The Last Word: Jamie Foxx is a Star, BET Causes a Ruckus, and Naomi Campbell Cries Racism

What’s real, world? The end of another five days

and we’re still here to welcome the weekend. Unlike previous Words I

can’t say it was dull week. With everything from Dan Rather suing CBS

for $70 million for making him the scapegoat in his botched story on

President Bush, to Defense Secretary Robert Gates saying "I don’t know"

when asked whether invading Iraq was the right thing to do to Orenthal James (O.J.)

Simpson getting out on bail after his thug in his attempt to take back

his stolen memorabilia there was a lot of news to go around.

First and foremost shout out to everyone that made the trek to

Louisiana to take a stand and support the Jena 6, as well as those who

were unable to go but stood united by wearing black. Speaking of

change, shouts go out to the Emmy Awards for bringing the cast of Roots

back to celebrate their miniseries' 30th anniversary. And as always, the

final shout goes to the sounding boards for giving me something to

believe in.

So now I give you.... The Last Word, for the week ending Sept. 21, 2007 

1. Jamie Foxx’s Star Lands on Hollywood Walk of Fame

Watching Jamie Foxx play Wanda on In Living Color, it never occurred to

me that the same guy who claimed "I’m ret to go" would go on to win an

Oscar. Let alone receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

But Mr. Foxx has proved me wrong. The 39-year-old actor recently became

the latest celebrity to receive a star as he acknowledge the person

most responsible for his success.

"My grandmother's gotta

be spreading her wings and flying around in heaven, just so happy,"

Foxx said. "This is one of the most amazing days of my life."

Fans can look for Foxx in his next big screen feature, The Kingdom. The

Oscar winner stars alongside Jennifer Garner as members of a U.S.

counter terrorism unit chasing after the mastermind of a bombing in

Saudi Arabia.

2. Zoe Saldana Gets Beamed Up for Star Trek Film

Attention all Trekkies! The Starship Enterprise just got a little bit sexier as final negotiations for Zoe Saldana to play Uhura in the 11th film in the Star Trek movie series are close to being complete.

For those not fluent in Trekkie, Uhura is the Enterprises’ chief communication officers. The role was originally played in the Star Trek TV series and movies by Nichelle Nichols.

Although plot details concerning the new film are being kept under wraps, the Hollywood Reporter reports that the J.J. Abrams-directed feature will chronicle the early days of the Enterprise crew. Saldana is set to join Anton Yelchin, who will play a young version of Russian-born Enterprise navigator Chekov, and Heroes Zacharay Quinto, who will portray a young Spock. In addition, Leonard Nimoy, the man who originally played Spock, will make an appearance in the Paraount Pictures film.

For those you who can’t wait for Zaldana’s interplanetary portrayal, you can catch her next in Vantage Point with Matthew Fox, Dennis Quaid and Forest Whitaker. The actress is also working with director James Cameron in his sci-fi epic Avatar.

3. BET Draws Protest for African American Portrayals

While there may be a good number of people who enjoy BET’s top notch

programming, there are just as many who feel the network can do better.

reports that 500 protesters recently made their presence known as they

peacefully demonstrated outside the home of BET’s chief executive Debra

Lee’s to demand that the channel stop airing what the group labeled as

demeaning and offensive portrayals of African-Africans. The march’s

leader, the Rev. Delman L. Coates of Mount Ennon

Baptist Church in Clinton, Maryland, is calling on corporations to stop

jumping on the pop culture band wagon, which portrays black men as

"pimps" and "gangsters" and sexually objectifies Black women.

Despite his group’s gutsy move, Lee was nowhere to be found on the day

of the demonstrations. The executive, who responded to the protest via

a telephone interview, expressed her disappointment that several

attempts to arrange a meeting with the protesters fell through.

According to Lee, who had learned about the protest from a news

release, Coates was told that if he brought the protest to BET’s

corporate headquarters in Northeast Washington, she would have spoken

to him there.

"I believe in freedom of speech, but if you really want to have an

impact, the best way is to have a conversation—not to protest in front

of someone’s house," Lee said. "I’m always willing to talk to our


Despite Lee’s willingness, Coates later told the Washington Post that

meeting was conditional upon canceling the rally at the executive’s


Nevertheless, Lee is well aware of the criticism BET has endured for

the content of its music videos and new shows. As a result, she

revealed that the network is planning to launch 16 "balanced" shows by

the end of the year.

The big question is how does BET define balanced? Does this mean we’ll

get all the "negative" shows at times we’re able to watch while the

"positive" shows will come on late at night or while we’re out doing

something constructive? Oh wait, that’s what BET is doing now.

4. Naomi Campbell Cries Racism at British Vogue

Although Naomi Campbell has graced many magazine covers all over the

world, it may surprise people that she gets no such love in her native

London, England. At least that’s what the supermodel wants you to


Campbell recently went on the offensive against the publishers of

British Vogue during a panel at the Blacks in Fashion conference.

According to the model, "I've never been on the cover of British Vogue,

and I've asked a million times and they've always refused me," Campbell

said. "[They] wouldn't put me on once in my own country."

So how do the publishers feel about Campbell labeling them as racists

for constantly denied her opportunities to grace their covers?

"We're rather confused by this comment," said Condé

Nast UK rep Nicky Eaton, who told the New York Daily News that there is

proof Campbell made the cover of Italian Vogue eight times.

See for all the archived photos at the magazine’s Web site, 

5. Patti LaBelle Unveils New Line of Hot Sauces

Looks like Patti LaBelle has found a new side hustle, according to,

which reports that the R&B songstress is planning to take her love

of hot sauce to the next level by launching a her own line of hot

sauces and relishes.

Consumers can satisfy their taste buds by choosing from five available

flavors which include Sweet Hot Jalapeno, Rich Red Blended Cayenne, and

Hot Flash Blended Habanero

& Jalapeno sauce. With her own line of hot sauces, I guess Patti

can quit carrying that bottle of Louisiana Hot Sauce in her purse.

If this blows up, we may see her push the products on her very own

infomercial. If it worked for George Foreman, then Patti shouldn’t be

a problem.

6. Elton John Jams With Prince

As if Elton John could top his Grammy Award performance with Eminem, the pop icon manages to do just that as he recently made a surprise appearance during a Prince concert at London's O2 arena.

BBC News reports that the music giants embraced after performing a

cover of The Beatles' "The Long and Winding Road." "You know who it is

- Sir Elton John!" Prince told the crowd.

Since Elton has hopped on a Timbaland

album, it should be hard to convince him to join forces with the Purple

One in the studio. Don’t be surprised if it happens. Anything is