"Being Mary Jane" star Gabrielle Union opened up about the Ferguson unrest, domestic violence in the NFL and Hollywood's lack of diversity. Read the highlights inside and watch Rashida Jones shut down a reporter at the SAG awards.
In a new interview with YAHOO Style, With This Ring producer Gabrielle Union opens up about everything from her marriage to Miami Heat basketball star Dwyane Wade, to why more actors and musicians are speaking up politically about domestic violence, Ferguson unrest and policing issues. An in one of her most interesting moments, she revealed why she asked Dwyane to sign a pre-nup.
I want people to know the work that it took to get through UCLA, that I had student loans and worked. I was eating Top Ramen and lived well below my means. Now that it’s time to get married to a man who happens to play basketball and has done well for himself, I want to make it clear that I have in no way hitched my wagon to his star. I have my own wagon and star.”
Hear are the highlights:
On if it bugs her that her show, Being Mary Jane, is often compared to Scandal:
“What bugs me is that they’re making the comparison because they’re both shows that star black women. It’s such apples and oranges. It’s like comparing True Detective and Law & Order — you would never do that. What it says is we need so much more diversity in TV. We need shows starring women of color or women of a certain age or women who aren’t a size 2. If that happens, the world isn’t going to end”.
On asking, husband, Dwyane Wade to sign a pre-nup:
“For women in Hollywood, when they’re coupling, everything is about the brand. Everything is about latching on to a rising star, so you can kick your heels up. That’s never been my story, ever. I make sure to let people know all of the hard work that’s gone into my career. I want people to know the work that it took to get through UCLA, that I had student loans and worked. I was eating Top Ramen and lived well below my means. Now that it’s time to get married to a man who happens to play basketball and has done well for himself, I want to make it clear that I have in no way hitched my wagon to his star. I have my own wagon and star.”
On who she would cast in a Bring It On reboot:
“[To play me], Keke Palmer, [Kirsten Dunst’s role,] Dakota Fanning, and Selena Gomez in the Eliza Dushku bad-girl role”.
On Chris Rock’s recent article about how few black women there are in movies and television:
“I think it was part of a larger conversation about a lack of real inclusion in the casting process. They say, “We just went with the best candidate,” but if you’re never considered, you never have a chance. I don’t think people won’t tune in to True Detective if I was Colin Farrell’s wife, or if it was Eva Mendez or Viola Davis. He was pointing out if you look at the biggest films and television shows, there’s not a lot of diversity. The fact that there’s a massive controversy about [the new Star Wars having] a black Stormtrooper is crazy. It’s a made-up world. But in movies, even if you’re in an outer-space community, there’s no diversity. Damn, that says a lot”.
On the state of America after the Ferguson and Eric Garner cases:
“The general lack of compassion for your fellow man is really frustrating. I think what the protesters are saying, or at least some of them, is it’s not just about police brutality. It’s about a widespread systematic crippling of some people in this country by birthright, and no one’s acknowledging it. There may be a power shakeup if you’re really going to do something about it. A lot of people aren’t interested in that. They say, “It’s not that bad. We have Barack Obama. We’re good.” Or, “You’re not getting lynched.” They’re not acknowledging the institutional racism that impacts daily lives.”
On actors and athletes becoming more vocal and political:
“People have always had their own personal views, but they weren’t challenged. I don’t think there’s any footage from back then where Michael Jordan was asked about an issue. I’ve known Michael for a long time, and I couldn’t tell you what his views are. It’s not something that comes up. He’s from before there was social media. In this day, there’s a news story about celebrities every second. People are demanding a lot more. The fact that I can do a press junket for a movie and people ask me what’s happening in my uterus says a lot. They want 110 percent of what you have to offer. But now that I’ve been given a voice, I’m going to use it.”
On the NFL and domestic violence in the United States:
“The biggest thing is that the NFL is a business. It’s professional sports, and there are 55 guys on a team. If there’s one guy out of 55 who’s done something horrible, you can’t taint the other 54 with the same brush. But in the sense that a guy committing domestic violence received a less harsh penalty than players did for smoking weed, in that regard [NFL commissioner] Roger Goodell has failed miserably in bringing the NFL to a more enlightened time. If he’d talked to his customers, they’d much rather have Cheech and Chong on the field than the villain in a Tyler Perry movie. The NFL is a microcosm of all industries. Domestic violence affects Wall Street, teachers, and policemen. We have a lot of work to do as a league, but we also have a lot of work to do as a society”.
Check out more photoshoot pics:
About last night...
In case you missed it, some funny ish went down on the red carpet at the SAG awards. Rashida Jones was being interviewed by TNT's Danielle Demski who "complimented" her skin tone saying, 'You look like you've just come off an island or something, you're very tan, very tropical.' Rashida quickly quipped, "I'm Ethnic."
Congrats are in order for singer Eric Bellinger and Meagan Good’s sister La'Myia Good. The twosome are expecting a baby boy! And to add to their happiness, they also annouced they tied the knot! Who knew? Peep their pregnancy shots and get the deets inside….
Singer-songwriter Eric Bellinger and Meagan Good’s sister La'Myia Good are expecting! And guess what? The happy couple also annouced they're married. Double congrats! They were able to keep their relationship under the radar for some time, but they're now ready to put their love on front street.
The soon-to-be proud parents shared a few maternity shots via their Instagrams to announce the exciting news to the masses:
Eric excitedly captioned, "Can you blame me? #TheQueenAndThePrince" Cute!
Over the weekend, Eric and La'Myia celebrated the arrival of their new bundle of joy with a superhero themed baby shower in L.A., hosted by La'Myia's sister Meagan Good. And it appears they will be welcoming a baby boy as a banner with the name Elysha Bellinger hung high across the threshold. What a super cute baby shower theme.
During the celebration, the couple gathered all of their family and friends for a special video announcement that they tied the knot! The twosome decided to exchange vows with a private ceremony, so they shared the video with their fam and friends during the shower.
Meagan's husband DeVon Franklin was serious about the baby games. He racked up on the blue pacifiers. Ha!
"Let's Stay Together" actress and fab mother-of-two Kyla Pratt came out with her kiddies to celebrate with her friends. Her eldest daughter Lyric looks JUST like her.
And "Don't Kill the Fun" singer Sevyn Streeter was also in attendance to celebrate the coming of a new life.
Erykah Badu and Common were among the celebs who paid tribute to Nina Simone over the weekend. Watch Erykah's performance inside and find out about Ava DuVernay's new project with David Oyelowo.
Over the weekend the 2015 SUNDANCE Film Festival hosted "A Celebration of Music In Film" - a concert shining a spotlight on the music of Nina Simone. Nina is the subject of What Happened, Miss Simone?, a film from director Liz Garbus that made its premiere at the festival.
Performing at the event included Common, Erykah Badu (above), Aloe Blacc, Kate Davis, Andra Day and Al Schackman, Nina's long time guitarist/musical director who appears in the film. SIDEBAR: We loved seeing Erykah and Common reunited and posing together on the red carpet.
Watch Erykah perform "Feeling Good" here:
In new movies...
After several successful projects together (Selma, Middle of Nowhere) director Ava DuVernay and actor David Oyelowo (shown above with Carmen Ejogo) will reconnect on a new love story/murder mystery set during the time of Hurricane Katrina. Ave is set to write, produce, and direct the film with Participant Media’s Jeff Skoll and Jonathan King as executive producers (the same producers from ‘Middle of Nowhere.’) Jonathan spoke to VARIETY about the project saying,
“Hurricane Katrina is one of the most important social and environmental stories of our time. Ava DuVernay has shown herself to be highly skilled at bringing intimacy and contemporary urgency to epic events. We have been looking for the right way to get back in business with Ava, and with David Oyelowo, and are proud to re-team with them on her original idea, which we believe will be a powerful film.”
Ava added, “The story we’re interested in will explore the complexities of intimate relationships within times of chaos, while also examining the chaos itself. I’m looking forward to the journey.”
We will keep you posted as more deets emerge...
Photos via rossmike/shaheemreid/@pmama4obama Instagram/WENN/Getty