Tag Archives: responsibility

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.

In Real Life

Over the last several years I have shared many of my experiences with you all, whom I lovingly call my Super Fans. I’ve shared my ups and downs, my pain and triumphs, my feelings and opinions with you on this website and on social media. It’s been several months since I posted a blog post, but I haven’t been missing or in hiding. I’ve been revamping, learning and growing, both as a person, and as an entrepreneur. I’ve tried some different business ventures and some did very well, while others….. well…….not so much.  Regardless, they taught me something that I can now take into the next phase of my business in media to bring you more interesting and thought provoking content.

Media is the concentration of the Super Woman Brand.

All of media, not just bits and pieces. I have been extremely blessed to have my brand connected to book publishing, radio, magazines, blogs and events. Now I’m also connected to films and television.

To catch you up:

Last year the Super Woman Brand acquired its Amazon Digital Distribution License. We’re working with indie filmmakers to get their content distributed. At the end of 2016, The FabLife Radio Show went from a podcast platform to streaming internationally, and earlier this year we launched the mobile app on Google Play. All the artist we play and indie and from various genres. For information on indie music submissions click here.

This past March we held our 5th Annual International Women’s Day event and it was another success. We honored 4 phenomenal women that are doing amazing things for the community.

  • Darvece Monson
  • Lativah Greene 
  • Crystal Mitchell
  • City of Detroit Council Member Mary Sheffield 

They are unsung she-ros and it was our pleasure to acknowledge them.

After much needed research, and some trial and error, we’ve spread our wings into artist management for independent rappers, singers etc. with the launch of our subsidiary, Mogul Mindset Entertainment Group. We currently represent three artists in three different states, Wil Akogu (Chicago, IL), JMichael (New York City) and The Vices  featuring Versa (Detroit, MI). We’re booking these artists to perform in various cities over the course of the upcoming months to promote their current and upcoming projects.

Because I just don’t have enough to do already (insert laugh track here), I’m launching my own television content. In Real Live TV  (#IRLTV) is currently in development and will broadcast on the Super Woman Productions and Publishing YouTube Channel and on Amazon. I’ve just completed the casting process for my 4 co-hosts, and I’m reviewing crew applications for the video editor and director of photography positions. More information will be forthcoming on how to become a show guest, when to watch and how to advertise with us.

My goal isn’t to be popular, my goal is to be successful and help others realize their dreams in the process.

I appreciate those who support me, whether they have been witnessing me from the beginning or just discovered me yesterday.

 

They Don’t Want Us To Be Woke

Let’s start with this, so that we’re clear from the onset.

I am a survivor of rape and domestic violence. I am also both woke and aware that sometimes women lie about being victimized by men. Therefore, what I’m about to state isn’t based on my biased emotions because of what I’ve survived. I don’t hate men and I know how to be objective.

If you are a person of color, and you don’t go to see Birth of a Nation, you’re playing yourself and robbing our children of an important moment in American History that is not sugar-coated or watered down.

A jury of his peers found Nate Parker not guilty of raping a woman, whom he had a relationship with, when he was a young, black man (without millions of dollars in the bank) on a sports scholarship in college. Now, as a grown man, Nate Parker is being vilified for that same crime because he successfully made a movie that could have a positive impact on our legacy and the minds of people in this country.

This is not a “I slipped something in her drink/I gave women drugs regularly” situation by any means. Nate Parker has spoken about this incident and never changed his stand on his innocence. Recently he was interviewed by Robin Roberts about the incident. After the interview, The Grio published an article about said interview with a very misleading title in an effort to (obviously) gain readers’ attention.  During the interview with Robin Roberts, Parker was expected to apologize for the rape controversy that recently reemerged and exploded due to the spotlight put onto Birth of a Nation. In my experience as a rape victim, a woman, and a citizen, innocent people, who are proven innocent by a jury, don’t often apologize for a crime they didn’t commit, if they didn’t commit the crime. It is my opinion that mainstream media is attempting to hang Parker with his past, in hopes that no one will go see the movie.

The reality is this: the biggest demographic of movie goers is women. With an estimated annual buying power of $5 trillion dollars, women rule in many areas of importance, regardless of what you may assume.  Therefore, if women are led to believe that Nate Parker committed the crime of rape, even though a jury found him innocent, women will sympathize with the alleged victim, if they too have been violated, or empathize, even if they haven’t, and thereby boycott Birth of a Nation instead of supporting it. Someone somewhere is hoping that on this opening box office weekend, that will be their victory.

Ask yourself this one question if you think I’m blowing smoke:

If Parker were in fact guilty of the crime of rape, why bring it to the forefront after he’s already starred in several movies, along with the likes of Denzel Washington?

I’ll tell you why. Birth of a Nation isn’t just going to be in movie theaters across the country or the world. There’s an educational curriculum developed around the film to put it into school districts as well. If our next generation isn’t led to believe that slaves were happy being enslaved and are instead taught the truth about what slavery was, introduced to more stories about how slavery impacted the country the live in, they are more likely to have a higher sense of self, civic responsibility and concern about civil rights as it relates to themselves and other people of color. 

The rape case that ended with a not guilty verdict is being used as a distraction. If Nate Parker was a White man, putting out this same movie, the crime he WASN’T found guilty of committing, wouldn’t be a topic of any conversation at all…. anywhere. I urge you to make a decision to educate yourself about a pivotal figure in African-American history instead of allowing yourself to be influenced by the spin being put on Nate Parker’s past. If you were in his shoes, that is what you’d want.

They don’t want us to be woke. So we need to stay woke.

Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight
Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight

Don’t Let the Likes Fool You

We live in an age where social media is prevalent. It’s not going away no more than the Internet it lives on is, and everyday it becomes larger than the previous day. Social media is truly embedded into our culture and how we communicate with each other. That can be both good and bad. It can be good because social media allows us to communicate with people that we may normally have not had access to because of distance and language barriers. There are also many other benefits to social media; such as the ability for businesses to reach a global consumer base and relatives to stay in contact from miles away.

Unfortunately, one of the down sides to social media is the impact it has on individuals and their self-esteem. A lot of people, adults included, use social media to validate their self-worth in society. Many people only have interaction with others by way of their social media accounts and the strive on a daily basis to make other people “like” them. What they fail to realize is that some of those people liking their content, whether it is photos, memes or statuses, don’t really know or like them as a person and would not ever support their endeavors in the real world where it matters.

For instance, being a radio show host I offer independent artists the opportunity to have their music played on my show. I did this because I was constantly receiving messages with links to YouTube videos from artists asking me to watch, like and share their videos. However, many of those artists weren’t generating revenue from their video content on YouTube. So what’s the point in me liking your art when my ‘like’ is not helping you to make money from your art? To me it was a waste of time. So I offered artists another, more traditional method, by which they could be heard, not just liked. A many of them have stated that they have seen an increase in the number of PAID downloads of their music as a result.

Artists and musicians aren’t the only people impacted. Aspiring models, actors and others are in the same boat. People love the way they look on Instagram and like their pictures on Facebook, but that doesn’t help if those same people aren’t going to see the actors in plays, movies or aren’t watching their television shows, and…. well…. everyone wants to be an Instagram model nowadays, so you can imagine how stiff that competition is. Getting a lot of likes on Instagram doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be booked for the next Dolce & Gabbana, or Macy’s campaign anymore than for the local county fair at this point.

Part of the issue is the façade that big brands portray to consumers as well. When big brands seek partnerships or endorsements, outside of professional athletes and well-known celebrities, they often seek individuals in large part due to the quantity of their social media following more than the quality of their followers, the person’s power to influence those that follow them or their own loyalty to the big brand as a consumer.  This makes everyday social media users and those with dreams of success and stardom believe that they only way to be successful is to have a huge following on social media.

What’s the use if your followers can’t be converted into consumers?

For instance, reality show stars are now being cast in movie roles that actors/actresses fight and train for, simply because they have a larger social media following, but they don’t actually do anything. The movie studios do this because they hope that the reality show star will give them free advertising for their movie. True enough, the advertising is free, but what movie studios fail to realize is that everyone that follows that reality show star on social media isn’t really a loyal fan who would buy a ticket to see them star in a movie.

Being in media has afforded me the opportunity to hear what everyday people honestly think about others. I don’t know what it is but me, but people love to talk to and confide in me. I hear it all the time “I just follow them because I think they are funny/I want to see what people are saying about them; but I’d never spend my money going to see them perform/sing/dance, etc.” And that’s the hard truth that a lot of people don’t know when they have dreams and goals of Instafame.

Consider the newest social media darlings, The Westbrooks. They are being called the black version of the Kardashians. I wouldn’t consider that a compliment personally, but maybe they do. They have millions of combined followers on Instagram and a reality show on a popular cable network. On the show, we get to witness the sisters attempt to do what their father (a successful businessman), suggests they do; monetize their social media following. We also get to see their friends either support their attempts (backyard pool parties) or try to use them for their own attempts at gaining clientele (club openings). Which is probably where the Kardashian comparison comes into play. It seems that the “power” their wield over their social media minions could be used more productively than to endorse hair extensions and pop bottles in nightclubs. They all seem to be intelligent young women, with guidance from their hardworking parents, who didn’t always have it easy, so they understand building success in a more traditional way to acquire longevity.

So why shouldn’t The Westbrooks be able to do something bigger and more impactful with their branding than what everyone else on Instagram is doing?

Time will only tell when it comes to how far things will go for The Westbrooks. They’ll either make change, make waves or be replaced by the next hot group of pretty sisters on the internet. In the meantime, I hope that they serve as a lesson on how fleeting and intrusive Instafame without strategic preparation can be. I also hope that at some point we move away from the façade of what makes people successful and show examples of more men and women using their influence on social media for more than monetization. Those people exist. They may not have millions of followers, but they have quality followers, who are positively impacted by them, myself included. Big brands aren’t paying attention to those types of social media influencers….yet. But that is something that I also hope will change so that being attractive isn’t the only talent left for people to have in order to become successful.
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Real Women Won’t Hold You Back

There’s something terribly wrong with this picture. Women, especially the younger ones under 35, are always crying about men lacking ambition, drive, focus, determination and commitment, but those same women do everything possible to undermine, discourage and sabotage the men who do. They think that being a real woman means having a man. They think that being a good woman means chasing a man. They are even so foolish to think they can get and keep a man by threatening and harassing other women. It never works in their favor, yet they are determined to try.

I feel bad for men who are surrounded by women who themselves don’t want anything more out of life  other than to be “hood”, “liked”  and “ratchet”.

To put it bluntly, there’s a THOT TAKEOVER in progress in this world, and they are doing their best to try to take our promising men down with them. Yes, the thotish behavior of women is negatively impacting the success of men of every generation and will for generations to come if it’s allowed to spread. It’s difficult enough to lay the foundation for our sons to grow up and become strong, decisive, productive members of society, but when you add a thot to the equation, you make the mathematics impossible to solve for any man.

I’m a feminist, who also loves men. No matter how much heartache I’ve had in past relationships, I have a tremendous amount of affection towards the male gender. I have learned a lot about myself and men specifically in many areas of my life because of the men who are and have been apart of it.  It’s not always easy to do, but I can say that because I am not bitter and angry,  like some women, I have built awesome rapports with men personally and professionally. I have the respect of these men because of the kind of woman I am, and the way I conduct myself; not because of how many fans I have, or don’t, and not because of sex.

When it comes to sex, I have no problems being celibate. Keep in mind that I’m not practicing celibacy because I can’t get a man. The problem I’ve always had is that my sex appeal attracts too many men and often they aren’t the kind of men I’d want in my life. It’s the combination of pheromones and the long legs that start at the floor and come all the way up to make an ass out of themselves, that causes me problems with men… or so I’ve been told.

Celibacy is a character, esteem and strength builder.

Celibacy helps me to focus on myself on a deeper level and have a clearer mind so that I will have better discernment when I do decide to date a man. Celibacy shows that I can be sexy without having to have sex. Because of celibacy, I can tell which men are worthy of my time, attention and energy, and which ones are not. Further, because I don’t chase men, I don’t hate on women who have a man, and I don’t compete with thots, I’m self-assured, confident, successful, and I don’t share my body with every good-looking, charming man who wants it. Those are just some of the many characteristics that men actually find attractive about me and other good women in the world. Thots don’t have those qualities going for them. Thots are selfish. They are attention whores who need to be validated at every turn. They like to use a lot of words and can’t say anything meaningful or valuable. They can’t bring anything to the table, not even a pitcher of water because they concentrate more on how cute they are than being smarter or successful. They are braggadocious about their sexuality, and overly aggressive towards men that have absolutely no interest in them because of it.

Men are comfortable with women who don’t try to manipulate them,  who can speak to them like they are adults and allow them to make informed decisions for themselves. Any man who has ever said he didn’t want to pursue a relationship with me wasn’t harassed or belittled. He was set free to do whatever he thought was best for him at that time. Any woman he decided he did want to be with or even showed him attention after me wasn’t harassed by me either. Why? Because I don’t need to prove myself or my womanhood to any one. What does that resolve? Nothing.

In my personal relationships, sometimes men later realize that I may have been the better woman and sometimes they don’t, but they can never say I wasn’t a good woman towards them when they were with me and they can’t say I’m crazy because I can’t handle rejection either. Thots hate rejection. It hurts their feelings because they lack maturity and self-esteem. Thots are quick to attack the next woman in a man’s life, while real women know that they have other options that they can take advantage of.

I learned early on how to be a motivating factor and a supportive woman to a man. It’s not hard, but not everyone can do it either. It’s not about the material things. It’s not about being loud and making it rain in the clubs. It’s not about proving you’re the baddest bitch in a room (that woman doesn’t have to prove anything because everyone else already knows she is). It’s not about cooking a struggle meal or giving good sex either. That’s how thots think.

Real women, grown women, know better.  Grown women know that men mature at different stages, ages and for different reasons. We as women can’t always motivate and nurture men throughout every one of these phases, but we do know that when a man seeks something better for himself of his own accord, he will find and want the woman who will help him accomplish that. He’s not going to give his attention to the woman who is telling him he can’t, he shouldn’t, she doesn’t want him to, or the woman trying to sabotage all of his opportunities and relationships because she fears losing something that wasn’t truly hers to begin with – him. After all, if he was hers, they’d be married and supporting each others dreams and goals.

There’s a vast difference between a good woman who knows how to have a man’s back and a thot who only wants to hold a man back. A thot knows that him moving forward in his life, growing, maturing and becoming successful in spite of her, means that she has no power over him.

Real women don’t seek to have power over men.

Not our husbands, not our sons, not our brothers. We seek to co-exist and partner with men so that we can have a stronger dynamic in this world. There’s so many forces against us already as women, we don’t need to be anymore combative with each other or over any man.

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