BILL VAUGHAN’S TASTY CLIPS: Luenell has more exposure planned for 2018

Luenell already blazed trails last year by becoming the first African-American, over 40, full-figured woman to be featured in Penthouse Magazine.

More exposure looms in 2018 as she will appear in “All Star Weekend,” Jamie Foxx’s directorial debut with Robert Downey Jr. and Eva Longoria; “A Star Is Born,” starring Bradley Cooper making his helming debut with Lady Gaga, Dave Chappelle and Eddie Griffin; and “She Ball,” Nick Cannon’s new film with Chris Brown, Evan Ross and Marla Gibbs.

In addition to touring, the Bad Girl of Comedy is making plans for her fifth annual Celebrity Black Carpet Birthday Bash on March 11 at the Globe Theater. Tickets are now on sale at EventBrite for the star-studded event to be co-hosted by actors Darius McCrary and Claudia Jordan with special guests Sinbad, Michel’le, Kid N Play, Troop, Norwood Young, Bishop Don Magic Juan and many more to be announced.

When we last spoke, the subject of the recent waves of sexual harassment allegations came up.

“Oddly enough with my dainty self no one has ever approached me in a sexual fashion in the industry,” Luenell said. “Not one time. Not ever. I think that they mess with people who don’t have a reputation preceding them.

“I’m a bit nervous because I am guilty of a few things myself,” she added. “[Harvey] Weinstein may be filing charges on me because he had promised to get me a show and win me an Emmy award if I would stop fondling his genitalia. So I am waiting for that retaliation to come back on me.”

The actress/writer who was featured last year on FX’s “Lopez,” doesn’t understand why many of the accusers have been holding on to these wrongs for so long.

“Anybody who’s ever done anything to me in my real life, I told immediately,” she said. “Then it’s up to people whether they protect you or believe you. I wouldn’t hold on to something for 10, 15, 8 or 6 years, but I do support the people who are saying what they’re saying and I hope that Terry Crews and everybody gets their just due.”

However, Luenell would hasten to jump on any bandwagon.

“It seems funny to me that all you have to do is accuse these people,” she said. “This is not guilty until proven innocent. This is I accuse you, you’re guilty, and you’re fired and I’m going to take away everything you stand for. That’s the oddity to me.”

“I’m not buying the Tavis Smiley [charges]. I know Tavis. Everybody on the streets always thought he was gay. I hope he does fight back. If we find something we can pin on these powerful black folks then we can just get them out of the way.

“Well if people are getting fired for being sexually inappropriate in the workplace, then why does the leader of the free world who has admitted to grabbing people. Why has he not lost his job?”

As for his former White House staffer, Omarosa Manigault, Luenell gave a reminder that there are sharks and there are guppies in this world.

“She is a well-played, well-seasoned great white shark because her new strategy is she’s trying to flip this now like she was on the inside and really a spy for the people,” Luenell said. “I know what’s going on. Who can believe her at this point? She acted just like the old disparaged bed warmer that she is.”

CLIPPETTES: Etienne Comer’s “Django,” a biopic about famed Gypsy jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt, opens Jan. 19 at Laemmle Music Hall

“The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah brings his comedy to the Dolby Theatre on Jan. 20

“Chasing The Dragon,” a true-life gangster story teaming top Asian superstars Donnie Yen and Andy Lau, will be released in DVD and Blu-Ray on Jan. 23

“Don’t Box Me In: An Evening with Rockstar Stewart Copeland,” the composer and co-founder/drummer of the Police, will be presented by the Long Beach Opera on Jan. 25 at the Long Beach Convention Center’s Terrace Theater

The Wallis is hosting a four-night musical celebration curated by and celebrating jazz legend Arturo Sandoval Jan. 25–28 featuring a master class and concert series

TC ON TV: Jan. 19 – “Step Sisters” (Netflix): Megalyn Echikunwoke stars in this comedy about a rhythmically challenged sorority. “American Masters” (PBS): “Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart” explores the life and work of the “Raisin in the Sun” playwright and civil rights activist.

Jan. 20 – “Austin City Limits” (PBS): Herbie Hancock

Jan. 21 – “24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards” (TBS/TNT): Halle Berry, Daniel Kaluuya, and nominee Mary J. Blige are among the presenters. “Morning Show Mystery” (Hallmark): Al Roker is the executive producer of this movie starring Holly Robinson Peete as a TV chef/restauranteur turned sleuth with Rick Fox. “The Resident” (Fox): Matt Czuchry (“The Good Wife”), Bruce Greenwood and Shaunette Renée Wilson (“Black Panther”) star in this new medical drama. “Startalk” (NGC): Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson investigates the “True Story of Hidden Figures.”

Jan. 22 – “Two Sides” (TV1): The case of Eric Garner is profiled in this landmark limited four-part docu-series, produced and narrated by Viola Davis, which explores watershed moments for law enforcement and the black community at the crossroads between life and death. Upcoming episodes will also look at the cases of Ezell Ford (California), John Crawford (Ohio) and Sandra Bland (Texas). “AfroPop” (World): Marco Williams’ “Lonnie Holley: The Truth of the Dirt,” Michael Fequiere’s “Kojo” and Jessica Beshir’s “He Who Dances on Wood.”

Jan. 23 – “Hate Thy Neighbor” (Viceland): British stand-up comedian Jamali Maddix returns for a second season focuses exclusively on America. “The Quad” (BET): The hit black college-based series starring Anika Noni Rose and Ruben Santiago-Hudson commences with Antwan “Big Boi” Patton Sr., Debbi Morgan and RonReaco Lee joining Jasmine Guy in recurring roles.

Jan. 24 – “Waco” (Paramount): Michael Shannon, Taylor Kitsch and John Leguizamo lead the cast of this compelling six-part scripted event series based on the controversial and harrowing true story of the 1993 standoff between the FBI, ATF and David Koresh’s spiritual sect in Waco, Texas.

Jan. 25 – “Top Chef” (Bravo): It’s time for “Restaurant Wars!”

TASTY QUIP: “Fail early, fail often, fail forward. It’s always a little bit frustrating to me when people have a negative relationship with failure. Failure is a massive part of being able to be successful. You have to get comfortable with failure; you have to seek failure because failure is where all of the lessons are.” – WILL SMITH on Instagram

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 or via Twitter @tastyclips.

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