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Michelle Obama has invited actress Julia Roberts to join her girls' empowerment trip to Vietnam and Malaysia. Roberts, 52, is best known for her role as a thoughtful hooker in the romantic comedy film Pretty Woman (1990).
The invitation raised eyebrows on Black Twitter where users are still angry that Roberts was being considered to play Harriet Tubman.
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The former First Lady previously teased special guests would join her for the overseas visits.
On Monday, Dec. 2, officials at The Obama Foundation announced that the actress and TV personality Jenna Bush Hager will join Mrs. Obama on the trips, according to WENN.com.
Bosses at the Girls Opportunity Alliance initiative, developed by the Obama Foundation, will join Obama, 55, and the stars when they meet with Vietnamese girls' education organizations beginning on Dec. 9.
Screenplay writer Gregory Allen Howard spent 10 years trying to get a Hollywood studio to green light his script about the famed abolitionist who led thousands of slaves to freedom.
After "Harriet" opened in theaters last month, Howard recalled his first meeting with a Hollywood bigwig about the script in 1994.
"This script is fantastic. Let's get Julia Roberts to play Harriet Tubman," an executive told Howard. But the lone Black producer in the room spoke up, reminding the others that Tubman was Black.
"That was so long ago," the executive responded. "No one is going to know the difference."
Howard did not publicly reveal the name of the studio or the executive.
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Barack Obama chastised "judgmental" young people on social media who consider themselves "woke" and are so quick to cancel anyone they disagree with. "That's not activism," said the former U.S. president.
"People who do really good stuff have flaws," said Obama, who issued an apparent warning that Democrats risk losing the 2020 presidential election to Republicans again.
Obama told young people on social media to get over themselves by reminding them that they are not perfect.
"This idea of purity and you're never compromised and you're always politically woke and all that stuff, you should get over that quickly," he said during his 3rd annual Obama Foundation summit in Chicago.
"The world is messy. There are ambiguities. People who do really good stuff have flaws," he said. Obama said people who "cancel" others on social media only do so to make themselves feel important.
"One danger I see among young people, particularly on college campuses... There is this sense sometimes of, the way of me making change is to be as judgmental as possible about other people.
"Like if I tweet or hashtag about how you didn't do something right or used the wrong verb or then, I can sit back and feel good about myself: 'Cause, man, you see how woke I was? I called you out.' You know that's not activism, that's not bringing about change. If all you're doing is casting stones, you're probably not going to get that far. [Casting stones] is easy to do."
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