Small screen: Shonda Rhimes wins International Emmy Award; Michael Che’s comedy matters
In a post-election country, artists and entertainers are making their voices heard. After receiving a prestigious award, Shonda Rhimes promised to continue giving voices to those who may feel like they are being silenced in her acceptance speech. Meanwhile, Saturday Night Live comedian Michael Che spoke out about Black Lives Matter and Donald Trump in his new comedy special Michael Che Matters. For these stories and more, read on:
Network: Shonda Rhimes accepted the 2016 International Emmy Founders Award last week with an eloquent and timely speech. “It’s times like this that I’m reminded how big a reach television has. It’s likely the most powerful source of communication in the world,” she said. “People of color, any woman who values her body and her choices. LGBTQ people, immigrants, Muslims, people of disability,” she continued. “They’re afraid their voices will no longer be heard. They believe they’re being silenced.” She also noted the huge responsibility she feels with an audience so wide. “I’m thinking about that,” she added. “We hope, you hope. We dream you dream. We rise, you rise. We fall, you fall.” Rhimes was given her award at the 44th International Emmy Awards Gala by the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
Laurie Hernandez can’t stop winning this year. The gold-winning Olympic gymnast took home the trophy for the 23rd season of Dancing With the Stars. Partnered with professional dancer Val Chmerkovskiy, she defeated former Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson and IndyCar driver James Hinchcliffe. Hernandez is the show’s youngest champion at only 16 years old. This summer, she won a gold medal with the rest of the US women’s gymnastics team in the all around finals, and a silver medal in the balance beam event.
Michelle Yeoh is heading to space. The Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon star has signed on to play a starship captain in CBS’s upcoming reboot Star Trek: Discovery. She will play Yen Bo, captain of the Starfleet ship Shenzhou, and are reported to play a large role in the show’s first season. The 13-episode season will premier on CBS in May before moving exclusively to CBS All Access. Yeoh has recently appeared in Netflix’s Marco Polo and the film Mechanic: Resurrection.
Larry Wilmore is returning to ABC Studios. The former The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore host on Comedy Central inked a multi-year overall deal with the studio. After serving as a writer on ABC’s Sister, Sister, he move on to create HBO’s Insecure, The Bernie Mac Show, The P.J.’s, and executive produce on Black-ish. In his new deal, Wilmore will develop his own projects and supervise others, as well as help recruit talent for the studio.
Cable: Beyonce is getting all of her awards in formation. Erykah Baduh hosted the Soul Train Awards on BET Sunday night in a yearly celebration of Soul and R&B, where Beyonce took home 4 awards. Once you’ve recovered from Brandy’s medley of her biggest hits, check out the full list of winners:
Best New Artist: Chance the Rapper
Best R&B/Soul Male Artist: Maxwell
Centric Certified Award: Anderson .Paak
Video of the Year: Beyonce, “Formation”
Best Gospel/Inspirational Song: Kirk Franklin, “123 Victory”
Album/Mixtape of the Year: Beyonce, “Lemonade”
Rhythm & Bars Award: Fat Joe & Remy Ma ft. French Montana and Infared, “All the Way Up”
Best R&B/Soul Female Artist: Beyonce
Song of the Year: Beyonce, “Formation”
The Ashford & Simpson Songwriter’s Award: “Rise Up,” written by Andra Day and Jennifer Decilveo
Best Dance Performance: Kanye West ft. Teyana Taylor, “Fade”
Best Collaboration: Fat Joe & Remy Ma ft. French Montana and Infared, “All the Way Up”
Just a few days after Fidel Castro’s death, HBO aired two documentaries about modern Cuban politics. The channel aired Patria o Muetre: Fatherland or Death by Olatz Lopez Garmendia and Mariela Castro’s March: Cuba’s LGBT Revolution by Jon Alpert. In Patria a Muetre, the living conditions of many Cuban residents is revealed, including a former radio-station manager who must now live on the equivalent of $18 a month. Mariela Castro, meanwhile, showcases the advances in LGBT equal rights a member of Cuba’s National Assembly have made. Both documentaries work together to showcase a modern day Cuba and the changes to the country that may soon come.
Online: Michael Che’s comedy special Michael Che Matters dropped on Netflix November 25, and even if his opinions may seem controversial, his comedic delivery definitely matters. During the hour Che riffs about a variety of polarizing material, such as how he likes Donald Trump (“I don’t think he should be president,” he clarifies after the audience boos. “But I do think he’s hilarious and should be my best friend”). He begins the special on a more reasonable note, though, discussing the Black Lives Matter movement and smacking down opposition. His humor is sharp and prevalent throughout the special, and he consistently breaks down politics into his simplified (and comedic) point of view.