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Black Girl Magic Caught A Big Win At The Oscars Last Night Thanks To ‘Hair Love’

Internalized self-hatred within communities of color is real. Throughout Latinidad, and in areas with large Afro-Latinx populations especially, the term “good hair” is phrase that is used to promote white supremacy and further oppress people of black descent. Young Latinas are often pressured by their families to look a certain way in order to project an image of perfection. It takes positive representation and the celebration of black features to eradicate anti-blackness from the culture. 

On Wednesday, it was announced that the wildly popular animated short film, “Hair Love” was nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film, and the internet rejoiced. Issa Rae–who actually voices one of the characters in the film–announced the film’s nomination with a marked note of pride in her voice. After the movie’s nomination was announced, the film’s director, Matthew A. Cherry, posted a video of his team’s reaction to his Twitter account. 

The touching and adorable story of “Hair Love” follows the trials of a black father struggling to style his young daughter’s hair. The movie is a story of how self-love is accomplished through patience and attention.

The story begins with a little girl named Zuri who has dreams of having the perfect hairstyle when she visits her mother in the hospital. Struggling to do her hair herself, she recruits her father for help. Unfortunately, her father becomes quickly overwhelmed by not only the myriad of products and tools at his disposal but by the expertise and patience required to style black hair. 

Through the course of the movie, we see as Zuri’s father panics and struggle to become confident at handling his daughter’s hair. In the end, they both learn that love is expressed through both care and attention. 

Cherry has been truthful about why he wanted to tackle the issue of hair-care and self-acceptance among the African-American and black community.

“You know, media is so powerful,” Cherry told NPR. “And when you grow up and see magazine covers and TV shows and movies and you don’t see yourself represented, but you see every other type of hairstyle represented, you know, that can really affect your self-confidence” 

Interestingly enough, “Hair Love” was funded via a Kickstarter campaign. Initially, Cherry’s goal was to raise $75,000 for his passion project, but the campaign quickly gained a life of it’s own. The campaign went viral, and soon enough, celebrity champions like Jordan Peele and Gabrielle Union came on board as producers. All in all, the campaign raked in a total of $280,000–smashing Kickstarter’s short-film financing records. 

For many people, “Hair Love”’s nomination has been a bright spot among the bleak roster of very white Oscar nominations.

As has become customary, film fans and movie critics have decried the Oscars for the lack of diversity among their 2020 nominees. Not only is there only one black performer among the 20 nominees for acting, but assumed shoe-in Jennifer Lopez was snubbed for a Best Supporting actress nom. To make matters worse, there were no female directors nominated at all for the second consecutive time.

Even Cherry himself has vocally criticized the nomination roster, blasting the Academy for snubbing both Eddie Murphy and Lupita N’Yongo (for their performances in “Dolemite Is My Name” and “Us”, respectively). He called the day “bittersweet” and expressed his wish for “more black folks and POC” to be nominated along side of him. 

But Cherry has not been immune to the excitement surrounding the nomination, actively expressing his pleasure on social media.

“It feels like a dream,” he Tweeted out after the nomination announcement. “Huge thanks to our great team, our Kickstarter backers and @SonyAnimation for believing in us.”

Of course, social media was over the moon at the announcement of “Hair Love”‘s Oscar nomination.

Not only is the story touching and brilliant, but hundreds of people feel invested after initially donated to the project via Kickstarter.

Some people admitted that the movie brought them to tears when they first watched it.

Same, girl. Same.

Issa Rae’s co-announcer John Chu admitted a teeny bit of bias for the film.

This move is just so gosh darn easy to root for.

This person pointed out that Rae herself looked more than a little happy when the nomination was announced.

Tweet 3: https://twitter.com/ElijahjWilson_/status/1216745262435139584?s=20

We all know where Issa stands when it comes to whom she roots for.

Some Kickstarter contributors were already calling themselves Oscar-nominated producers

https://twitter.com/TimothyDeLaG/status/1216716372111024128?s=20 Where’s the lie, though?

Watch “Hair Love” here:

Sofia Vergara Recalls Brother’s Death During Powerful AGT Audition: ‘I Can Feel Your Pain’

Entertainment

Sofia Vergara Recalls Brother’s Death During Powerful AGT Audition: ‘I Can Feel Your Pain’

NBC

A recent audition on “America’s Got Talent” made judge Sofia Vergara so emotional that it inspired her to open up about a tragedy very personal to her.

On Tuesday’s episode of the competition series, Vergara watched 27-year-old Brandon Leake take the stage to deliver a spoken-word performance that resonated with Vergara.

Leake, a former high school English teacher introduced his piece by dedicating it to his sister.

“Love is the most vulnerable thing one will ever have,” Leake explained during his performance “And you must learn to hold onto it loosely so when it leaves it won’t exit so painfully.” During the performance, Leake recalled losing his sister in the late ‘90s saying “I’m still haunted by these nightmares ’cause I have a really creative mind, and sometimes it designs these alternate realities where she is still here.”

Continuing Leake said “Still alive, and all the things I wish we could have done are played again and again and again. I’m tired of playing God ’cause I gotta come to terms with the fact that my sister ain’t never comin’ back.”

The “Modern Family” actress became visibly emotional during the performance and teared up.

Judges Howie Mandel and Simon Cowell were quick to give Leakes a standing ovation.

“What an amazing tribute,” Cowell said. “There’s something very, very special about you. This is a very difficult thing for me to judge. I shouldn’t be judging it, I just want to compliment you on what you just did because it was extraordinary.”

Mandel commended Leake’s performance saying “we feel your pain, we feel your love, and you moved me to do this” before hitting the Golden Buzzer which means he is being sent straight to the AGT live shows.

Vergara shared with Leake that his poem reminded her of the loss and grief she experienced after losing her own brother.”My brother passed away the same year that your sister passed away. I can feel your pain; I know what this is. I know what it is to have somebody taken from you without you knowing,” Vergara said before going on to say that the poem was “very beautiful for me.”

On Tuesday evening, Vergara tweeted that Leake’s performance was “a great way to end the night!!!”

In 1998, Vergara’s older brother Rafael was murdered while men attempted to kidnap him.

Vergara opened up about the death in 2011 for a Parade cover story, telling the magazine “My older brother, Rafael, was killed in Colombia… “Mother was like a zombie… I wanted to be with them. So I got a big house and we all lived together. I am so grateful to be in this country.”

Quibi Is Doing A ‘Princess Bride’ Remake Of Sorts Starring Sophie Turner And Joe Jonas

Entertainment

Quibi Is Doing A ‘Princess Bride’ Remake Of Sorts Starring Sophie Turner And Joe Jonas

20th Century Fox

Inconceivable?

Just when we thought the ‘80s classic The Princess Bride was untouchable in terms of facing a remake, Quibi decided to take it on amid the current pandemic. According to The New York Post, the American short-form mobile video platform is going DIY with the beloved film. The celeb-studded film will see the stars use their phones to film and edit the series. The homemade fan film will premiere exclusively on the platform and will debut two chapters at a time.

“Game Of Thrones” star Sophie Turner and her husband Joe Jonas are set to play the lead romantic couple… with a twist.

Turner will take on the role of lovestruck Westley while Jonas will take on Princess Buttercup. Joining the couple is an all-star cast that includes Beanie Feldstein, Zazie Beetz, Hugh Jackman, Chris Pine, Keegan-Michael Key, Tiffany Haddish. Actor Fred Savage, who played the role of The Grandson in the original film, will also return, this time as… The Grandson. So it will most certainly be funny.

“The actors will trade-off roles throughout scenes, each paying homage to The Princess Bride in their own unique way,” the New York Post reported about the fan-made film. The outlet also revealed that in order to keep up with scenes that require crowds, they’ll use Legos and stuffed animals.

Turns out COVID-19 inspires creativity?

Fortunately, this reboot has a pretty great purpose other than staving off boredom.

Quibi has pledged to donate $1 million in honor of the homemade fan-made film to give to World Central Kitchen, an organization striving to provide meals to those in need during the pandemic.

The first chapter of this quirky project is set to debut on June 29.