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TV Guide Responds To Taraji P. Henson's Complaint

by Sergio
September 23, 2011 1:47 AM
91 Comments
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Sorta had a feeling this was coming... TV Guide has now issued a statement reponding to Taraji P. Henson's recent public angry complaint on Facebook and Twiiter that she was excluded from magazine's recent coverage, including the cover, for the new CBS show she's co-starring in Person of Interest.

According Debra Birmbaum, the editor in chief of TV Guide: "I made an editorial decision to do a story about the relationship between the two male characters on ‘Person of Interest’ and that’s who I was going to put on the cover. That has been my decision all along, ever since I saw the pilot. We’re certainly fans of Taraji Henson and her storyline on the show was never intended to be the focus of our cover story. I don’t know where there was a misunderstanding about this, but it’s been clear to everyone from the start. I don’t make decisions on who is put and not put on the cover based on race or gender... This week’s cover September 26 issue features the three stars of ‘Charlie’s Angels’ — Minka Kelly, Annie Illonzeh and Rachael Taylor. We are not pursuing a cover of ‘Person of Interest’ at this time."

So Person of Interest was a TV Guide cover story, yet Birnbaum says that they're "not pursuing a cover" for the show at this time? I'm confused.

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91 Comments

  • BondGirl | September 29, 2011 9:22 AMReply

    Nope last night I was focused on script development which consisted of Party of 1 lol

  • mediatrussed | September 28, 2011 7:14 AMReply

    bondgirl, you over here throwing yet another truth grenade.
    you going to you-know-who's block party tonight?

  • BondGirl | September 28, 2011 3:06 AMReply

    I go to NYFF and the opposition is still launching grenades?? LOL

    @JMac: " The lack of substantial improvement in black cinema lays at their feet just as much, if not more so, than at white mainstream media.That being the case, why necessarily give their opinions more weight on this type of topic if there’s no proof they are doing anything to improve matters?"

    I would agree with you that there is responsibility to be shared. However, that is another FULL subject for another day that has little to do with this post. As your accomplice Misha suggested, it's conjecture.

    Though since you brought it up I will mention one thing. A few months ago someone sent me a video of Taraji at a Screen Actors Guild meeting. The panel included John Singleton, Marla Gibbs, Don Cheadle, and Taraji. I initially wasn't going to watch because I knew how it would end (with no solutions, just bitching and whining). But against good judgment I watched. Taraji went on and on about how hard it is for a pimp, but I was struck by what she said regarding what SHE would do to assist in progressing blacks in Hollywood. She went on to say that she was going to get more and more acting roles so that other black actresses coming up after her had an example to see of longevity in the industry. I was like, "wtf is that?" That's your goddamn contribution to blacks making it in Hollywood..having a self-serving career? Not, "I'm going to share my resources and connections with up and coming actors, or "I'm going to make sure that black producers walk hand-in-hand with me to David Fincher's private parties at his Malibu estate (knowing that's how deals are made), or "I'm going to start my own production company and create roles"...this bug-eyed fool says she's gonna fight in the war by staying in the tank and let the rest of you motherfuckers get blown up. So I'm feeling like SHE"S part of the problem that you brought up.

    Listen, you think she's brave for going to Twitter. I feel she's a coward because going to Twitter is like a wayward preacher crying to his choir. You see she didn't take that garbage to Matt Lauer and the Today Show right? Because a journalist is going to research the facts...they will look at how many TV Guide covers with blacks, her role on her show, white Oscar nominees with the same treatment etc and interview her hard. He's going to ask her why is TV Guide racist when Annie Illoneh from Charlie's Angel's is on the September 22 cover. (who has the same manager as Taraji) Fans are googley-eyed by Taraji...Barbara Walters isn't.

    Here's the video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJ3WIxu6i5g

    Btw, Taraji should take her own advice she's giving on not focusing on obstacles in the industry...just sayin'.

  • mediatrussed | September 27, 2011 12:23 PMReply

    jmac/misha:

    I'm still listening. Will you address the fact that this isn't her show? I haven't heard your perspective about her not being the star of this series and the show not even being an ensemble piece like Grey's Anatomy. Just as Fresh Prince of Bel Air belonged to Will and not Aunt Viv or even Carlton who was the second lead, Person of Interest belongs to Jim Caveizel and Michael Emerson.

    Have you seen the show? No matter how much we love us some Taraji and agree there's a larger platform for her to have in our media landscape, it seems less than honest to agree that race was an issue in TVguide not looking to include TPH in a would-be cover article for a show she's not the star of, especially when we were given a rundown of this year to date TVGuide covers to observe their pattern. I've been listening and still am yet so far none of the arguments in favor of racism at play here have addressed my point that it seems like her real issue is that she's not the star of her own show and is maybe mad at the town in general, not TVGuide.

  • misha | September 26, 2011 12:40 PMReply

    Brilliant post, JMac! You've stated everything I was thinking but didn't feel like typing. LOL Thanks!

  • JMac | September 26, 2011 11:17 AMReply

    Let me do a Carey post then I shall exit this conversation.

    I think we can all agree that there are problems in the industry and part of the problem is race. If everything was solely controlled by money, then the phenomenon of only marketing films or tv shows toward one select group of people (young white males) would not occur. Why spend millions of ad dollars on a group who may or may not deliver when you can definitely increase profits/ratings by using that same amount of money to appeal to as wide an audience as possible? The industry answer seems to be if you increase the appeal, you decrease the interest of the core group; iow, whites won't watch anything that has any number of blacks in a show - not even a little token black.

    Well, that's just good business? Let's see if anything shifts when 2040 comes around and whites are the minority. Do you really think marketing practices will change then? I don't either. Do you know who else won't change? The people in the industry who are in the industry now. This setup is familiar and safe. They get paid big bucks and receive nice pats on the back for doing their "jobs" in not only approving of the system but helping to continue it - despite any of its negative effects on the less important groups. Problem is those 'less important groups' spend more money on entertainment and watch more tv than the target audience the industry wants to serve. That's a hell of a lot of green, yet black green apparently has less value.

    The argument of "Blacks do it too" is also a Duh statement. I don't think anyone on this blog believes every wrong that occurs in the entertainment business is committed by whites. Again, people in the industry (our people included) will do whatever the hell it takes to get their tiny sliver of the pie. The lack of substantial improvement in black cinema lays at their feet just as much, if not more so, than at white mainstream media. That being the case, why necessarily give their opinions more weight on this type of topic if there's no proof they are doing anything to improve matters? If Taraji's outburst seems silly then what actions are industry insiders doing that will directly and positively impact black Hollywood? Asides for a few individuals, I don't see or hear about anyone doing jack shit (pardon my french). Is their idea of positive proactive measures mean keeping their heads down and working really, really hard and maybe people will give them respect and things will change because Hollywood is fair and rewards hard workers - excuse me, rewards hard black workers? If they've got some other plans on the table that will address the concerns we've talked about ad nauseam on this blog, I'm open to hear them. However, I have a feeling they'll be as helpful as the Republican party on balancing the budget and job creation.

    This incident hasn't taught us anything new but it is a good reminder that the audience - the whole audience, not just their target demographic - is the one in control. We can take offensive shows and commercials off the air and off the internet. We can demand to keep shows or push for better shows. We can demand more black actors and for those actors to be treated with respect. I don't care if the part wasn't written for a particular race. If they can cast white people in black parts why give so much weight to characters written as white? Concessions to such demands are hardly "a bone" esp. if you keep on them and, believe me, with the attention this one little tweet has received, viewers are going to stay on CBS's ass.

    As for the future of Taraji's career, if that's a person's only concern then they definitely must be in the industry and have no plans to leave it or change it. Which is more important: making a pile of money or working in an atmosphere where you and your audience aren't consistently treated like second class citizens whose influence can't (and according to these same industry experts, has never) been able to extend beyond the US? Time to move on and break the shackles.

    It is funny though that awards never matter until they do matter esp. if you've never had one. More split personality desires of blacks. We say they don't matter and don't want them to matter but, if you're honest, you know you want one and it does matter to you and your peers. Winning highly esteemed national awards gives you a temporary shine and loads of attention. That's why thousands of writers all over the world enter the Nicholl contest. Thousands of actors all over the world want to star in quality films/shows/play to get an Oscar/ Emmy/Tony (or their country's version of it). And writers of this blog asked readers to vote for them as Best Black Movie Blog. Sucks when you don't win. But awards aren't important, right?

  • misha | September 26, 2011 8:35 AMReply

    Uh Carey, something tells me that is just you ranting under the guise of someone else. In any case, I repeat: just give it up already!

  • CareyCarey | September 26, 2011 7:03 AMReply

    Okay Misha, I’ll give it up when bow down and admit that money = power = influence. And the only race/color that’s calling the shots are the color of money... you know, that mean green.

    And check this. I just received an e-mail which I believe says it all.

    “[Carey] What I find funny, & sense from many of the postors, is that there isn't a real understanding of what happens in the industry... What I mean is why things happen & know that Black people are just as cut throat (& stupid) as white people are or any other kind of people. And much of it is done under the guise of "race"... look at the cast of SPARKLE, JUMPING THE BROOM & anything else Twinkie Byrd casts... she is trying to build her business. And after having been on the outside for soooo long, now that she has the chance to cast her films, she casts, or more to the point Mara & Salim cast, the stars you know. This whole "build a black power structure, is garbage. They're building their own. But more to say "BLACK PEOPLE DO IT TOO!!...you idiots!"

    Not to mention there's this idea that awards & awards nominations mean a lot. Really? If that was the case, why wasn't Taraji the choice for SCANDAL instead of Kerry Washington? or the show that cast Angela Bassett IDENTITY-didn't go. Or the girl who was the darling of the Oscars a few years ago for WHALE RIDER & now Hollywood doesn't know her name. Or ol boy from THE SIXTH SENSE who can't book something major to save his life.

    I know now that on the inside, just like in politics, it's about power & greed, all that crap about color & stuff is secondary &, dare I say it, opiate for the masses" ~ Fellow S & A reader.

    So Misha, you let it go and stop smoking that racist opium. :-)

  • misha | September 26, 2011 6:13 AMReply

    LOL Carey, just give it up, already!

  • CareyCarey | September 26, 2011 5:47 AMReply

    "UPDATE: There’s a NEW CBS commercial out of the show including Taraji as a lead. Saw it yesterday. So um…regardless of how you feel, she was heard"

    Settle down y'all, that means absolutely NOTHING... of course she was heard! Duh! She ran her mouth and put her business in the public street. I heard that.

    The issue has always been about the damage she has done to her image and the possibility of her outburst affecting the decision of future prospective employers.

    So they ran an ad... so what? Don't look now but that appears to be the old "throw the nigga a bone" trick. And, there ain't even no meat on that bone. I mean, they "SAID" she's a lead. So what exactly does that mean? What... lead token? Seriously... in reference to this discussion, to champion the word "Lead".... well.... it's a failed attempt to move the goal posts.

  • JMac | September 26, 2011 4:41 AMReply

    Very good news, Cynthia.

    Somebody was listening.

    Now if we can get those trashy black female reality shows off the air...

  • misha | September 26, 2011 4:35 AMReply

    @Cynthia HA! Thanks for that update.

  • Cynthia | September 26, 2011 3:28 AMReply

    UPDATE: There's a NEW CBS commercial out of the show including Taraji as a lead. Saw it yesterday. So um...regardless of how you feel, she was heard.

    Carry on...

  • misha | September 26, 2011 3:15 AMReply

    @BondGirl Huh? I simply highlighted your ridiculous conjecture. Impeach? HA! I'm afraid you've done a stellar job of that all on your own.

  • BondGirl | September 25, 2011 12:49 PMReply

    Ooooooh......good one.*sarcasm*

    Back to Taraji...to piggyback what Jug said, Emerson was always going to be the first choice for the show. He was actually cast for 2 projects, 1 show w/ his co-star from Lost and POI. Taraji was an after thought. JJ & Emerson have the long-term working relationship, not TH. So I'm not sure what your motive is to make up facts except to impeach what I say. You just lose credibility that way. And if dcmoviegirl is a blogger, then she should also do a better job of getting her facts straight as well.

  • misha | September 25, 2011 5:29 AMReply

    @BondGirl, Don't you think you've embarrassed yourself enough?

  • CareyCarey | September 25, 2011 1:33 AMReply

    Damn jug, can't you see that some folks ain't never gonna admit that fat meat if greasy?! I mean, I'm getting worried about you. Every since BondGirl came up in here loaded for bear and riddled the joint like Bonnie Parker, you've scared me with your Clyde Barrow... "HOT DAMN….BondGirl, you might be my new hero!"

    That's right, you've opened up a little on this one. NIce guy has gone bye-bye.

    At this point in the proceedings, I don't care if you pass out 1000 dollar bills to my girl JMac and the rest, you ain't gonna get no love on this topic. LMAO

    You could bring Ms.Hensen up in here (herself)and let her say she made a misstake and was wrong... and they'd tell her to kiss their a$$ b/c she didn't know what she was talking about.

    I'm officially calling this argument a STALEMATE!:-(

  • BondGirl | September 25, 2011 1:16 AMReply

    Taraji & Caviezel were announced first??! Misha, it's clear to me and everyone else that you don't know what the hell you're talking about. You're embarrasing yourself. A perfunctory Google search would've saved you from that misinformation you tried to sell us. See the truth is you don't have to work in the industry to provide info on this thread...just be a bit detail-oriented in your research. I'm going to give it to you like Flavor Flav...You're blind baby, blind to the fact!

    @Jug: Didn't I say I could list white actresses but they wouldn't accept them?? LOL LOL LOL...I know my people so well. It wouldn't matter if Taraji had NO lines and mimed every fucking thing on the show. She could be a deaf mute cop with no dialogue, and just stuck her head out of the office to sign language who she thought was the suspect, and this crowd is still going to rubber stamp her insanity. Ok, I know I went off on a tangent but I couldn't resist. LMAO

  • misha | September 25, 2011 1:12 AMReply

    @Jug, who said anything about getting the info from black blogs? SMH.That certainly ain't where I first heard it.

    And no, I didn't prove your point. I've said from the beginning that Emmy and Oscar-nominated/winning actors USUALLY are promoted no matter how big or small the role is. Of course there are exceptions to the rule, some of which you've chosen to point out.

    And ain't nobody ranting (ironically, the only person who really ranted in this thread is the one you co-signed). I hope you're not implying that you're presenting facts while others with an opposing view are only ranting. You've referred to examples that support your argument while I have done the same. Like I said, this is a discussion where no one can be right or wrong so no need to try to diagnose others who disagree with you.

  • Jug | September 24, 2011 11:50 AMReply

    And actually misha & dcmoviegirl, Emerson was cast first &, while it's debatable, Caviezal & Taraji hit same time. I know because I had been following this project :-) (& those blogs get the info same day the info hits the streets in town). Billing is the key tho, Just because black blogs highlight her first don't make it so (no offense S&A).

    So if you want to be upset & insulted, by all means. Impassioned? Hell yes! Kick it all day long, I love passion. But back it up with facts, SOME facts...SOMETHING! Otherwise it's a rant, like you just want to be heard.

    Oh, btw, misha you proved my point that there are other award winners used to market products-so sometimes when they are or AREN'T, sometimes it's JUST a decision.


    http://screenrant.com/person-of-interest-cast-michael-emerson-yman-101941/

    http://m.deadline.com/2011/03/jim-caviezel-to-star-in-jonah-nolanj-j-abrams-cbs-drama-pilot-person-of-interest/

    Now I'm off this thread for good. My fingers hurt..LOL

  • misha | September 24, 2011 11:33 AMReply

    @Jug, for every example you list, there are tons of other Oscar/Emmy-nominated/winning actors who were promoted in films and tv shows yet weren't in leading roles. And this isn't about black folk having tunnel vision...certainly not I. At some point you have to realize that we aren't all going to see things the same and there's nothing wrong with that....there's no diagnoses needed. Also, I was referring your co-signing of BondGirl's post, much of which had nothing to so with the topic.

    @dcmoviegirl You are abslutely right. Taraji and Caviezel were announced first, and the announcement made it seem as if they were the two leads. Emerson did come later, which leaves me wondering if there was a change in plans at some point along the way.

  • Jug | September 24, 2011 11:05 AMReply

    Misha, I've been talking about the topic the whole time. LMBAO

    And I can't take credit, the commentor was giselle. And Jmac, sorry but now you're coming up with the "new nigga rule". Sissy Spacek was just on BIG LOVE & was lauded for her performance. Just because you didn't know about it doesn't mean the rest of the industry didn't.

    Keep movin' those goal posts darlin'

    I guess all the female actresses I listed, who are more known in the biz & have more name, "star" cache than Taraji STILL don't mean a hill of beans. Maybe not you, or to black people. Isn't that the problem, because they're white, we don't give them their due, their respect? Said it once b4, in Hollywood people become reeal cut throat. I alluded to before, maybe this is the real heart of the squabble. We (Black people) see someone as a "star", deserving certain rights & status of said level and the rest of the industry does not, because they're our own? Not always a good look...

    Hmm, well that is an interesting & worthy debate-for another day. But as BondGirl said, such "star power" wouldn't be further down on the call sheet. And I say this knowing the pilots that were done during pilot season & seeing what seems to be happening with Taraji's film projects of late. It isn't ALL racism is it? I like seeing Taraji, but she's not drawing me to a project she's headlining. Same thing is happening to Colin Ferrell, Hollywood is figuring out he's best as the guy next to the guy-not THE guy. Again not about talent. Just saw the aired pilot of PRIME SUSPECT where an actor was replaced with another actor from the upfront pilot. Both actors great, one just fit better in the world of the show. Some things are just decisions...

    But as you said, facts aside, we BELIEVE what we want to believe & agree to disagree. P

    Payce!!

  • dcmoviegirl | September 24, 2011 10:55 AMReply

    I've been following the development of this ever since it was announced. So, I can tell you that from the beginning this was Jim, Taraji, and Emerson came later. Taraji's name was the second one in the pilot's credits. As for the comparison to Spacek, when you have the career longevity and respect that she has, in a small film role, that's called a featured actor. You can't compare an up-and-coming black actor, who appeals to a specific large demographic, that no other star on the show does, in an evolving TV role, to Spacek in the already wrapped The Help, unless you've seen the entire series and know for certain that it is just as small. I think this response is as insulting as it is inadequate. And the angry black woman comments? You know, if "anger" is consistantly coming from similar sources, one might have cause to wonder why that is. One could argue that her public response lacked tact, but it's not for nothing, that's for sure.

  • JMac | September 24, 2011 10:34 AMReply

    Sissy Spacek hasn't been in anything significant (or been nominated for a significant reward) since.... were the WTC Towers still standing? Think so, or else they had just come down. But, I'm sure she's maintained her huge following ever since Coal Miner's Daughter...

    Nice try though.

    Maybe what happened to Taraji is the rule, or the exception to the rule, or the exception to the exception. Whatever it is, still isn't right.

    Just agree to disagree.

  • misha | September 24, 2011 10:27 AMReply

    By the way..."The Dark Knight for CBS?" That may be what JJ and co. were going for but it ain't working. The plot, writing and Emerson and Caviezel's characters don't come close to being as interesting as anything in The Dark Knight. Yeah, it's only one episode but I don't imagine that changing, especially the dynamic between Emerson and Caviezel.

  • misha | September 24, 2011 10:20 AMReply

    @Jug, we ain't gonna agree on this issue but glad you're discussing the actual topic. ;)

  • BondGirl | September 24, 2011 8:53 AMReply

    Jug,

    You really said all that had to be in order to squash this. Anyone that refuses to believe is just being stubborn at this point. The fact made about Sissy Spacek was the winning touchdown. She is an Oscar WINNER, beloved by Hollywood, and still wasn't on the poster.

  • CareyCarey | September 24, 2011 8:52 AMReply

    Come on misha, let it lay. .. you’re really making her point with this---> “Using Columbiana and Avatar as examples of lead roles that Taraji isn’t getting? Seriously?”

    Yes seriously! She was simply saying the cream comes to the top and gets leading roles. Now if you wish to cloud the issue by mentioning all the reason why Tarajj does not and has not been offered leading roles, such as her age and whatever else you have on your mind, go right ahead, through some mess in the game. I mean, Tarajj was once “younger” right? Did we miss something? Did she get leading roles back “then”? So please, who said anything about acting ability? You’re flipping and flopping the argument to suit your own purpose and it’s not working, today.

    And to be honest, between me and you... sistah & brotha.... of... and in the same struggle, you’re starting to sound a wee bit jealous with this---> “I’m sorry but there is no “truth” to be found in said post. In fact, it only makes me question if BondGirl is really any kind of “insider” at all”

    But I will disagree with BondGirl when she said Benjamin Button sucked. NO WAY, that was a great movie.

  • Jazzy | September 24, 2011 8:38 AMReply

    TV Guide!? Are people still buying that mag?

  • Jug | September 24, 2011 7:43 AMReply

    Okaaaay, I'm baaaack! LOL

    Seriously, I just wanted to say I think the thread is getting into a "is Taraji good/bad" and the moniker of "talented actress" discussion, which are both highly debatable for anyone, regardless of age or color. Let's get back to the topic at hand...

    This is about whether or not Taraji deserved to be on the TV Guide cover for this show because she is an Emmy/Oscar nominated actress & was it racist. I watched the pilot and while it was solid, with the writing needing work, Taraji did little in the pilot. She wasn't bad at all, but she didn't do anything that another actress couldn't to, and certainly nothing to denote "OSCAR/EMMY NOMINATED" That is not subjective, it is a fact based on the number of scenes she was in, how perfunctory they were & the scene length.

    If that is the push given for the show, people would expect that sort of work/excitement from the actor & it isn't there. The episode, which is essentially THE DARK KNIGHT for CBS, is all about Caviezal & Emerson. Sorry, but it is. Bill Sadler was even in that episode, a GREAT character actor who has a career & resume TWICE as long as Taraji, but blink and you miss him (hoping his character is set to be a recurring guest, otherwise a REAL waste & suspect choice for him).

    Kevin Chapman actually did more than Taraji and is more important to the show's set up than Taraji. Only thing they gave her character to do was stand around and look perplexed. Will there be more? Who knows. I assume so. But should she be on the promos, based on that pilot? No. Someone made a great comment on the other Taraji post, that Sissy Spacek was in THE HELP and was not in one damn ad for that thing. Nothing. Nowhere. And she was extremely important to the movie AND hilarious to boot. Something to think about....

    I go back to the lists of TV Guide covers, the people that get on there are the more popular & most indicative characters of the show. Taraji is not that for this show. I would've fought for it too, but in your heart of hearts, you know you're not supposed to be there.

    Like fighting to get a pass interference call but you know it was legit all day long.

    This really is turning into a silly debate. No matter what facts are put before any of us, it's turning into a debate like Porn. "You can't describe it, but you know it when see it", which really is about personal taste. We could say all day long, like BondGirl said, about white actresses with Emmy/Oscar noms who get shit on like Virginia Madsen, Catherine Keener, Drea De Mateo, Sarah Paulson, Rachel Griffiths. Yeah, Taraji, join the club LOL

    To each his own.....

  • Orville | September 24, 2011 6:46 AMReply

    Hollywood is very sexist against women especially women over 40. A man regardless of race and get big leading roles if he's over 40 BUT for women it is much together. Notice that most of the 40 something women are now on television because that's where the good roles are not in the movies.

    Zoe Saldana was born 1978 she is only 33 years old so that means for an actress she is in her prime. Taraji was bornn 1970 she's 41 and considered a veteran actress. You can't compare Taraji and Zoe because although they are both black women Hollywood seems them differently. Zoe is younger and clearly being marketed towards the mainstream. I just think it is TERRIBLE that only one A list black actress is at the top at the moment and that's Zoe Saldana. Halle Berry is on her way out, so is Queen Latifah they are no longer A list. Kerry Washington I don't know what she is doing. I had high hopes for Kerry BUT she's just not getting the big roles at the moment. Gabrielle Union, Nia Long, and Sanaa Lathan are working but they just aren't getting the big roles anymore. It seems their time has passed.

  • misha | September 24, 2011 6:21 AMReply

    @BondGirl LOL How is my logic silly guesswork? Unlike yourself, I didn't state something as if it were fact. I said MAYBE if the powers that be promoted Taraji (and it's obvious that they didn't) the show would have done better in the ratings. My comment is based on the little to no promotion for Taraji coupled with the ratings not living up to expectations. And again, I said MAYBE. No silly guesswork to be found in anything I said.

    Your comment is based on truth? LOL! I HIGHLY doubt Taraji was even in the running for the roles you mentioned. There's absolutely no reason to believe that Taraji and Zoe (who is hollywood's black "it" girl at the moment) are competing for the same roles.

  • misha | September 24, 2011 4:17 AMReply

    @Jug Oh please! LOL BondGirl's post was full of hyperbole and conjecture of the most ridiculous nature. Using Columbiana and Avatar as examples of lead roles that Taraji isn't getting? Seriously? Both roles played by Saldana, who's YOUNGER than Taraji and the only black actress getting lead roles in studio films at the moment. And there are several reasons for that, none of which includes acting ability. I'm sorry but there is no "truth" to be found in said post. In fact, it only makes me question if BondGirl is really any kind of "insider" at all.

  • BondGirl | September 24, 2011 4:13 AMReply

    @Misha: "You cannot possibly attempt to argue why someone isn’t getting lead roles without considering all the factors that go into landing said roles.BondGirl’s logic is way too simplistic and full of nothing but silly guesswork."

    So you're implying that I haven't taken any factors into consideration? Well enlighten us please...what are the factors preventing Ms. Henson from booking the few lead roles in Hollywood that go to black women. I hope you have some experience in casting or producing, and won't share just more racially motivated nonsense that any Nation of Islam member would espouse.

    My logic is full of silly guesswork yet you say, "Maybe if they promoted Taraji, more viewers would have tuned in and the show would have gotten better ratings." ,and at the same time you didn't watch the show...so if you and other commenters knew about the show and didn't watch, isn't it your logic that's silly guesswork? At least me saying she may not be booking roles with her personality is based on truth. Directors have to like you, casting directors have to like you. You really think it's all about talent by now? Yes there are exceptions, like DeNiro whose personality is like a limp salad..but obviously it worked for him in enough ways.

    @Kia:
    1. It's imdbpro, and a shitty source.
    2. You've said this before on other posts, what's your point? Her fans aren't doing what she is, but if they disagree with her tactics, they dont get a voice? Where does it say I have to be Nom'd for an Oscar to disagree with an actress? One who put her business out there for me to weigh in on? And folks like yourself (who admittedly is not a fan) are why I'm saying she's not bankable...why does that hurt so much?

    @Jug, Mediatrussed & Carey: You're right, I do know what goes on "in the room". As you know, you gotta pick your battles. This TV Guide shit here isn't one of 'em.

    I saw Twinkie Byrd on here the other day; I wish she would come in here again for this post and school these folks. Maybe I shouldn't be saying it but she knew how hard her and her business partner had to fight to get Naturi in Notorious.

  • misha | September 24, 2011 3:46 AMReply

    Just watched the pilot and umm yeah, this show NEEDS more Taraji because Emerson and Caviezel aren't nearly compelling enough together. I was actually more intrigued by the few scenes between Taraji and Caviezel than any of the interaction between the former. It does appear that they've set up Taraji's character to be featured more in subsequent episodes...I would hope, anyway. Overall, the pilot was well done but nothing special. I can certainly see why the ratings dropped throughout the hour.

  • sandra | September 24, 2011 2:25 AMReply

    @Jug --> Apology accepted.

  • misha | September 24, 2011 2:24 AMReply

    "She was simply saying the cream comes to the top and gets leading roles. "

    LOL. Oh, really? Since when? How many talented black actresses are there in hollywood? And how many of them are offered lead roles? You cannot possibly attempt to argue why someone isn't getting lead roles without considering all the factors that go into landing said roles. BondGirl's logic is way too simplistic and full of nothing but silly guesswork. Jealous? HA! You got to come better than that, Carey.

  • JMac | September 24, 2011 2:16 AMReply

    53 posts. Not bad. And the root has finally picked up on this story. Only thing missing is a response from CBS and the so-called agent. I expect one or both will respond before the next episode.

    It would be nice for there to be more proactive measures in place to address these issues but obviously when keeping mum is the standard of conduct, reaction seems to be the only way problems are dealt with.

  • Jug | September 24, 2011 1:40 AMReply

    Okay, for real. Last post and I'm out bcuz there's food & drink to be had. LOL

    I definitely apologize to you sandra, I did miss that word & it indeed changed the whole tone of your comment. My bad.

    I'm definitely with Orville about sexism being in the mix (most of the TV Guide covers I mentioned below are of men). And Orville, please see my comments here & on the other Taraji-themed post & what I said about Melissa Leo, we are of the same mind.

    Kia-that argument is one of those "well since we know her & don't know you, then you can't talk" kinda quips. Cute, but not only is that weak, it cripples & stifles discourse. Her career & her successes is not the point we're discussing. If that were the case, we wouldn't discuss any sort of current affair or political matter. Boo to you.

    G'Night all!

  • sandra | September 24, 2011 1:20 AMReply

    Won't allow myself to be caught in an endless loop going nowhere...

    @ Jug --> "And sandra, I’m sorry but because you are on a show, week in week out, does not make you a “lead”. Because you are a female doesn’t necessarily make you the “female lead”. It’s a slight of hand, billing shell game. Like saying you acted in a scene with Tom Cruise, but you were an extra. Like saying you were in a “supporting role” but you said five lines to the main character...."

    It appears that I must restate what I posted earlier. I clearly stated if she is INDEED a lead then blablabla...not just if she appears in each episode decorating the scene in some way.....

    Didn't say a word about her being entitled to the female lead title because she's the female...must have been someone else.

  • Orville | September 24, 2011 1:17 AMReply

    I don't understand black people sometimes we complain about black actors NOT speaking out against racism. However, the minute a black actor speaks out against racism people criticize the actor. Taraji is an Oscar and Emmy nominated actress. I think this controversy also relates to SEXISM. Taraji is a 40something black actress and let's face it 40 year old BLACK women in Hollywood are not getting the shine they deserve. I think TV Guide was wrong to not have Taraji on the cover and I simply cannot believe people are criticizing Taraji. This reminds me of the actress that won the supporting Oscar earlier this year Melissa Leo. Melissa Leo was furious that the studios IGNORED her yet gave the covers of the high profile magazines to young women. So Melissa took out ads in big Hollywood publications and the press crucified her. It seems a woman in Hollywood is damned if she does or doesn't. The sexism is the real issue here and I think people would be naive to think sexism is not so entrenched in Hollywood against WOMEN.

  • Kia | September 24, 2011 1:13 AMReply

    Okay, Tariji made a mistake or not depending on your view, but I'll say this... What she's accomplished in 6 years is more than anybody posting on this topic. Now If someone would like to provide a link to their imbdpro page and prove they're more accomplished than Tariji... I'm waiting.

    I may not be Tariji's biggest fan, but one thing I see her doing... working and getting paid. Give her some due--it's not easy getting your foot in the door.

  • Neziah | September 24, 2011 1:01 AMReply

    @Tambay

    I saw the pilot episode and it was indeed very good.

  • Jug | September 23, 2011 12:18 PMReply

    No misha, not applauding the "conjecture". Applauding the understanding of what REALLY happens in the industry. Not how we want it to be, but what is. Sure, BondGirl came 6 guns blazing, but I'll say two things, I've been "nice" on here & called a "White Liberal" to a an idiotic black man-may as well have said House Nigga. Carey's been called much worse, even allusions to his past & closeted issues.

    BondGirl fired the fuck off & didn't do anything but A) tell that shit like it T. I. 'Tis B) tell it like you would hear in AN ACTUAL DEVELOP MEETING C) tell it like you would hear in an agent's office. Now, it may suck, it may be shocking, but even what she said is TOO nice. Y'all think Ari on Entourage is a joke?! Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit LOL

    Yes, this shouldn't be a referendum on Taraji, but since she put her business out there, there's no choice. ESPECIALLY when there's more evidence to the contrary about what happened &, most importantly, WHY it happened. BUT as was stated, we people of color get instantly upset & are often SUPER DUPER sensitive to stuff like this (and yes, there's history for this misha)...but damnit, WHEN are we going to get out of our own way?! To sometimes see things for what they are, stupid. Nothing more.Nothing less. There isn't always a boogie man lurking around every corner.

    And sandra, I'm sorry but because you are on a show, week in week out, does not make you a "lead". Because you are a female doesn't necessarily make you the "female lead". It's a slight of hand, billing shell game. Like saying you acted in a scene with Tom Cruise, but you were an extra. Like saying you were in a "supporting role" but you said five lines to the main character. Or this is my favorite, I was a "featured extra" LOL there is no fucking such thing! Actors do it ALL THE TIME. Taraji is indeed a series reg, but to say she's a lead is to pump her own stuff up. As an actor I can't hate her for tryin'-you got to. But it's something you do when you're being interviewed in a genre magazine like Women's Health or Essence, where the readership, the audience is already on your side & devouring every word you say. You don't say that in Variety or Hollywood Reporter or on MSNBC for all to see because you'd get called out in a minute. Maybe not in public, certainly when it comes time to negotiate & you look at who's names are on the call sheet.

    And real talk, they even do that crap there, so it really doesn't matter....

    Those that don't know, get taken. Those that do, keep it moving. If she truly was a "lead" like it was made to seem, there would be HELL TO PAY..waaaayy back in May...like I said.

    Stop with the excuses already.....

    Sorry, I came back and had to post.

  • sandra | September 23, 2011 11:35 AMReply

    No one is appointing Taraji as the poster child for civil rights. The point of this debate is that we were led to believe that Taraji was a lead character, then her press disappeared, followed by her disappearance from the launch marketing campaign. People were confused.

    We are saying that if it is true that she is a lead, that is a foul move (her not being included). Most people here can accept the fact that she shouldn't be featured prominently if she's not the lead.

    This thread is turning into an attack on Taraji. This NON-controversy makes me respect her even more.

  • CareyCarey | September 23, 2011 11:31 AMReply

    @ misha, S[HER]H. I’m smh and I'm out, cuz I gotta go watch my grandson tote the football (he's a running back).

    But you know you're wrong for that. Soooo backatcha... oh misha :-)

  • CareyCarey | September 23, 2011 11:23 AMReply

    "Now, my wonder is….what part of development does BondGirl work in? Her thought process is too “in the meeting” to be accidental. :-D"

    Tell me about it! I said that and saw that when she hit the door. Her words were too factual and passionate to be coming from a "fluke" and/or a casual lover of films.

  • misha | September 23, 2011 11:23 AMReply

    So BondGirl serves up a post that includes personal attacks against Taraji, irrelevant comparisons to Denzel and Sidney, hyperbolic comments about people claiming Taraji is the poster child for the new Civil Rights Movement and ridiculous conjecture about why she doesn't land certain roles and folks are applauding? Really? SMH. I'm out!

  • Jug | September 23, 2011 11:14 AMReply

    @Carey-NONE ya heard?! LMAO

    I wave a white flag after that one, cuz I thought I was makin' sense, she split that shit down the middle & got all up in it LOL

    Now, my wonder is....what part of development does BondGirl work in? Her thought process is too "in the meeting" to be accidental. :-D

  • CareyCarey | September 23, 2011 11:01 AMReply

    UT OH... I'm with you jug, I gotta give a rousing applause, standing ovation and a BIG AMEN!... to BondGirl. Once again she (and mediatrussed) has ground the "noise" to silence.

    I sure am glad her comment didn’t meet the fate of the big delete and "moderate" buttons. (btw, who is doing that, Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul or Simon Cowell? *LOL*)

    Anyway, I believe BondGirl has put this argument/discussion in the proper perspective, and she’s left little wiggle-room.

  • Jug | September 23, 2011 10:36 AMReply

    HOT DAMN....BondGirl, you might be my new hero!

  • BondGirl | September 23, 2011 10:33 AMReply

    Denzel has received legit racist experiences, but handled them with such panache, which is why he is a 2-time Oscar winner. Watch how he checked these racist producers in this clip..it really happens in Part 5 but starts the end of Part 4. How Denzel handled racism and his Oscar nom for Cry Freedom came 6 months later, shows how you react and get your point across so whites don't eff with you. Guts and class. You can have both.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTMVD-a2RIk

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCFT7O-F23g&feature=related

    Sidney Poitier is somewhere shaking his head at Taraji and her emotional rants. She is not Rosa Parks or Medgar Evers, I don't care what you say. People can act like she is the poster child for the new Civil Rights movement, but sorry she is not. That episode last night was laughable. I kept wondering why she felt that she deserved more....you accept a lowbrow job, and NOW you're upset bc they ask you to wash windows? If you're this Oscar-nom'd-Emmy-nom'd actress, wtf are you doing taking this gig in the first place? She is not bankable, arguably even likeable to mainstream audiences. Her demands were unrealistic; you can't have a Kanye ego and a MC Hammer resume. Hollywood's motto is real simple: "What are you going to do for an encore?" Benjamin Button was horrible, Date Night was meh, Larry Crowne was panned, Karate Kid was all about Jaden, so what has she really defined for herself as an Oscar-nom'd actress? Tell me something good, because she's not booking Avatar, Colombiana, or any leading lady roles. I bet she gets in the room with the writer and director, and is killing the script, then they talk to her and decide to give the role to Zoe instead. Side issue: Why isn't she booking? Because she takes that victim energy in the room with her. She is a character actress. Her personality sucks in interviews,and after that Emmytones bullshit she pulled last week, I see her stock sliding down with Vivica A Fox. Don't believe me; ask the next 10 white guys at your office who Taraji is. They know who Zoe and Kerry is though.

    I could list several white Oscar-nom'd actresses who get the same subpar coverage as Taraji, but it wouldn't matter bc your mind is closed and feel that black people should rule the acting world...we are 15% of this country. That leaves 85% of other ethnicities fighting for their spot in the limelight too. Just bc we rule basketball, doesn't mean you're going to take over Hollywood.

  • Jug | September 23, 2011 9:35 AMReply

    And mediatrussed, the role was originally white/nondescript:

    [CARTER] 30s, female, Homicide detective. Driven, tough, pretty and 10 times smarter than her colleagues. She has a wicked sense of humor but it's armor -- between two tours in Iraq and her time on the NYPD she's got her own fair share of ghosts...SERIES REGULAR

    And a month later changed to:

    [CARTER] At least 34-youthful 40, female, Homicide detective. Driven, tough, beautiful and 10 times smarter than her colleagues. She has a wicked sense of humor but it's armor -- between two tours in Iraq and her time on the NYPD she's got her own fair share of ghosts...SERIES REGULAR. PLEASE SUBMIT ALL ETHNICITIES EXCEPT CAUCASIAN.

    Coulda ended up being Lucy Lui LOL

  • Jug | September 23, 2011 9:22 AMReply

    And might I add, for the record, that on THE MENTALIST there's an Asian actor, WHITE COLLAR there's TWO black actors, TRUE BLOOD has two black actors, THE X FACTOR there's L.A. Reid, RIZZOLI & ISLES has a black actor & on TERRA NOVA, Jason O'Mara's wife...HIS WIFE-THE FEMALE LEAD & LOVE INTEREST-is Indian (there's also a Black actress, too).

    NONE of them is on these covers, because what best exemplifies the IDEA of the show is on the cover.

    Just thought I'd share....

  • mediatrussed | September 23, 2011 9:03 AMReply

    As for the series, Taraji is barely in the pilot. That said, her character is sorta setup to be significant but how so is part of the mystery to unfold. Based on the pilot alone and without Taraji making a thoughtless stink over her press coverage, I'm intrigued to see how her character is weaved into the actual premise of the show. Hopefully it'll be done smartly but as it stands, based on the pilot, the character is potentially disposable and could be a red herring given this is a JJ Abrams' mystery.

    What I think she deserves to gripe about is why she's playing such a secondary role. Once you decide to take a role that's not the series lead, you can't be mad because the press only wants to cover the leads. C'mon love! If you're mad because of your situation as a black actress, then join the line or blog about it or something. But don't publicly vent about TVGuide because you settled for less than what you're worth.

    Can a fellow insider back me up here?!! Wasn't this character originally written as something other than black yet she got the role anyhow. Am I missing something here? Dear Lord, Give me this day listening ear, the eye that is willing to see.

  • Jug | September 23, 2011 8:50 AMReply

    Carey don't even trip. Some folks just have to know, without a shadow of a doubt, that you're on THEIR team LOL Whatever the hell that is....

    And I really have not seen one person, ONE, aside from myself, who has addressed that fact that Annie Ilonzeh will be on the new cover. Well, that OBVIOUSLY is to cover up for their nefarious misdeeds, RIGHT?!

    Well, I submit for the court's consumption *note the names in ALL CAPS & starred*:

    1/3/2011 "Winter Preview" Photo montage

    1/10/2011 "God on TV" Photo montage

    1/17/2011 Ryan Seacrest, *JENNIFER LOPEZ*, Steven Tyler, and *RANDY JACKSON* of American Idol Photograph Tony Duran/Fox

    1/24/2011 "Super Bowl Preview" Photo montage

    2/7/2011 Tom Selleck of Blue Bloods Photograph

    2/14/2011 Rob Mariano and Russell Hantz of Survivor: Redemption Island Photograph

    2/28/2011 Stana Katic and Nathan Fillion of Castle Photograph Brian Bowen Smith

    3/7/2011 *"Spring Preview" (subscriber cover)
    *"The War over Two and a Half Men," featuring Charlie Sheen (newsstand cover) *Preview: Photo Montage
    *Sheen: Photograph

    3/14/2011 Kirstie Alley of Dancing with the Stars Photograph

    3/21/2011 *LL COOL J* and Chris O'Donnell of NCIS: Los Angeles Photograph

    4/4/2011 "The 7 Shows You Must Watch" Photo Montage

    4/11/2011 Tom Welling and Erica Durance of Smallville Photograph

    4/18/2011 "Fan Favorites" poll results Photo montage

    5/2/2011 Mark Harmon and Michael Weatherly of NCIS Photograph
    Kevin Lynch

    5/9/2011 A pictorial recap of the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton Photograph Tom Hevesi/AP Images

    5/16/2011 Simon Baker of The Mentalist Photograph

    5/23/2011 *OPRAH WINFREY* of The Oprah Winfrey Show Photograph Ruven Afanador/Harpo Productions

    5/30/2011 *CEE LO GREEN*, Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine, and Blake Shelton of The Voice Photo Montage

    6/6/2011 "Summer Preview," featuring Piper Perabo of Covert Affairs and Matt Bomer of White Collar Photograph

    6/20/2011 Lucy Hale, Troian Bellisario, Shay Mitchell, and Ashley Benson of Pretty Little Liars Photograph

    7/4/2011 Noah Wyle of Falling Skies Photograph

    7/11/2011 Sasha Alexander and Angie Harmon of Rizzoli and Isles Photograph

    7/18/2011 Alexander Skarsgård, Joe Manganiello, and Stephen Moyer of True Blood Photograph Rodolfo Martinez

    8/1/2011 "Reality Preview" Photo Montage

    8/15/2011 "TV's Highest Paid Stars" Photo Montage

    8/29/2011 Jason O'Mara of Terra Nova Photograph

    9/12/2011 "Fall Preview," featuring Angus T. Jones, Ashton Kutcher, and Jon Cryer of Two and a Half Men Photograph

    9/19/2011 Simon Cowell of The X Factor Photograph

    The covers of TV GUIDE for 2011. I hate it when racists put minorities on the cover of their magazine, don't you?

    And that is just 2011. In 2010, there was Oprah, Daniel Dae Kim, Grace Park, Yujin Kim, Naveen Andrews, The cast of Modern Family (also in 2011), Amber Riley, Cote de Pablo, Padma Lakshi.

    Wonder what the other Sixty years of TV Guide racism have been like?

  • CareyCarey | September 23, 2011 8:08 AMReply

    “@Jug, you my brother may let it lie, but I never will… No disrespect sir but either you’re a white liberal who think everything is fair in media right now or you’re blind to the state of black people in entertainment” ~ Darkan

    Jug addressed that, but why do people who appose or have a very distinct and differing opinion on racial issues (some pointing the finger back @ black folks) labeled as “sell-out” ... “liberal whites, pretending to be black” and/or “unfamiliar with black culture”?

    Tell me, whatsup with that? Some of us keep a keen eye on the issues and listen to the facts, and draw a conclusion based on the preponderance of truth. While others are so entrenched in their opinions and their “blackness” that they are afraid to voice an opinion that’s opposite the common opinion.... (raising the black glove salute while singing "we shall overcome"). Whatsup with that?

    On this issue, I simply believe racism was not the defining factor of why Tarajii didn’t appear on the cover. And NOBODY can prove otherwise. So rant and rage and call us traitors, but your words are not wise and they do more harm than good.

  • CareyCarey | September 23, 2011 8:04 AMReply

    “The days of hanging black folks are over. If you’re afraid to do anything for fear of a lower paycheck or because it might take more than 10 minutes of your precious time to address something then build a time machine and take your ass back to the plantation. Maybe when you’re in the face of real danger you’ll learn that being proactive in 2011 ain’t that big of a sacrifice”

    Now JMac, surely you can see the optimum word in your... ah... whole “debate/argument” is the word “PROACTIVE” and how one goes about that process. So I’m going to leave your... ah... “advice” right there.

    Next:

    “TV Guide gave Taraji the snub because they didn’t want a black woman on the cover. I bet if Taraji was some 20 something blonde she would have definitely got the cover”
    By Orville

    Now listen, first and foremost, there is no way in hell one can prove that accusation! And that’s what work with many black folks. Many have a penchant for crying racism without proof that it exists, hence, “FIRE!” and “WOLF!”. Case in point, the people at TV guide gave a legitimate and understandable reason why Taraji was excluded from the spread... “She’s a little fish in comparison to the other actors they highlighted, and as the author stated, the storyline - of the article - was simply not about HER.

    In short, I am standing on my position that there’s a proper time and place to voice ones discontent, and the person better bring something they can prove (facts), or their “message”/vent/gripe may be viewed as just another negro crying that same ol same ol.

  • misha | September 23, 2011 7:39 AMReply

    @Tambay, yeah that was discussed somewhat in the other thread. I mentioned how a lot of the blogs have picked up on the story and how the editor was forced to respond. So if Taraji and her team's intent was to make some noise about this, I'd say it's working.

    I'm not getting into this discussion today...been there done that already. LOL I will just say that I find it hard to believe that race isn't a factor here. The evidence just doesn't support it.

    And I repeat, Taraji addressed the lack of promotion for her on the show awhile back when one of her fans on twitter tweeted Taraji about not seeing her in any of the promotion. She told the fan to let CBS now and even tweeted the official page to all of her followers. So she's not been keeping mum on the isse. But even if she were, there NO WAY this is her or her publicist's fault. They have absolutely nothing to do with how CBS promotes the show. What her team can do is try to get her on some of the talk shows to plug her role on the show but that's irrelevant to what we're discussing here.

  • Jug | September 23, 2011 7:23 AMReply

    And since we're getting all round table discussion with it, I agree with JMac that it probably is a big heaping of sexism. I'm not a woman & I can get behind that argument. And in the political, blogosphere game of "Who's Got the Better Con Game?", you wanna have the most potent, cogent argument. Better than a Royal Flush...

    I quoted him before & I'll do it again, because i love it just that much:

    "It's not what you know, it's what you can prove"-Alonzo Harris

  • Jug | September 23, 2011 7:19 AMReply

    Darkan, it's precisely BECAUSE I'm a black man in the entertainment industry that I don't raise up over EVERY happening, and there are MANY to be sure. Do you hear about Denzel, Will Smith, Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder, Oprah all saying EVERYDAY about how racist Hollywood is? About how many insults & slights they take, real or perceived? Wanting to burn this mutha down? No, they talk about the ones that MATTER. The ones that are almost damn airtight that when they're talked about, they effect change the most. They may be small instances or large instances, but they are thought about beforehand & subsequently attacked strategically!

    Make sure there's something to be angry about, be sure, and then be focused as a result. And again, being a Black Man in this industry, I've seen a number of boo-boo mistakes by people of color that were just that, boo-boos. Will Smith said it himself, he & his partner screwed up their first overall deal at Universal. Now I'm sure if there internet had been then what it is today, it would be ALL OVER S&A, YBF, Bossip, Mediatakeout & the like as some sort of nefarious deed by the dastardly head of Universal. Instead of "Aww shit, I fucked up."

    Yes, Tambay is right. There is a wealth of power from having "followers" and people listening to you. But like Gary Oldman said in THE CONTENDER "What I say the American people will believe. And do you know why? Because I will have a very big microphone in front of me."

    THAT is some powerful shit to think about, regardless of the speakers color, yeah?

  • Orville | September 23, 2011 7:09 AMReply

    I don't see a problem here with Taraji standing up for herself she did it in a respectful manner. Perhaps some people will argue Taraji should have remained silent BUT that's the problem with racism and sexism in Hollywood. Too many people remain silent and things do NOT change. At least, Taraji FORCED TV Guide to respond. For far too long people just complain privately about Hollywood racism and are afraid to take a stand. Taraji deserves respect for speaking the truth! TV Guide gave Taraji the snub because they didn't want a black woman on the cover. I bet if Taraji was some 20 something blonde she would have definitely got the cover.

  • Jug | September 23, 2011 7:06 AMReply

    Now that Tambay, I wholeheartedly agree with. We are talking about it. Like I said on the other post, we'll see what happens with the next magazine cover. Or the new advertisements for the show. It's why I posted the link to Kurt Sutter's stuff. Dude is insane, goes off on these rants that are at once satirically biting, but totally true. But he STICKS by them, and they are as coordinated & calculated as they are impulsive & impassioned. And he doesn't do it ALL the time, raging at every injustice, just the ones that will get enough heads turning & kick up enough dust (most of the time dealing with his own show).

    If that was Taraji's "plan", then hot damn, it worked! Got me talking about it, & I ALREADY was gonna watch the show. I knew when she got cast & jumped for joy because I want to see more of her. But if it was just a blurted out gripe, about something she could've handled from jump, or something that was a pure-T fumble and NOW she's calling on "THE PEOPLE" to mobilize, WTF?!? That's like when Halle Berry came running to Black folks when she got that DUI & felt like "one of the normal people". Or when OJ was up on charges & came to Black folks for embrace. My time, my energy, my anger & my money are too important to waste on some nonsense, so it better be good!

  • JMac | September 23, 2011 7:06 AMReply

    Now come on Carey, small fish in a big pond? Taraji isn't some unknown chick or barely known actress. Emmy nominated/ Oscar nominated = small fish? For a damn tv show?! That's where the racism (and possibly sexism) comes into play. The issue isn't that they dissed a black woman. The issue as that they ignored a very experienced, well-known, validated multiple times by white american critics [if they needed that requirement] black woman. Now tell me how that's supposed to be par for the course.

    Checking my yahoo mail accounts yesterday, ads for this show were EVERYWHERE and no Taraji. Not even in the background. If some of you are complaining on how Cuba Gooding went from promising young actor to Oscar winner to DVD King, you need to give this incident its due attention. I'm sure some of what's going on here played a factor in his and other POC actors waning careers.

    ABW Syndrome isn't enough of a reason for any black woman to keep her mouth shut and take whatever crap people dish to them. Do you honestly think whites didn't already have low opinions of black women before Basketball Wives or RHOA came on the air? If we're already tagged as angry, then take advantage of it and use it correctly. Don't just let this be a one time protest. If Taraji already told her fans to complain about it to CBS, then damn it stop being doormats and start typing up emails. And do it every time you see something you know is wrong or don't like. Yes, we are some complaining, non-action taking negroes. That's why nobody's scared of you anymore. The days of hanging black folks are over. If you're afraid to do anything for fear of a lower paycheck or because it might take more than 10 minutes of your precious time to address something then build a time machine and take your ass back to the plantation. Maybe when you're in the face of real danger you'll learn that being proactive in 2011 ain't that big of a sacrifice.

  • darkan | September 23, 2011 7:03 AMReply

    @Jug, like I said, was no disrespect or insult meant towards you. Just confusion on how you who allude to be a black man in the entertainment industry cannot see that this is an event of obvious Hollywood racist bull. But everyone cannot see past their own viewpoint at times. Nuff said.

  • Jug | September 23, 2011 6:58 AMReply

    Your weak insult aside Darkan, I'll say this. I've been in entertainment for over a decade. I've seen a lot & experienced a lot. Made MANY mistakes & made many successes. And ALL of that was from surveying that situation and acting accordingly. If that's not something that you can do, to better your situation & those around you, then so be it. If you want to "go down with the ship" for a minute discordant event, then so be it. If assuming that I must be white is all you got, well LOL I just have to laugh. But you can't & won't impeach or question my conviction as a person, a person of color or as an artist.

    Gotta come better than that son.

    And by they way, you obviously didn't read my response where she should've fired or gotten after her publicist, especially if they told her to let it lie. I don't see it as a race issue, I saw it as a poor business issue. Sounds like you need to read (think) before you speak.

  • darkan | September 23, 2011 6:58 AMReply

    @ Jug, like I said, I knew she was on the show back at the first of the year when they first started to promote the show because they had out a featurette and was using her name as "Oscar nominated" Taraji P Henson along with "Emmy nominated" Michael Emerson to garner attention to the show brother. In fact, they kept pushing the show start date back as I think originally it was gonna be a mid Summer replacement.

  • tambay | September 23, 2011 6:56 AMReply

    Damn... who knew this would stir up this much debate, between this and the first post.

    Anyway... I'ma just jump in and say something that I don't think anyone has said yet; granted I haven't read every single comment on both threads on this topic, so maybe somebody has.

    BUT... can everyone see what's going on here though? We're talking about it; and not just us - sites that get 100 times the traffic we do: Bossip caught on to it; BET; Clutch; The Griot; even mainstream NPR talked about it! TV Guide was forced to address it.

    All thanks to this single thing Taraji said on 2 social networking sites, which is also noteworthy, given how many Facebook fans and Twitter followers she has - another nod to the power, reach and immediacy of social networking, but I digress.

    She may not be as *foolish* and *rash* as some folks might think she is after all. Anyone maybe give any thought that this could've very well been a calculated move? Risky, but calculated? Taraji is active on Twitter, but she's never really been one to go on the attack like that, has she? And I'm asking because I don't know.

    Now, of course the question is, what effect all this conversation and debate that her one comment has stirred up will have in the long run, whether directly or indirectly. Might still be too early to tell.

    If she suddenly starts having an extra difficult time finding work, maybe folks will point back to this as the moment that was of influence; but, if the opposite and more happens, like maybe her profile is further raised thanks to the controversy, she starts getting even more work, and maybe the next time she's co-starring in a TV show or a movie, PR and marketing will ensure that she's not *forgotten," then maybe folks will also point back at this as a moment of significance as well.

    Time will tell...

    But the point is... I don't think this has all been for naught. Whether or not she should have done it is irrelevant at this point, because she already has done it. So, I think that debate is moot. Can't take it back now.

    What I did see is that she used the power of social networking and her *army* of followers (for some folks, that's real power) and stirred up conversation, all of it centered on HER! If anything, CBS might have also benefited, given that she may have helped raise further awareness for the show.

    But we'll see where all this leads... maybe nowhere; maybe somewhere. But I don't think we've talked this much about Taraji P. Henson on this site, in so short a period of time, since the site's inception :)

    By the way, if you missed the season premiere of the show, CBS now has the entire episode available for viewing on its website.

  • darkan | September 23, 2011 6:40 AMReply

    @Jug, you my brother may let it lie, but I never will... No disrespect sir but either you're a white liberal who think everything is fair in media right now or you're blind to the state of black people in entertainment. Taraji's publicist more than likely told her the same thing (let it lie) back in May and obviously eventually she had to fight her fight her way. God Bless you Taraji. I got your back girl.

  • Jug | September 23, 2011 6:37 AMReply

    I've been reading the comments. Nobody knew she was on the damn show. What about The Root? Essence? Ebony? YBF? I "think" it was on S&A & even the regular commentors didn't know she was on the damn thing. I mean really, somebody let me know if I'm wrong. Somebody tell me if there was a blitzkrieg thru black communities and media about her on this show. She is the "third lead" and all of a show more highly touted than her stint on BOSTON LEGAL. Like they say, "Where it at son?!"

    That is HER people's fault. If you see somebody ain't working for you, go for self! YES, I agree CBS & TV Guide and whoever should've thrown her up there, but they didn't. And you know why? Because they made a command decision that this show is about TWO GUYS. They said damn her Oscar, Emmy nom. And I used Melissa Leo as an example on another post & the various other actors who were in MILDRED PIERCE with her that had Oscar, Golden Globe, Emmy noms out the ass who didn't get not a lick of press, just Kate Winslett & Guy Pierce.

    I say that to not simplify it to "racism", but expound it a more complex series of events that lead us to NO TV GUIDE COVER LOL And it may be as simple as "her folks may have dropped the ball".

  • Jug | September 23, 2011 6:27 AMReply

    Darkan, you do know that her publicist handles her PERSONAL publicity, good, bad or indifferent, right? Especially any sort of slight by a network, another individual or an academy. Right? That's what I mean. If she felt slighted, and I'm not knocking that she shouldn't have, I think she should've fought for it...IN MAY. Had her people go on a campaign to publicize that she was on this show ESPECIALLY when this was touted as one of the top shows of the coming season, fuck CBS & Bad Robot (if it was that deep for her). But none of that happened. Folks let it lie. So here we are, with a scrapped TV Guide cover, Black folks ready to march on Washington & us arguing about it on S&A.

    She still ain't on no promos...yet.

  • darkan | September 23, 2011 6:23 AMReply

    @ Jug, brother what are you saying? I was gonna write something but I'm too tired right now. Her publicist? You do know that CBS handles the MAIN publicity in regards to THEIR show right? Her publicist has no power when it comes to the ads and commercials or Tv guide. Did you read anything that Tambay or I wrote?

  • Jug | September 23, 2011 6:10 AMReply

    I had an alternate response that is being "moderated" so who knows if it it'll show up or not (hint, hint) LOL

    But I'm trying to figure out, just how was she disrespected as a BLACK artist? The same way many other actors are disrespected? Or was it special because she's "Black"? Are we just paying attention to her "disrepect" because she's Black & shouldn't happen to her because she's "Black"?

    As my fiance says "You are unique, but you are not special"

    Or was it because this whole mess is crap, and it's crap that shoulda been handled by her reps at the upfronts in May? Through the whole summer, not when the show is about to premiere? And then to air it in a emotional outburst on FB (which was subsequently taken down, letting me know it was not coordinated with her people & defeats the purpose). What Denzel say "This shit is CHESS, it ain't CHECKERS?!" Calm down, get it together & FOCUS.

    C'mon y'all, THINK about this for a sec and pick up the pieces of the puzzle instead of what's sitting in front of you. And as I said on another post about this mess, just who is the racist:

    <>

    If everything that happens to happen to a person of color is racist, then you're gonna be real tired & throat sore from yelling to the sky every damn day. You won't get anything of value accomplished.

    Pick a battle, focus & move on THAT. Not some shit that is trite, silly & while it sucks from an actor standpoint, is not a mobilization "For the People".

    ....still say she needs to get on her publicist......

  • Jug | September 23, 2011 5:56 AMReply

    Carey you ain't said nothing but a word.

    **DISCLAIMER: I have the show on TiVo & have not seen it yet as to know how much integral she is to the show**

    Now, I get the frustration that most folks have, it's real & palpable. As any kind of employee, but especially nomadic ones like entertainers, you gotta fight for YOU. Always. Fight for what you can. But not EVERY battle has to be fought. And when you do fight, you have to fight with the right weapons.

    Here's the thing, as much as there's Twitter, Facebook & all that & you can cut out the middle-man, Hollywood is still like the gov't. Handle that shit in-house. OR if you put it on front street, do it with a little more polish. PERCEPTION is key. If you run around to every news junket yelling "I drink Tiger Blood & they screwed me over at CBS", you get labeled as crazy, high & a side show (we won't talk about him being white & able to get away with that). But if you come out loud & proud and advocating that you are on the show, even though you're not on the promos, WE go "WTH?!? THAT AIN'T RIGHT!!" and the powers that be go "Aww shit!". More people will side with you than the network because you came at it classy, instead of a whiner/complainer/irritant. Not sure why, it's just the way we're wired. We don't like to see those who have more than us complain, about anything.

    There are some who don't agree, there's a school of thought that she should have called them out by name & maybe gone even further. Screw that sambo, house nigga shit. Well...you gotta ask yourself, was this a situation where it warranted that? Where the rewards superseded by the costs? Basic business cost/benefit analysis. Now NOBODY has a cover & a piece of garbage show like CHARLIE'S ANGELS (don't take my word for it: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/charlies-angels-premiere-draws-criticism-239395 ) is getting the pub (with a black chick on the cover so the racism bit is falling short YET AGAIN). There's a reason it was taken down, because it was IMPULSIVE and not thought out. Otherwise, it would still be there & on a bunch of other platforms. If you wanna see some crazy "Fuck the Police!" type rants against the machine that are meant to stick, check out anything from Kurt Sutter, creator of SONS OF ANARCHY

    http://sutterink.blogspot.com/2011/08/twitter-darabont-weiner-shaved-bunnies.html

    There's a presumption of status in Hollywood that is quickly eroding, regardless of color. Just ask Tom Cruise & Guillermo Del Toro who had a movie shelved by Universal, or Matt Damon who had a movie sit on a shelf for 6 years, or Brad Pitt who barely got MONEYBALL made, or Michael Bay & McG have a movie dropped at Universal. Or most recently Johnny Depp & Gore Verbinski's LONE RANGER getting tossed at Disney, after all the Billions of dollars they made for them. Some of those movies came back, but after being massively scaled back. If it's bad for those cats (relative I know), then guess how bad it is for errbody else? LOL

    Some things aren't that deep...

  • darkan | September 23, 2011 5:53 AMReply

    I actually was somewhat excited to catch this show. That was until I caught wind of the Taraji debacle. I am so sick of white Hollywood and their bull. I will not be supporting this show. I will never support any show that disrespects a black artist outright the way they have with her. Taraji is right. If she was a white woman she would be plastered all over the posters and ads. More than likely she has dealt with a lot on this show and also in the past with other shows as well and she's probably mad and tired as hell. On other television show promotions and billboards I would see a 7-8 white person cast with no ethnicity and wonder what city does that show take place in? I do distinctly remember the ad they used in the very beginning when they started promoting this show. It DID mention "Oscar nominated Taraji P Henson" as it's catch. I knew very well that she was on the show and was proud of her. I think we must all rise up about this situation and for once not had a "split or divide" but be in unity about the disrespect that we as a black community have been receiving lately.

  • VichusSmith | September 23, 2011 5:44 AMReply

    Maybe Taraji should complain about the street advertisements which do not highlight her either. I am not A regular watcher of TV, so all I have to go by are the street ads and the first promo that I saw for the fall shows. All of that shows two dudes, and I thought that was the whole show.

  • CareyCarey | September 23, 2011 5:28 AMReply

    @ Misha & ForeignBlackChick, I understand your concerns and they are valid, but can you agree that there's a right time for one to toot their own horn?

    I am suggesting that Ms. Henson's scream was much like a person yelling "FIRE" or "WOLF when there was not even a small mouse to run from or a whiff of smoke. Consequently, in the future, who will/can take her seriously?

    In short, I've heard it said that it's a po' frog that doesn't brag on it's own lilly pad, but in this case, Taraji wasn't standing on nothing!

  • James | September 23, 2011 5:17 AMReply

    I watched the pilot. I was a little let down. I was hoping for extraordinary. I got ordinary. Or maybe a little better than that. I'll keep watching, though, for now.

    Taraji is definitely the third lead, though. It really is the story of the two male leads.

  • misha | September 23, 2011 4:46 AMReply

    Oh, CareyCarey.

    @Tambay, I haven't watched yet but from the ratings that were just released, the number weren't great for the premiere...only "sold." And considering that the folks at CBS think its their "best pilot in years," it should have done better in the ratings. Maybe if they promoted Taraji, more viewers would have tuned in and the show would have gotten better ratings. Just sayin'. :D

    By the way, Ms. Birmbaum is full of it.

  • ForeignBlackChick | September 23, 2011 4:38 AMReply

    Um Carey? No.

    How do they know who pulls in viewers without the show having gone beyond a pilot?

    And what's the point of all the 'black people watch more TV' statistics? I thought this was to hint that more black actors should be promoted on shows but maybe they were trying to pull a 'these viewers are unemployed and low IQ' thing.

    Last but not least... who is Michael Emerson? My point exactly.

  • CareyCarey | September 23, 2011 4:09 AMReply

    "Anyone watch the debut episode? I didn’t, but so far, every review I’ve read has been really positive"

    **tap tap tap** Is this thang working? I didn't hear anything when Tambay asked that question. See, that's what I'm talking about, Ms. Henson should have shut her big mouth. Everybody knows there's a time to hold'em and a time to fold'em, and she's a small fish in a big pond.

    Besides, someone said it right, who wants to be around the crying, moanin' angry black chick? If she keeps it up she'll be on the cover of "where are they now".

    But you know, I have to admit that's it's honorable to speak up for your rights, but does this fall in that category. I don't think so. I believe Debra Birmbaum, the editor in chief of TV Guide explain her decision and it made perfect sense, so really, Ms. Henson needs to send out a few apologies of her own.

    Last, someone said they were glad some of us were not back in the 50s & 60s, implying that some of us wouldn’t have had the courage to speak out and speak up and fight for our rights. Well, it’s always interesting to hear what someone says they would or wouldn’t have done if they were a slave or in Taraja’s shoes. But let me say something, PAIN and the images of those that have gone before you, has a tendency to put all of that into perspective. When one slave looked up and saw the strongest buck, uncle Willie and the fastest buck, Bill Black hanging from a tree, he quickly decided to take another route. When Ms. Henson starts pulling in viewers, she might even appear on the cover of Rolling Stone.
    .

  • Melissa | September 23, 2011 4:02 AMReply

    I agree with John Pasmore.

    It's a bizarre cycle. The 70s, 80s and 90s were the peak for Black representation of all kinds, hence the 'urban culture' he is referring to.
    The 2000s have been a major 'dip' in terms of movies and series.

    But we will peak again. Hopefully on our own terms.

  • SayNay | September 23, 2011 3:59 AMReply

    I've been confused about Taraji's involvement in the show from the beginning. From her side, she is a regular cast member, but Emerson and Caviezel are the only two I've seen promoted. She's not even listed on the imdb page for the show. I think there's something not quite right going on here.

  • John Pasmore | September 23, 2011 3:54 AMReply

    I would say it's A good time to be vocal. A publicist would def be more diplomatic, but then we might not even be talking about this as it wouldn't have been so attention grabbing.

    While people of color seem to be generally catching it from a variety of angles at the moment everything goes in cycles. At one point "urban culture" was dominant within US culture (and globally). And there's talent and energy in the culture still, so perhaps then the TV Guide editor should be the one taking a step back and worrying about the ramifications and not a talented young actor like Taraji P. Henson. The best defense remains a good offense.

  • Todra Payne | September 23, 2011 3:47 AMReply

    It's upsetting that we're still going through this crap. Good for her for calling them out on it. And that answer from TV Guide was lame. They didn't even try to apologize for their behavior.

  • sandra | September 23, 2011 3:15 AMReply

    One more thing....I've been on a few blogs and the posters/marketing for this show only features the two male characters. That's how they're selling it.

    So either she's not a major character and has been misled into thinking so or the studio plans to have her written off the show and don't want to invest too much in promoting her.

    Why must a black woman stating her concerns in a clear, direct and matter-of-fact way fear being labelled an ABW? Black people being falsely/incorrectly labelled is nothing new. Being labelled is unavoidable.

    I support Taraji standing up for herself.

  • Chuck Burks | September 23, 2011 3:14 AMReply

    I thuink it is alright for Ms. Henson to challenge the magazine and ask for an explination. We need more people to challenge the "Status Quo" with out having fear of being , dare I use the term, "Black Balled!" The last time I checked the cold war is over and it is alright to hold our image up and question why are we not represented?

  • tambay | September 23, 2011 3:12 AMReply

    Anyone watch the debut episode? I didn't, but so far, every review I've read has been really positive.

  • sandra | September 23, 2011 2:58 AMReply

    Ms. Birmbaum is not saying anything - at least not in the magazine's defense. How is this a statement?

    She's going in circles...if anything, she's saying that they decided to intentionally ignore Taraji as part of her editorial decision and that fact was clear to all from the start.

    [b] Ms. Birmbaum ignores the fact that it is a crucial cover INTRODUCING the cast to the audience. You have to include the CORE main cast on an introductory cover. Ms. Birmbaum can decide to focus on specific relationships between various characters as the series progresses.

    The editor wouldn't be able to get away with it if she only FOCUSED on the two white angels from C.A. on that series presentation cover. Ms. Birmbaum wanted to pull a fast one, but Taraji called her out. Taraji was dissed. There is no doubt. I'm glad Ms. Henson stood up for herself. [/b]

    As Dick Gregory would say, “The games, the games, the games...”.

  • Melissa | September 23, 2011 2:54 AMReply

    lol! This is becoming like the Shame threads.

    This comments section is about to blow up in 5, 4, 3, 2 ....

  • Zeus | September 23, 2011 2:51 AMReply

    She was right to be pissed but she should of had her publicist make a beef. That's part of what they are for. They already look for reasons to keep black actresses off of shows, I don't know how wise it was to put the producer on the spot publicly. They carry grudges over shit like that.

    Not to mention the "angry black woman" stereotype that they are already quick to use as an excuse to not hire sistas.

    We'll see. I'm a fan. I hope she didn't just screw herself.

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