14-year-old actress Yara Shahidi has a big few days ahead of her. The youngster’s new show black-ish premieres on Wednesday night followed by Thursday’s premiere of Scandal.
During our recent chat with the Young Olivia Pope, we tried to get the scoop on what we can expect this season of the Shonda Rhimes creation, but the actress remained relatively tight lipped. “I’m sorry, but I can’t tell you anything either way. There would be no scandal if I told you,” she told us. Later revealing that “there is going to be a lot poppin off this season.”
The good news is, the teen didn’t hold back while talking about her new sitcom. “I’m Zoey, I’m the oldest Johnson child. I’m smart, popular and I’m very consumed by phone, so I’m always on Instagram, tweeting, taking selfies, talking to friends. There’s always something going on,” the 14-year-old said.
As for the definition of black-ish, (in case you were wondering) Yara explains that it’s about having a piece of Black culture in you. “I’m half Persian and half Black, so I’m Black-ish in a very literal sense,” she laughed. “I love J Cole, N Sync, Hip Hop, Jazz and I still memorize N Sync lyrics.”
Be sure to tune into black-ish on Wednesday night, at 9:30/8:30 central.
Netflix’s ‘Step Sisters’ Is ‘Bring It On’ … But Way More Woke!
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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