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December 23, 2009 | By Michael Ordoña
For director Lee Daniels, who informed "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire" -- an unsparing look at an urban, pregnant teen coping with horrific abuse -- with a lifetime of his own experiences, hearing trash talk about the film at a local black barbershop was eye-opening. And anger-inducing. "You've got to keep in mind, as a gay African American man, you're going into testosterone city where they're talking about everything," he says. "So this one guy's in a chair at the end of the shop, he says, 'Did you see that movie "Precious"?
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 23, 2014 | By Nardine Saad
Cuba Gooding Jr. and his wife have separated, according to several reports out Wednesday. The Academy Award-winner, 46, and Sara Kapfer have been married for 20 years, People , TMZ  and Us Weekly said, with Kapfer filing for legal separation in Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday. She cited "irreconcilable differences" as the reason for the split. PHOTOS: Celebrity splits of 2014 The pair were high school sweethearts and wed in 1994. They have three children together.
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ENTERTAINMENT
August 14, 2013 | By Steven Zeitchik
NEW YORK -- Lee Daniels is never one to hold back on hot-button topics like race and the movie business. So when the director of “Lee Daniels' The Butler” is asked why he thinks it was hard to get his new movie financed, he comes back with a direct answer. “Hollywood would not allow me to make a black drama,” he said last week in an interview in Manhattan, where he primarily lives. "I couldn't get this movie off the ground even after 'Precious' made $100 million around the world,” referring to his 2009 award-season hit. PHOTOS: Celebrities by The Times He ended up making “The Paperboy” first instead, a melodrama with some racial overtones but a largely white cast, before making the $30-million “The Butler” with a patchwork of independent financing.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 4, 2014 | By Gerrick D. Kennedy
Fox has tapped Grammy award-winning producer and rapper Timbaland to produce and write music for the new pilot "Empire," the network announced Tuesday. “Empire” is a family drama anchored in the hip-hop world and will feature both original and current music. Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson will star. Howard will play Lucious Lyon, the charismatic, savvy head of a record label. Henson will portray Cookie, Lucious' ex-wife, who spent 17 years behind bars for dealing drugs and upon her release for good behavior returns to reclaim what she feels is hers after she funneled all that drug money into her husband's fledgling music business.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 9, 2014 | By Greg Braxton
"Lee Daniels 'The Butler," "12 Years A Slave" and the ABC drama "Scandal" were among the top nominees for the 45th NAACP Image Awards, which celebrate the accomplishments of people of color in film, TV, music and literature. Both films were nominated for outstanding motion picture, along with "Fruitvale Station," "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" and "The Best Man Holiday. " Nominated for outstanding actor in a motion picture were Chadwick Boseman for "42," Chiwetel Ejiofor for "12 Years A Slave," Forest Whitaker for "Lee Daniels' The Butler," Idris Elba for "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" and Michael B. Jordan for "Fruitvale Station.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 20, 2013 | By Chris Lee
This post has been updated. See below for details.   The spirit of compromise prevailed late Friday in the drawn-out legal battle over the title of director Lee Daniels' upcoming historical drama “The Butler.” The MPAA overturned its original ruling from earlier this month that would have forced the Weinstein Co.-distributed film - which stars Forrest Whitaker as a domestic servant who worked for eight sitting presidents in...
ENTERTAINMENT
July 31, 2012 | By Steven Zeitchik
EXCLUSIVE: Lee Daniels and Hugh Jackman failed to get a civil rights picture off the ground when their passion project "Selma"  fell apart two years ago. But the pair are taking another crack at that subject, exploring the Martin Luther King Jr. assassination with a new film that takes an unconventional view of King's murder. Daniels will direct and Jackman will star in "Orders to Kill," a story that aims to tell an alternative version of the King shooting, according to a person familiar with the project who was not authorized to talk about it publicly.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 3, 2012 | By Steven Zeitchik
NEW YORK -- By his own admission, Lee Daniels sets out to "discombobulate" actors on set. But he made his star Nicole Kidman actively uncomfortable when he asked her to say the N-word during a scene in their new movie, the period melodrama "The Paperboy. " The polarizing film, about a journalist and a murder in 1970s Florida, is a simmering pot of race and class, with Kidman's Charlotte Bless a vixen who speaks her mind. In one scene, Daniels wanted her to aim an N-word at a black costar.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 5, 2012 | By Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times
If there were ever a genre referred to as "film maudit hot mess," movies so irrepressibly wrong as to be irresistibly right, the work of Lee Daniels would be filed on that shelf. Not many filmmakers would follow a success like "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire," a film that was nominated for six Academy Awards and won two, with "The Paperboy," a movie already notorious for a jaw-dropping scene involving Nicole Kidman, Zac Efron and a jellyfish sting. That's not even the wildest thing in Daniels' interpretation of Pete Dexter's 1995 novel, brought to the screen as an overheated Southern thriller cross-wired with a melodramatic coming-of-age story underlined by an obsession with sex, race and violence.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 14, 2013 | By Janet Kinosian
Veteran costume designer Ruth Carter had her hands full with her latest feature film, "Lee Daniels' The Butler. " In it, she tackled eight tumultuous decades of U.S. political and social history - and changing fashions - filled with dozens of national figures (including LBJ, JFK and Jackie O) and had to factor in an equally daunting number of celebrities in the cast: Jane Fonda, Vanessa Redgrave, Oprah Winfrey and, of course, Forest Whitaker in the lead role, among them. Carter says her focus had to be stout, and she ignored the shine of the 24-karat celebrities who surrounded her, on film and in her fitting rooms.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 26, 2014 | By Oliver Gettell
Oprah Winfrey has come aboard as a producer on "Selma," a biopic about the iconic Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to be distributed by Paramount Pictures, according to a report by Deadline Hollywood. The long-gestating film will focus on King's historic 1965 voting rights campaign and will be directed by Ava DuVernay, who became the first black woman to win best director at the Sundance Film Festival with her 2012 microbudget indie drama "Middle of Nowhere. " DuVernay rewrote the "Selma" script after joining the project in July and sent it to Winfrey, who took notice, the report says . British actor David Oyelowo, who starred in "Middle of Nowhere" and "Lee Daniels' the Butler," is set to play King.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 12, 2014 | by Greg Braxton
WGN America has ordered the 10-part scripted series "Ten Commandments" from Weinstein Co. The ambitious project, to be shown over 10 nights, will feature 10 noted filmmakers, each putting a modern interpretation on a different commandment. Gus Van Sant ("Milk"), Lee Daniels ("Lee Daniels' 'The Butler' "), Jim Sheridan ("In the Name of the Father"), Wes Craven ("Scream") and Michael Cera ("Juno") are among the filmmakers signed to the series. Oscar-winning producer Bruce Cohen and Bob Weinstein will produce.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 9, 2014 | By Times Staff Writers
The following is a full list of nominees for the 45th NAACP Image Awards, which celebrate the accomplishments of people of color in film, TV, music and literature. MOTION PICTURE Outstanding motion picture "12 Years a Slave" (River Road/Plan B/New Regency/Fox Searchlight Pictures) "Fruitvale Station" (Weinstein Co./Forest Whitaker's Significant Productions, OG Project) "Lee Daniels' The Butler" (Weinstein Co./Lee Daniels Entertainment, Laura Ziskin Productions, Windy Hill Pictures, Follow Through Productions, Salamander Pictures, Pam Williams Productions)
ENTERTAINMENT
January 9, 2014 | By Greg Braxton
"Lee Daniels 'The Butler," "12 Years A Slave" and the ABC drama "Scandal" were among the top nominees for the 45th NAACP Image Awards, which celebrate the accomplishments of people of color in film, TV, music and literature. Both films were nominated for outstanding motion picture, along with "Fruitvale Station," "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" and "The Best Man Holiday. " Nominated for outstanding actor in a motion picture were Chadwick Boseman for "42," Chiwetel Ejiofor for "12 Years A Slave," Forest Whitaker for "Lee Daniels' The Butler," Idris Elba for "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" and Michael B. Jordan for "Fruitvale Station.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 26, 2013 | By John Horn
If you're among the small number of directors or actors who isn't white, there is finally some cause to be excited about what's happening in Hollywood. For the first time in Academy Awards history, a black man - British filmmaker Steve McQueen - may win the directing Oscar for his heralded, harrowing film "12 Years a Slave. " Besides McQueen, critics and awards voters are celebrating the work of other people of color, singling out "Gravity's" Mexican-born filmmaker, Alfonso Cuarón, the African American talk show host Oprah Winfrey from "Lee Daniels' The Butler," and a variety of black actors, including Chiwetel Ejiofor and Lupita Nyong'o ("12 Years a Slave")
ENTERTAINMENT
December 19, 2013 | By Alicia Banks
"Lee Daniels' The Butler” tells the story of Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker), a White House butler who serves eight presidents and is caught up in the tumultuous civil rights movement. But, for Daniels, the heart of the story lies with the transcendent love between a father and son. That, and a moment shared with his mother, attracted Daniels to the project. As a youth, Daniels teased his mother about her missing tooth. The reason behind it remained hidden until one year she told him that she lost it while she was protesting voter injustice.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 21, 2010 | By John Horn >>>
It's as inescapable as any law of physics: To be a movie director, you must first direct a movie. But being a movie director and becoming one are two fundamentally dissimilar things, as the filmmaking participants in the Envelope Roundtable made clear. For nearly two hours, five of the year's most celebrated filmmakers gathered together at The Times discussed the challenges -- and rewards -- of making distinctive and often highly personal movies, even as the studios grow all the more interested in presold sequels, remakes and adaptations of board games.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 11, 2013 | By Rebecca Keegan
Five black actors, ranging from a television superstar to a Somali-born newcomer, have earned Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations for their film performances, a reflection of an especially strong year for movies featuring actors of color. The movie that won the most film nominations was "12 Years a Slave. " Steve McQueen's unblinking portrait of slavery received four nominations, including for cast in a motion picture. "Lee Daniels' The Butler," about a White House servant who is a witness to civil rights history, collected three nominations, one of them for talk show host and mogul Oprah Winfrey.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 18, 2013 | By Glenn Whipp
"Lee Daniels' The Butler" opened in mid-August, and, in the ensuing months, its namesake director has participated in countless Q&As and receptions both to promote the movie and to keep it alive in the Oscar conversation. But Daniels had never been involved in an event quite like the one hosted last night by actor Denzel Washington at the Motion Picture Academy's Goldwyn Theater. Six members of the Freedom Riders, the civil rights activists who defied Jim Crow laws and rode interstate buses into the Deep South in the early '60s, attended the screening and shared their memories during a Q&A following the film.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 12, 2013 | By Ryan Faughnder
For the second time this year, the brothers Weinstein are in a legal dispute with the brothers Warner.  Harvey and Bob Weinstein and Miramax, the studio they founded and later sold, have sued Warner Bros., saying they are entitled to a share of the revenue from the second and third films in the "Hobbit" series, based on the book by J.R.R. Tolkien.  This comes after the two companies came to blows this year over the title of the historical drama that was eventually dubbed "Lee Daniels' The Butler.
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