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We are already learning the names of a few Hollywood power players who will be making guest appearances on Season 2 of Fox’s Empire. 

It was announced during the Fox upfronts in New York on Monday that Chris Rock, Alicia Keys and Lenny Kravitz have all be enlisted to join the hit drama next season.

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The other bit of good news is that the new season will be a bit longer. Executives announced that compared to last season’s 12 episodes, the show, which is set to air this fall, will jump to a whopping 18 episodes.

During Monday’s presentation, the program’s creator, Lee Daniels thanked Fox for having “let black people on television, and its a good thing.” He added, “We thank the fans.”

Last season, the show was graced by the likes of Jennifer Hudson, Snoop Dogg and Mary J. Blige.

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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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