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Kenya Barris is easily one of the greatest screenwriters of our times. As the creator of black-ish he has introduced mainstream audiences to poignant questions and commentary on race, class, gender, and social inequalities. His most controversial episode, however, Please Baby, Please, was shelved indefinitely in part due to its anti-Trump sentiments compounded with footage from the Charleston 9 shooting, being narrated by Spike Lee, and the kneeling movement began by Colin Kaepernick. After being silent for well over a year and opting to leave ABC for Netflix, he is finally breaking his silence on the controversial episode, his Netflix deal, and other difficulties that led to his departure from the Walt Disney owned company.

Kenya spoke in depth with The Hollywood Reporter about all of his above mentioned issues. You can catch a snippet of it below:

kenya barris the hollywood reporter

When Kenya Barris sat down last fall to write an episode of his ABC comedy Black-ish, titled “Please, Baby, Please,” he had a sense it might stir up trouble.

The setup was relatively simple: Dre, the Johnson family patriarch played by Anthony Anderson, was telling his infant son, Devante, a bedtime story that reflected on the events of his first year on the planet. It was, per multiple sources, a mix of political allegory (an animated fairy tale about a character named The Shady King) and actuality (news footage of Donald Trump, the Charlottesville attacks and the NFL kneeling protests). “When you’re putting a baby to sleep, you’re trying to soothe whatever anxieties they’re having,” says Barris, speaking for the first time about the controversial episode. “So, this was about me trying to pat the butt of the country and soothe people.”

“Please, Baby, Please,” which was supposed to air in the back half of the Emmy-nominated series’ fourth season, was shot in wide angle, with very little score. Production is said to have upped its usual episode budget of $3 million or so, spending handsomely on rights and clearances for such things as the Sam Cooke ballad “A Change Is Gonna Come,” which Barris personally met with Cooke’s goddaughter to secure. He enlisted a high-profile illustrator, too, and hired his hero Spike Lee to do voiceover, since the episode took its title and inspiration from a children’s book written by Lee and his wife. Rather than focus on the entire Johnson clan, as Black-ish typically does, the episode centered primarily on Dre and his interpretation of real-world events presented to his son as a form of catharsis. As a father of six, Barris has had plenty of experience calming children at bedtime.

“We approached it with the network and the studio as, ‘This is different,'” says the 44-year-old showrunner. “We certainly knew people would talk about it.”

The episode did, in fact, get people talking, if not for the reason Barris anticipated. Mere days before its scheduled Feb. 27 air date, “Please, Baby, Please” was mysteriously and indefinitely shelved. While Barris is strategic with his choice of words — careful never to utter the phrase “censorship” as others throughout the industry do — the move turned out to be the last straw in his long-standing and already complicated relationship with The Walt Disney Co. “I don’t know that I would have been as useful to them as they’d need me to be after that,” he offers. Those in his cast are far less diplomatic. Tracee Ellis Ross has called the decision “frightening,” while Anderson suggests it was a personal affront. “He’d given his blood, sweat and tears to [the episode], which they had signed off on every step of the way — from the outline, to the script, to the table read, to the point where they actually spent the money and made the episode,” says the actor, who’s also an executive producer. “And I don’t know what those conversations were, but we entered into this partnership with the understanding that we would be able to tell the stories that we wanted to tell.”

Anderson was first informed of the decision by Barris and his manager only four or five days before the episode was supposed to run. He, like much of the cast, was shocked, and more than a little confused. What Barris hadn’t told his actors was that he’d been quietly locked in battle over the episode’s fate for weeks. There’d been a flurry of back-and-forths with executives as high up as CEO Bob Iger, who called Barris from home, sick with laryngitis, and, per two sources, had a reasoned conversation with the showrunner about the political sensitivities of being a broadcast network in 2018. Executives at ABC, more than any other network, have been forthright about their desire for more red-state programming since Trump’s win — and with Barris’ latest episode, they feared they’d be alienating the very population they’d tried so hard to court. That Disney brass wouldn’t want to poke Trump himself just as the company was seeking Justice Department approval of its acquisition of most of 21st Century Fox is widely believed to have been a factor as well.

You can read the entire interview in depth by clicking here.

Whatever Kenya touches is going to be gold. We are not surprised Disney opted to shelve his episode to ensure that Fox deal went through. Money rules all they say, and it is evident around us. We cannot wait to see what he brings to Netflix! We are sure it will be just good as good–if not better–than anything he has ever done for ABC/Disney!

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“Everyone Has Their Truth…” Jordyn Woods Speaks Out Ahead of KUWTK Episode Airing Tristan Thompson Scandal!

The world of reality television is about to heat up as Keeping Up With The Kardashians prepares to air the episode where the KarJenner Clan learns of Tristan Thompson’s scandal involving Jordyn Woods. Jordyn, who has been wildly affected by this ordeal resulting in a strained friendship with Kylie Jenner, and for some time earning Khloe Kardashian’s ire; blaming her for the demise of her relationship with Tristan. Jordyn hopes she will be presented fairly as the episode airs stating, “everyone has their truth.”

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jordyn woods

The world of reality television is about to heat up as Keeping Up With The Kardashians prepares to air the episode where the KarJenner Clan learns of Tristan Thompson’s scandal involving Jordyn Woods. Jordyn, who has been wildly affected by this ordeal resulting in a strained friendship with Kylie Jenner, and for some time earning Khloe Kardashian’s ire; blaming her for the demise of her relationship with Tristan. Jordyn hopes she will be presented fairly as the episode airs stating, “everyone has their truth.”

via People

jordyn woods and tristan thompson

Jordyn Woods hopes viewers get to see the “real” her in the highly anticipated two-part finale of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, which will address her alleged affair with Tristan Thompson.

“Everyone has their truth and their story, so you just go with it,” Jordyn, 21, said in an interview with Entertainment Tonight on Monday in response to the explosive trailer. “Everyone has the right to speak their truth,” she added.

When asked about how she thinks she will be portrayed, the model explained, “Hopefully, like myself, and the real me will shine.”

Although the scandal is still very fresh, Jordyn is doing her best to stay focused on her future.

“Life moves on,” Jordyn told ET. “Money doesn’t stop. The world doesn’t stop. And hopefully, everyone is just, you know, going forward.”

As for what’s next for Jordyn, she said she’s “staying busy, staying positive and just working. I don’t think I’ve ever been more busy.”

“I was on Grown-ish,” she revealed to ET. “That comes out next month, and, yeah, hopefully, more stuff is coming soon.”

We know all too well that reality television can make or break a person’s reputation based on their perceived behavior. Jordyn may get the short end of the stick when it comes to how the show deals with it, but the important thing is that Khloe and her family now see Tristan’s true colors and she has moved on. This episode is set to air on June 23rd.

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[VIDEO] Clearing The Air! O.J. Simpson Says He NEVER Slept w/ Kris Jenner, & Khloe Kardashian is NOT His Daughter!

“Enough is enough,” is what O.J. Simpson is yelling to the masses as he is speaking against prevailing rumors that he and Kris Jenner slept together and that he is the biological father of Khloe Kardashian.  O.J. took to social media to clear his name in a video.

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kris jenner and khloe kardashian

“Enough is enough,” is what O.J. Simpson is yelling to the masses as he is speaking against prevailing rumors that he and Kris Jenner slept together and that he is the biological father of Khloe Kardashian.  O.J. took to social media to clear his name in a video.

via NYDN:

 O.J. Simpson

The “If I Did It” author called reports about the alleged tryst “bogus, bad, tasteless” in a video on his new Twitter account.

“Never, and I want to stress never, in any way shape or form, have I ever had any interest in Kris romantically or sexually,” said the 71-year-old ex-NFL star, adding: “and I never got any indication that she ever had any interest in me.”

“The Juice” said Kris’ ex-husband Robert Kardashian — who died of cancer in 2003 — was “like a brother” to him.

Addressing rumors that Khloe Kardashian is his daughter, Simpson said: “Khloe like all the girls, I’m very proud of, just like I know Bob would be if he was here, but facts of the matter is she’s not mine.”

The denial comes after Norman Prado, who claims to be Simpson’s ex-manager, told Page Six last month how the disgraced gridiron great once bragged about a 1990s hot-tub hookup with Kris.

The one-night stand allegedly happened when the ex-running back and then-wife Nicole, and their pals Robert and Kris Kardashian were vacationing together.

The Kardashians divorced shortly afterward in early 1991 and the Simpsons split by early 1992.

In his video, Simpson denied that Prado was ever his manager, saying “we many have done a deal here or there or whatever but none of these guys was anything remotely like a manager.”

Simpson has previously denied ever sleeping with Kardashian, telling a former prison guard he befriended that he “would never tap” the TV-personality.

He closed out his video by wishing his 574,000 followers a “Happy Father’s Day” and telling them to “take care.”

We are not sure what to believe, but we hope it can now die down. In our book, it is old gossip, and none of the parties involved are coming forward with DNA tests. We will keep you posted.

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Taking A Stand? Tiffany Haddish Cancels Atlanta Appearance Over Georgia’s Abortion Law

Georgia’s controversial abortion law continues to make waves in the entertainment industry as multiple celebrities, directors, and studios are opting to no longer do business in the state. The law,  known also as “The Heartbeat Bill,” makes it illegal for a woman to have an abortion after six weeks of being pregnant (with the exceptions of rape, incest, or medical complications)–during a time when many women are not even aware they are pregnant. Tiffany Haddish is the latest celebrity to take a stand against the law, opting to cancel an upcoming show in Atlanta.

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tiffany haddish

Georgia’s controversial abortion law continues to make waves in the entertainment industry as multiple celebrities, directors, and studios are opting to no longer do business in the state. The law,  known also as “The Heartbeat Bill,” makes it illegal for a woman to have an abortion after six weeks of being pregnant (with the exceptions of rape, incest, or medical complications)–during a time when many women are not even aware they are pregnant. Tiffany Haddish is the latest celebrity to take a stand against the law, opting to cancel an upcoming show in Atlanta.

via Page Six

tiffany haddish

News outlets report that the “Girls Trip” star sent a statement to ticket holders Saturday, saying she cannot “in good faith” perform in Georgia unless it withdraws the so-called heartbeat bill. Haddish had been scheduled to perform June 22 at the Fox Theatre.

The new law would ban abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can be as early as six weeks, before many women know they are pregnant. Unless it’s blocked in court, it’s set to go into effect in 2020. The ACLU has already said the group will mount a legal challenge.

Major Hollywood studios have said they may reevaluate filming in Georgia if the law goes into effect.

This law is definitely affecting how Georgia’s sprawling film industry. Soon Atlanta may no longer be the Hollywood of The South.

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