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My dearest and most eager reader, ‘tis I, Lady Welpington of The Root, back with another roundup of Black entertainment happenings that I’m sure you’ll be most expectant about. As we all can attest, the wheels of the Hollywood machine are ever-turning and as always—it is my duty to keep you abreast of the latest in TV and film starring folks who look like just like us in the hopes that when their dazzling debut time arrives, the support will be there also.
This week, we have a handful of dazzling and dashing diamonds of the show as well as some wonderful news concerning our most beloved friends of the LGBTQ+ community.
So without further ado, let us make haste to the roundup.
GLAAD Media Awards
The GLAAD Awards, which recognizes fair and accurate representations of LGBTQ peoples and issues in the media, has announced their musical lineup and featured guests for this year’s event!
Per press release sent to The Root, the 32nd annual ceremony (hosted by Niecy Nash) will see performances from Chika, Sabrina Carpenter, and Rebecca Black and appearances from Ian Alexander, Molly Bernard, Matt Bomer, Jonathan Bennett, Bob The Drag Queen, Sterling K. Brown, Laverne Cox, Wilson Cruz, Mackenzie Davis, Robin de Jesús, Blu del Barrio, Nyle DiMarco, Colman Domingo, Clea DuVall, Brandee Evans, Dan Levy, Jim Parsons, DJ “Shangela” Pierce, Katy Perry, Eureka O’Hara, Anthony Rapp, Bretman Rock, JoJo Siwa, Sam Smith, and the cast of Veneno and Glee.
The 32nd Annual GLAAD Media Awards will stream on GLAAD’s YouTube on Thursday, April 8 at 8 p.m. ET as well as Hulu on April 8 starting at 10 p.m. ET. And if you can’t watch live, dear reader, don’t fret: it’ll also be on Hulu on-demand until the end of June.
Dazzling Diamonds of the Show
Da’Vine Joy Randolph will be lending her voice to AMC’s upcoming, stop-motion, animated baby doll series Ultra City Smith, created by Steve Conrad.
In a press release sent to The Root, Randolph will play Detective Gail Johnson, one of two detectives hired to “ investigate the mysterious disappearance of fictional metropolis Ultra City’s most famous magnate. They’ll follow the case, rallying to fight against their city’s dangerous corruption, at a high cost to themselves and their families, all in pursuit of a gentler place to call home.”
Da’Vine can currently be seen in the award-winning Lee Daniels’ film The United States vs. Billie Holiday, streaming now on Hulu.
According to a press release sent to The Root, forever first lady Michelle Obama, alongside Lin-Manuel Miranda for and a few additional friends will appear on NBC’s Roll Up Your Sleeves, a program intended to to educate and empower audiences on the urgency of the vaccine. Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Chief Medical Adviser to the President will be interviewed by Matthew McConaughey, where he’ll be separating fact from fiction about the vaccines and urging all Americans to do their part in getting the vaccine when eligible. Audiences will also be treated to comedy acts, informative packages, captivating real-life stories and heartwarming surprises.
Roll Up Your Sleeves will premiere on April 18 at 7 p.m. ET, only on NBC.
Opal H. Bennett
The American Documentary, parent organization of the PBS documentary series POV, has named Opal H. Bennett as Co-Producer for POV, I, Lady Welpington of The Root have learned.
Via press release, Bennett’s new role will “build off of her work as the producer of POV Shorts, the public television series dedicated to short-form nonfiction films. As POV Shorts enters its fourth season, Bennett’s curatorial and programmatic work has been met with widespread acclaim. The third season recently won “Best Short Form Series” at the 36th Annual IDA Awards after being nominated for the same award the year before. Continuing in her role with POV Shorts, Bennett’s new, expanded position will also include production work on POV’s flagship series.” Explaining her excitement Bennet expressed:
“I’ve been a fan of POV for many years, and joining the team last year was, in many ways, a homecoming. I’m so honored to be stepping into this expanded role in the series. I’ve been fortunate to come up through the ranks of some remarkable organizations and I look forward to growing my contributions to AmDoc | POV’s stellar mission.”
Media company Okayplayer has tapped former CNN journalist Isha Sesay as their new CEO.
According Variety Manor, Sesay will “oversee the company’s verticals: Okayplayer, the progressive music site founded by The Roots frontman Amir “Questlove” Thompson in 1999, and OkayAfrica, dedicated to African culture, music and politics. In addition, she has been named co-founder and CEO of OkayMedia’s new production arm, SPKN/WRD, which will ‘bring seldom-heard global voices and fresh perspectives to the forefront’ across feature films, documentaries, TV, podcasting and publishing, the company announced.”
“I have struggled to keep this a secret for the last few weeks,” Sesay wrote on social media. “So excited to be able to finally share this news with you and looking forward to the incredible journey ahead!”
Dashing Dukes of the Show
Snoop to the D-O-double-G will be serving as the Mega Mentor for Season 20 of NBC’s The Voice, The Root has learned.
Per a press release sent, Snoop Dogg will join superstar coaches Kelly Clarkson, Nick Jonas, John Legend and Blake Shelton as an additional mentor the remaining artists who have made it through the Battle Rounds, in preparation for Knockouts. You can catch Snoop starting April 19 at 8 p.m. only on NBC.
“This is not a joke, excited to join The Voice as this season’s mega mentor,” Snoop tweeted.
Let me first start off by saying there is legitimately no role or outfit Colman Domingo can’t pull off immaculately. And if you needed proof, look no further than his Instagram page or the brand new Zola movie trailer that was just released by A24.
Playing the “eccentric and domineering pimp,” in the film as The Root’s Staff Entertainment Writer Tonja Renée Stidhum described, Dashing Duke Domingo is showing off his stylish threads in a new feature in the Oscars edition of The Hollywood Reporter.
“They blessed me with this feature talking about style, architecture, and the things that bring me joy,” Domingo captioned in a post to Instagram. “@degenpener was a dream to talk to. @raulromo has such a great eye and spirit. @waymanandmicah fit me in head to toe @prada @jam_rich groomed me with so much love @isaacmejiaseyes opened the doors for us to play in and @wolfkasteler with my main ladies @annickrenee @annickopp and @carlyroesen amplified this whole collaboration. I wear my stepfathers blue sapphire on my right hand and gifts from my love on my left. Never felt more myself at 51 with all of these wonderful opportunities to tell parts of my story. Thank you all. Feeling like a million.”
Per the House of Deadline, Judas and the Black Messiah star Daniel Kaluuya (who so flawlessly portrayed a raw and riveting Fred Hampton in the Shaka Kind-directed film, I might add) will making his Saturday Night Live debut on April 3 along with musical guest St. Vincent.
Kaluuya has been racking up much recognition amid the awards ton this season, recently taking home both AAFCA and Critic’s Choice Awards for Best Supporting Actor. He and fellow Judas costar Lakeith Stanfield are both up for Best Supporting Actor at this year’s Academy Awards. (Yes, we’re still confused about that too.) But until we figure out what’s what, be sure to set your DVR for his SNL debut this Saturday night.
Kelvin Harrison Jr.
Titled Chevalier de Saint-Georges, the biopic will see Harrison Jr. as the titular character, known to most as “Black Mozart,” Variety Manor reports. “An illegitimate son of an African slave and a French plantation owner, Chevalier de Saint-Georges rose to improbable heights in French society as a world famous fencer and celebrated violinist-composer, only to face an abrupt downfall after an ill-fated love affair and a falling out with Marie Antoinette and her court.”
The script will be written by Atlanta scribe and executive producer Stefani Robinson with Stephen Williams set to direct. Kelvin can currently be seen in the Aaron Sorkin-directed film The Trial of the Chicago 7, streaming now on Netflix and in the upcoming indie-film Monster, which is also set to premiere on Netflix soon.
’90s kids, rejoice! The live-action pilot of Powerpuff will be headed to our small screens very soon.
The House of Deadline reports that Scrubs actor Donald Faison will be taking on the role of Professor Drake Utonium, otherwise known as the scientific genius behind crime-fighting sister trio The Powerpuff Girls. “Described as quirky, debonair and a pinch narcissistic, Faison’s Professor Drake is a scientific genius who is immensely proud of the three extraordinary girls he created in his lab. Staring down a midlife crisis, he is determined to repair his relationships with his now-adult daughters.”
Powerpuff follows disillusioned twenty-somethings Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup, who used to be America’s pint-sized superheroes. Now resenting the fact that they lost their childhood fighting crime, they must struggle to reunite at a time that the world needs them the most.
“I tried so hard not to FLEX but I can’t help it. I’m so excited! #powerpuffgirls,” Faison exclaimed on social media. There is no word yet on a potential premiere date.
O’Shea Jackson Jr.
O’Shea Jackson Jr. will be tapping into his Star Wars steez for new series on Disney+.
In a press release sent to The Root, the show titled Obi-Wan Kenobi, will dive into the dramatic events that took place 10 years after Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith “where Kenobi faced his greatest defeat, the downfall and corruption of his best friend and Jedi apprentice, Anakin Skywalker turned evil Sith Lord Darth Vader.” While Jackson’s role is still on the hush-hush, rest assured dear reader, that when I find out—so will you.
“I keep tryna tell y’all, ya boy is OUT HERE,” Jackson expressed on social media regarding the news. “And now it’s an honor to say that ya boy is out here in a galaxy far, far away.”
Obi-Wan Kenobi will premiere exclusively on Disney+ with production set to begin some time in April.
Jordan Fisher has joined the cast of the upcoming CW series, The Flash.
Per Variety Manor, Fisher will take on the recurring guest role of “Bart Allen” otherwise known as Impulse. “Bart Allen is the future son of Barry aka the Flash and Iris and is said to be ‘the fastest teenager on the planet.’ However, due to his penchant for ‘wildly impulsive behavior,’ Barry and Iris will have their hands full trying to teach him patience—which will be a necessity if they want to succeed, not only as a family unit, but also in stopping the biggest threat to the Flash yet.”
“HOLY. Thank you for all the love today,” Fisher penned in a tweet. “They’ve got some pretty sweet plans for Bart/Impulse. Can’t wait to meet the cast and start this race! *slaps knee*.” You can catch Fisher’s first appearance on the on episode 17, which is expected air April 13.