From Millennial nostalgia and celebrity solidarity to uplifting the Exonerated Five and covering the downfall of R. Kelly, here are the top 10 most-read stories from Shadow And Act in 2019.
Nickelodeon got a lot of love from Shadow And Act this year, and one of the biggest stories was giving My Brother and Me its flowers as “the quintessential comedy about a Black family that we all needed.”
“My Brother and Me didn’t have a hitch or anything that made it seem anything different than ordinary–which was a good thing,” we wrote. “As we’ve seen through both television and film history, stories with white characters get to just be normal…Black characters and experiences aren’t afforded the same opportunity.”
Game of Thrones Nathalie Emmanuel showed solidarity with darker-skinned actresses by speaking against people fancasting her as Princess Tiana. As she wrote in response to the casting ideas, “That part has to go to an even more melanated sister.”
Fast Color, starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Lorraine Toussaint and Saniyya Sidney, wowed audiences this year, despite the setbacks the film endured with marketing. When the first trailer was released for the film in 2019, fans couldn’t wait to see a lineage of Black women use their powers to help themselves and the world.
Former Extra co-host Tanika Ray revealed how the powers that be behind Extra seemingly pushed her out in order to make room for Billy Bush to become the face of the series. “I think we live in a country where it’s been proven time and again, that privilege is real,” she said in an interview with a publication.
Comedian and late-night host Trevor Noah played a role in Black Panther, and most people probably didn’t even realize! Despite being reported in 2018, many people discovered the little-known fact in 2019.
We love seeing Black Hollywood support each other, and Octavia Spencer gave us one of those moments when she revealed how LeBron James helped her get paid her worth. When discussing her upcoming Madam C.J. Walker series at Sundance, she discussed how James, who is producing the series, helped her secure proper payment from Netflix.
Ava DuVernay’s Netflix miniseries When They See Us touched many of the hearts of viewers who watched it. It continued to touch hearts after its airing when it was revealed what happened to Korey Wise’s girlfriend, played by Storm Reid. DuVernay tweeted that sadly, Wise’s girlfriend died before he was released from prison.
Our interview with Surviving R. Kelly executive producer dream hampton kicked off our 2019 coverage. One of the shocking revelations hampton revealed in the interview is that she had a tough time getting celebrities to speak out against R. Kelly and acknowledge the crimes against women of color for which he has been accused of for various reasons. The only one willing to speak on camera was John Legend. “It’s not that they support him,” hampton said of the celebrities that refused to be a part of the Lifetime documentary. “It’s because it’s so messy and muddy. It’s that turning away that has allowed this to go on.”
Shadow And Act’s managing editor, Brooke Obie, gave viewers of Us some much-needed answers to Jordan Peele’s mind-boggling horror-thriller. The film is rife with social commentary revolving around the failed 1980s humanitarian effort Hands Across America. Obie broke down the film as a meditation on the deadliness of complacent silence in the midst of injustice. As Obie wrote, “Is Adelaide the villain or is Red? The answer depends on the perspective. Just as Peele designed it, the question is really for our own introspection. When asked ‘who are your people?’ by the humans, Red answers, ‘We’re Americans.’ We created the monsters. The Monsters are Us.”
Brooke Obie’s exposè on Green Book ignited a conversation about the film that inevitably leaves a mark on its overall legacy. In the in-depth piece, the family of Dr. Donald Shirley (portrayed by Mahershala Ali), called the film a “symphony of lies” and pushed back against several of the narratives that were presented by Peter Farrelly and Nick Vallelonga. Obie was named to The Root 100 list of most influential African Americans of 2019 for the piece.
Photo: Screen Gems/Universal
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