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The Inspiration Behind Viola Davis’ New Vanity Fair Cover Inspires Backlash

Vanity Fair
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Viola Davis is stunning on the new cover of Vanity Fair. So much was done correctly. The lighting is precise and clean. The shadowing sculpts her beautifully. The whole thing was shot by Black photographer Dario Calmese.

The problem is two-fold, in my opinion. This cover is the first cover Vanity Fair has ever allowed to be shot by a Black person. That’s not okay. It’s too late in the game for these firsts to still be happening. Viola Davis touches on this in her interview. Vanity Fair needs to answer for that. Usually, a celebrity like Viola could count on us backing her up, but we, the Black Delegation, were unable to focus on that because… Black people aren’t allowed to have nice things.

In an interview about the cover, it’s revealed that the cover concept was a recreation of a graphic portrait of a lashed slave, entitled “Whipped Peter”. We’ll not be posting the image here. Violence against Black people is common enough. Sufficed to say, this whole thing is unfortunate.

Calmese describes his cover concept as “a re-creation of the Louis Agassiz slave portraits taken in the 1800s—the back, the welts.

Radhika Jones, Vanity Fair

There is no shame in our lineage. Our ancestors were strong, intelligent, capable people who endured more than most of us can dream. But that’s just it. They fought so we could be free. And while I can understand the maintenance of this narrative as a reminder of how far we’ve come, we as Black people need to see more images of ourselves than that of the enslaved and the downtrodden. We also need to stop pimping out the images of our ancestors for capital gain. I can see what these two were thinking, but I can’t help but feel like there was a chance to see Viola as the confident, liberated woman that she is, rather than the shadow of a gruesome history our people should never have endured. The only solace that can be taken from this is that the other photos in the shoot were much more vibrant and less centered around brutality.

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Frank Ocean’s Brother Ryan Breaux Has Died In A Car Crash

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Frank Ocean’s brother, Ryan Breaux, 18, was in a fatal car crash in Thousand Oaks, California this Sunday. His identity has not yet been confirmed by the medical examiner, but friends on the scene identified him to ABC7 News. An outpouring of support and well-wishes followed. (As well as the usual insensitivity.)

We here at King Of Reads want to wish Frank Ocean and his family well in this time of grieving. So much is happening in this world, we only hope they can find a moment of peace in the near future.

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Ellen DeGeneres Might Be Out Of A Job

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After years of rumors, Ellen’s behind-the-scenes behavior is being shot into the mainstream, and… it isn’t pretty. The national uprisings have made the people bold. We’ve created a culture of protest, and that means workers are starting to speak out about the abuses they’ve faced, knowing that, honestly, it doesn’t get much worse than the lay-offs and cut hours they’ve already faced because of COVID-19. It all started with a Twitter thread:

Soon, the stories started pouring in. Before we knew it, Buzzfeed was busting this story wide open. “Ellen”, apparently, was a toxic work environment where there things like racism were allowed to float about unchecked. There were countless other reports of Ellen being a diva who didn’t want “unauthorized” people looking at her. Hell, they said she didn’t even tell her workers whether they’d be paid during the pandemic. She cried an apology.

Ellen DeGeneres
“Ellen”

This weekend, the nail met the coffin as a number of outlets reported that James Corden was posed to replace Ellen. Nearly all publications were quick to suggest that this is just rumor, since Ellen is set to return to her show soon, but rumors come from somewhere. I’ve worked in and around Hollywood for a long time. Ms. Ellen’s business wouldn’t be in these streets if WarnerMedia wasn’t planning to put her out there with it.

If you wanna learn more. The Washington Post’s nosey ass has all the details. In the meantime, please enjoy these tweets: #TiffanyPollardForEllen

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50 Cent Apologizes To Megan Thee Stallion for Jokes About Shooting

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50 Cent did something he doesn’t ever do, no not respect Black women, but he finally apologized for his trash jokes on social media. 50 cent and other male celebrities joined in on the jokes and memes of Megan Thee Stallion shooting incident.

This is was what he had to say via his Instagram.

“Damn I didn’t think this s**t was real,🤦‍♂️It sounded so crazy,” the rapper captioned a clip from Meg’s IG Live. “@theestallion I’m glad your feeling better and I hope you can accept my apology. I posted a meme that was floating around. I wouldn’t have done that if I knew you was really hurt. Sorry.”

It’s the “I wouldn’t have done that if I knew you was really hurt.” for me. Why do you need Black women to validate that they are hurt for you to show some respect? She was shot. SHOT! What’s not clicking? This isn’t the first and probably won’t be the last time he clowns a Black woman. Remember where he made ignorant comments about all Black women being angry?

No word if Megan has accepted the apology or not. She doesn’t need to.

Thoughts?

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