by G. Brown
Fox Searchlight Recruits Al Sharpton to Save “Birth of a Nation ” Movie You pretty much know you’re in trouble when the Rev. Al Sharpton is rushed in to the rescue. But for some reason, Fox Searchlight Pictures is putting all faith in Sharpton. The hype behind the movie started to go off the rails after director Nate Parker’s Facebook post about his acquittal of rape charges when he was in college. Parker’s post hit some fans the wrong way after he basically summed up the incident as an indiscretion of youth when he and his Penn State University room mate allegedly raped an 18 year woman in 1999. The victim took her own life in 2012 after her brother says she suffered years of PTSD following the rape. The American Film Institute canceled a scheduled screening of the movie after Parker’s post. Sharpton and actor Harry Belafonte have both spoken up about concerns in the timing of the scandal which hit right before the movie is set for release. “Birth of a Nation” tells the story of former slave Nat Turner who’s rebellion spread fear and violence as he organized other slaves to join him. Fox Studios may have concerns that the rape controversy could hurt the movie’s theatrical release and box office attendance. “Birth of a Nation” is scheduled for nationwide theatrical release in October.
Donald Glover’s “Atlanta” Series Changing the Rules Glover is still and will always be to many fans the lovable nerd Troy Barnes from the hit show “Community”. The comedian, actor, rapper also wears the hat of writer which he will be using for his new show “Atlanta” on FX. The dramedy follows a college drop-out who is determined to help his cousin score big as a rap star. Glover hired a team of Black writers for the show saying, “I wanted to show white people, you don’t know everything about black culture.” Glover is breaking new ground by assembling an entirely Black writer’s room. He’s also taking a few risks since many of the writers have never written for a TV series before. Glover’s “Atlanta” premiers on FX September 6.
“Martin Lawrence Doin’ Time: Uncut” He’s been so busy making movies that comedian Martin Lawrence hasn’t hit the stage for a major stand-up special in 14 years. Next month, Lawrence returns to stand-up and your TV. “Martin Lawrence Doin’ Time: Uncut” airs on Showtime. Lawrence says “Fourteen years is a long time between concert specials and I am excited to know that my TV audience will be able to enjoy this show as if they came to see me live.” Lawrence also just wrapped up a sold-out national tour with fresh material lampooning everything from meeting the President to the Bill Cosby scandal. You can catch Lawrence’s “Doin’ Time: Uncut” on Showtime September 9. Until then, here’s a little taste of what the comedian will be serving up to audiences.