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PBS broadcast news veteran Gwen Ifill passed away this week at the age of 61 after a short battle with endometrial cancer.

“Gwen was one of America’s leading lights in journalism and a fundamental reason public media is considered a trusted window on the world by audiences across the nation,” Paula Kerger, the PBS president and CEO, said. “She often said that her job was to bring light rather than heat to issues of importance to our society,” Kerger added.

Ifill had been a prominent name in the news business who worked at The Washington Post, The New York Times and NBC News before taking over PBS’ NewsHour in 2013. News of her passing quickly spread through social media, evoking an outpouring of condolences from people like Dr. Ben Carson, Lester Holt and Tamron Hall.

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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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