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.

Michael Jordan’s daughter Jasmine learning more about her father from ‘The Last Dance’

asmine Jordan is getting an intimate look into the psyche of her heralded father, Michael, just like the rest of the world. The 27-year-old wasn’t born when her dad won the first two of his six championships with the Chicago Bulls, so like many watching “The Last Dance,” there are some things she’s learning for the first time. The 10-part docuseries details the 1998 Bulls’ season, Jordan’s final year with the team and the organization’s last championship. The Associated Press talked with Jasmine Jordan about growing up as his child, his legacy, and what can turn one of the most intimidating players in the history of basketball into Silly Putty.

Make-A-Wish trying to make dreams come true during pandemic

Make-a-Wish helps ailing kids and teens have a wish granted, such as meeting a celebrity, becoming a VIP at theme parks or traveling to a dream destination. It celebrated its 40th anniversary this week amid perhaps the most challenging time in its history. Make-A-Wish CEO Richard Davis says 5,000 wishes are currently on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic. That includes 3-year-old Audrey, who is fighting cancer and wants to go to Disney World. Until things lift, the organization is helping cheer up kids in other ways. For Audrey, that included a car-themed parade with her favorite things for her birthday.
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INTERVIEW: Rihanna's Diamond Ball gets support from Cardi B, Pharrell and more

Cardi B, A$AP Rocky, DJ Khaled and Pharrell were among the stars who turned out to support Rihanna and her Diamond Ball, the annual gala that is dedicated to boosting emergency response programs as well as and education and health initiatives around the world. The Thursday evening gala raised $5 million. It was hosted by Seth Meyers and even featured a brief Rihanna performance as she rapped on stage with Pharrell Williams.

INTERVIEW: Rosario Dawson relishes being the lead on new TV drama

Rosario Dawson has graced both the big and small screens, in everything from dramas to comedies to Marvel superhero projects, yet she’s rarely been cast as the lead in a project.  That has changed with her USA series “Briarpatch” where she plays a political fixer who returns home to Texas following the bombing death of her police officer sister. Dawson has consistently stayed busy both on Hollywood sets and political stages. The Associated Press spoke with Dawson about being a leading actor, inclusion in Hollywood and her longstanding commitment to political activism.
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'Be Like Mike' jingle created last-minute after failed Disney negotiations

“The Last Dance,” ESPN’s docuseries detailing the 1998 and final season of the Chicago Bulls championship dynasty, has served as a reminder to basketball fans of the greatness of Michael Jordan on the court.  While it’s showcased Jordan’s dominance between baselines, it’s also shed light on his worldwide marketing allure. The Hall-of-Famer starred in many memorable commercials throughout the 1990s for brands such as McDonald’s and Nike, but his most famous may be Gatorade’s “Be Like Mike” commercial. Bernie Pitzel is the advertising executive who created the song “Be Like Mike.'' Now retired and living in Phoenix, Pitzel says his goal in advertising was to ”create a little sliver of pop culture.''

INTERVIEW: With "Eve," Rapsody gains traction in the best rapper debate

The debate over who reigns supreme as the greatest rapper of the moment is never-ending and never settled. From LL Cool J vs Cool Moe Dee, Tupac vs. Biggie, Jay-Z vs. Nas, it's a time-honored discussion that's likely to be heard in any barbershop or boardroom where rap fans converge. These days, while the names thrown out tend to be Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole, the rap matrix is trying to sort out an unexpected entry: Rapsody.
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INTERVIEW: Chamillionaire Works to Add Diversity to Tech Space

When Grammy award-winning rapper Hakeem “Chamillionaire” Seriki began learning the ropes of venture capitalism in the tech space, he says he didn't see many people who looked like him. As the "Riding Dirty" rapper began funding ventures, the heads of startups that were brought to him also weren’t diverse. That led Chamillionaire to create pitch competitions geared toward people of color and women. His latest contest features a $100,000 investment from him and fellow rapper E-40.  Startup companies will submit their pitches on Convoz, a video-based social app started by Chamillionaire that focuses on face-to-face interaction.

Keegan-Michael Key is still making people laugh but flexing his drama chops

Keegan-Michael Key is transition out of over-the-top comedies to focus more on dramatic films, and for him, it’s no laughing matter.During the past few years, he’s worked himself back into drama shape,culminating in a huge 2019: he starred in the hit Netflix series “Friends from College,” provided extensive voice-over work for huge animated and live action films such as “Toy Story 4” playing Ducky and “the Lion King” as Kamari the hyena. But his standout moment was for his role as Jerry in 2019’s acclaimed “Dolemite is my Name” starring Eddie Murphy.
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