Entertainment

Vanessa Bryant Penned A Heartbreaking Message To Kobe On What Would Have Been His 42nd Birthday

Over seven months have passed since basketball great Kobe Bryant lost his life alongside his daughter Gigi and seven others in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. In the months since his death fans have paid tribute to the former shooting guard who left behind three other daughters and his wife Vanessa and watched as his family has slowly attempted to pick up the pieces of their lives without them. Since then, they’ve celebrated holidays and their own birthdays.

For the first time, over the weekend, the Bryants celebrated Kobe’s birthday.

On Sunday, Vanessa Bryant shared a heart-wrenching message to her late husband and daughter on what would have been Kobe’s 42nd birthday.

“To my baby~ Happy birthday. I love you and miss you more than I can ever explain. I wish you and Gigi were here to celebrate YOU! I wish I could make you your fav food or a birthday cake with my Gigi. I miss your big hugs, your kisses, your smile, your loud ass deep laugh,” she wrote in a post on Instagram.”I miss teasing you, making you laugh and bursting your bubble. I miss you sitting on my lap like my big baby that you are. I think about your tenderness and patience all the time. I think about everything you would do in situations to help me deal with everything thrown my way.”

Bryant went on to open up about her struggles to move on since her husband and daughter’s deaths which occurred this past year on January 26.

“Our lives feel so empty without you and Gigi. I’ve been completely broken inside. As much as I want to cry, I put a smile on my face to make our daughters days shine a little brighter. I’m not the strong one, they are. They’re strong and resilient. I’m sure you’re proud of them. They put a smile on my face everyday,” Vanessa wrote.”I wish I could wake up from this horrible nightmare. I wish I could surprise our girls and welcome you and Gigi home to us. I’m mad I didn’t go first. I always wanted to go first so that I selfishly didn’t have to feel this heartache. You were supposed to miss me. Gigi was supposed to be here with her sisters. It should’ve been me.”

Vanessa ended her post by thanking her late husband for showing her true love and for loving her “enough to last several lifetimes.”

“I know my Gigi is celebrating you like she always has on our special days. I miss my thoughtful princess so much! Natalia, Gianna, Bianka, Capri and I wish you a happy birthday my love. I love you for now, forever and for always,” Bryant finished the post.

Fans of the Bryants were quick to commemorate him all throughout Sunday.

To celebrate Kobe, the Lakers celebrated Kobe’s birthday by sharing a reel of his game highlights. Nike also took part by debuting a commercial titled “Better | Mamba Forever.” The ad was narrated by rapper Kendrick Lamar and was launched for what the shoe company is calling “Mamba Week.”

“Kobe taught us to be better,” Lamar recalled in the ad which features video and audio of Kobe, scenes from the Black Lives Matter protests, and clips of Nike-sponsored athletes and fans he inspired with his talent.

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Jussie Smollett Speaks Out For The First Time In Months About His Alleged 2019 Attack— ‘They Won’t Let This Go’

Entertainment

Jussie Smollett Speaks Out For The First Time In Months About His Alleged 2019 Attack— ‘They Won’t Let This Go’

Nuccio DiNuzzo / Getty

In early 2019, “Empire “actor Jussie Smollett found himself thrust into the public spotlight of scrutiny after it was reported that he had been the victim of a hate crime. His original claim initially prompted public outrage and a flood of support from fans. Then, nearly three weeks later, the public was shocked to learn that Smollett had been charged with disorderly conduct and the false filing of a police report after it was determined that the attack had been staged. Worse? Officials suspected that Smollett himself had choreographed the entire attack from start to finish. In March of 2019, the actor was charged with 16 counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report that claimed two men attacked him while yelling racist and homophobic slurs at him.

Since then, the charges against Smollett have been dropped but his reputation remains tarnished. The court of public opinion has determined that he is a liar and fabricator. Ultimately he was dropped from his role on his show and he has remained relatively silent about the issue.

Now, a year after the alleged attack Smollett is speaking out about the controversy in a rare interview.

On Wednesday, the actor made an appearance in an Instagram Live conversation with author and activist Marc Lamont Hill. During the interview, Smollett addressed his ongoing trial calling the situation “frustrating, to say the least.”

“It’s been beyond frustrating, and I certainly am not going rogue,” Smollett explained. “I’m still taking the advice of my attorneys and everything like that, but I don’t really see, honestly, what staying quiet has really done, like, where it has gotten me. … It’s so much bigger than me.”

Smollett went onto share what the past year has done to him and shared that his legal team recently filed a motion against his indictment. The motion is set to be reviewed in court on Thursday. “I believe I have to give it up to God,” Smollett explained before adding that he thinks the legal motion will fall in his favor.

“They won’t let this go,” he explained. “It doesn’t matter — there is an example being made. And the sad part is that there’s an example being made of someone who did not do what they are being accused of.”

Addressing accusations that his original claims were all a hoax, Smollett said that “From the very, very beginning, it was set up to seem like I was lying about something or everything.”

Smollett claimed “there would be no reason for me to do this” and called the accusations “bulls—,” before adding that the “last thing” hew would ever want to do is “be portrayed as a victim.”

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The Motion Picture Academy Just Dropped Diversity Requirements For Oscar Nominations And It’s Pretty Lit

Entertainment

The Motion Picture Academy Just Dropped Diversity Requirements For Oscar Nominations And It’s Pretty Lit

Andrew H. Walker / Getty

Equity is coming to the Oscars.

The Academy Awards have long received critique and backlash for their lack of effort to ensure diversity among its nominees. The criticism of these practices dates back to its first show in 1929. Since then, only 6.4% of academy award nominees have been people of color. Since 1991, only 11.2% of the academy’s nominees have been people of color. What’s worse, according to research, white actors have managed to build their careers on winning Oscars for roles in which they played the parts of POC. In fact, more women who are white have won Oscars for brownface and yellowface portrayals of women of color than actual actresses of color.

This year, the Academy is finally making an effort to change.

On Tuesday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced they made new eligibility requirements for the top prize at the Oscars.

Under the new guidelines for the ceremony’s Best Picture award, films are required to meet two out of four standards. They are: “on-screen representation, themes and narratives; creative leadership and project team; industry access and opportunities; and audience development.”

“We believe these inclusion standards will be a catalyst for long-lasting, essential change in our industry,” the Academy said in a statement.

The new changes will be required in the Best Picture category starting with the 96th Academy Award which will air in 2024.

“The aperture must widen to reflect our diverse global population in both the creation of motion pictures and in the audiences who connect with them. The Academy is committed to playing a vital role in helping make this a reality,” Academy President David Rubin and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson said in a joint statement.

The academy’s newest requirements outline that “films must have at least one of the lead actors or significant supporting actors represent an underrepresented racial group, with at least 30 percent of all actors in minor roles from underrepresented groups.”

It gets better though! The show will require those submitting projects to ensure diversity and inclusion behind the camera as well. The academy is also encouraging projects to ensure women who are either part of an underrepresented racial or ethnic group, and part of the LGBTQ+ community as well as people with disabilities.

Here’s to a better award show!

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