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Is 12 Years A Slave The New ‘Roots’?

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Some of Hollywood’s biggest stars came out to the Directors Guild of America Monday night for the premiere of 12 Years A Slave. Directed by Steve McQueen, the film is being praised for its in depth look at slavery, something many say hasn’t been seen on screen since the TV movie Roots.

HipHollywood caught up with Oscar nominated actor Louis Gossett Jr. who starred in Roots 36 years ago to find out how the 12 Years A Slave measures up.

“Roots we had to tame down …. this is real, explained Louis Gossett Jr. “This is going to set the bar really high.”

Russell Simmons also applauded the film and said he hopes this opens the door for more films about slavery and the history of Blacks in the U.S. to be made.

EXCLUSIVES

Netflix’s ‘Step Sisters’ Is ‘Bring It On’ … But Way More Woke!

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Netflix is getting ready to “Bring It On” … in more ways than one. The streaming service’s new flick Step Sisters is reminiscent of the 90s dance film, but delves deeper into racial themes like cultural appropriation, tokenization and interracial dating.

In the film Megalyn Echikunwoke (Arrow) plays the president of a black sorority who is tasked with teaching one of the campus’ white sororities how to step for a charity competition. At first glimpse the film seems to be stepping into a can of worms — and had folks on Twitter up in arms, but the creators and cast told HipHollywood it isn’t about cultural appropriation but instead cultural exchange.

“There’s a strong political message, and there’s a lot of racial content,” said Nia Jervier. “But I think that the pill that may be difficult to swallow is dipped in honey, because it’s funny.”

What also helps is that producer/writers like Lena Waithe (Masters of None), Chuck Hayward (Dear White People) and Ben Cory Jones (Underground) are behind the project – so you know it’s woke.

“At the end of the day, Jamila the lead character in our minds she’s reaching over to show them a part of our culture. It doesn’t dilute our culture,” said Jones. ” And I love that we can take stepping and evolve that into issues of race and culture.”

Step Sisters begins streaming on Netflix January 20th.

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