Saturday, November 11, 2006


A bigger cornucopia of plenty than the orignal Thanksgiving meal. Sip, swallow, contemplate Happy Thanksgiving. It's issue #45.

NO GIRL-ON-GIRL ACTION...Sorry boys, it ain't true. Despite several media outlets reporting a lesbian love story starring Beyonce and Eva Longoria called Tipping the Velvet, to be directed by Sofia Coppola, there seems to be no such project. Longoria and B have issued statements saying they never heard project, let alone sign on. But hey, maybe someone in Hollywood will pick up the unusual, as yet untold idea, especially following the success of Brokeback Mountain. And if it starred actresses of color, even more groundbreaking. But could America be ready for a story with both color and same-sex love at the same time. Doubt it. Funny thing is, it exists everyday all throughout the country.

.You still have time to send in your entries to the Wisconsin Film Festival ( The deadline is December 29; and they are seeking narrative, documentary, experimental, multimedia, and animated film or video submissions of any length. The fest itself will happen April 12 to 15, 2007 in Madison, Wisconsin. For film guidelines, hit

TABOO ON YOUTUBE...We told you last week about the trailer for RuPaul's new flick, Starrbooty: Reloaded. Well we're back now to tell you that the footage is now reportedly it was too hot for YouTube. The over-hyped site snatched the clip off just after we posted last week. But don't fret, RuCo Inc. send us a link to a G-rated version: But they also tell us there will be a Starrbooty website coming soon with the uncut clip. Proving that you can't keep a good man, uh woman, uh man....ah, you know...down!



The nation's biggest radio station owner, Clear Channel Communications Inc., has announced that it will be acquired for about $18.7 billion by an investment group, making it one of the biggest deals in which a company has been taken private. A group led by the investment firms Thomas H. Lee Partners LP and Bain Capital Partners LLC will pay $37.60 in cash for each share of Clear Channel common stock. They will also assume about $8 billion in debt. Currently, Clear Channel owns or operates 1,150 radio stations nationwide and is also a majority owner of Clear Channel Outdoor, which sells billboard and bus-stop ads. Besides the acquisition, Clear Channel will sell 448 of stations and its 42-station television group.

An A-List Exclusive

French television will never be the same after May 2007. France, for that matter. If an upcoming TV series called Tropiques Amers (Bitter Tropics) has the same impact on the country and media as 'Roots" did in the United States, then then all eyes will be on this country after this historic breakthrough. Currently in post production Tropiques Amers ( will contain six roller coaster ride episodes consisting of 52 minutes each. Tackling a subject that is most often unspoken of, the series takes the viewer on a gut-wrenching portrayal of French colonial escapades in the Caribbean. Slated to air on France 3 and a variety of European channels, Tropiques Amers is definitely not for the tender-hearted. Thiam Aissatou, considered one of France's key rising actresses, stars. Guadeloupe born-filmmaker Jean Claude Flamand Barny (left) directs. Bavaria International will distribute.

In an exclusive interview, The A-List caught up with the mastermind behind the groundbreaking series, a female producing powerhouse by the name of Elizabeth Arnac (right), founder of Lizland Films.

The A-List: What led you to want to do this story about slavery in France?
Elizabeth Arnac: "I lived in the United States at the time of the broadcasting of 'Roots' and it was then I realized how far behind France was (and still is) in its historical and political consciousness relating to slavery in its colonies. Afterwards, I travelled to Martinique and was shocked by the French ignorance of its history, its foundation on slavery, and its present social structure (still owned by white land owners, the békés)."

Q: When did you start formulating the story you wanted to tell?
A: "From the '90s when I returned to France for working in television production. I tried to find a way to tell the story of slavery in the French Caribbean. I started my own company in 2003 and felt then that I was ready to pitch and carry the project without having to compro
mise with the truth and depth of the subject matter. I hired a very good screenplay writer which collaborated with an historian who specialized in the history of slavery during the 17th and 18th centuries. I wanted to [relay] the relations between masters and slaves on a sugar plantation from 1780 to 1810 (before, throughout the French Revolution). The point was to show how the Declaration of Human Rights was never applied to the slaves of Martinique and Guadeloupe. Slavery was theoretically abolished in 1794 (never applied) and reestablished by Napoleon in 1802."

Q: Why did you select
Thiam Aissatou to star?
A: "The pre-selection before a
uditions was based on her looks/her part is that of the Master’s favorite who is to be replaced by a younger one Adele, the leading role. Therefore, Rosalie (Thiam) was to be a gorgeous, self-conscious woman. Her essays for the audition were breathtaking. There was no doubt for the director and me that she was Rosalie. It tells the story of masters and slaves living on sugar plantation over 20 years. There are many important characters both white and black, but the true leading heroes are black.

"We have a great script,
which is without compromise on
the reality of slavery."

Q: Was it difficult to get this project made?
A: "The broadcaster gave me a lot of editorial freedom throughout the writing process. Therefore, we have a great script which is without compromise on the reality of slavery. We managed to develop characters who are complex. But it was very difficult to produce and is still very difficult to finish. I am still looking for finances...I couldn’t find co-producers neither in France nor in Europe."

Q: Why do you think it's taken so long for this subject to broached by TV?
A: "France has a HUGE PROBLEM with dealing with shameful aspect of its history and has a HUGE problem with its ex-colonies and its black population."

Q: Do you see this as opening the door to future tough issues to be tackled on French TV?
A: "I sure hope it will be successful and open the door to all the stories that are still to be told about the present and the past of the Black French community."

Q: Will it air in the States?
A: "American broadcasters are known for not been interested in programs dubbed or subtitled. We will still try to get American distribution...but our hopes are scarce."

The A-List hopes that
Tropiques Amers will not only open up the minds of those who dismiss the effects of slavery, worldwide, but also opens French television up to covering more issues that concern its citizens of color.

Powerhouses and Panels At The Hollywood Reporter/Billboard Film & TV Music Conference

We came, we saw, we pondered during The Hollywood Reporter (yeah, it's okay to mention our kinda competition) Billboard Film & TV Music Conference held earlier this week at Golden Globes staple, The Beverly Hilton. Complete with the requisite hype (as well as substance), the two-day event kicked off with stellar names in attendance such as Oliver Stone all in praise of the tune and how it affects the image. As the E! Entertainment News van pulled up outside, you could tell there was a bit of electricity in the air but it was also quite apparent that the attendees came to do business as much as listen to the titans! In fact, we heard that attendance was even up this year with the executive level being even more present.

Panels included a variety of topics from Women in Music to The Anatomy of Film, which gave powerful insight to the music inner-workings behind the much-anticipated Dreamgirls (which by the way, we must comment on what all this craziness is about Beyonce possibly nominated for Best Actress. That's our girl, but c'mon now. Mirren or Benning, she ain't but anyway...) A nice Q&A with Terence Blanchard also stood out among other panels.

We have to note though, the "look-but-don't-touch" quality of some of these panels, would get on our nerves if we actually had to pay for admittance. People like Stewart Copeland are whisked away with all the security of a former president and for what? Is it about really sharing and meeting these fools or just the privilege of paying to hear other people muse about how successful they are and their challenges and triumphs.
Consistently, people keep asking from the audience how to break in and are told from the Zeus-like cloud of the dais to send in demos only to hear later on that even they have to fight to get their friend's music noticed over the editor pushing their friend. Leaving us to wonder, how soon can we look forward to a panel on "tips for how to make better friends in your industry so that you social experience and yearly income can rise." That is, after all a lot of what this is about, no? It reminds me of school and how they tell you to study quite hard and to create a specific resume only to shockingly find out later that the world is basically only about relationships and somehow you missed that 101 course on how to get only cool, connected, mainstream, powerful, wealthy connects...particularly if you are of color.

At any rate, of interesting note as well was the panel on music for commercials. Funny enough, while we may rule the Billboard chart and a lot of the music referred to within the commercial spots shown were either inspired by Black music or featured Black music, nary a dude or woman of color seems to run these all-important music (jingles, prooduction) houses with which the advertising agencies seem so reliant upon for assistance. (And this should not be surprising given all the hoopla about the advertising agency witch hunt most recently joined by the Rev. Jesse Jackson, so you know it's on).

While Atlantic Records Chairman has stated that Black music is the world's music, somehow the management and business of it seems to fall into another realm. By the way, if anyone out there knows of any Black-owned companies that actually represent or are composers/sound engineers, we'd love to know about them because right now it's like Loch Ness Monster sightings.

So that was that. One has to admit, this event came off without a hitch though.
Kudos to the VNU for another seamless event.

Well, always food for thought from The A-List and a real overview from our perspective.

C'mon. Where else you gonna get that? Holla back at

Shout out to PR diva Lila Gerson of the Rosen Group for hooking us up at the last minute.
--By Lauren Coleman


Hotlanta was smoking last weekend as the city played host to the first annaul BET Hip Hop Awards Show.

Atlanta-based superstars Ludacris and Jermaine Dupri were joined by an array of artists representing the East and West coasts. For a gathering that literally shut town the city's biggest street, the show itself was explosive.

Featuring well-recieved performances from Snoop Dogg, Busta Rhymes and heartfelt acceptance speeches from among others Jay-Z (above) and TI.
Behind the scenes: Snoop's bodyguard almost starting a brawl by refusing to properly show his credentials in order to enter the event. Given the Dogg's recent California arrest we wonder when will his posse learn?
Despite the huge crowd that braved nearly frezzing tempature to watch as their favorite stars make their way into the historic Fox Theatre, the event itself was managed smoothly by BET's very capable media/events team lead by Tosha Whitten Griggs and Monique Smith, owner of Elms Entertainment. Reggie Hudlin and Co. deserve a lot of credit for putting together this great show of harmony for the rap nation. 2006 telecast is barely over and folks are already looking forward to next year"s event. --Gil Robertson of The Robertson Treatment (


Friday, November 10, 2006


While the temperatures may be dropping, we just keep getting hotter, y'all. It's Issue 44!


STOP SNITCHIN'...The book, SnitchCraft (, a fictional tale about "the corrupt environment created by the use of informants" just came out on Dogon Village Books but author, Edrea Davis, tells is a script for a film version is ready to shop around. With the "No Snitch" movement in the Urban and Hip Hop worlds growing Davis might just get a production deal before the SnitchCraft book tour.

RETURN OF THE MAC...He's back. After being dumped three and half years ago from "The Bernie Mac Show," which he created, Larry Wilmore is returning to FOX. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Wilmore, who won an Emmy for his Bernie Mac work, has a new untitled series to be distributed by Regency TV. Word is the show will give viewers a look at the inner workings at a government agency. Let's see if Wilmore's switch from comedy to drama will also be Emmy worthy.

URBAN INDUSTRY BIBLE...Our friends over at Black Talent News have announced the latest edition of their URBAN HOLLYWOOD RESOURCE DIRECTORY. The Fall 2006 edition is loaded with thousands of industry contacts and services. For more info, visit

COMPOSERS ALERT...The folks over at the BMI Foundation wanted us to pass on word that it's time for the 19th Annual Pete Carpenter Fellowship for aspiring film composers under the age of 35. The successful candidate will have an opportunity to work for 4-5 weeks with BMI composer Mike Post, Carpenter’s partner and writer of such TV themes as "NYPD Blue," "Hill Street Blues," "L.A. Law" and "Law and Order." In addition, the winner will receive a $3,000 stipend for travel and expenses. Applications are available online at The postmark deadline for entries is Jan. 26, 2007.

SHADES OF MOTOWN...Speaking of soundtracks, the CD for the film Bobby (The Wein­­­stein Company/MGM) is getting a great soul punch with “Never Gonna Break My Faith,” a newly recorded single by Aretha Franklin and Mary J. Blige, co-written and co-produced by Bryan Adams. Island Def Jam will release the sound­track album that also showcases music by the premiere artists of the 1960s. It drops Nov. 21, four days after the film opens in limited release. The movie will go into wide release on 1,500-plus screens on Thanksgiving, Nov. 23rd. The Franklin/Blige track is on the film trailer ( Written/directed by Emilio Estevez, the film follows 22 people who were at the Ambassador Hotel when Bobby Kennedy was assassinated.

BOBBY NO SHOWS...On another Bobby note,
African-American VIPs were left to wonder what happened to the rest of the cast of the soon-to-be-released film during a recent Image Award screening in Los Angeles. Although film stars Freddie Rodriquez Nick Canon, and Harry Belafonte as well as director Emilio Estevez had been promised, they actually attended a similar screening event being held in town for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts leaving only actress Joy Bryant as participant in the post screening Q&A for the Image screening. If folks are ducking NAACP members, then let's see just how much ad push there is in the black media for the film. Or maybe they think British filmlovers will rush to see a film about an American political icon, one who was beloved in many a black household. Go figure.

CYPHER SOUNDS...If you're looking for something to add to your Hip Hop DVD collection, you might want to pick up the just-released (Nov. 7) DVD of SCRATCH vs FREESTYLE, a 3-disc set featuring both cult classic Hip Hop documentaries. Released by Palm Pictures the DVD contains a whopping 298 minutes of bonus features of Doug Pray's SCRATCH, which explores turntablism and the evolution of the Hip Hop DJ, and Kevin Fitzgerald's FREESTYLE: THE ART OF RHYME, about improvisational emcees. There are performances, appearances and/or interviews with Afrika Bambaataa, GrandWizzard Theodore, Kool DJ Red Alert, Dilated Peoples, among numerous others. We love hip hop docs, but we'd love to see Hollywood really get behind the culture, which is now a worldwide market, and make a major feature of international scope.

ART OF RHYME...In what has to be one for the books, The Louvre is inviting slam poets to rap about paintings, according to This months guest curator Nobel laureate Toni Morrison, 75, has help come up with new ways to lure visitors to the legendary Louvre galleries. There'll be a series of lectures, readings, films, concerts, debates and slam poetry through November 29. All center around Morrison's theme: "The Foreigner's Home," addressing national identity, exile and the sense of belonging. The slam poets will perform on Friday nights, when the Louvre is open late. Now this is stretching the canvas. Bravo, Louvre and Morrison. Have the literal flames of unrest finally starting to make the French open up.

COUPLES CALL...The team over at TLC have put the call out for couples who are in the process of divorce but want to separate on good terms. Couples will receive seven days of in-home intensive workshops as part of the program. The couple must also have at least one child and live on the East Coast. This episode is scheduled to shoot in Jan. 07. For more information, contact: Kim Saunders, Casting Department, BBC Production at (212) 974-9050 x118.

DREAM MARKETING...The folks over at DreamWorks, it seems are really behind the upcoming X-Mas release Dreamgirls, with publicity campaign after campaign. Now, they've come up with another idea: a Dreamgirls road show, which will launch in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco all on Dec. 15. The film will screen at one theater per city once a day. For the exclusive screening, moviegoers will have to cough up $25. And, each theater will have Dreamgirls product for sale: posters, soundtracks, programs. Now that's what we call dreaming big.

CALL FOR ENTRIES...The Independent Black Film Festival (IBFF) has announced its call for entries for films and screenplays. IBFF '07 will return to Atlanta, from March 15 -18. IBFF’s film competitions are devoted to showcasing the works of independent filmmakers within the U.S. and across the world. Entry fee ranges from $45-65 depending on length and deadline. Applications are available at

BLACK AIDS BENEFIT...If you're thinking of lending support to the Black AIDS Institute ( by attending the "Heroes in the Struggle" event honoring Dionne Warwick and Friends on Nov. 16 at the Directors Guild of America in L.A. at 6pm, contact event producer Kenneth R. Reynolds @ (323)766 5551 or and you can help a worthy cause while hanging out with T.C. Carson, Rocky Carroll, Loretta Devine, Dorien Wilson, Debi Morgan, Jimmy Jean Louis,Vanessa Williams and Hill Harper. Tickets are $250/$150. The money will go to help the Institute in its grassroots fights against HIV & AIDS.

...In order to get a better grasp on ratings in the African-American community, Nielsen has finally formed an African-American council to advise them on issues concerning Blacks and sampling for measurement. And, the networks have agreed to fund a new stream of data to provide average ratings for commercials airing in each network program on a live plus seven days of playback basis in response to a similar move made earlier by Nielsen. We may recalled The A-List pondered these concepts in a previous issue ("Mining for Urban Ad Dollars," Issue 35, This is yet another event that is indicative of the old guard changing and networks maybe not even deciding to be beholden to organizations like Nielsen and just basically, welcome to the wild, wild west of digital entertainment convergence ladies and gentlemen. We'll keep you posted.

WORK IT...The crew over at RuCo had the nerve to send over a sneak peek of Rupaul's new Mike Ruiz-directed movie, Starrbooty: Reloaded ( And, boy are we glad they did. Wish we could run in heels like Ru does. He also wrote the script. This is definitely a cult hit which needs to be scooped up and expanded! Be forewarned: The trailer contains content not for tender eyes. Naturally, we jumped right in.


Leap Wireless International, Inc. has announced that it has hit the two million-customer mark. The milestone comes on the heels of the company’s recent announcement that it gained approximately 161,000 net new customer additions during the third quarter of 2006. That brings total net additions for the first three quarters of 2006 to approximately 329,000 or approximately 180% greater than net customer growth for all of 2005. “This is another exciting accomplishment in Leap’s history. We believe that reaching the two million-customer mark is a testament to the attractiveness of our Cricket and Jump wireless services and their overall popularity in the markets where we offer service,” said Doug Hutcheson, president and chief executive officer at Leap. In 2006, Cricket service has been launched in ten new markets including Las Cruces, N.M.; Colorado Springs, Colo.; El Paso, San Antonio, Houston, Bryan, College Station, Austin, Temple and Killeen, Texas; Cincinnati, Ohio; Lexington and Louisville, Ky. and Kansas City, Mo. Leap now offers its Cricket service in 22 states across the country, stretching from California to New York.


It just announced that Founder and CEO, Are Traasdahl, has been named a winner of the New York Ten Awards, an annual selection of ten individuals and companies in the greater New York business community that display extraordinary innovation and leadership in their industry and beyond. Traasdahl has been honored with the "Best New Product or Service" award. Founded in late 2004, Thumbplay is one of the fastest-growing sites on the Web. In the past two months, Thumbplay has announced content partnerships with the Walt Disney Internet Group and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Recently, the company announced it raised $15 million in new funding.

For the 2006 Ten Awards hundreds of nominations were screened and evaluated by a panel of judges comprised of prominent journalists from New York-based local and national business media outlets, and evaluated based on the individual's contributions to his or her organization's objectives and leadership; the organization's impact on business innovation, both in New York and nationally; and the individual's industry leadership beyond his or her organization.

We Remember...ED BRADLEY (1941-2006)

We were deeply sadden by the death of Ed Bradley, the award-winning CBS newsman who has been a correspondent for "60 Minutes" since 1981. He died Thursday of leukemia in NY at age 65. But what a 65 years it was.The consummate journalist, he earned 19 Emmys for his in-depth, intriguing coverage of topics many in mass media would overlook. Hailing from Philadelphia, after college he went on to become a DJ and news reporter for a Philadelphia radio station in 1963 before heading to New York's WCBS radio in 1967. From there, he joined CBS News as a stringer in the Paris bureau in 1971, then transferring a to the Saigon bureau during the Vietnam War. He was wounded while on assignment. Next, Bradley moved to the Washington bureau in 1974 and shortly afterward was named a CBS News correspondent. He joined "60 Minutes" during the 1981 season.

Throughout his career, he didn't want to be know as a great black journalist--he wanted to be a great journalist. As he told Global Communicator about his career, "I did not come here to be a Black reporter...I don't want to be relegated to one thing...There are some people who choose to do that and if that had been my choice I don't think I would have ever gone to Paris to work. I would never have gone to Vietnam. I would have never been at 'CBS Reports' or '60 Minutes.' I had to take a stand and say hey, I want to be treated like every reporter here...But I also saw stories that involved people of color where I said hey, I want cover that story because I knew it wouldn't get covered if I didn't."

The passing of Bradley is indicative of the old guard and old media transforming and passing away and a new era truly arriving in terms of who and what controls information reporting and how it is distributed.


Robi Reed, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Lola Blank, PR man Chris Cathcart, Iona Morris joined The A-list contributor Gil Robertson for a pre-release signing for his new book Not in My Family AIDS in the African American Community at Eso Won bookstore in Los Angeles.