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Netflix debuts ‘Strong Black Lead’ spot just days after firing a top executive for using the N-word

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The timing of a new commercial featuring 47 black Netflix content creators and talent, all of whom represent the streaming giant’s Strong Black Lead initiative, couldn’t be more ironic given the fact that it aired during Sunday night’s BET Awards just two days after the company fired PR chief Jonathan Friedland for using the N-word and displaying “unacceptably low racial awareness and sensitivity.”

The spot, narrated by Stranger Things star Caleb McLaughlin, is inspired by the legendary 1958 photo “A Great Day in Harlem” and was directed by Lacey Duke and features Ava DuVernay, Derek Luke, Laverne Cox, Lena Waithe, Mike Colter, Rev Run, Spike Lee, Ashley Blaine Featherson, Logan Browning, Ajiona Alexus, and Priah Ferguson, among many others. Kwaku Alston photographed the moment.

According to one source inside the company with knowledge of the situation, Netflix execs debated whether or not they should run the spot during the BET Awards this past weekend, fearing potential backlash, before ultimately making the decision to move forward with their original plans.

“This is a new day built from the ground broken by legends, a day for our generation to see untold experiences of our blackness representing a limitless range of Identity, playing kings and queens of our neighborhoods, defeating larger than life forces trying to flip our world upside down,” says McLaughlin in the video.

“We’re not a genre because there’s no one way to be black. We’re writing while black — nuanced and complex, resilient and strong. This is not a moment. This is a movement. We are strong black leads. Today is a great day in Hollywood,” he adds.

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Elvis Presley will become a spy for the US government in Netflix’s new animated series ‘Agent King’

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So, uh, with today being the 42nd anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley and all, Netflix announced that they’ve given a series order to Agent King, which is described as an “adult animated action-comedy series” that centers around the iconic music legend becoming — as the title suggests — a special agent.

As if that wasn’t strange enough, here’s the official logline for the show: “Elvis Presley trades in his white jumpsuit for a jet pack when he is covertly inducted into a secret government spy program to help battle the dark forces that threaten the country he loves — all while holding down his day job as the King Of Rock And Roll.”

Priscilla Presley and John Eddie created and serve as executive producers on the series, which also has Archer‘s Mike Arnold showrunning, writing, and co-executive producing.

“From the time Elvis was a young boy he always dreamed of being the superhero fighting crime and saving the world! Agent King lets him do just that,” said Priscilla Presley. “My co-creator John Eddie and I are so excited to be working with Netflix and Sony Animation on this amazing project and getting the chance to show the world an Elvis they haven’t seen before.”

Yeah, I really don’t know what the fuck to make of any of this, but as someone who loves and takes pleasure in being entertained by weird shit, I suppose Agent King will be right up my alley and is definitely going on my watchlist as soon as it drops on Netflix.

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Ewan McGregor is in talks to reprise his iconic role as Obi-Wan Kenobi for a new Disney+ series

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Obi-Wan Kenobi
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As you may recall, we were all pretty damn disappointed around these parts last year when it was revealed that Disney and Lucasfilm had stopped developing an Obi-Wan Kenobi spinoff starring Ewan McGregor due to the poor box office performance of Solo: A Star Wars Story (which really wasn’t all that bad of a movie, if you ask me.)

However, this latest Obi-Wan-related development has certainly piqued our interest, as THR is reporting that McGregor is once again in talks to reprise his role as the iconic Jedi Knight — but it isn’t for a feature film, this time around.

Indeed, Disney and Lucasfilm have now begun to develop an Obi-Wan Kenobi series for their upcoming Disney+ streaming service, though it appears details about it are being kept tightly under wraps for the time being, according to THR.

Disney’s D23 Expo is just around the corner, however, so it seems more than likely that we’ll be getting an official announcement for the Obi-Wan series (as well as an update or two on The Mandalorian and the Cassian Andor series starring Diego Luna, both of which we haven’t heard anything about in a minute) once that event kicks off in Anaheim later this month on August 23, so be sure to stay tuned for more.

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Grab a mother-effin’ beer: Nathan Fielder is returning to television with two new projects for HBO

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It’s been nearly an entire year (!) since Nathan For You ended its run on Comedy Central and, ever since then, fans have been wondering what was in store next for writer, director, and comedian Nathan Fielder — and now we know! Well, kinda.

According to Variety, Fielder has inked a one-year overall deal over at HBO where he will serve as executive producer on the upcoming series How To…With John Wilson as well as an untitled comedy pilot, which he will also write, direct, and star in.

Hosted by Wilson, the half-hour, first-person documentary series follows an anxious New Yorker as he “attempts to give everyday advice while dealing with his own personal issues. Acting as both cameraman and narrator, he covertly documents the lives of fellow New Yorkers in a comic odyssey of self-discovery, inevitably making the audience comfortable with the awkward contradictions of modern life.”

As for the untitled comedy pilot, plot details are being kept tightly under wraps for the time being, but here’s to hoping it’s something just as lovely and brilliant and delightful as Nathan For You was because I desperately need both a series like that and Nathan Fielder back in my life and on my television screen immediately.

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