The Oscar-winning writer for 12 Years A Slave stumbled a bit when asked at the London premiere of his upcoming Showtime drama Guerilla, “Where were the Black women?”
See John Ridley, who also created ABC’s American Crime, wrote and directed the series about a mixed-race couple who joins an underground anti-racist cell in the 70s whose goal is freeing a political prisoner (Idris Elba). And folks in the audience were not here for the love interest being played by South Asian actress Frieda Pinto.
According to The Huffington Post, one woman stood up and asked: “Why are there no black women at the forefront of the struggle? That doesn’t necessarily accurately reflect what happened in the ‘70s in the U.K.”
Ridley argued that if “everybody understood racism, oppression … there would be no reason to be doing this show.”
The HuffPo wrote that Ridley was visibly emotional and holding back tears as he explained that his own Asian wife inspired him to cast Pinto.
“I don’t want to make this overly personal, but part of why I chose to have a mixed-race couple at the center of this is that I’m in a mixed-race relationship,” he said.
He added: “The things that are being said here, and how we are often received, is very equivalent to what’s going on right now [in the wider world]. My wife is a fighter, my wife is an activist, and yet because our races our different, there are a lot of things we have to still put up with.”
There are Black women cast in the show, but how much airtime they receive or how large their parts are isn’t known to the public yet.
1. MJ was a victim of physical abuse from his father as a child. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, he shed tears and claimed that he was so terrified of his father that he would often vomit when he saw him.
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2. His favorite animated character from childhood was Pinocchio.
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3. When MJ listened to the songs from his days in The Jackson 5, he said he sounded like “Minnie Mouse.”
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4. His middle name was Joseph – Michael Joseph Jackson.
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5. “Billie Jean” is allegedly based on a true story. MJ claims an obsessive fan tried to say he was the father of her child.
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6. His first song to hit the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart was “Ben” in 1972.
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7. MJ was a huge Beatles fan. He paid $47 million for the publishing rights to the Beatles back catalogue in 1985 and sold a share of it to Sony in 1995 for $95 million.
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8. Get this… The costumes for the “Thriller” video came from the Salvation Army.
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9. Jackson invented and owns the patent for the special anti-gravity boots he wore that allowed him to lean forward extremely far in live performances of “Smooth Criminal.”
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10. MJ loved animals, and had several…strange pets. He had a python called Crusher, two llamas called Louis and Lola, and his most famous pet was Bubbles, the chimpanzee.
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11. Sources say MJ “borrowed” the Moonwalk from street dancers he saw outside a hotel.
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12. The original song title for “Thriller” was “Starlight.”
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13. Sources say MJ slept in an oxygen tent to live longer and for cosmetic purposes.
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14. MJ was a proud owner of a 2,700-acre Neverland Ranch that has a theme park, a menagerie, and a movie theater.
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15. “Home Alone” star Macaulay Culkin was one of MJ’s closest friends, and is the godfather of two of Jackson’s children.
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16. MJ’s estate signed a deal with Sony that gave them access to his unreleased recordings for $250 million.
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17. MJ often wore a black armband to remind people of the suffering of children around the world.
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18. The Los Angeles mansion he was renting just before he passed away once belonged to Sean Connery.
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19. MJ was allegedly a pretty avid reader… He was once accused by a library of owing $1 million in overdue book fines.
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20. Wikipedia, Twitter, and AOL’s Instant Messenger all crashed at 3:15PM on the day MJ died: June 25, 2009.
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Continue reading 12 Years A Slave’ Writer Defends ‘Erasure Of Black Women’ On New Showtime Drama
20 Things You Didn’t Know About The Legendary Michael Jackson