Comcast welcomes two more Multicultural channels to their roster, ‘Afro’ and ‘Cleo TV’ with a celebration at the Newseum in D.C.

Photos and article by Jovanna Reyes

On Thursday, March 14, Comcast celebrated the new media additions to their cable systems, Afrotainment’s ‘Afro’ channel and TV One’s ‘Cleo TV’. The event held in Washington D.C.’s Newseum was hosted by Comcast, represented by Keisha Boyd, Executive Director of Multicultural Products and featured Urban One founder Cathy Hughes, Urban One President and CEO, Alfred Liggins III, Michelle Rice(General Manager of Cleo TV), Yves Bollanger(CEO/founder of Afrotainment channels) and talents from both channels.

Comcast’s David Cohen, Afro Channel CEO and founder Yves Bollanger, Urban One founder Cathy Hughes, General Manager of Cleo TV Michelle Rice, Keisha Boyd, Comcast Executive Director Multicultural Products and guest.
Urban One President and CEO, Alfred Liggins III
Rahsan Rahsan Lindsay, TV One EVP, Ad Sales & Marketing

Comcast made a commitment to include ten multicultural channels as part of their 2011 acquisition of NBCUniversal. Those channels include Revolt, El Rey, with Afro and Cleo TV rounding out their fulfillment. Michelle Rice was the lead to bringing Cleo TV to fruition. Her goal was to create a channel that fully engages Black women 24/7. “Cleo will offer content that defies negative and cultural stereotypes.” Yves Bollanger shared the goal of his ‘Afro’ channel. “We are excited to showcase all shades of the Black culture…:”

Here are some of the offerings available on the ‘Afro’ and ‘Cleo TV’:

‘Cleo TV’ http://www.mycleotv.com:

Sister Circle, a live mulitplatform talk show featuring Rashan Ali, Trina Braxton, Syleena Johnson

Tough Love, NYC millenials navigating love in the city.

Lens of Culture with Tai Beauchamp

Just Eats with Chef JJ with host JJ Johnson

New Soul Kitchen with Jernard Wells

Cleo Speaks with April Reign

‘Afro’ http://www.afros.tv:

The Lowdown, a late night show with James Yon

POINT OF VIEW-A talk show for women hosted by Erika Washington, Kaya Chihombori, Sandy Laborde, Candice Cruz and Sisaundra.

KAYA CHIHOMBORI @KAYA_DAILYH

SANDY LABORDE @SANDYLABORDE

HSISAUNDRA @SISAUNDRA

CANDICE CRUZ @CANDICE.TALKS

Style Check-featuring Katrina Lee and CL Freeman

KATRINA LEE @STYLESBYKATRINA

CL FREEMAN @CLTHEBRAND

 Information below provided by PR for Cleo TV and Afrotainment.

For more information on CLEO TV, visit CLEO TV’s YouTube Channel and check out exclusive, behind-the-scenes content on www.mycleo.tv. Viewers can also join the conversation by connecting via social media on CLEO TV’s TwitterInstagram and Facebook (@mycleotv) using the hashtag #CLEOTV.

About Afrotainment
Afrotainment, a Florida-based company edits, operates and distributes eight networks from its state-of-the-art film and television studios in Orlando and Queens, New York. Afrotainment channels are available in the US and Canada via cable, satellite, fiber-optic and OTT platforms. Visit www.afrotainment.us for more information.

Love & Hip Hop’s, Paris Phillips, lands her first movie role on BET’s “Fall Girls”

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BET Networks will premiere their original comedy production “Fall Girls” on Saturday, January 12, 9PM ET/PT on BET and BET Her.  The comedy, executive produced by Footage Films, features Paris Phillips of Love and Hip Hop Hollywood, Amara La Negra(Love and Hip Hop Miami), Tami Roman(Basketball Wives), Erica Hubbard, Erica Peeples and Joely Fisher.  The light hearted comedy is set in San Francisco, where Paige Davis(Amara La Negra) is promoted and her boss Simone(Joely Fisher) invites her and friend Tyra(Erica Hubbard) to a weekend getaway.  After a night of decadence, the two friends wake up to a dead boss and the comedy begins with the help of Paige’s friends, Tyra and Kiki(Paris Phillips). The hysterical group with very different personalities, try to get through the weekend without being accused of her death and attempt to find the real killer.

As you watch the short trailer, it is quite evident who will carry the “funny” in the movie,  Ms. Paris Phillips.  The Brooklynite dominates every scene she is in and pulls you further into the story.  It’s why we had to find out how she became this confident, Curvy being and her natural flair in front of the camera.

Curvysta: “May I call you Ms. Phillips? “

Paris: “Girl you better call me Paris.”

Curvysta: “Where were you born and raised Ms. Paris?”

Paris:  “I was born in Harlem, but I was raised in Brooklyn.  I lived in Harlem until I was eight years old but Brooklyn is home.”

Curvysta: “As a child did you have aspirations to be in the entertainment industry?  It’s so natural to you.  You’re like a beam of light on camera.  I love watching you.”

Paris: “ I just knew I always wanted to be on tv.  I was that kid that always loved attention.  My grandmother said when I was a little kid, I would copy people on the train.  I was always the class clown.  I’ve always been the kid that everybody loved.  I knew I wanted to do something on TV”

Curvysta:  “What was your first opportunity getting into the industry?  Your foot in the door?”

Paris:  “My first opportunity came through Keyshia Cole’s via Twitter.  I never really tried to go after.  I was going to get a city job but Twitter came around and you have access to real celebrities.  Keyshia Cole followed me.  She wasn’t following a lot of people.  I was a fan but I wasn’t to the extreme.  I said something back to her, that I didn’t agree with and she  took a liking to me.  She let me know she was coming to do Wendy Williams.  I remember talking to a lot of her people behind the scenes and they must’ve let her know that “Paris was a cool girl…so she took a liking to me.”

She offered to fly me out to LA on her next album and I’d never been to LA before.  She said don’t tell anyone I’m flying you out.  I was in LA for ten days while she’s taking me to studios.  I became cool with people behind the scenes, writer, engineers and show runners.  They went on to become big executives.  That’s why I tell people, when you meet people you never know how far they’ll go.  They’ve gone on to become successful publicists and Grammy writers and so on.  I was still working at Starbucks.  I was on tour and I took advantage of being on tour.”

Curvysta:  “There is a softness about you.  I know you’re from Brooklyn but there is a kindness that comes across.”

Paris:  “These celebrities like being around me because I’m real.  Sometimes you want that realness around you.  It feels like home.”

Curvysta: “How does the reality show differ from being on a movie set?”

Paris: “It’s a big difference.  When you walk on set, I know what you’re walking into.  When you walk onto Love and Hip Hop, you’re blindsided.  You don’t know what you’re walking into.  I know when I’m on a movie set, I know I’m going to be with this actress or that actress.  It’s a big difference.  You don’t know what’s expected on Love & Hip Hop.”

Curvysta:  “So is it easier on the movie set, than the reality set?”

Paris:  “Any set is easier than the Love & Hip Hop set.  When people talk about the other reality show sets, we don’t get anything.  A movie set is easy.”

Curvysta:  “You’re voice is amazing.  I love your tonality.  You should be on radio.  Your energy is so infectious, it comes across whether they are seeing you, visually or hearing you on the radio.”

Paris:  “Yes, yes, yes!  I want to do something like DJ Khaled.  I want to do something like that.  I know the people. I have the voice…Why can’t I be the next DJ Khaled?  This is what I’m saying!”

Curvysta:  “You’re a great example of a confident Curvy girl.  You have this great confidence.”

Paris:  “I’m not going to front.  It’s hard to find clothes.  I can’t be on Love and Hip Hop looking like a raggedy b*&(^.  It’s hard.”

Curvysta:  “I think you’re absolutely stunning.”

Paris:  “I call myself ‘Peyonce”,  They see me with the blonde wig and folks call me “Peyonce”.  When I have my glam on and my hair laid I know I look beautiful.  Some people have negative energy, so it makes you ugly.  Once again, my energy is positive so it makes me more beautiful.  It’s not about size.  Good vibes overpower everything.”

Curvysta:  “Sometimes you’re glam and sometimes you wear a grill.  What is your style?”

Paris:  “My style is TomBoy chic.  Shout out to Fashion Nova Curves.  They look out for me.  You have to know what is flattering to your body.  When you’re comfortable, you look comfortable.  The reunion show was out of the box for me.  That was my first time with blonde hair.  I love the feedback from the people.  Thanks to my friend, Lazell @zellswag, he styled me up for the reunion.  He said “No, we are getting sexy, sexy.”  Zell had a vision.  I was nervous.  Corset, titties up, blonde hair…that was a real 360 for me.”

Curvysta: “How was it working with Amara La Negra, Tami Roman…your reality show sisters?”

Paris: “Tami is my sister.  She is my family.  Amara, that was my first time meeting her.  Amara is cool.  She’s really nice but Tami is my sister.”

Curvysta:  What do you have planned next?

Paris: “Keep doing auditions. I am going to continue taking acting classes.  I want to continue taking my DJ classes.  It’s a lot.  Five years from now, God willing, call me Dana Jr(Queen Latifah)  That is my aspiration.”

Curvysta:  Is there anything you want to share about the movie?

Paris:  Watch the movie BET 9PM.  Watch it because they gave me a chance to be in it.  Support it! Show love!

Follow Ms. Paris Phillips on Instagram @whoisparisphillips

Watch Paris, Amara La Negra, Tami Roman, Erica Hubbard and the rest of the cast this Saturday, 1/12/19 on BET/BET Her at 9PM

LOL Comedy Honors with Bill Bellamy, Luenell, D.L. Hughley and more

Photographs and article by Jovanna Reyes

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On August 24th, the Alhambra Ballroom in Harlem, hosted the legends of comedy for the first annual LOL Comedy Honors.  The event, produced by Hidden Agenda, honored the top comedians in the business both past and present.

The legends that graced the red carpet were Paul Mooney of the Chappelle’s Show, Meet the Blacks and writer for Richard Pryor.  He received The Honor for Creative Excellence.  Marsha Warfield of the hit show Night Court, Empty Nest and the Richard Pryor show, received The Comedy Queen Pioneer Honor.  Luenell of the Lopez show, Borat movie, Taken 2 and much more, received The Moms Mabley Legacy Honor. D.L. Hughley of The Hughleys, The Original Kings of Comedy, the D.L. Hughley Radio Show received the Voice of a Generation Honor.

It was a family reunion of great talents.  The love and admiration for each other was felt throughout the evening.  There was joy in the faces of those being acknowledged and admiration from others that were humbled to be in the presence of trailblazers. Bill Bellamy hosted the star studded event and started delivering jokes from the moment he hit the red carpet.

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LUENELL AND ADELE GIVENS

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JOHN LASTER

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MARSHA WARFIELD

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JOE TORRY

Photography and article by Jovanna Reyes

www.jovannareyes.com

Instagram@JovannaReyesPhotography

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