As tributes from Chadwick Boseman’s Hollywood colleagues continue to pour in, Ryan Coogler has issued a lengthy, powerful statement about his death. Coogler’s statement indicates that he was unaware of Boseman’s diagnosis when Black Panther was filmed, but learned later on.
Coogler’s statement reads in part, “I haven’t grieved a loss this acute before. I spent the last year preparing, imagining and writing words for him to say, that we weren’t destined to see. It leaves me broken knowing that I won’t be able to watch another close-up of him in the monitor again or walk up to him and ask for another take. It hurts more to know that we can’t have another conversation, or facetime, or text message exchange. He would send vegetarian recipes and eating regimens for my family and me to follow during the pandemic. He would check in on me and my loved ones, even as he dealt with the scourge of cancer. I had no doubt that he would live on and continue to bless us with more. But it is with a heavy heart and a sense of deep gratitude to have ever been in his presence, that I have to reckon with the fact that Chad is an ancestor now. And I know that he will watch over us, until we meet again.”
Actor Chadwick Boseman, who played Black icons Jackie Robinson and James Brown before finding fame as the regal Black Panther in the Marvel cinematic universe, died of cancer on August 29. He was 43.
Boseman died at his home in the Los Angeles area with his wife and family by his side. The Black Panther actor was diagnosed with colon cancer four years ago. “A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much,” his family said in the statement.The news comes as a shock for Boseman’s friends and fans.
At a moment when Hollywood is listening more than ever to suggestions on how to make this industry more inclusive, a group of indie producers of color have written an open letter with some worthwhile suggestions meant to guide change.
Let’s Be Honest: An Open Letter from Over 125 Black and Brown Independent Producers and Allies…
This letter is from Black and Brown independent producers in alliance with advocates for change. As one extended community, we require your active engagement to tackle systemic racism in our industry, in America and around the world. While messages condemning racism and advocating for solidarity on social media may inspire hope, Hollywood must put its money and practices where its mouth is. A direct line can be drawn from the stories and voices that Hollywood silences, to the discrimination and biases that are pervasive in the entertainment industry and larger society. This moment in history presents an opportunity for you to be an incredible partner for change.
Our aim is that this letter produces strategic commitments from Hollywood players to reshape our industry into one whose words are supported by action.
Complex.com host Sean Evans asked Idris Elba, a black British actor, playing the iconic Stringer Bell on the acclaimed series The Wire, if it was true that series creator David Simon was unaware of his English accent. Elba admits that it’s true, but goes a step further in explaining why Simon didn’t know about his accent in the first place, saying that because Simon told Wire casting director that this series was set in Baltimore, he didn’t want non-American actors cast.
“Alexa Fogel was a casting director that was really into seeing new talent,” Elba says. “She said ‘I love you, I gotta bring you into this audition, but you have to promise that you can’t tell him you’re from East London.'” Fogel apparently told Elba—who was living in Brooklyn at the time—that he had to come in and just speak in an American accent.
Elba explains that when the fourth audition came around, they “changed the tactic” on him, asking him about his life and growing up. “My parents told me not to lie—you gotta look someone in the eye and be honest,” Elba admits. That’s when he had to spill the beans and admit that he was from East London. “Don’t fire Alexa, she told me not to tell you guys,” Elba says he admitted. West shouted “I knew it” and David ended up giving him the job, but instead of giving him the role of Avon Barksdale, he gave Elba the role of Stringer Bell.
Is this a perfect example of how Hollywood casting directors like Alexa Fogel deliberately pushing black British actors over African-American actors?
Media Mogul Leading the Way – Byron Allen, CEO of is a comedian, television producer, philanthropist, and the founder, owner, chairman, and chief executive officer of the U.S. television production company Entertainment Studios.
A Game changer, Byron Allen is leading the challenge of white media powers – Comcast and Charter – for not doing business with wholly-owned Black media businesses in the USA. Using the Civil Rights Bill of 1866 — the very first civil rights bill of the United States — Allen is suing and has won several legal battles against Comcast and Charter.
Kudos to Allen for speaking truth to power and addressing inequity in USA media. We, the Urban Mediamakers, are honored to give Byron Allen the UMFF Vanguard Award 2019 in Gwinnett County, Georgia on Wednesday, October 16, 2019, 7:00 pm at the Hilton Atlanta Northeast Hotel in Norcross.
Tyler Perry came to Atlanta living out of his car. Now he owns the largest studio in the United States. Located in southwest Atlanta – SWATS – Perry has turned an old confederate United States Army Base into a site to see. Atlanta has its own Hollywood owned by Tyler Perry. Congratulations Tyler. We are so proud of you.
Legendary filmmaking John Daniel Singleton had a stroke several days ago. He began having pains in his legs and took himself to the hospital. Singleton has been in a coma for days and, sadly, the family will be taking him off life support today.
I’m someone who talks a lot about representation. It’s important that we see more black women on screen. Sometimes there isn’t necessarily a conversation around the nuance of, “what kind of black woman?” I mean, we are not a monolith. I feel heartened when a young woman sees a film that I’m in and says that she can relate to me. I’m also sympathetic that there are women of color and black women that see me in a film and don’t feel seen. That’s real and true.
In Hollywood, I don’t think there’s enough real representation and nuance in that space. I see a lot of incredible Afro-Latinas working, but I’m not sure that there are enough stories told that speak to that particular experience. I’m really interested in telling stories like my grandmother’s.