nique added herself to the voices of several critics of the “Isn’t It Romantic” star after Wilson claimed on “Ellen” that she was the first plus-size actress to star in a romantic comedy. Wilson then doubled down on that statement after several critics pointed out that plus-size actresses like Mo’Nique and Queen Latifah preceded her.

“Let’s please not allow this business to erase our talent with giving grey areas and technicalities,” Mo’Nique said in a reply to Wilson on Saturday. “Take a moment and know the history. DON’T BE A PART OF ERASING IT. I wish you the best.”

Also Read: Mo’Nique Trashes Oprah, Lee Daniels and Tyler Perry in Comedy Sketch (Video)

Wilson then responded to Mo’Nique, saying, “It was never my intention to erase anyone else’s achievements.”

“I support all plus size ladies and everything we are doing together,” Wilson said. “I never want to disrespect anyone.”

Hey my sweet sister. Let’s please not allow this business to erase our talent with giving grey areas and technicalities. Take a moment and know the history. DON’T BE A PART OF ERASING IT. I wish you the best.

— Mo’Nique Worldwide (@moworldwide) November 3, 2018

Hi Monique, it was never my intention to erase anyone else’s achievements and I adore you and Queen Latifah so so much x I support all plus size ladies and everything positive we are doing together

— Rebel Wilson (@RebelWilson) November 3, 2018

Great points honey, thank you x will address when promoting the film in proper forums. I’m all about supporting plus size women and I work so hard to do so. I never want to disrespect anyone

— Rebel Wilson (@RebelWilson) November 3, 2018

On Halloween, Wilson dressed up like Wilson the volleyball on “Ellen” and said, “I’m proud to be the first-ever plus-sized girl to be the star of a romantic comedy.”

Also Read: Rebel Wilson’s ‘Isn’t It Romantic’ Trailer Spoofs Every Rom-Com Cliche – But Still Has Shirtless Liam Hemsworth (Video)

However, when critics pointed out that she was overlooking several other actresses, many people tweeted screenshots of Wilson blocking them on Twitter, even using the hashtag “#RebelWilsonBlockedMe.”

“Isn’t It Romantic” is a parody of rom-coms in which Wilson, burned believing that Hollywood rom-coms are all phony, finds herself trapped in a PG-13 rom-com after bumping her head. The film hits theaters on Valentine’s Day 2019.

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In case you needed more Stephen King adaptations, here comes From A Buick 8

Read on: The A.V. Club.

Welcome to Development Hell, the fiery pit into which we fling recent developments in casting, distribution, and everything else that’s new and mildly interesting in the Boschian phantasmagoria of the entertainment industry.Read more…

Octavia Spencer, Queen Latifah To Bring Racially Charged ‘The Rhinelander Affair’ To Screen With Zero Gravity

Read on: Deadline.

EXCLUSIVE: It’s a great story that delves into the caste system, racism and sexism. The Rhinelander Affair, written by William Kinsolving, follows the controversial 1925 divorce trial in New York involving a man from an upper-class New Rochelle f…

Queen Latifah Is First Partner For Essence Fund For African-American Content

Read on: Deadline.

A new venture fund focused on African-American content has launched and teamed with its first partner, Queen Latifah’s Flavor Unit Entertainment.
The Essence Creators and Makers Fund has a $20 million endowment from Essence Ventures, the parent c…

Katie Couric & Queen Latifah Team Up With Brands To Bolster Female Storytellers – Cannes Lions

Read on: Deadline.

Katie Couric and Queen Latifah are shining a light on gender equality with a raft of new projects aimed at bolstering the number of female directors and storytellers.
The pair used a keynote session at the Cannes Lions festival in France to lift the li…

Tiffany Haddish Opens MTV Movie & TV Awards With Wakandan Showdown Against Chadwick Boseman

Read on: Deadline.

Tiffany Haddish wasn’t lying when she said “she ready!!!” The host of the MTV Movie & TV Awards opened the ceremony with a Wakandan bang, spoofing the Marvel’s multi-nominated and wildly successful Black Panther.
Taking plac…

Lifetime Sets Premiere Date For ‘You’ And ‘The Bad Seed,’ Signs Production Deals With Queen Latifah, Toni Braxton

Read on: Deadline.

Ahead of the A+E upfront, Lifetime announced a September 9 premiere date for two high-profile shows: Greg Berlanti and Sera Gamble’s new drama series You, starring Penn Badgley and guest starring John Stamos, and The Bad Seed from director and star Rob Lowe.
The network also announced production deals with Queen Latifah for two new documentary specials and Toni Braxton on a multi-picture deal. It said it has picked up unscripted series Raising Tourette’s and Seatbelt Psych…

‘Seven Year Switch’ Switches From FYI to Lifetime for Season 3

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Lifetime unveiled its fall slate on Thursday, including the premiere date for the Greg Berlanti-Sera Gamble drama “YOU” and a new home for the unscripted series “Seven Year Switch.”

“Seven Year Switch,” which follows married couples as they temporarily swap partners in an attempt to fix their struggling relationship, has previously aired on sister A+E network FYI for three seasons. Season 4 will instead air on Lifetime.

Lifetime has also ordered two other unscripted series, “Raising Tourette’s,” which follows families raising kids with Tourette Syndrome, and “Seatbelt Psychic,” in which a psychic will deliver readings to ride share passengers from the driver’s seat. See full descriptions of all three shows below.

Also Read: Liz Gateley Out as Lifetime’s Head of Programming, Tanya Lopez and Gena McCarthy Promoted

On the scripted side, Lifetime has slated both the Penn Badgley-led drama “YOU” and Rob Lowe’s reimagining of the 1956 horror film “The Bad Seed” to premiere on Sunday, Sept. 9.

The network also announced a new deal with Toni Braxton (who has previously collaborated with Lifetime on the 2016 biopic “Unbreak My Heart” and multiple original films) to produce original movies, including a holiday film to air this winter. Queen Latifah and producing partner Shakim Compere have also signed on for a one-hour special in which Latifah will re-create her hit single “U.N.I.T.Y.” with top female artists, as well as the original documentary “Where Did The Women In Hip Hop Go?”

Also Read: Lifetime’s All-Women Showrunners Talk Creating a Safe Workplace in the #MeToo Era

Raising Tourette’s tells the remarkable stories and exceptional triumphs of families raising an adolescent with Tourette Syndrome. This powerful new series follows five families with kids from ages 11 to 16 and like all tweens and teens their age, each child has aspirations, friends, rivals and homework. While growing up is often challenging and unpredictable, these kids are resilient and thriving despite navigating an often-misunderstood disorder. From new schools and first dates to driving lessons and family vacations, Raising Tourette’s showcases all of the ups and downs these unique families face. Raising Tourette’s is produced by Half Yard Productions, A Red Arrow Studios Company, for Lifetime. Abby Greensfelder, Sean Gallagher, John Jones, and Matt Blaine serve as executive producers for Half Yard. Brie Miranda Bryant and Kimberly Chessler serve as executive producers for Lifetime.

Seatbelt Psychic is a half hour series that surprises unsuspecting ride-share passengers with a psychic reading of a lifetime. World-renowned medium Thomas John communicates with the dead from the driver’s seat of his car, relaying detailed messages from past family members and friends. His readings are fun, highly emotional, shocking, and for many – incredibly life-changing. Thomas has never met the people he picks up, nor does he know what spirits will speak to him. But the details he relays will be mind-blowing, for both believers and skeptics alike. Thomas may only be giving his passengers a short lift, but they’ll be floored to find out who they meet along the way. Buckle-up as this ride may take some unexpected turns. Seatbelt Psychic is produced by Fulwell 73 for Lifetime. Ben Winston, Zeberiah Newman, Emma Conway, Ryan Simpkins and Sarah Happel Jackson serve as executive producers for Fulwell 73. Brie Miranda Bryant and Lauren Celinski serve as executive producers for Lifetime.

Seven years marks a point in many relationships when couples find themselves to be restless and dissatisfied; and some even wonder what it would be like if they had picked a different partner. “Seven Year Switch” follows four couples as they embark on an emotionally difficult journey to help repair their relationships. Each of the couples will participate in an extreme, innovative experiment of switch therapy, in which they swap partners and partake in experimental marriages in order to help determine if different traits and characteristics in a mate could make their marriage stronger. Viewers learn each of their stories – how they met, how they fell in love, how their marriages took a turn for the worst and why they are willing to risk everything in order to save it. Lack of intimacy, communication and different interests are all factors that contributed to the decline in the couple’s marriages. Seven Year Switch is produced by Kinetic Content for Lifetime. Chris Coelen, Karrie Wolfe, Eric Detwiler, Dean Slotar and Rob Schwarze are executive producers for Kinetic Content. Gena McCarthy executive produces for Lifetime.

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Liz Gateley Out as Lifetime’s Head of Programming, Tanya Lopez and Gena McCarthy Promoted

Lifetime’s ‘A Royal Romance’ Movie Casts Its Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Lifetime’s All-Women Showrunners Talk Creating a Safe Workplace in the #MeToo Era

Queen Latifah to Star in Inspirational True-Life Drama ‘Hope’s Wish’

Read on: Variety.

Queen Latifah will star in the inspirational true-life drama “Hope’s Wish.” Production will start on April 9 in North Carolina. Alcon Entertainment co-founders and co-CEOs Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson made the announcement on Monday. Los Angeles-based finance and production company Torridon/16:14 will finance and produce with Alcon Entertainment, continuing the companies’ collaboration that began […]

Queen Latifah to Star In Inspirational Drama ‘Hope’s Wish’

Read on: Deadline.

Queen Latifah has been set to topline Hope’s Wish, an inspirational drama based on a true story from the Blade Runner 2049 team of Alcon Entertainment and Torridon/16:14, along with Walden Media. Laurie Collyer will direct the film, which begins production April 9 in Charlotte, NC.
Adapted by Brokeback Mountain co-scribe Diana Ossana based on Stuart Stout and Shelby Stout’s book Hope’s Wish: How One Girl’s Dream Made Others Come True, the story centers on the true story…

‘Star’: Fox Orders Five More Episodes Of Musical Drama From Lee Daniels & Tom Donaghy

Read on: Deadline.

Fox is cranking up its Star machine. The network has ordered five additional episodes of the musical drama series from Lee Daniels and Tom Donaghy, bringing its total number to 18. That matches this season’s episode count for its lead-in Empire, which Daniels created with Danny Strong.
Star, which follows three talented singers (Jude Demorest, Ryan Destiny, Brittany O’Grady) as they navigate the cutthroat music business on their road to success, launched last season as a…

Queen Latifah, Lee Daniels on What to Expect When ‘Star,’ ‘Empire’ Cross Over

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Big Trouble gets a taste of the high-glamour world of the Lyons in the first look at the “Star” and “Empire” crossover, set to air on Fox this fall.

In a music video that debuted at the Television Critics Association press tour, we see Big Trouble performing “You’re So Beautiful,” first made famous by Lucious on “Empire.” You can watch the video above.

Lee Daniels, who’s the co-creator and executive producers on both shows, told reporters that it wasn’t his plan to connect “Empire” and “Star” but when the network suggested it, it seemed to work.

“They were two separate shows,” Daniels explained. “I never saw ‘Star’ as a part of ‘Empire’ ever. It’s its own entity … but it sort of seemed logical so I just went with the flow.”

Also Read: ‘Empire’ Season 4 Won’t Be ‘Any Less Sexy’ in Earlier Time Slot, Lee Daniels Promises

“Star” lead Queen Latifah had a different opinion. “That was in my brain from day one,” she said.

The actress went on to explain the vast similarities between the shows. Both take place in the music industry, obviously, but both also feature strong female leads and carry similar themes.

“The binding material between the two shows is that each group in each world is at two different levels of success, but they know what it’s like to come from nothing. And with hard work there’s the possibility there for them to succeed,” Latifah said.

Carlotta (Queen Latifah) and Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) are more alike than they’d probably think. While they are at different places in their lives — Cookie is on top while Carlotta is working up from the bottom — both have overcome obstacles to get to where they are. They both have empires, but Cookie’s is obviously bigger. They both have intimate and powerful relationships with their families.

“I think the main difference is that Cookie has success and money and Carlotta really doesn’t,” she continued. “In terms of who they are as women, the strength they have is equal … they are both strong, powerful women who have been through some things and wear those scars and have overcome a lot. They share some things in their core and are a lot alike.”

Also Read: Lee Daniels Promises to Be ‘Unchained’ With New Fox Musical Drama ‘Star’

Here’s the official description of the crossover, per the network: On an epic night of music and drama, Carlotta comes face-to-face with Cookie (Taraji P. Henson), Lucious (Terrence Howard) and Jamal, as the worlds of “Empire” and “Star” collide.

Reporters got a sneak peak at the crossover. “Star’s” premiere features a Bob Fosse-inspired number (complete with a Daniels cameo) with Big Trouble taking center stage. This also includes the “You’re So Beautiful” performance.

“This season they’re going to be battling to stay together and using their ‘Wonder Woman’ bracelets to battle a love triangle with this awesome new character played by Luke James,” executive producer and new series showrunner Karin Gist said.

“Empire” and “Star’s” new seasons premiere Sept. 27 on Fox in a two-hour special crossover event. 

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Fox’s Live Musical ‘Rent’ Won’t Happen Anytime Soon; Still Without Director and Cast

Fox Reality Boss: How ‘The Four’ Will Be Like ‘Game of Thrones’ With ‘Better Singing and Less Nudity’

‘X-Files’ Is ‘Making Moves in the Right Direction’ After All-Male Writers’ Room Outcry

‘Star’ Bosses and Queen Latifah on ‘Empire’ Crossover and Season 2 Guest Star Luke James

Read on: Variety.

When “Empire” and “Star” return for their fourth and second seasons, respectively, this Fox on Fall, the first episodes of each will bleed into the other in a one-night, two-hour special crossover event. It is something that the co-creator and executive producer of both shows, Lee Daniels, never intended to do but which felt like… Read more »

‘Girls Trip’ Review: Malcolm D Lee’s Bawdy, Boozy Comedy Showcases a Stellar Sisterhood

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

“If I will it, I can have it all.” So goes the million-dollar motto for Ryan Pierce (Regina Hall), the bestselling author who centers Malcolm D. Lee’s sprawling, women-gone-wild comedy “Girls Trip.” Ryan’s aspirational thinking is meant to motivate her faithful followers, but it seems as though Lee himself was similarly inspired.

Lee’s never had trouble crafting a confidently glossy film (we’ll pretend “Scary Movie 5” didn’t happen), although some of his endeavors (“Undercover Brother”) have been more memorable than others (“Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins”). “Girls Trip,” a raucous ode to African-American sisterhood, may be his most open-hearted effort since 2005’s underappreciated “Roll Bounce.”

Much of the credit goes to the movie’s well-cast quartet of leads, who gather for a girls’ weekend when Ryan is hired to speak at the massive annual Essence Festival in New Orleans. It’s been years since Ryan saw her college friends, once known as the Flossy Posse. And time has definitely taken a toll.

Watch Video: Queen Latifah Nearly Rear-Ends Another Vehicle on ‘Carpool Karaoke’

Lisa (Jada Pinkett Smith), formerly up for anything, has become an anxious single mom. Journalism major Sasha (Queen Latifah) has been reduced to chasing sleazy tips for her gossip blog. And party girl Dina (Tiffany Haddish) is now … no, actually, Dina’s just as outrageous as she ever was.

As for Ryan, her marriage to former athlete Stewart (Mike Colter, “Luke Cage”) and her “having it all” public image are threatened when Sasha stumbles on an incriminating photo of Stewart and an amoral Instagram model (Deborah Ayorinde, in a thankless role). Ryan’s ambitious agent (a cartoonish Kate Walsh) goes into damage-control mode, but the posse has other ideas.

There are few surprises here, as the women move easily through the basic plot points a movie like this demands: they get together, get drunk, and get crazy. And by the end, a hungover enlightenment has been achieved. (“Rough Night,” which followed the same exact route, is still in theaters.) But that’s okay, because we’re in it for the ride, the company, and the pure pleasure of watching these women, and the actresses playing them, embrace an independence Hollywood doles out too grudgingly.


See Girls Trip’s latest POWER MOVE.



The characters are, admittedly, fairly two-dimensional, but the actors work hard to fill them out. Everyone gets her own moments, and it’s pretty entertaining to watch Queen Latifah and Pinkett Smith romancing inanimate objects after drinking too much absinthe. Hall, working with Lee for the fourth time, has just the right gravitas to carry the most serious role. But the movie really belongs to the comedically gifted Haddish (“Keanu”), in yet another potential breakout performance that ought to supercharge her career.

While the other women hit their beats in polished style, Haddish brings a seemingly impromptu vibe that raises the bar for each scene. No matter how ridiculous the setup, she jumps in with so much hilarious enthusiasm, we can’t help follow her wherever she goes. And be warned: she goes far enough that you will never stand underneath a zipline or look at a grapefruit the same way again.

Lee has often folded moral, political, or religious perspectives into strong ensemble comedies like “The Best Man” and “Barbershop: The Next Cut,” but he’s mostly content to sit back and let the ladies do their thing here. There are lessons learned, of course, but few judgements.

Also Read: Queen Latifah Set to Star, Executive Produce ‘Flint’ Movie for Lifetime

He shot the movie at an actual Essence Festival, and the background energy — including several concert scenes and a long list of cameos from real-life attendees like Ava DuVernay, Iyanla Vanzant, Estelle, and Mariah Carey — helps fill out the palpable sense of empowerment that cowriters Kenya Barris and Tracy Oliver (“Barbershop: The Next Cut”) infuse throughout the script.

Lee, Barris and Oliver do take their characters to some pretty wild places. But they never stray too far from Ryan’s fallback maxim, the one she uses whenever things go off track: “I am strong. I am beautiful. I am powerful.”

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‘Girls Trip’: Film Review

Read on: Hollywood Reporter - All Reviews.

Regina Hall, Tiffany Haddish, Jada Pinkett Smith and Queen Latifah play college friends reuniting for a New Orleans weekend during the Essence Festival in Malcolm D. Lee’s sisterhood celebration, ‘Girls Trip.’read more