Entertainment News: Spike Lee's new film comes under fire

A scene from Spike Lee's Chi-Raq. (Chi-Raq Facebook)

A scene from Spike Lee's Chi-Raq. (Chi-Raq Facebook)

US filmmaker Spike Lee has come under fire for his latest film Chi-Raq, which according to the Guardian, “takes a satirical yet impassioned look at escalating gun crime in the US (the title hat-tips slang referencing the similarity between murder rates in Chicago and Iraq). The Guardian adds that the film has led to controversy with the families of gun crime victims and the mayor of Chicago expressing concern over Lee’s intentions.

Chicago-born hip hop star Chance the Rapper recently slammed the film on Twitter, calling it goofy, exploitive and problematic.

“Let me be the one from Chicago to personally tell you we not supporting this film out here,” he tweeted.

In Chi-Raq we see the girlfriend of a Chicago gang leader who convinces other women to abstain from sex until the gang wars stop. The film is an adaptation of the Greek play Lysistrata.

According to Rolling Stone magazine “much of the criticism for Chi-Raq stems from a belief that Lee, a director from New York, was the wrong filmmaker to tackle the topic of violence in Chicago”. 

“Just clarifying, I’m not damning the director of the film or anyone involved in making it. I am damning the film and the ideas it conveys,” the rapper added. 

Emzini Wezinsizwa actor dies


Shadrack Ngema. (YouTube)

The cast of SABC 1 sitcom Emzini Wezinsizwa has lost yet another actor this year. Actor Shadrack Ngema (65) died from “heart related complications” at Prince Mshiyeni Memorial hospital in Umlazi, Durban on December 5, eNCA reported. Ngema was better known for his role as Magubane, a post office messenger and resident traditional healer of a hostel in Johannesburg. Ngema’s co-actor Roland Mqwebu also passed away in August this year.

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West to name their son Easton?

When news broke that reality star Kim Kardashian and her husband Kanye West had welcomed their second child on December 5, people decided to have a bit of fun by coming up with baby names for the couple’s baby.  Kardashian gave birth in a Los Angeles hospital early Saturday – the couple has a two-year-old daughter, North (2). She made the announcement on her website and App on Saturday.

“Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West, welcomed the arrival of their son this morning; Mother and son are doing well,” the announcement said.

According to People magazine, it took a week to name North, so the couple is in no rush to name their son. A source says Kardashian told people at the hospital that she’ll name her son after her late father Robert, which will be the baby’s middle name, People reported.

Rumours have been flying around that the baby will be named Easton – a name that some people on Twitter are rooting for.

Tributes for Reeva Steenkamp 


Reeva Steenkamp. (Ice Model Agency)

Celebrity friends of murdered model Reeva Steenkamp paid tribute to her on social media, following news that Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius has been found guilty of the murder of Steenkamp, who he was dating at the time of her death in 2013.

The supreme court ruling overturned Pistorius’s initial culpable homicide conviction on December 3. The athlete shot Steenkamp four times through a locked toilet door in his Pretoria home. 

Actress Jay Anstey posted a photo of herself with Steenkamp and TV personality Pearl Thusi on Instagram with the caption: “about time.. #justice”. Thusi, who was friends with Steenkamp,reposted Anstey’s snap on Instagram. Anstey, Thusi and Steenkamp were participants on season five of reality TV show, Tropika Island of Treasure in 2013.

Usher confirms his marriage to his manager


Usher. (Reuters)

US R&B singer Usher Raymond confirmed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show that he did in fact tie the knot with longtime girlfriend and manager Grace Miguel in a secret wedding in Cuba this year. Raymond, who was previously married to stylist Tameka Foster (who is the mother of their two sons), told DeGeneres that Miguel is a “wonderful woman”. He also added that he’ll be releasing new music in 2016. Raymond’s latest project is all about mentorship. He will host master classes this year; his courses are already available online

“It’s a series of classes that focus on many different things around entertainment. This is going to help a lot of people. I’m not going to be able to  do workshops all over the world but this is a way that I can motivate people to pursue what they love: dancing, performing, entertaining,” he said in an interview with DeGeneres. 

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