Entertainment news: Outrage and ridicule for all-white Oscars

Actors Jason Mitchell, Corey Hawkins and O'Shea Jackson Jr accept the Hollywood Breakout Ensemble Award for "Straight Outta Compton" at the Hollywood Film Awards. (Reuters)

Actors Jason Mitchell, Corey Hawkins and O'Shea Jackson Jr accept the Hollywood Breakout Ensemble Award for "Straight Outta Compton" at the Hollywood Film Awards. (Reuters)

Race in Hollywood is once again in the spotlight following the announcement of the Oscar nominees for 2016. Not a sinlge black name features in this year’s nominations, even in movies telling black stories, such as Creed and Straight Outta Compton. Straight Outta Compton’s writing team of Johnathan Herman and Andrea Berloff has been nominated for the best orginnal screenplay category and Sylvester Stallone has been nominated for best actor in a supporting role for Creed.

The New York Times’s chief critic, Manohla Dargis, said: “The primary reason the Oscars are so white this year — and most years — is that the movie industry is overwhelmingly white.
That’s infuriating, but that’s not shocking and it sure isn’t news. And if that bothers people, then they need to start complaining loudly and perhaps even begin voting with their dollars.” 

Not to be outdone, The Daily Show lampooned the nominations, with host Trevor Noah going toe-to-toe with Roy Wood jnr on what black artists have to do to win at the Oscars.

Yasiin Bey stays in SA until court proceedings finalised

Yasiin Bey performing at the “Discover Music!” event at Capitol Studios in Hollywood. (Reuters)

Emcee and actor Yasiin Bey (better known by his former stage name Mos Def) will stay in South Africa until his immigration status is resolved but his family will have to leave the country in the next two weeks.

Bey, who has been living in Cape Town since 2013, was arrested last week while attempting to board a flight to Ethiopia using a so-called world passport. He was released on bail of R5 000.

According to the City Press, the United States consulate, whose representatives were present at his bail hearing, had accepted Bey’s US passport when he handed in last year as a symbol of his renunciation of his US citizenship. They have pledged to help the actor  leave the country.  

He is due back in court on March 8.

Gareth Cliff would have earned R4-million a year from his association with Idols

Gareth Cliff believes he was unfairly dismissed. (Gallo)

Eric Mabuza, lawyer for Gareth Cliff, said the radio host and sacked Idols judge’s [direct and indirect] income from Idols would have been about R4-million a season. He added that his client had expected to be involved in at least four more seasons of the show. He has been a judge for about 11 seasons.

Cliff is suing M-Net for R25-million. Mabuza said Cliff, who had previously said Idols was merely a hobby for him, changed his mind about walking away after being advised that if he did not correct the perception that he was a racist, “it was going to stay with him over and over again”. Cliff is demanding reinstatement as a judge for the next season of Idols which kicks off in the next few weeks.

Cliff said the racist label was attached when he responded to a freedom of speech survey and his comment was then linked to Penny Sparrow’s racist Facebook post in which she called black people monkeys. A letter of demand drafted by Cliff’s lawyers was sent to M-Net on Friday, giving them until Monday (January 18) to announce a favourable decision before being served court papers.

Celine Dion loses brother and husband to cancer

Celine Dion, her husband Rene Angelil and children Eddy, Nelson Rene-Charles (REUTERS/Steve Marcus)

Canadian singer Celine Dion (47) was dealt a double blow last week after losing her husband René Angélil and older brother Daniel Dion in a space of two days. Angélil (73), who helped launch her career, died on January 14 at his home in Las Vegas after a long battle with throat cancer. Dion’s brother then died from cancer of the throat, tongue and brain at the age of 59. 

Daniel Dion, who is the eighth of 14 children, died in a care centre in Terrebonne, Quebec, CNN reported. He leaves behind two daughters and two grandchildren. His funeral will take place later this month at St-Simon-et-Jude in Quebec. Angélil’s funeral will be held on January 22 in the Notre Dame basilica in Montreal, where he married Dion, BBC reported.

The couple were married in 1994 and has three children. Angélil, who started out as a pop singer in the 1960s, was Dion’s manager at her start of her career in the 1980s but stepped down from that role in 2014.

“René really gave me a gift,” she told USA Today. “All my grieving, it was during this last year. I think I’ve got this. For now. When it hits me, it’s going to hit me. But my biggest job is to tell my husband, ‘we’re fine. I’ll take care of our kids. You’ll watch us from another spot’.”

English actor Alan Rickman dies at 69

Alan Rickman. (Reuters)

Harry Potter star Alan Rickman (69) has died after a secret battle with cancer. Rickman, who played the role of Professor Snape in Harry Potter and Hans Gruber in Die Hard, died on January 14 in hospital surrounded by his family and friends, according to a family statement. 

He also starred in the stage production Les Liaisons Dangereuses in 1985, for which he was nominated for a Tony award and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, for which he received the BAFTA award for best actor in a supporting role. He also received a Golden Globe for his role in Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny and an Emmy for his role in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2. 

Afro-soul singer Nathi Mankayi leads the Metro FM Music Awards nominations 

Nathi Mankayi. (Facebook)

This year’s theme for the Metro FM music awards is “Legends don’t stop, they ask what’s next!” The ceremony, which honours African musicians, will take place at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban on February 27. The winners in each category will receive R100 000 each.

Afro-soul singer and platinum selling musician Nathi Mankayi is leading the pack with five nominations that include best African pop, best R&B, best male album, best new artist and song of the year for his hit single Nomvula

The highly contested song of the year category includes nominees Riky Rick for Boss Zonke, Black Coffee for We Dance Again, Prince Kaybee for Better Days and Wajellwa, DJ Shimza for Akulalwa, DBN NYTS for Shumaya, Heavy K for Umoya, DJ Ganyani for Talk to me and Sphe & Naves for KOTW Anthem. 

Mankayi will battle it out in the best male album category alongside artists Black Coffee, Cassper Nyovest, Prince Kaybee and Riky Rick. The best new artist nominees are Emtee, Prince Kaybee, Riky Rick, Nathi and Fifi Cooper, the only female nominee in the catergory. Fifi Cooper is also the only female hip hop artist nominated in the best female album category that features singers Maleh, Zonke, Zahara and Thiwe.

Artists from all around the African continent will also be honoured in the new Pan-African Category. 

The road to the Metro FM Music awards will feature events such as music workshops that aim to empower up and coming artists; a comedy show and a fashion show themed Music Meets Fashion. 

The ceremony will be broadcast on Saturday 27 February on SABC 1.

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