Quinta Brunson breaks down A+ grade for 'Abbott Elementary'

New York (AP) — When “Abbott Elementary” recently trended on Twitter daily for nearly a week, Quinta Brunson was speechless. “I was looking at it myself like ‘What is going on?’” said Brunson, the creator and writer of the first semester-sitcom and a former viral video star herself. “Here’s a new one that kind of fits the same feel and vibe of the shows that we binge a lot, like ‘Parks (and Recreation)’ or ‘The Office’ or ‘Friends’ and all these other shows. So, I think that people are enjoying

INTERVIEW: ‘CODA’ has loud message even when there’s silence

"CODA" was arguably the best Hollywood story of 2022 with the film winning best picture at the Oscars. But the journey first began at Sundance in 2021. The Sundance Film Festival breakthrough “CODA” seems set to expand the conversation about diversity in Hollywood. The film, whose title stands for “Child of Deaf Adults,” won two top prizes at the festival and broke a Sundance record when Apple acquired it for $25 million. It follows a young woman who is the only hearing person in her family. She contemplates leaving the family’s struggling fishing business and her role as their interpreter to pursue her dreams at the Berklee College of Music. The cast includes Marlee Matlin, the only deaf actor to win an Oscar.

INTERVIEW: Actresses say Hollywood has never respected black hair

African American actresses have similar stories about hair struggles in Hollywood and say a lack of knowledge has led to challenging situations. Actresses from Halle Berry to Queen Latifah to Tia Mowry and more recount the problems they've had in Hollywood getting the proper care for their hair, including Tiffany Haddish who recalls leaving a movie set in tears in search of a stylist. Celebrity stylist Andrea Pezzillo, who is white, says she understands why black actresses are wary of white hair stylists, but says she was never intimidated by black hair.

Alicia Keys' 'Keys' album returns her to her piano homebase

Alicia Keys hasn’t felt completely free for much of her career. That may sound surprising, but these days the heralded musician is loving the makeup-free skin she’s in and settled into a space of confidence and liberation. That’s readily apparent in her eighth studio album, “KEYS,” which represents a back-to-basics approach for the classically trained pianist that heavily emphasizes the instrument that catapulted her into superstardom. “I think it takes time to just feel good, have your confidence to learn, to grow, to have something to even share,” said the songstress, whose album arrived on Friday. “I just didn’t feel comfortable in my skin in the way that I do now.”

Kids with Down syndrome light up the runway at NYC fashion show

Though New York's Fashion Week wrapped more than a month ago, there was plenty of fierce fashion and top models at the second annual "Gigi's Playhouse Fashion Show" on Wednesday. The event allows young people with Down syndrome to share their talent. Gigi's Playhouse is an education and achievement center that prepares young people with Down syndrome to engage more fully in their homes, schools and communities.

AP Breakthrough Entertainer: 'Shang-Chi' star Simu Liu

NEW YORK -- When little-known actor Simu Liu tweeted in 2014 asking Marvel for an Asian American superhero, he wasn’t vying for a job — he was venting at Hollywood’s status quo. “I was experiencing just such a frustration turning on the TV and, as a struggling actor, too, just really seeing the limits of what was possible for people that look like me,” said Liu, who has been named one of AP’s Breakthrough Entertainers of the Year. “Fast forward five years, and I’m here.” Liu starred as Shaun/S