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Sherri Shepherd is preparing for the September 12 launch of her new daytime talk show to replace Wendy Williams.

Shepherd said she learned lessons from Williams, who kept her viewers on the edge of their seats with her witty commentary and Hot Topics.

However, Shepherd plans to create a "safe space" for celebrities on her show.

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Shepherd says her new talk show will be a combination of Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres' former talk shows.

Shepherd told DailyMail.com she plans to keep the atmosphere friendly and light. She hopes to attract high caliber guests, including former First Lady Michelle Obama.

Shepherd said she also wouldn't mind "the guy that she is married to" coming on her show as well.

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Shepherd was named as Wendy Williams' replacement in February while substituting for Williams who was on medical hiatus.

Shepherd said she has not spoken to Williams and the two women are no longer friends.

Wendy Williams has asked her fans to boycott Shepherd's new show.
 

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Viola Davis opened up about the criticism to her cringe-worthy portrayal of former first lady Michelle Obama in Showtime's TV series, The First Lady.

Social media users dogged the Oscar winner for exaggerating Obama's facial expressions in the series premiere.
 
RELATED: Viola Davis was ‘absolutely terrified’ playing Michelle Obama in new TV series
 
In an earlier interview with Vanity Fair magazine, Davis, 56, said she was "nervous" and "terrified" while playing Michelle, 58.

"There's a lot of fear that I messed up my portrayal of Michelle Obama," Davis said at the series' premiere screening on April 14.

"She's an icon. Everyone knows what she looks like and what she sounds like so I am absolutely terrified. But I'm mostly terrified about what she will think. I don't want to insult her and have her calling me. I gotta make the sister look good."

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Screencap: YouTube

But outraged viewers called Davis's portrayal "insulting" and "offensive." They also faulted the director for not instructing her to tone down her facial expressions.

One person tweeted: "They set Viola Davis up by allowing her keep her mouth that way throughout the filming. It's so cringey and distracting [sic]."

Davis was not apologetic in her comments to BBC News.

"Critics absolutely serve no purpose. And I'm not saying that to be nasty either," she told BBC News.

"They always feel like they're telling you something that you don't know. Somehow that you're living a life that you're surrounded by people who lie to you and 'I'm going to be the person that leans in and tells you the truth'. So it gives them an opportunity to be cruel to you. But ultimately I feel like it is my job as a leader to make bold choices. Win or fail it is my duty to do that."

Davis suggested it wasn't easy playing Mrs. Obama. In fact, she said it was "almost impossible" to portray the wife of former President Barack Obama.

"Either you're doing too much or not enough," she said.

Davis acknowledged she has not heard from Michelle. "I don't have any personal contact with Michelle Obama," she said.

Despite Davis's confident stance, friends described the 56-year-old as "Devastated" by the criticism.
 

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Viola Davis and her daughter Genesis Tennon are very close. The 11-year-old is very protective of the Oscar winning actress. Sources say Genesis comforted Viola after Twitter users criticized her Michelle Obama portrayal.

A source said Viola was "devastated" by the criticism.

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Genesis carried a big stick to fend off wild animals on an outing with her mom and their dog in Toluca Lake, California.


 

Viola, 56, and her husband Julian Tennon adopted Genesis when she was an infant in 2011. Viola is also stepmom to Tennon's older children from previous relationships.

Genesis wants to be an actress

According to Hollywood Life, Genesis is taken acting lessons to follow in the footsteps of her famous mom.

"I empower her to understand that she has to count it all as joy," Viola said. "Even her mistakes, her failures, her triumphs, what she looks like, all of it. That's all a part of her loving herself, even if none of those things change."

Genesis loves Harry Potter

Genesis celebrated her 11th birthday with a Harry Potter-themed party. Viola shared videos from the party on Instagram. She captioned the July 19 post:

"Can it get anymore perfect!?!?! ALL my loves... daughter, hubby and my mommy. Happy 11th birthday G. Mama, Daddy and Grandma love you sooo much. You make my life. Love YOU!!!"

Viola and Genesis both modeled for Beyonce's Ivy Park

Beyonce chose Viola and Genesis to model outfits for her latest Ivy Park campaign.

Viola wore a brown monogram top and leggings from the Honey Drip collection while Genesis rocked a pink cargo hoodie and sweatpants with a matching beanie.

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Showtime

Viola Davis is reportedly "devastated" by the public's reaction to her honest portrayal of Michelle Obama in a new Showtime series that debuted on Sunday, April 17.

Black Twitter users continue to drag the Oscar winner after her "insulting" portrayal of the former first lady in "The First Lady."

Davis stars alongside actors Michelle Pfeiffer as Betty Ford and Gillian Anderson as Eleanor Roosevelt in the TV series that documents the personal lives of former first ladies.

Twitter users were outraged over Davis' "offensive" and "distracting" portrayal after episode 1 aired on Sunday.

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Screencap: YouTube

For some reason, Davis pursed her lips and made strange facial expressions while playing the wife of former President Barack Obama.

In an earlier interview with Vanity Fair magazine, Davis, 56, said she was "nervous" and "terrified" about playing Michelle, 58.

"There's a lot of fear that I messed up my portrayal of Michelle Obama," Davis said at the series' premiere screening on April 14.

"She's an icon. Everyone knows what she looks like and what she sounds like so I am absolutely terrified. But I'm mostly terrified about what she will think. I don't want to insult her and have her calling me. I gotta make the sister look good."

However, viewers say Davis reduced Michelle Obama to a cartoon caricature.

One Twitter user wrote: "Idc how great of an actress Viola Davis is, she 100% deserves everything she’s getting right now for this portrayal."

Another user tweeted: "Don't be getting defensive when them yt folks start dragging viola Davis for that role... y'all opened the door for disrespect."

And a third person wrote: "Crazy everyone was hype about Viola Davis playing the role of Michelle Obama but the only thing that’s been getting highlighted are her damn lips... they did Michelle wrong."

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Screencap: YouTube

At first glance Viola Davis' portrayal of former first lady Michelle Obama seemed like a Saturday Night Live skit.

Davis plays Michelle Obama in a Showtime series titled "The First Lady" that debuted on Sunday night.

In one scene from the series, Davis constantly pursed her lips and made exaggerated facial expressions while speaking to the actor who plays former President Barack Obama.

Black Twitter wondered how Michelle felt about Viola's over-the-top acting.

Davis continued her exaggerated facial expressions in another scene that looked like it came straight out of Tyler Perry's "The Oval" TV series.

It isn't clear why the Oscar winner played the part of Michelle the way she did. Or if she was directed to play a comical version of the real Michelle

TMZ reports that Davis was taking her role very seriously. But Twitter didn't think so.

Black Twitter wasn't happy with Viola's acting skills. See the comments below.

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YouTube

Former President Barack Obama revealed he tested positive for breakthrough Covid-19 and his only symptom is a "scratchy throat."

"I just tested positive for COVID. I've had a scratchy throat for a couple days, but am feeling fine otherwise," he tweeted on Sunday. The 60-year-old Democrat seemed to confirm rumors that he and his wife Michelle Obama are living separately.

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"Michelle and I are grateful to be vaccinated and boosted, and she has tested negative," he wrote. "It's a reminder to get vaccinated if you haven't already, even as cases go down."

Despite being triple vaccinated, Obama said he believes he caught COVID in Washington, DC after traveling there from his native Hawaii.

Former presidents Obama, George Bush and Bill Clinton volunteered to take the experimental mRNA vaccines publicly to calm jittery Democrats in December 2020.

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Getty Images

The news of Obama's breakthrough COVID case spread rapidly on social media, and his post was retweeted over 33,000 times with 27,000 comments.

Some of his followers prayed for his speedy recovery. While others wondered why he announced he has a cold.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) eased its mask guidance for cities with low rates of COVID cases.

98% of Americans in 94% of counties do not need to wear face masks. Many red states, including Florida and Georgia, dropped their indoor mask mandates last year.

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Twitter

Amazon's gender recognition system identified former First Lady Michelle Obama and tennis superstar Serena Williams as male.

According to MIT researcher Joy Buolamwini, Amazon's response was that the software is not "facial recognition, it's gender recognition" -- as if that makes it acceptable to identify women as male.

Both Michelle and Serena are genetically and biologically female, but they have been plagued by vicious rumors that they are men.

Uri Schanker/Getty Images

It doesn't help that Amazon's gender recognition software also identifies them as the male gender.

While "gender" and "sex" are often substituted for the other, their meanings are different. According to Dictionary.com, sex is "a label assigned at birth based on the reproductive organs you're born with."

"Gender includes a person's perception, understanding, and experience of themselves and roles in society... their inner sense about who they're meant to be and how they want to interact with the world."

However, both Michelle and Serena interact with the world as biological women.

Critics complain that Amazon's system shows gender and racial bias, and recent studies have confirmed that bias.

Studies led by Buolamwini found huge racial and gender bias in the facial recognition software.

Protests across the United States prompted Amazon to suspend police use of its software in 2020.

After some tweaking, the ban was lifted by Amazon, saying it hoped Congress would pass a law to ensure ethical use of the gender recognition technology. However, no such law has been passed, according to Fox Business.

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Jussie Smollett arrived at a Chicago courthouse on Monday as jury selection gets underway on Day 1 of his MAGA hoax trial.

The nervous-looking actor arrived at the courtroom of Judge James Linn shortly before 9:30 a.m. with his friends and family members.

Smollett was one of the most celebrated LGBT+ stars who routinely rubbed elbows with Barack and Michelle Obama and other political elites before his fall from grace.

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Smollett is pictured with former First Lady Michelle Obama in the State Dining Room of the White House on February 24, 2016.

Police say the Empire actor staged a racist and homophobic attack on himself on a chilly night in Chicago in January 2019.

The disgraced actor is accused of lying to police and costing Chicago taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars. Police complained of lost resources while they hunted two white MAGA hat-wearing attackers who didn't exist.

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Prosecutors say Smollett paid Nigerian brothers Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo $3,500 to carry out a fake racist attack on him.

Smollett allegedly staged the attack to wring more money out of Empire show producers. He also allegedly hoped to parlay press coverage about his attack to get more movie roles.

However, the details of the staged racist and homophobic attack were too bizarre to believe and his story unraveled after police reviewed surveillance videos from the night of the alleged attack.

Smollett, 39, was originally charged with 16 counts of lying to police but the charges were dropped by Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx.

After a public outcry, a special prosecutor charged Smollett with six counts of felony disorderly conduct in February 2020.

He faces a maximum of three years in prison for each count or 18 years in prison if convicted.

Smollett continues to maintain he is an innocent victim and not the mastermind behind the hoax homophobic attack.

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Getty Images, Twitter

These two photographs, taken in NYC on Saturday, Sept. 11, shows the stark differences between the two political parties in America.

Pictured in one photo are (L-R) former President Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary Clinton; former President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle Obama; and Joe Biden, the current U.S. President, with his wife, Jill Biden.

All are wearing black masks and appear solemn as they pay tribute to the thousands who died during the terrorists attacks on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

In the second image, former President Donald Trump, center, is surrounded by NYPD officers and firefighters as they pay tribute to the fallen heroes on the 20th Anniversary of 9/11 in NYC. There is not a mask in sight.

The two photos are symbolic of a nation divided by political and power struggles.

In one photo, many see a reminder that there is no hope for the future.

In the second photo, some see Americans celebrating freedom and the pursuit of happiness.

Trump didn't attend any ceremonies in NYC, but he visited the 17th police precinct in Midtown and a neighboring fire station.

The former president joked that he didn't need a mask to pose with New York City's finest to mark 20 years since the towers fell.

He signed autographs and thanked the men and women for their bravery and sacrifice.

A few miles away, the Bidens, Clintons and Obamas attended the annual ceremony at the 9/11 Memorial in Lower Manhattan.

It isn't clear if they met with any of the heroes who sacrificed their lives to save others on 9/11.
 
Copyright Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to the photograph(s) or video(s) used in this post. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" of photographs for purposes such as parody, criticism, commentary, news reporting, education, and research.

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A former Secret Service agent was honored to serve as Michelle Obama's protector, but one aspect of her job troubled her.

Evy Poumpouras told Insider that she "could do nothing" when witnessing racist comments or signs targeting the former first lady.

Poumpouras served as Mrs. Obama's Secret Service agent during Michelle and Barack Obama's time at the White House. She also protected George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George H.W. Bush during her 12 years in the secret service, according to Insider.

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In her 2020 memoir, "Becoming Bulletproof," Poumpouras recalled feeling "outraged" when people hurled racist slurs or directed a racist sign at the former first lady.

"As the first Black First Lady of the United States, Mrs. Obama had to withstand certain kinds of disparagement that none of her predecessors ever faced," Poumpouras wrote. "I was on her protective detail when we were driving to a school to deliver a speech; we passed someone on a bridge holding up a shockingly racist sign directed at her."

"I remember feeling outraged -- after all, it was part of our job to protect the first family mentally as well as physically. But if the First Lady saw the sign, she gave no indication of it," she added.

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Poumpouras told Insider there was "no protocol" in place to deal with Americans who expressed their freedom of speech.

"I could do nothing," she told Insider. "There's freedom of speech in the United States, and even if I personally feel that speech is wrong, the law doesn't give me the power to take that person's speech away."

Handout/DNCC via Getty Images

Michelle Obama told London schoolgirls they should view the coronavirus as a "great blessing" and an opportunity for growth.

Mrs. Obama spoke on Wednesday to schoolgirls at Elizabeth Garrett Anderson (EGA) School in London.

Obama said the girls should view the lockdowns and restrictions as a "great blessing". She said the Covid is an opportunity to learn how to navigate through life and "things that you're not necessarily prepared for."

"I would view this as a great blessing to all of you, right. Because right now you're learning how to get through something hard and uncomfortable and unpredictable," she said.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Mrs. Obama gave a similar speech to her daughters, Malia and Sasha.

"And as I've told my girls, that's what life is. No matter how high you get, or how smart you are, or how successful, life will throw you things that you're not necessarily prepared for. And if you know how to get yourself through it, you will succeed."

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The former first lady's remarks caused an uproar on social media.

But Jo Dibb, executive headteacher at EGA, told The Times newspaper that she thought Mrs. Obama's advice was "great".

Dibb said viewing the coronavirus as something that will help us in the future is a "really positive way of looking at things."

"If we just spend our time just blaming everything and making excuses and thinking, 'Well, I don't have to do well at school because there's a pandemic', then we've lost anyway, so I think that's such great advice," she said.

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Latinx activists in Chicago protested renaming a middle school after Barack and Michele Obama on Tuesday.

The activists are against the school board renaming Jefferson Middle School to Barack & Michelle Obama Middle School.

The group protested before a hearing of the Waukegan Community Unit School District 60 Board of Education, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The school board held its first in-person meeting on Tuesday at the Brookside campus of Waukegan High School.

According to the Tribune, they chose not to vote on renaming one of two middle schools after the Obamas.

Another meeting is scheduled for April 13 at 7 p.m. at the Brookside Campus. Latinx activists vow to hold demonstrations at that board meeting as well.

MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

Oscar Arias, a Waukegan native and former student, said Obama deported more than 3 million Mexicans during his two terms. While his successor, former President Donald Trump, deported less people.

Arias said he still remembers the fearful looks on the faces of fellow students who arrived home to find their parents were deported.

He said, the fear in their eyes "still resonates with me."

Arias suggested renaming the middle school after the late U.S. Congressman John L. Lewis.

"Lewis truly embodies the progressive and multicultural spirit of Waukegan," Arias said.

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YouTube

Michelle Obama has a homosexual puppet sidekick to "inspire” LGBT+ children on her upcoming children's food show.

In the new Netflix series "Waffles + Mochi," the former first lady is joined by an effeminate puppet sidekick, Busy the Bee, to help Mrs. Obama teach children how to eat healthy.

Jonathan Kidder, the puppeteer behind Busy the Bee, makes sure that children understand Busy the Bee is LGBT+.

Kidder told the Daily Beast blog that making children aware of the puppet's same-sex proclivities is important because he wants to use his character to inspire more LGBT+ kids.

"They never said overtly 'we need you to be as gay as possible please'," Kidder said. "But I got the sense that they liked that I brought this diversity to the mix."

Kidder is one of children's puppeteering only openly gay creators.

He joked that "all puppets are a little bit gay" and he hoped to bring more diversity to Waffles + Mochi by channelling his own "dry, gay sass" personality and sexuality through Busy.

He said his job was to let Michelle Obama's sidekick "be colorful and let my rainbow out through him."

American children identifying as LGBT+ has increased significantly since Michelle's husband, Barack Obama, was president.
 

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Instagram

Michelle Obama took time out of her busy schedule to chat with male-to-female adolescent Zaya Wade.

The former First Lady told Zaya she was proud of the youngster who is ex-NBA star Dwyane Wade's youngest born son, formerly Zion Wade.

The chat was awkward and both participants seemed at a loss for words at times.

What does a grown woman say to a 12-year-old child who is apparently on female hormones and puberty blockers?

"We've already heard so many great things about you," Mrs. Obama said, as the youngster giggled.

Zaya skipped a class to chat with Mrs. Obama who was very appreciative.

"I am just so proud of you, being an amazing role model and embracing your truth right?" Obama said.

Democrats are gently steering more Black boys to try puberty blockers. Joe Biden's assistant health secretary Dr. Rachel Levine previously expressed support for gender confirming surgery in teens.

Dr. Levine, who is openly transgender, said "street youth" should not receive puberty blockers, but proceed immediately to taking cross-sex hormones.

"You're already doing this," Mrs. Obama told Zaya, "so maybe this is for some other young people that are listening."
 


 

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On January 20, 2017, Joe Biden attended the Presidential Inauguration ceremony where Donald J. Trump was sworn in as the 44th president of the United States. Former President Barack and Michelle Obama were also in attendance, and they gracefully welcomed Trump and his wife, Melania, to the White House afterwards.

Even Hillary Clinton, who lost a hard fought battle for president in 2016, attended Trump's inauguration because it was the right thing to do.

However, Trump will not be in attendance when Biden is sworn in as the nation's 46th president on Wednesday.

MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

The Trumps departed the White House for the final time early Wednesday morning. After a small ceremony at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, they flew home to his Mar-a-Lago estate in West Palm Beach, Florida, to spend the final hours of his presidency.

There will be no photos of the former and current presidents chatting in the Oval Office while their wives tour the private residence.

There will be no traditional handoff of the nuclear football between the outgoing and incoming presidents.

Trump becomes the first president in more than 150 years to refuse to attend his successor's inauguration or welcome him to the White House.