Entertainment news: Mixed views about Beyoncé’s role as Saartjie Baartman

US singer Beyoncé is set to produce and star in her own film based on the life of Saartjie Baartman. (Reuters)

US singer Beyoncé is set to produce and star in her own film based on the life of Saartjie Baartman. (Reuters)

US singer Beyoncé is allegedly penning and starring in her own film based on the life of South African Khoi San woman, Sara Saartjie Baartman, The Sun reported. Baartman suffered severe exploitation at the hands of Europeans in the 1800s. Her derrière became an “object of fascination” for the European male gaze and her body was displayed in exhibitions and freak shows in Europe. She died in 1815 and the Musee de l’Homme in Paris “ took a deathcast of her body, removed her skeleton and pickled her brain and genitals in jars” and displayed them in the museum for about a century.
Her remains were returned to South African in 2002 and she was buried in the Eastern Cape, where she was born.

According to The Sun, Beyoncé has hired a team of acting coaches and writers to work on film about Baartman, in a bid to be taken seriously as an actor in Hollywood. The Grammy award-winning singer has starred in films such as, Austin Powers in Goldmember, The Pink Panther, Dreamgirls and Cadillac Records, where she played the role of US blues singer, Etta James.

Despite her previous roles in Hollywood films, news of Beyoncé producing the film has been met by mixed reactions. Speaking to talk radio 702 today, the chairperson of SA Actors Guild Jack Devnarain said: “For me, the main concern is: are we doing justice to the person. Are we taking a careful and conscious look at what Saartjie Baartman’s story was all about and will that be served? I’m not particularly convinced that Beyoncé is that right actor for that particular role”.

Natalie Cole remembered as classy by Aretha  Franklin

Natalie Cole at the Montreaux Jazz festival in 2011.

At a sold out Mohegan Sun’s Arena on New Year’s night, soul legend Aretha Franklin took to the piano to sing “Inseparable,” one of Natalie Cole’s hits from the 70s, calling her a “classy” and “sophisticated lady”.

Cole, a nine-time Grammy Award-winning singer, passed away on New Years’ Eve, apparently from complications from an ongoing medical condition.

Cole, daughter of jazz singer Nat King Cole was remembered by her twin siblings Timolin and Casey Cole, who revealed some details of their last Christmas to People magazine.

“We had a wonderful evening where we reminisced about holiday traditions of the past and present, including decorating every inch of her Hancock Park home with vintage Christmas ornaments and finery,” Timolin added. “Christmas has always been a special time of the year for the Cole family because it is the time we most vividly remember our father], his music, and our early holiday traditions.”

Cole’s career, which included multi-platinum album sales was underscored by a dark personal life which included stints of drug addiction. She attributed this to unresolved personal issues such as child abuse.

Chris Brown calls his accuser an “old, dusty bitch”

Chris Brown. (Reuters)

Chris Brown has lashed out at the woman who has accused him of battery. Lizaine Gutierrez claimed that Chris Brown hit her and took her cellphone at a Las Vegas resort. 

In an Instagram video about the incident, alleged to have taken place on January 2 at the Palms Casino Resort, Brown calls the complainant, an “old” and “dusty” “bitch” who “probably came to my room but was too ugly to get in”. 

In another Instagram post, Brown predicts he is going to be “hella rich” after all “the lawsuits I file from these crazy individuals who keep lying on my name,” before urging people to grow up. 

Gutierrez also posted a picture of herself sporting a black eye.

According to the New York Daily News, this wasn’t the first run-in for Brown at the Palms Casino. The R&B singer — whose latest album “Royalty” debuted at No. 1 on the R&B/Hip-Hop charts — reportedly punched a man after an argument during a pickup basketball game in May. No criminal charges were pressed by the victim. Brown was only two months removed at the time from finishing his probation in the notorious 2009 beating of his then-girlfriend, Rihanna.

Atandwa Kani’s paternity test drama 

Atandwa Kani. (Facebook)

After a nasty custody battle between South African actor Atandwa Kani and TV presenter Tembisa Mdoda, a paternity test has revealed that Kani is not the father of the twins he was fighting for, Sunday Sun reported on January 3. From their separation to spats on social media, the public watched from the sidelines as the drama around Kani and his former lover Mdoda unfolded. Reports of the paternity test results came hours before Mdoda’s debut on popular wedding show, Our Perfect Wedding, last night, as the show’s new presenter.

According to Sunday Sun, “the drama began with a custody battle between Kani and his ex-girlfriend [in 2015] and it reached a climax in early November as the former couple and the kids went for a paternity test at Lancet Laboratories in Jo’burg”.

In late 2015 Kani posted a photo of his twin sons with the caption that stated how difficult it was to see them.

“Just because it’s a little difficult for me to see you guys, doesn’t mean I love you any less… I hope my boys know that I love them more and more and more with every breath I take in every second that passes in every minute of every hour in every day….for all time.. Daddy will fix things and see you soon..” 

Mdoda’s sister and radio personality Anele Mdoda called Kani out on his social media posts about his family. 

“Also the last time I checked custody and split of marriage as discussed by lawyers and elders not kwi media. Act accordingly @atandwakani, she tweeted. 

The actor has since found love in the arms of It’s Complicated co-star and now fiancée, Fikile Mthwalo.

Pitch Perfect co-actors to tie the knot

Anna Camp. (Reuters)

Co-stars Anna Camp and Skylar Astin are set to tie the knot, after Camp posted a snap of her engagement ring on Instagram over the weekend with the caption “He asked. I said Yes!!!!” The pair starred in the musical comedy film about singing groups in college, Pitch Perfect (2012), where Camp played the role of Aubrey Posen and Astin, the role of Jesse Swanson.

Camp started dating Astin months after her previous husband and Scrubs actor Michael Mosley filed for divorce in 2013 after 3 years of marriage, Daily Mail reported.

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