Sunday, July 21, 2013

Lisa Jackson - This lawsuit has never been about the N-word

Lisa Jackson, a former manager at restaurants owned by Paula Deen and her brother Bubba Hiers, has spoken through her attorneys about the racism controversy surrounding Deen. In a statement provided to CNN, White said that the attention over Deen’s use of the “n-word”, brought to light in her deposition in the civil suit brought by White, is missing the greater point of her charges.

“This lawsuit has never been about the N-word,” Jackson says in the statement. “It is to address Ms. Deen’s patterns of disrespect and degradation of people that she deems to be inferior.”

Deen has challenged White’s charges of racial discrimination and her right to bring them in a civil suit due to the fact that White herself never experienced any racial discrimination. She is white. Deen’s attorneys have referenced the principle of “standing” – that a plaintiff in a civil case must demonstrate that they were personally injured by the defendants behavior, not just witness to others’ injuries. They cite the recent SCOTUS decision to not even hear arguments relating to California’s Prop 8 appeal due to lack of standing on the part of the challengers.

White’s statement addressed her position regarding the racial discrimination, saying, “I may be a white woman, but I could no longer tolerate her abuse of power as a business owner, nor her condonation of Mr. Hier’s despicable behavior on a day-to-day basis. I am what I am, and I am a human being that cares about all races, and that is why I feel it is important to be the voice for those who are too afraid to use theirs.”

Whether a civil court determines that being the voice for others is enough to constitute standing remains to be seen. What is sure is that Paula Deen has lost millions of dollars in business, endorsement deals and publishing since her statements in deposition became public. Lisa Jackson may or may not ever see any money from the case, but her charges have hit their target right where it hurts nonetheless.

The Wereth Eleven - Soldiers of the 333rd Field Artillery Battalion

SOUTHOLD, N.Y., /PRNewswire/ -- "The Wereth Eleven" is an epic docudrama based on the true story of the heroic battle waged against the attacking German army at the start of the Battle of the Bulge, and the dramatic escape made by 11 American soldiers. The film premieres nationwide on National Geographic Channel on Wednesday, Feb. 16 at 9 p.m. EST and the screening will be at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans on Saturday, Feb. 19 at 6 p.m. CST.

"The Wereth Eleven" retraces the steps of the 11 soldiers of the 333rd Field Artillery Battalion who escaped The 18th Volksgrenadiers after their unit was overrun at the start of the Battle of the Bulge. Their 10-mile trek from their battery position to Wereth, Belgium led them to refuge with a Belgian family until a Nazi sympathizer revealed their presence to an SS Reconn Patrol. The soldiers surrendered, but were taken to a field, where they were tortured, maimed, and shot on Dec. 17, 1944. The killings were investigated, but never prosecuted.

"I was really moved and saddened by this story. I thought the men's dignity was taken from them, and that really bothered me," stated Joseph Small, executive producer of "The Wereth Eleven." "I set out on a mission to make sure the citizens of America and Europe knew what happened to the 11 men and make sure they knew the contribution of the 333rd Field Artillery Battalion during World War II."

Small spent the next two years researching the events that took place on the fateful day and eventually enlisted the help of writer and director, Robert Child ("Lincoln and Lee at Antietam: The Cost of Freedom") to bring the gut wrenching story to the screen.

"This film is the result of a dedicated team working together to achieve one goal: to create a film worthy of the 333rd Field Artillery Battalion and the 11 men," stated Child. "I knew, to pull off the project, I had to put the right people in place. Frederic Lumiere, an outstanding filmmaker in his own right, had produced and directed History Channel's groundbreaking 10-Part series, 'WWII in HD.' If there was anyone I knew who could rise to the challenge of Wereth, it was Frederic."

The filmmakers set out to elevate war documentary recreations to a new level. The film had to portray the epic and harsh nature of the largest and bloodiest battle fought by the Americans in World War II. "Rob's vision was very ambitious: To create visuals for the film that rivaled epic Hollywood blockbusters," stated Lumiere, who edited the film. "But we also knew we had a very important story on our hands. We had the responsibility to continue Joseph Small's quest to let the world know about this incredible injustice, which occurred 67 years ago to 11 American heroes, while remaining historically accurate."

The powerful and poignant film is an epic docudrama with stunning Hollywood-grade visual effects, interviews with people who were there, and archival footage.

In one of the archival films, captured men of the 333rd Field Artillery Battalion are paraded for German propaganda. After some investigating, one of the men was identified and interviewed: Retired Staff Sergeant George Shomo. Now 90 years old and a resident of northern New Jersey, Shomo offers a shocking and brutally honest personal account of what it was like to be an African American in World War II. "As a black soldier in the United States Army, you weren't as good as a dog," stated Shomo. Outnumbered 10 to one, Shomo and his fellow soldiers were left behind to fight the Germans. "We fired until we ran out of ammunition. It's hard when a man's got a rifle coming at you and all you got is a trench knife. But I got a couple (of men) and some of the other guys got a couple. I'd say the Germans had to walk over piles of their dead to get to us."

A memorial now stands on the site of the soldier's murders, dedicated to the Wereth 11 and all African-American soldiers who fought in The European Theatre. It is believed to be the only memorial to African-American soldiers of World War II in Europe.

"The Wereth Eleven" was produced by The Ardennes Group with executive producers Small, Child, and Lumiere.

The world premiere will be on Wednesday, Feb. 16 at 9 p.m. EST on National Geographic Channel. A theatrical screening and Q&A with the filmmakers and George Shomo will be at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans on Feb. 19 at 6 p.m. CST. Click here to view the trailer for "The Wereth Eleven."

About Robert Child

Originally from New England, Robert Child has worked behind the scenes as a writer, technical director, and director for more than a decade with network clients including HBO, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, NBC, ABC, and CBS. Child has been working on independent historical projects since 2001 and has won numerous awards including two CINE Golden Eagles and a Special Jury Award at World Fest Houston. His work has also been named as an Official Selection at major United States film festivals including the New York Independent Film Festival and the Washington DC Independent Film Festival.

About Frederic Lumiere

Lumiere is an award-winning filmmaker who's first feature film, "Tomorrow is Today" starring Scout Taylor-Compton ("Halloween I," "Halloween II") received 11 awards, including the Directorial Discovery Award from the Rhode Island International Film Festival. He has also produced, directed, and edited award-winning programming for Cinemax, A&E, History, Biography, and The National Geographic Channel. Before executive producing and editing "The Wereth Eleven," Lumiere produced, directed, and edited the groundbreaking Emmy Award-winning series "WWII in HD," narrated by Gary Sinise.
For press information, contact:

Verena King

Verena King Public Relations


Twitter: #WWII Atrocity @TheWereth11 Told for 1st Time in Film on @NatGeoChannel 2/16 During Black History Month #Wereth11

For Official Trailer:

SOURCE The Ardennes Group

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Actress Rae Dawn Chong uses racial slur to rip former co-star Oprah Winfrey

Published July 19, 2013

Rae Dawn Chong co-starred with Oprah Winfrey in "The Color Purple," and said the two were friends on set. But in a crude radio interview on Thursday filled with expletives and a racial slur, she said that soon changed.

Appearing on Matty P’s Radio Happy Hour for a segment later published on TMZ, Chong said Winfrey was "lovely" on the film, but became jealous when Chong got a part on Arnold Schwarzenegger's action flick "Commando.”

“That’s when she was a total biotch,” Chong said. "I starred in ‘Commando.’ And she just wasn’t having me. She’s competitive. She didn’t like me."

But Chong was just getting started.

“The thing that’s really great about Oprah that you can’t take away from her is that she’s a great brown-noser," she said."If you go into a room with her she will pick the most powerful person and will become best friends with them."

Then she went even further.

“She was that fat chick that was a cheerleader or the wannabe cheerleader in school that was the student council president that was the best friends with the principal," she said. "She was the fat chick in school that did everything and everyone loved her.”

Then Chong really got down and dirty, even dropping the n-word.

“If you look at the way [Oprah] looks, she looks like 60 years ago she would have been a house keeper, luckily."

She then used the n-word and said had Winfrey been a slave, she would have been working in the field.

Chong wrapped things up with a compliment of sorts.

“This woman is a miracle and I respect her and I say kudos to you, and I don’t give two cents about the other parts of it," she said. "She shifted the DNA in terms of our thinking of a woman of a certain size and a certain shade. I love her for that.”

A rep for Winfrey's network, OWN, did not immediately return a request for comment.