Controversial R&B star R. Kelly, whose history of alleged abuse of underage African-American girls has, until recently, been largely ignored by mainstream media, is about to become the subject of an investigative docu-series and movie greenlighted by Lifetime.
The initiative by the network marks the re-launch of its Emmy Award-winning 2002 public affairs campaign, Stop Violence Against Women, with key programs to bring awareness of abusive behaviors that need to be put to an end.
Cultural critic, filmmaker and passionate activist dream hampton will serve as executive producer of this ground-breaking, bombshell documentary series on the behavior of a man celebrated as one of the greatest R&B singers of all time.
“Some very brave black women have trusted us with their stories, their truth and their trauma,” said hampton. “They are survivors and I’m honored to share their stories with the world.”
Golden Globe nominee and Emmy Award winner Ilene Kahn Power (“Gia”) is an executive producer on the movie.
For the first time ever, people from R. Kelly’s inner circle are coming forward with new allegations about his sexual, mental and physical abuse. The movie purports to lift the veil on the singer/songwriter’s secretive inner world, bringing to light the shocking allegations of abuse and twisted mind games.
TICKET WATCH: J. Cole has announced that he will embark on a 34-date tour in support of his chart-topping new album “KOD,” with special guest Young Thug. Produced by Live Nation, tickets for the tour, including a show Aug. 24 at Staples Center, go on sale beginning May 12 at 10 a.m. local time at www.dreamville.com and LiveNation.com.
EAT UP: Adrienne Cheatham, the talented Harlemite who warmed hearts as she rose to the “Top Chef” finals this season, is coming to L.A. May 12 to join a cadre of her all-star colleagues including Art Smith, Bryan Voltaggio, Marcel Vigneron, Brooke Williamson and more at Food For Thought (www.poutimoun.org).
The festive evening, taking place on the rooftop of the Neuehouse Hollywood, supports the Pou Timoun Foundation’s efforts with the Haitian American Caucus to help provide quality education to more than 500 children in the community of Croix Des Bouquets – including more than 100 children living in Foyer de Sion orphanage.
Next week, Cheatham makes a one-night-only triumphant return to the Red Rooster Harlem where she served as Chef du Cuisine to join her former boss Marcus Samuelsson in presenting dishes at The Harlem EatUp! Annual Luminary Award Dinner.
Pioneering hip-hop fashion designer Dapper Dan and broadcasting style maven Bevy Smith will be honored with Food Network chef and restaurateur Geoffrey Zakarian (“The Kitchen”) participating. For details, visit: www.harlemeatup.com
CLIPPETTES: Freed rapper Meek Mill is teaming with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation to develop an Amazon docuseries detailing his imprisonment and cracks in our criminal justice system …
Sylvester Stallone is returning to his Rambo role to take on a Mexican drug cartel in a film to begin shooting in September according to Deadline …
Sheryl Lee Ralph is set to appear May 11 and 12 at RuPaul’s DragCon LA 2018 held at the L.A. Convention Center …
Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds (“Deadpool 2”) are buddying up again for the sequel “The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard,” which may feature Salma Hayek …
Vanessa Bell Calloway brings Zora Neal Hurston to life at the Waco Theatre May 11-20. For more info on “Letters From Zora,” written by Gabrielle Pina and directed by Anita Dashiell-Sparks, call (818) 400-1151…
While producers are gearing to search worldwide for a young actor to play teenage Mike Tyson, Bruce Willis has signed on to play his father figure/trainer Cus D’Amato in the upcoming movie “Cornerman” …
DJ Battlecat & the G-Funk All Stars featuring Warren G are among the acts taking the stage for the second annual Mid-City Arts & Music Festival on May 12. Visit www.mincla.org for details …
Gerardo Navarro took first place in the August Wilson Monologue Competition National Finals held at the August Wilson Theatre on Broadway May 7. The L.A. student performed a monologue from “King Hedley II,” which earned him a $1,500 scholarship and a $3,000 cash prize.
Writer Teddy Hayes is partnering with celebrity photographer and producer Ian Foxx for a staged reading of “Papa’s Bathtub Gin,” directed by Buddy Butler, May 14 at the Barbara Morrison Performing Arts Center. Set in 1931 Cleveland during prohibition and the great depression, the play follows the lives of black bootleggers fighting to survive with whiskey, pistols and magic.
TC ON TV: May 11 – “Undercover Boss” (CBS): Three-time Olympic medalist Gabby Douglas dons a disguise to kick off this celebrity season of the hit series. “Real Time with Bill Maher” (HBO): Rapper/Activist Michael “Killer Mike” Render has something to say.
May 12 – “Black Love” (OWN): “How Love Begins” opens the second season with Sterling K. Brown (“This is Us”) and wife Ryan Michelle Bathe, Niecy Nash (“Claws”) and husband Jay Tucker, Tina Knowles-Lawson and husband Richard Lawson, Grant Hill and Tamia, Rev Run and wife Justine Simmons, Kirk Franklin and wife Tammy, D.L. Hughley and wife LaDonna, former NFL running back Eddie George and wife Taj of SWV, Alano Miller (“Underground”) and Dewanda Wise (“She’s Gotta Have It”), and more.
May 13 – “Ali Wong: Hard Knock Wife” (Netflix): The actress/comedienne follows her hit stand-up special “Baby Cobra” with more laughs. She’ll next co-star with Tiffany Haddish for the network’s animated comedy series “Tuca & Bertie.” “Aerial Cities” (Smith): The first season ends with a look at Spire 73, the highest open-air cocktail bar in the Western Hemisphere in L.A.’s newest skyscraper. “Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance” (Lifetime): This original film stars dead-ringers Murray Fraser and Parisa Fitz-Henley as the lovers who are about to wed before the world. “Timeless” (NBC): Hoping this series’ rabid fans like “Saturday Night Live” star Leslie Jones can help save the show for a third season. Ratings have been steady but that late Sunday timeslot is rough. “United Shades of America” (CNN): W. Kamau Bell investigates South Carolina’s Gullah culture.
May 15 – “Black-ish” (ABC): Marital strife is front and center as the season ends. At least, Dre has his “Dream Home” now.
May 16 – “Empire” (Fox): Cassie Ventura guest-stars as a potential love interest for Hakeem.
TASTY QUIP: “You know, I think back to the time when Camille and I went to visit Nelson Mandela in South Africa. He was a free man, but I remember when we met him at Robben Island where he had been in a prison for all of those years. I sat in that cell where he lived and I saw how he lived … what he had to eat to live and what he went through. So, if they send me to that place, then that’s what they will do, and I will have to go there.” – BILL COSBY to Page Six.
As featured in the Los Angeles Wave and Independent, Tasty Clips is one of the leading entertainment newspaper columns on the West Coast, serving nearly one million weekly readers. To reach Bill Vaughan, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @tastyclips.