Category Archives: Random Thoughts

I’m Rooting For Everybody (Else) #Netflix

As a feminist who works in media and entertainment, the #metoo movement is about calling attention to sexual harassment perpetrated by those in power with the capacity to affect the success of others in all industries. Likewise, the #timesup movement is about rectifying the thoughts and behaviors that contribute to sexual harassment in the workplace in all industries. Neither movement is meant to be used as a weapon or scapegoat for one individual’s advancement. Mo’nique’s issue with Netflix is a business dispute based on the amount of money she was offered in comparison to the valuation of her individual brand.

Mo’nique is not a co-star in a movie or co-host on a TV show with a man who was making significantly more money than her. As a result this isn’t an issue of wage inequality or gender discrimination. 

Mo’nique airs her grievances against other blacks in the entertainment industry on social media and in interviews but doesn’t seem capable of having a face to face conversation with those individuals. She has repeatedly thrown shade at Oprah, Lee Daniels, Tyler Perry and Will Packer. She has recently attacked Roland S. Martin on Twitter challenging his career long work in the black community. She talks a good game about women deserving higher wages, but when she’s in a movie the results are only an increase in her pay, not that of all the women on the cast. She also never addresses the lack of women who work as talent managers and how that impacts the wages of women of color in film and television.


Mo’nique’s call for a boycott against Netflix is not the equivalent to Colin Kaepernick taking a knee in protest against police brutality towards people of color, boycotting airlines for unfair treatment and assault of paying passengers or boycotting H&M for selling racially degrading merchandise. Mo’nique was offered an amount of money that would be life changing for many people, including myself, but she decided that it wasn’t what she wanted. That’s her choice and I support her right to make that choice for herself.


Many platforms have and do work with people and women of color in mutually beneficial creative content capacities. Amazon Studios is releasing content by a variety of creatives, Issa Rae has opportunities inked with HBO, Tiffany Haddish had a comedy special on Showtime in late 2017 and Jamie Foxx is Executive Producer of the hit Showtime show “White Famous”, just to name a few. Some people of color have invested in and developed their own platforms as well, creating opportunities and opening doors for many to walk through….if they want to. Opportunities aren’t always given to us, so we have to go out and make our own. I know this firsthand. Many of my accomplishments, such as being a movie producer, TV producer, author and others, are a direct result of me creating opportunities instead of hoping or waiting for others to approach me. Had I sat around, I’d never have any of those achievements. The same is true of a lot of people. Hence why there are so many more opportunities available today than 10 years ago.


Having said that, I’m not boycotting Netflix on behalf of Mo’nique. In my opinion her issue isn’t helping the #metoo or #timesup movements create fairness or safe work environments free of sexual harassment. Her grievances aren’t about her size or age, and she’s not being bullied. Her issue is about how much she wants to be monetarily valued in and by the entertainment industry. That’s a personal business matter for her to resolve. In fact, supporting Mo’nique by boycotting Netflix would also mean boycotting content written, directed, produced by and starring several other black and brown brothers and sisters, including but not limited to “Mudbound“, which is Oscar nominated. As a member of the entertainment industry myself, that would be unfair and would harm many people of color, both men and women, who negotiated deals to build their relationships with Netflix in order to tell a variety of stories. Shonda Rhimes received a very lucrative multimillion dollar, multi-year deal with Netflix and she’s a black woman. Mo’nique must’ve missed that memo.


Boycotts aren’t supposed to help one person eat well while starving thousands. Boycotts are about creating fairness, and justice, not division.


Mo’nique has had a great career in both television and film. She is intelligent and talented. As a result she has other opportunities that she can explore outside of Netflix. For many others, Netflix is their first opportunity to have their content seen in their career. People who have never seen the kind of money that Mo’nique was offered in their entire lifetimes use Netflix to meet us on our TVs and mobile devices. They introduce themselves to us one story at a time for the price of one ticket to one movie for one person to see a major motion picture in a movie theater. They are the real MVPs.


Mo’nique not agreeing with the amount of money offered and therefore rejecting the Netflix deal means her team doesn’t work and that’s on her, not me or you. Mind you, turning down the opportunity also means she can’t be upset when the next person accepts it. In my capacity as an artist manager I’ve had artists turn down opportunities then get angry because another artist accepted it. Two things often follow:

  • The artist that declines offers isn’t afforded many opportunities going forward.

  • The artist that declines offers doesn’t work nearly as much or earn as much money as other artists.

In the entertainment business every opportunity doesn’t come back around. While this news was breaking I realized that there’s the possibility that Netflix isn’t the first opportunity that Mo’nique may have declined. Tiffany Haddish was the first black female stand up comic to host Saturday Night Live in 2017, yet it was reported that was partly because others declined when they were previously asked, opening the door for her to make history. Was Mo’nique someone who declined that opportunity at some point? I understand that Mo’nique has been black balled, but how much of that is a result of her rejecting opportunities more than she accepts them? After a person is said to be the type to consistently say “no”, people eventually stop asking them.


If Mo’nique is saying “no”, she’s making her own decision, which she has the right to do. No one can force her into a deal that she isn’t happy with. However, I can’t support others not being afforded the opportunity to also make their own decisions to work, provide jobs and provide content to the masses in order to make Mo’nique happier… or richer. Maybe she should sit down with her manager and think of a plan that gets her the amount of money she wants another way or on another platform, without hurting others who haven’t had her level of success yet and whom depend on their relationship with Netflix to further their career.


Mo’nique’s expectation that we all cancel our Netflix subscriptions to support her individual brand is selfish, not unifying. It isn’t a boss move and it doesn’t help anyone but her, and it might not even accomplish that to be honest. Netflix will just move on and offer someone else the money, as they should because they have a business to run, with content creators and shareholders relying on them to run the business. Selfishness of one person doesn’t bless us or move us forward as women or people of color. Netflix isn’t just here for the benefit of Mo’nique’s career or success. She’s capable of taking her talents elsewhere and securing other partnerships if she feels she deserves better. In the meantime, I wish Mo’nique the best and to paraphrase Issa Rae, I’m rooting for everybody (else) black on Netflix.

You Winning or Naw?

Black Twitter is outraged at Amanda Seales, who portrays Tiffany DuBois on the hit HBO series “Insecure“, for pointing out a few of the ways in which you’re either winning or losing in life. I personally agree with her Tweets, particularly these:

Yes, that is a screenshot from my phone. Yes, that is my reply to her tweets.

If you’re mad at Amanda Seales’ tweets, welllllll…. do better, get out your feelings, then watch “Feel Rich” on Netflix. It’s a similar concept, but directed towards our health and eating habits versus our spending habits.

Fact: We spend too much money on the wrong shit, usually material possessions, because we’ve been taught a lie that we need that shit to feel good, look good, be successful, have sex, have friends and be happy.

Wake up.

After we buy that shit and we don’t feel better, look better or get anything else we were promised, we just go out and buy more shit, then complain about all the money we don’t have, so we can’t do things like travel, eat right, exercise or learn something new.

Wake up.

Improving yourself is possible at every income level. No excuses. No debate. You either want it or you don’t. But don’t get mad at the spoken truth. Don’t get mad at Amanda Seales because you think she’s talking about you. Get mad at yourself because YOU FEEL LIKE SHE’S TALKING ABOUT YOU BECAUSE YOU’RE DOING THE SHIT SHE’S TALKING ABOUT.

It’s true that a person’s life experiences (traveling for instance), are of greater value to their lives than buying material things (houses, shoes, cars), regardless of race, gender or socioeconomic level. And if you can afford Jordans you can also afford to travel simply by saving the money you would have paid to buy those Jordans.

“But traveling is too expensive, let me count the ways…”

Planes aren’t the only form of transportation. There’s MegaBus, Amtrak, Greyhound and they all cost less than a pair of Jordans. Google it. If you can’t afford a 5 star hotel, there’s AirBNB options that are affordable. Hell, I’ve used AirBNB and could afford a 5 star hotel, but I just like getting more bang for my buck when I travel. Let’s also keep in mind that Living Social and Groupon are in the travel business now and have great destinations and inexpensive deals.

Traveling can be spontaneous, but it can also be planned, like a goal, and give you something to look forward to, which is something that also adds value to your life. Look at places that interest you now, pick a place and save up for the cost, then go. You always plan on buying those Jordans, so you can plan a trip, too.

“Only rich, black people from the suburbs can travel and have passports.”

I’m from Detroit. Not Detroit adjacent, not Detroit proper. Detroit. Born, raised and educated. The “hood”, and I’m proud of it. I own 2 pair of basic Nike’s that retail for less than Jordans and I still bought them on sale, so they cost me less than $100 each. I own a passport. In 2016 alone I traveled away from my state by plane or car a total of ten times. In 2017, while at the airport, I enrolled in CLEAR. I’ve already paid for my hotel stay in Miami for my 7th trip there in 2018. I’ve also started my plans to return to New Orleans for Essence Fest in 2018, which has become an annual trip for the last 6 years, regardless of where else I go. I’ve been traveling since I was in the first grade, so maybe I’m not the typical black person from the hood. However, I’ve been more places than some people I know who make more money than I do and have more education than I do and live in suburban anywhere. I can honestly say I’m surprised by how many successful, affluent black people I’ve met that don’t travel, but own expensive shit. It would he nice if more black people in general set their priorities better and strived to do more than impress people by buying Nike’s or Louboutins, especially if the greatest distance they ever traveled was either on someone else’s dime or only one state away from home.

You can’t convince me that traveling is hard to do if you wear expensive shoes, that you waited on for months and stood in line for hours to buy. But if that helps you sleep at night and gives you a false sense of winning, by all means, enjoy yourself.

Personally I’d rather stand in line at TSA and at my designated gate…..but that’s just me winning.

Dannon Doesn’t Taste Good Anyway

As a black feminist, in media, I think y’all are taking this Cam Newton ‘he said females are funny and is a sexist’ situation entirely too far. You beautiful citizens of America fell for the division once again. During a time when we should be getting our representatives in DC to provide us with stronger gun legislation, and the US Department of Justice is low key making it harder to be black, we’re turning a miscommunication and misunderstanding into a war, all because a female reporter had her feelings unintentionally hurt by her favorite football player and instead of raising her hand again and saying “excuse me, what do you mean by ‘funny’?”, she let it ruin her day.

She got an apology, but was still unhappy. Why? Because she didn’t ask a follow up question that would have determined Cam’s intent and clarified his statement. For those who are unaware, reporters ask the questions. Athletes answer to what they’re asked. I truly believe that Cam does need more effective media training (which he can hire me for) and a better publicist. However, he doesn’t need to be dragged through the press or social media when his body language alone shows his intent wasn’t meant to be offensive. In fact, it seems like he was impressed that she asked something that the male reporters didn’t even think of (because they often ask about his Instagram posts or other obvious shit that doesn’t interest him much) and he expressed that in a way that she took offense to, but never clarified. Did anyone besides me think there’s the remote chance he meant it as a compliment because she asked a question he found better than any others?

Again, Cam apologized, but she said he didn’t “seem” remorseful. Probably because he didn’t mean to offend her to begin with and offered an apology because he saw it bothered her unexpectedly, not because he felt he was wrong. And that’s OK. Ladies, we all know there’s a difference in the apology we receive when the men in our lives didn’t realize what they said was hurtful because they weren’t trying to be hurtful, and an apology following a malicious statement said to hurt us. The body language and tone are not the same. There’s no begging, or crying, or roses when he didn’t intend to be hurtful to begin with. You get an “I apologize”, then a few days later after it marinates, if you made sure he understands what exactly was hurtful, you may also get a token of that apology, like dinner at your favorite restaurant.

Again, reporters ASK questions. Maybe had she just hit him with that follow up question, she’d have some clarity instead of giving too many people ammunition to argue and turn this situation into everything racist, patriotic, anti-patriotic and sexist that it is truly becoming for no reason. It’s an unnecessary fire storm, over feelings that were unintentionally hurt and a failure to properly and effectively communicate. As women in media, asking a good question is fine, asking a good follow up question can be better. So while people are demanding that Cam needs to do better (I suggest by hiring me for his media training and getting a better publicist), I think the reporter should do better also and not allow her feelings to be used against others to create more division in a country already divided on so many issues. She’s also being dragged on social media and being called a cry baby, which impacts all women working with actual sexists in male dominated industries because she is their new barometer of women not being able to hold their own.

The only thing people seem able to agree on in the midst of all of this, is that Dannon yogurt doesn’t taste good anyway. I agree, it doesn’t and the company isn’t as clean and moral as you think they are. Watch the documentary “What The Health” on Netflix and you’ll see they are hypocrites. I advise you to watch before you stock up on groceries.

You know who’s really mad about all of this? Donald Trump. Because right now Cam Newton and NFL are trending more than he is.

Black Women vs Shea Moisture

For several days I’ve been observing the Shea Moisture public relations nightmare. The reaction on social media has sparked so much of what I wrote about in my book Breaking Through The Black Ceiling. Here are my thoughts about the situation:
  • This isn’t the first time Shea Moisture has “offended” people of color, it’s just the first time some people noticed. The company previously had an ad featuring a white baby which also caused an uproar.


  • Although I feel Shea Moisture had a disproportionate number of people of color represented in their recent ad, as a black business owner, I (still) wonder why people of color don’t think we (black business owners) should be allowed to earn revenue from consumers that don’t look just like us . Money is green and necessary for businesses to operate. That’s a fact. Businesses don’t exist for likes, the actually plan to make profits unless they structure themselves as a not for profit organization. White owned companies make revenue off of black people everyday. Many black people work for such companies and use their products daily. Let that marinate.


  • Hair care products are primarily marketed to WOMEN, who have a combined $5 TRILLION in spending power in the USA alone, so a smart business owner in the hair care business, who knows this would want to target ALL women in their ads. Several companies do. Loreal does it. In fact, if you open the May 2017 ESSENCE Magazine (a popular monthly publication which celebrates women of color), Loreal has paid for a 2 page FOUNDATION ad that includes several women of all races and complexions, along with a…      wait for it …..      Black MAN.  And before you get mad about that, men often need makeup applied when they’re ACTORS and MODELS. Contrary to what you see on social media, everybody isn’t perfected by the use of Photoshop. To me the ad makes sense.

Loreal cosmetics knows their products, and those of their competitors are used in film, television, theater and may be used by men, including make up artists.

As a woman, I’m not at all offended. As a business owner I’m not mad at Essence Magazine for securing that bag. There’s nothing to see here. It’s business. And it’s not bad business

  • Yes, Shea Moisture messed up in their casting process, and someone there should have insisted on having more diversity represented, prior to or after seeing the ad, however Carol’s Daughter also has women who aren’t black in their recent ads for their products. Are we going to get mad about that too, or naw?


  • The right to solely use products including ingredients such as shea butter, cocoa butter or castor oil are not exclusively reserved to black folks. In fact, if you make such products and only target black people as consumers, you’re greatly limiting the amount of revenue you could potentially make, doing your business a disservice. Black business owners SHOULD capitalize and profit off of our greatness too and that means thinking GLOBALLY instead of locally in some instances.
For the record, United Airlines is still winning the PR fuckery of the year award. Pepsi is still in second place. Shea Moisture is like #6 or something, bit they’re definitely not on the top 5. The mistake they made doesn’t hurt anyone directly, physically, financially or minimize important social issues with the assistance of a Kardashian. It was a bad idea, that can also serve as a wake up call towards something more important; how women of color make changes to address a lack of diversity. 
Instead of complaining on social media and “modeling” on Instagram, some women of color who aspire be seen for likes should show up for the next casting call held by Shea Moisture and make a difference that way – by going out for the opportunity to positively represent diversity. And more women of color should become educated to work in the business fields related to advertising and marketing so they can apply for the jobs that make those decisions in the marketplace.

The lesson from this issue to women of color is become the change you want to see in the world and secure a bag in the process. Otherwise, diversity will not be the goal for a lot of companies, including ones you’re already consumers of.

Are You Woke Yet?

​As I watch how we’re being treated by law enforcement, I observe something else. Have you noticed that primarily the shooters are white male officers? There aren’t any white female or black female police officers impulsively gunning black men, women or children down in the streets because they feel threatened by us. I remember years ago a Latina police officer chased a black man, on foot, who had just committed 5 criminal acts, including causing a car accident with my car. When she caught him, he beat her badly, and she had to be hospitalized as a result, but she didn’t panic and kill him and she would’ve been justified if she had. 

A couple years ago, I was arrested and detained for 4 days in a men’s jail. When I was taken into custody, two white male police officers handcuffed me behind my back, then one grabbed me hard by my arm. As they walked me to their squad car, the one holding the vice grip on my arm said “If you try to run, I’ll shoot you in the back”. I immediately stopped walking and stood right there forcing him to stop. I didn’t jerk away from him or anything they could claim was resisting arrest. I just planted my feet and didn’t move. When he turned to look at me because I stopped walking, I looked him in the eyes and said calmly “why wait for me to run? Just shoot me in the front while I’m facing you if you’re going to shoot me.” I think that surprised him. I was pretty much calling him a punk to his face, but I think HOW I said it was what made him drop his head as he loosened his grip on my arm to something more humane. When he stepped towards the car, I released my feet. I don’t know why I did that, but I don’t regret it. I come from a long line of defiant negroes who saw loved ones lynched and burned in the South. If I was going to die that day, for something I didn’t do, I was going to look my murderer in the face. So when I see how we’re treated by law enforcement, particularly some white males in law enforcement, I get really pissed…and sad. 

Today headlines on major news outlets say “What lead to Alton Sterling’s Death?”, as if we don’t know. The simple answer at the root is racism. The deeper problem is the systematic and obvious inequalities in our country between white people who hate and profile people of color, along with the fact that laws and programs have been implemented in our society over a number of decades that have limited the amount of people that look like us from being those that protect and serve us, including WOMEN, which as you recall don’t seem to be the shooters in these murders. Further, we have been subliminally programmed to “get over”, ignore and not talk about hundreds of years of oppression, slavery and racism because “we’ve come along way”. No we haven’t, we’ve taken a step forward but we have a million miles to go. We’re still being held captive, but now it’s in privately funded jails due to mandatory minimum sentencing laws and schools that have textbooks that alter history to water down the truth of who ALL people of color truly are and where we came from. We’re still being treated as lesser people when hundreds of people are murdered by police officers, dozens on video, yet no officers are convicted. We’re still being lynched in the streets while showing our “papers”. We’ve been programmed to compete against each other and hate ourselves, while those who hate us profit off of all the things they say are ugly about us. We’ve been conditioned to fear an enemy called Isis so that we’ll forget about the enemies we have right at home with guns, badges and political power. We’ve been drugged (the never ending war on drugs), experimented on (lead in our water supplies), raped (thousands of untested rape kits) and violated in countless ways, since the first of our ancestors were traded for beans and guns and chained to the bottom of ships and called cargo. It hasn’t ended. You’re lying to yourself if you think we have come along way. History is simply repeating itself, while the world is watching it go live on Facebook, stream on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and loop on Vine. And whether you want to believe it or not, a select amout of people are making millions of dollars off of it all. 

Don’t you sit behind your computer ot smart phone thinking for a second that white people don’t see the injustice and discrepancies, because they do. Some of them are just as angry, fed up, disappointed and woke as we are. Then there are some who could care less because they forget that they could be next in line for police brutality. They think their white privilege protects them. They might want to think again. These officers murdering black people because they can do so without fear of retribution or consequences are a new form of predators. What do you think predators will do after they kill all the niggers? They will turn their guns on their own. The woke white people know this already. They know that if Black Lives don’t matter, eventually their lives won’t matter either. 

Then there’s the blind black people who lie to themselves and say we have freedom and equality. Black people like that are a danger to themselves more than they realize. They are the black people who convince others to sign petitions against Jesse Williams for telling the truth. They are the black people who think their education, money and Instagram followers make them exempt from being victimized. They are the black people who are complicit in everything that does and has happened because they don’t vote and don’t speak up for victims of violence because they’re dead. My biggest pet peeve is the black people that say “just pray about it”. 

We prayed, now what? 

Are we supposed to load our guns, make gun manufacturers richer and have shoot outs with the Sheriff like its the Old West?

Are we supposed to walk around with tactical body armor or bullet proof vests on, just in case we get pulled over or approached by police? 

Are we supposed to keep the cameras on our phones on at all times even though all the video evidence in the world hasn’t resulted in a single conviction? 

Are we supposed to lock ourselves in our homes and never venture out because we’re black? 

I ask these questions because we already prayed. 

And Alton Sterling and Philando Castile were still murdered this week. Are you woke yet?

“Faith without works is dead” – Bible, Book of James 

Why Harriet?

Why not?

proposed $20 bill featuring Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman will be the first woman of color to ever have her image on the front of United States paper currency. It’ll take a few years to happen, because nothing happens overnight. She will replace Andrew Jackson, a founding father and slave master, who will be moved to the back of $20 bill. And some people of color seem to be opposed to this change. Seriously. I’m not making this up. Harriet Tubman has a Wikipedia page but still we oppose her image being on currency.

People of color are so afraid of change in this country that we don’t know when to embrace even the smallest victory towards positive progress. Black lives matter…, but shouldn’t be depicted or honored on the money that black people work to earn and spend? I’m confused by that. You mean to tell me that you don’t mind working hard, trapping and hustling to get lots of $20 bills with the face of a slave master looking back at you, but you’re in your feelings about that same currency having the image of a black woman, whose sacrifices made it possible for you to earn lots of $20 bills, in that slave master’s place? Clearly the United States government values Harriet Tubman’s contributions to our country more than some people of color do. And that’s sad.

White men have been considered the standard of wealth and more valuable than women throughout our American history, hence how these particular founding fathers all ended up on our paper currency in the first place. Women have only been on limited circulation coins, reiterating that women are worth “less” than men, in many ways. That mindset carries over into wage and gender inequality as well as women’s reproductive rights. We live in one of the oldest Democratic countries that has yet to have a female President. Several countries worldwide have a long history of female heads of state and have women on their paper currency as well. San Marino, Italy leads the race and has had 17 female heads of state. Syria has Queen Zenobia on their currency. If you don’t believe me, Google it for yourself. Some of the very countries who pay homage to the women who are and have been instrumental to their history are considered less progressive than the good ol’ USA.

It’s important to begin to honor women, and particularly women of color, more, from not only a socioeconomic level but also globally. We can’t expect to be valued and respected by others when we fail to honor our own. If we have Harriet Tubman on a $20 bill maybe it’ll become worth its actual value in the  paychecks of women working for it as well.