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Mahershala Ali refused to perform a sex scene with Taraji P. Henson in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button for religious reasons.

The Muslim actor agreed to star in director David Fincher's 2008 fantasy romance on the condition he would not have to simulate intercourse in a scene featured in the original script.

"So my old agent called me and said, 'Mahershala, you got the part.' And I said, 'There's just one thing, there is that one sex scene where they kiss. If there's a sex scene, I can't do it. I don't do simulated sex,'" he said during an appearance on rapper Common's Mind Power Mixtape podcast.

"(In the final shoot) Taraji and I begin to kiss, and we fall out of the frame. It wasn't clear if (Fincher) was trying to have like some bumping and grinding, which I doubt he was. But for me even, at that time, 15 years ago, I was still like, 'OK, I can only go up to this point,' just because of - just trying to hold a space of respect for my religion."

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The Oakland, California native was born to a Christian family and was named after a Biblical figure. He converted to the Ahmadiyya Muslim faith as an adult. He married Amatus Sami-Karim in 2013 and the couple welcomed a daughter named Bari in 2017.

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Moniece Slaughter says production companies treat Black reality show cast members like "slaves to the machine."

In an interview with The Jasmine Brand, Moniece, 33, said Black reality TV personalities routinely receive lower pay than their white counterparts.

She said Black reality stars are "not being managed by Kris Jenners" who tell them "We know your worth, we're gonna fight for your worth, and we're not gonna let you do anything that is below what you're worth."

Moniece also alleged that producers use a loophole to get out of paying cast members for working over filming schedules. Moniece accused some producers of being "two-faced" backstabbers who tell networks not to work with cast members who are insubordinate or difficult to work with (such as NeNe Leakes and Phaedra Parks).

In 2019 Moniece announced her departure from Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta, saying her main focus was to be a good mom to her son Kamron (by former fiancé, Fizz).
 

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Billboard

Pictured clockwise from top left: Singers Teyana Taylor, Jhené Aiko, Kehlani and Summer Walker cover Billboard's R&B/Hip-Hop Power Players issue.

All four ladies say the music industry is adapting slowly to their varying talents and, as a result, they don't get the radio airplay that their rap counterparts, such as Cardi B, enjoy.

R&B's marketshare is not as big as hip-hop, but it’s growing -- by 4.64% in market share compared with this time last year.

"Everyone has their own style and thing going on, but it's all the same truth," says Taylor, 29. "We're still women who have experienced love and heartbreak. It's dope to hear everyone express that truth in their different ways."

Aiko, a woman of color, says the biggest obstacle for her genre of pop/hip-hop is getting radio play. "The industry will still pigeonhole [my music], saying, 'Oh, this has to go to urban,'" says Aiko. "I'm like, 'Why?'"

But kehlani, 25, sees opportunity for her style of R&B/hip-hop to grow. "R&B keeps evolving, keeps getting cooler, more personal," she says.

"We'll always be here," says Taylor. "R&B is always going to be the realest bitch in the world."

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Actress Viola Davis says she expects to be treated like she was born with less melanin than her Hollywood counterparts.

Davis, 55, says her dark skin has resulted in a "lack of access to opportunities" in Hollywood. She demands to sit at the same table with her white counterparts.

In an interview with InStyle magazine, the Oscar winner compares the disparity to eating the finest steak instead of leftovers.

"I want and I expect to get the same filet mignon that white actresses get!"

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She added: "Cooked at the exact temperature. You cannot throw me a bone with a really nice little piece of meat still on it and expect that's good enough for me. I love my collard greens and all of that, and I know we were given the leftovers. I know how to cook that, but I want a filet mignon."

The Ma Rainey's Black Bottom star goes on to say she "fully expects changes" to occur in Hollywood. But the slow changes are driving her to drink.

"I'm trying to lift my hopes up. Even if it takes a little bit of vodka. If we don't move forward together, then we don’t move forward."

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YouTube

Rapper Tip "T.I." Harris has discovered a breakthrough treatment in the race to find a cure for Covid-19.

Dr. Tip shared his advice for curing Covid-19 during an interview with Complex News' 360, hosted by Speedy Norman.

During a discussion about about Atlanta's "one hundred percent wide open" nightclub scene, the 40-year-old record label owner said he's taken 13 Covid-19 tests and the results were all normal.

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Explaining why he and his wife, Tameka "Tiny" Harris, attended his LIBRA album release party last week without masks on, Tip said: "I just refuse to live in fear."

The father-of-7 said he boosts his immune system to defend against Covid.

T.I. said his wife Tiny has antibodies to the virus. She caught the virus and "fought it off and did not give it to me."

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He added: "If I can be as close as I've been to my wife, she had it, developed antibodies and fought it off and I still didn't catch it, I think I'll be okay in a club."

As for his breakthrough Covid-19 treatment: T.I. said he drinks warm tea three times a day to keep the Covid away.

After doing his own research, he discovered that Covid starts in the throat before it travels to the lungs.

"If you catch it while it's still in the throat and you drink warm liquids, the warm liquid wash it down to the stomach where the stomach acids then kill it."

He believes people are dying from pre-existing conditions, "not necessarily from the virus."

FYI: While tea and warm liquid do nothing to cure a virus, T.I. and other anti-maskers prove that the coronavirus is not as deadly or as contagious as the "experts" claim.

Watch the interview below:
 

 

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YouTube

Ice Cube was a guest on "Cocktails With Queens" hosted by Claudia Jordan this week.

Ice Cube, real name O'Shea Jackson, explained why he declined to jump on a call with Democratic VP candidate Kamala Harris.

"I'm here for both administrations. I'm here to talk about the contract with Black America," he said.

He said he declined to participate in a Zoom call with Harris and 12 other celebrities because he spent a lot of time putting together his Contract with Black America. He added that the call with entertainers wouldn't be productive.

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YouTube

"I felt like our plan is so broad that you can't talk about it with twelve other people who had nothing to do with it," he said.

The rapper-turned-director said he was promised a call with Harris to discuss his CWBA, but he never received that call from her.

In previous statements, he said the Biden/Harris camp told him they would get back with him after the election.

Jackson said the Republicans were willing to speak to him about his CWBA.

He said he spoke with the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and they never got around to discussing his Contract with Black America.

Jackson complained about the 'Queens' hosts talking over him (particularly LisaRaye and Vivica A. Fox) who weren't listening to what he has to say.
 

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Instagram.com

Tamar Braxton has denied allegations by ex-fiancé David Adefeso that she was the abusive partner in their relationship.

Adefeso, 51, says Tamar, 43, brutally attacked him while he was driving, and nearly caused a traffic accident.

Adefeso filed for a restraining order against the singer after claiming she hauled off and punched him in the neck, which caused him to become disoriented while behind the wheel of his Rolls-Royce.

He claims she began to trash the car, damaging the camera and rearview mirror when he pulled over and parked the vehicle.

In court papers he said he suffered bruising to his neck and shoulder area, but in a clip from Tamar's sit-down interview with Tamron Hall - set to air on Wednesday, Oct. 28, Tamar denied his claims.

"I am a survivor of a domestic violence relationship," she said. "And not at any point (were) David and I in an abusive relationship."

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YouTube

Tamar added that audio and video recordings of the alleged incident in the car exist as she "voice-recorded it" and he "videotaped it" with a camera in his car.

"Does that video or the voice recording show any physical abuse?" Tamron asked.

"No, it doesn't," Tamar replied. "He has the videotape. He has it. It was in his car. Release it."

She became emotional as she continued:

"No, let me tell you something, I loved David. He was my best friend. He was an amazing, amazing partner. He was my son's best friend as well, they were best friends. And it's just so hard because through everything else, I never expected this from him. Now, I have to be real with myself, is he acting like this because he found me the way that he found me? Probably, I don't know."

Watch a snack preview of the interview below.
 

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Former socialite Amber West revealed ex-fiancé Kanye West has bullied her for a decade, and she's tired of it.

Amber, who dated Kanye for two years, revealed they split on bad terms in 2010. She claimed Kanye's wife Kim Kardashian-West was one of the reasons that she and Kanye split.

Amber may sound bitter, but she claims Kanye continues to bully her a decade after they split.

WENN

"Even if someone is picking on me which he has for 10 years. He has picked on me, he has bullied me for 10 years," Amber said on the No Jumper YouTube channel. "He just called me a prostitute and, like, 10 years later, just leave me alone."

She added: "And then I'm a woman... you're bullying me, like, just move on with your life!"

WENN

Amber assumed her ex is calling her out to make his wife more comfortable. The mom-of-two suggested she may be the wedge between Kanye and Kim that drove him to move to Wyoming two years ago.

WENN

"I always stood up for Kim," said Amber. "I always, like, she had an ex-boyfriend that she loved at the time and she made a sex tape... it's just not a big deal to me.

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Amber, who shares a son named Sebastian with rapper Wiz Khalifa, has a son named Slash with current boyfriend Alexander Edwards.
 

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Tracee Ellis Ross says she is "happily single" as she currently has a "productive relationship with loneliness".

The "High Note" star isn't currently dating anyone after a long history of failed relationships with emotionally unavailable men.

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Tracee spent much of the Covid-19 lockdown by herself - but she insists she's more than happy with her single relationship status.

"I am happily single, though that doesn't mean I am not open to and don't want a relationship," she tells Shape magazine. "But in my wonderful and robust experience of being single, I have learned to have a productive relationship with loneliness and an intensely juicy relationship with my joyful solitude — I really enjoy my company."

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The actress, who was briefly linked to "Black-ish" creator Kenya Barris last year, explained, "One of the things that's been lovely to discover is how I care for myself and how I actively love myself. And I believe that love is an action: You get back what you put in."

The 47-year-old added: "I used to spend so much time trying to be perfect, to get it perfect. But that’s not realistic. Bad feelings come up."

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Tracee was linked to Akon's brother Bu Thiam in 2012. Bu is now linked to industry boomerang Lori Harvey.

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Below are photos of Tracee and men she has been linked to in the past.

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Lizzo has come out against commercializing the body positive movement, which seeks to decrease the stigma surrounding obesity.

The "Juice" singer, who is morbidly obese, is a huge advocate for self-love and body positivity. But in a recent chat with Vogue magazine she admitted she believes the movement calling for the acceptance of all bodies has been partially misappropriated.

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"It's commercialized," she said. "Now, you look at the hashtag 'body positive,' and you see smaller-framed girls, curvier girls. Lotta white girls. And I feel no ways about that, because inclusivity is what my message is always about.

She continued: "I'm glad that this conversation is being included in the mainstream narrative. What I don't like is how the people that this term was created for are not benefiting from it."

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The "Good As Hell" rapper said the body positive movement excludes morbidly obese women like herself who don't fit the mainstream standard. Lizzo says obesity is beautiful and she is proof of that.

"Girls with back fat, girls with bellies that hang, girls with thighs that aren't separated, that overlap. Girls with stretch marks. You know, girls who are in the 18-plus club..."

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Lizzo went on to state she wants to "normalize" her morbid obesity "and not just be like, 'Ooh, look at this cool movement. Being fat is body positive.' No, being fat is normal.

"I think now, I owe it to the people who started this to not just stop here. We have to make people uncomfortable again, so that we can continue to change. Change is always uncomfortable, right?"