BILL VAUGHAN’S TASTY CLIPS: Issa Rae named American Black Film Festival ambassador

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By Bill Vaughan

Entertainment Writer

Multi-hyphenate star Issa Rae (“Insecure”) will serve as ambassador for the 2022 American Black Film Festival. The festival, widely recognized as a leading platform for Black content creators, returns live to Miami Beach June 15-19 followed by virtual events from June 20-30 on ABFF Play, the festival’s custom-designed online platform.

Rae will help bring media awareness to the festival’s’s 26-year legacy of showcasing Black talent and discovering new voices. Along with joining festival founders, Jeff and Nicole Friday onstage for welcome remarks during opening night, she will screen her highly anticipated television series “Rap Sh*t” which she created for HBO Max as part of the festival’s lineup June 18.

“I’m honored to be this year’s festival ambassador,” Rae said. “ABFF was the first major festival to showcase my work and they continue to elevate Black creatives from the ground level. It’s also fun as hell.”

She first received attention for her award-winning web series and the accompanying New York Times best-seller, “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl.” She created and starred in the Peabody-award-winning HBO series “Insecure,” which garnered her multiple Emmy and Golden Globe nominations.

Rae also has made her mark on the big screen, starring in “The Photograph” and “The Lovebirds.”

In 2020, Rae formed Hoorae, a multi-faceted media company that develops content across mediums in an effort to continue to break boundaries in storytelling and representation.

Hoorae is comprised of Hoorae Media for film, television and digital; Raedio, the music label, music supervision company, and “audio everywhere” company; and ColorCreative, its management division.

Via Hoorae’s Warner Bros. Discovery deal, Issa has also expanded her executive producer slate with the Emmy-award nominated “A Black Lady Sketch Show,” the fan-favorite docuseries “Sweet Life,” and the aforementioned “Rap Sh*t.

Rae’s commitment to South L.A. is evident in both her personal and professional pursuits. After planting roots near her childhood home, Issa decided to set up the Hoorae headquarters in the heart of South L.A.

Her participation in the nonprofit organization Destination Crenshaw furthers her mission of celebrating Black Angelenos and her ownership in Hilltop Cafe + Kitchen provides much-needed jobs and opportunities for local residents as well as a space for creatives to unlock their potential.

Former ABFF ambassadors include Halle Berry, Mary J. Blige, Idris Elba, Tracee Ellis Ross, Regina Hall, La La Anthony, Jay Ellis, Morris Chestnut, Omari Hardwick, Common, Taraji P. Henson and Earvin “Magic” Johnson.

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TASTY QUIP: “I was like, ‘Hey brother you may want to go get you about three hours of therapy. Fifteen hours this week, you need to sit down with a therapist and have a long talk. Something is going on with you.’ And that wasn’t him. See, I don’t have that kind of pressure. He’s been Black excellence for 30 years, I’ve been Black alrightness, ain’t too much pressure. … People expect me to do dumb stuff, but him? Nah, not Will.” – MARLON WAYANS to Big Boy on advice he gave to Will Smith after the Oscars

CLIPPETTES: Netflix Is A Joke Festival keeps churning May 6 with Kevin Hart at Arena, Deon Cole and Margaret Cho at the Wiltern, David Letterman (for two nights) at the Fonda, Cristela Alonzo and Mo Gilligan at the Regent, Amy Schumer at the Palladium and Nika King (“Snowfall”) at the Improv

Also beat-box/comedian/musician Reggie Watts teams with electronic music artist/DJ/producer John Tejada] to form Wajatta at 1720

The laughs continue May 7 with John Mulaney and Earthquake at the Hollywood Bowl, Nicole Byer at the Palace Theater, Ms. Pat at the Regent and Tina Fey and Amy Poehler at the YouTube Theater

Additionally, Vieux Farka Touré is making good for a canceled performance at the Lodge Room; while reggae rules at Echoplex with Sister Nancy, Tippa Lee and Michael Palmer; and cinematographer Ernest Dickerson introduces a screening of Spike Lee’s “She’s Gotta Have It” at the Ted Mann Theater

Tubi’s “The Freak Brothers,” an animated version of the stoner comic book with voices by Tiffany Haddish, Pete Davidson and Woody Harrelson, was renewed for a second season. Also getting another round is HBO’s “Game Theory with Bomani Jones

Golden Voice and the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation present “Dear Mama,” a Mother’s Day celebration with Keyshia Cole, Jon B and Goapele on May 8 at The Novo. Meanwhile at the Kia Forum spend A Mother’s Day Evening of Soul with Patti LaBelle, Gladys Knight, Stephanie Mills and Freddie Jackson …

Following his award-winning, sold-out performance as Dick Gregory in “Turn Me Loose,” Joe Morton (“Scandal,” “Brother from Another Planet”) returns to The Wallis in the title role of William Shakespeare’s greatest tragedy “King Lear.” This radical reinvention transporting the bard’s greatest play to the time of a future American dystopia runs May 10 through June 5

Afro-Cuban artist Cimafunk will perform songs from his album “El Alimento” and sit for an intimate conversation with producer Jack Splash on May 11 at Grammy Museum L.A. Live. The night also finds Rotimi singing at the Roxy, Curtis Harding at the Teragram Ballroom, and The Far Side (featuring former members of The Pharcyde) at the Observatory

T Pain along with Erica Banks, Young Cash and Mason Dane lead the all-ages show at The Novo May 12; as Los Amigos Invisibles jam at The Roxy.

TASTY QUIP: “How do you move on from the hurt, from failure. But you have to. Not everything is going to be an awards-worthy performance.” – VIOLA DAVIS to BBC on backlash to her portrayal of Michelle Obama in Showtime’s “The First Lady.” Davis is reportedly moving on to reprise her Amanda Waller role from the DC Comics movies for a spinoff of HBO’s “Peacemaker.”

TC ON TV: May 6 – “The Great Soul Food Cook-Off” (OWN): The Discovery+ series Tasty Clips previewed with Chef Chris Scott of NYC’s Butterfunk Biscuit arrives on a new network. “The Real” (Fox): Marla Gibbs, Jo Marie Payton “Ready To Love” (OWN): Potomac Reunion, Part 2. “Sheryl” (SHO): A portrait of music superstar Sheryl Crow. “Entre Nos” (HBO Max): Watch L.A.-based comedians Carmen Morales and Alfred Robles offer their peculiar advice on Latinidad, family and relationships.

May 7 – “Inspiring America: The 2022 Inspiration List” (NBC): Lester Holt hosts. “Saturday Night Live” (NBC): Benedict Cumberbatch, Arcade Fire

May 8 – “Love Match Atlanta” (Bravo/Peacock): Gives a glimpse into the personal and professional lives of five of Atlanta’s hottest matchmakers. “Winning Time: The Rise of The Lakers Dynasty” (HBO): The Sally Field episode should have her in the running for awards. John C. Reilly, Wood Harris, Solomon Hughes all doing fine work here. “Rich & Shameless” (TNT): “Pharma Bro vs. Wu-Tang Clan

May 9 – “Independence Lens” (PBS): “When Claude Got Shot” asks if Milwaukee law student Claude Motley can forgive his teenage attacker after being shot in the face? “The Neighborhood” (CBS): Patti LaBelle joins the cast as mother of Calvin (Cedric The Entertainer). “Candy” (Hulu): Jessica Biel stars as a “perfect” 1980 housewife and mother who needs a release – to deadly results. With Pablo Schreiber (“Halo”) and Raúl Esparza (“Law & Order: SVU”). “BBQ Brawl” (Food): Returns with superstar chefs Anne Burrell and Jet Tila challenging the undefeated champion, Bobby Flay, for a chance at leading Food Network’s next ‘Master of ‘Cue.’ A panel of judges features barbecue legend Rodney Scott.

May 10 – “American Masters” (PBS): Narrated by Jason Momoa, “Waterman – Duke: Ambassador of Aloha” tells the story of five-time Olympic medalist Duke Kahanamoku, who shattered swimming records and globalized surfing while overcoming racism in a lifetime of personal challenges. “Naomi” (CW): Closes its first season with an episode written by Ava DuVernay and Jill Blankenship.

May 11 – “The Real” (Fox): Kenya Moore “Survivor” (CBS): The network’s diversity reality initiative is raising consciousness. That stand held by two Black women a couple of weeks ago ranks with The Cookout on “Big Brother.”

May 12 – “À La Carte” (AllBlk): A dramedy executive produced by Meagan Good centering on the Black millennial dating experience. Supporting cast members include Dorien Wilson, Kandi Burruss, Kelly Price, Kendall Kyndall and Robinne Lee. “Savage Beauty” (Netflix): A dramatic South African series about a mysterious woman seeking revenge for her tragic past dealings with a family running a global beauty empire. “How We Roll” (CBS): Sheryl Lee Ralph guest stars. “Atlanta” (FX): Donald Glover is writer and director of this episode titled “Rich Wigga, Poor Wigga.” Described as “Black and White episode? Yawn. Emmy Bait. Why do they hate Black women so much?” “Commit Or Quit with Judge Lynn Toler” (WE): Couples in crisis turn to your honor for a life altering decision to get married or break up for good.

END QUOTE: “It all boils down to having stories told. TV and film are such powerful mediums. Sometimes, they shape the way society thinks and where culture is, helping to bring understanding. – TAMMY WILLIAMS, on becoming the first Black woman to own a major Georgia production studio, to THR

As featured in the Los Angeles Wave and Independent, Tasty Clips is one of the leading entertainment columns in the nation, serving nearly one million weekly readers. Bill Vaughan may be reached at, via Twitter @tastyclips, or Instagram @tasty_clips.



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