The VIPP Report: Will the Academy have to replace Kevin Hart due to remarks made in 2009?

Official social media photo

By Sherlene Shanklin

Just two days ago, Hollywood was all a buzz with the announcement of Kevin Hart serving as host of the 2019 Academy Awards.  Just 48 hours later social media is buzzing in a negative way causing Hart to say that he does not want to be a distraction and he will step down as host.  

It allegedly stems from social media postings dating back to 2009.  Comedian Hart referenced the LGBTQ community in a negative manner.  He was referring to an action his son did that Hart categorized as negative. The alleged anti-gay statement(s) (referenced alleged because they are no longer available for review) are commonly used in a despairing manner to anyone who identifies as a member of the community.  

Hart apologized for the comments years ago and thought it was behind him but it was brought back to the forefront after he made his Oscar announcement. 

Hart says he’s stepping down and giving up his life-long dream to host the Oscars but will the Academy make him honor the contract or accept it based on extenuating circumstances? Or will they help “right” the “wrong” and ask him to stay on?  Hart went back on social media after his staff made him aware of what was being said.  He referenced that he had apologized previously and that he had evolved and was going on 40.  Stating that he had matured and was in a different place. 

So, what should the Academy Awards do? Hart only stepped down from the hosting opportunity because he did not want to take away from the actors/actresses who’ve worked for this special moment to be overshadowed.  Note, that’s a definite sign of maturity that he didn’t want to take the focus off the purpose of the celebration which is to honor those in the film industry for the hard work and dedication and likely the one shot many have to be nominated for an Oscar. 

The Academy has not made a statement at this point but I will monitor and report when they do. 

With a little over two months of planning left, will Hart rescind Thursday’s announcement or will the Academy scramble to find a new host? 

The 91st Academy Awards will be held in Los Angeles, CA live on Sunday, February 24, 2019 on ABC.

KevinHart tour media photo

If you have a story idea, send it to me at the411@vippcommunications.com.  Follow Sherlene Shanklin on Twitter @Sherlenemediapr and Instagram @Sherlenemediapro.

Follow The VIPP Report on Twitter @thevippreport and @vippcomm.

To read my original story on the Hart’s Oscar announcement. Click on the link: https://thevippreport.com/2018/12/05/the-vipp-report-will-he-win-the-hart-of-oscar-fans/

 

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The VIPP Report: Will he win the “Hart” of Oscar fans?

KevinHartTwitter

By Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11 Louisville, ABC Affiliate

And the hosting duties of the 2019 Academy Awards goes to none other than comedian/actor Kevin Hart.  The Academy did not get to make the announcement but the man with 64.9 million good friends also known as his Instagram followers received the “exclusive” announcement.

Hart announced Tuesday evening by posting an Oscar with the message saying “The day has finally come for me to host the Oscars. I am blown away simply because this has been a goal on my list for a long time….To be able to join the legendary list of host that have graced that stage is unbelievable.”

KevinHart tour media photoThis is not the first time the academy asked Hart to be the host but Hart feels like this is the right time for him to take on this task and mark it off his bucket list.

He thanked his fans for their support and of course his close friends and family but what was so powerful was acknowledging his late mother by saying “I know my mom is smiling from ear to ear right now.”

The 91st Academy Awards will present some 20 plus awards for their artistic and technical merit in the film industry.  You can see the show live on Sunday, February 24, 2019 on ABC.

If you have a story idea, send it to me at the411@vippcommunications.com.  Follow Sherlene Shanklin on Twitter @Sherlenemediapr and Instagram @Sherlenemediapro.

Follow The VIPP Report on Twitter @thevippreport and @vippcomm.

The VIPP Report: West Louisville Boys and Girls Choirs will be in concert

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THE HOPE AWARDS GIVE YOUTH SOMETHING TO SING ABOUT WHERE EXCELLENCE HITS A HIGH NOTE

(Louisville, KY) The West Louisville Performing Arts Academy (WLPAA) d.b.a. West Louisville Boys and West Louisville Girls Choirs, (WLBC/WLGC) announces their 19th Annual Hope Christmas Awards Dinner Concert on Saturday, December 1st at the University Club on the University of Louisville’s Belknap Campus.  The dinner concert will begin at 6:00 p.m.

This year’s McDaniel Bluitt Hope Award recipient is Manfred Reid.  The current chairman for the West Louisville Performing Arts Academy.  The Chairman of the Board of Commissioners for the Louisville Metro Housing Authority.  In 2017, Mr. Reid received the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Award given by Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer.   This year’s emcees will be husband and wife team, Entrepreneur and community leader Lacy and Barbara Sexton Smith, Metro Councilwoman for District 4.

We invite you to come out and support the choirs, our honoree and other special guests.  Tickets for the 19th Annual Hope Awards are $100 for adults and $50 for students.  They can be purchased at 323 West Broadway, Artspace, 4th floor.  For more information, please contact McDaniel Bluitt at 502-376-7840.

Members of the Boys & Girls Choirs rehearse twice a week, Mondays and Wednesdays, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. The WLPAA is more than just singing.  They offer college scholarships, After School Tutorials, private Acoustic Guitar lessons and performance opportunities locally and statewide.

If you would like to set up an interview with Bluitt, Founder/Director of the West Louisville Performing Arts Academy please contact VIPP Communications at info@vippcommunications.com. For additional information go to http://www.westlouisvilleperformingarts.org.

History

West Louisville Boys Choir began in November 1990. The choir is directed by McDaniel Bluitt, a retired vocal music teacher with twenty-nine (29) years of experience. He received his B. M. ED. from the University of Louisville School Of Music and a Masters in Counseling from Western Kentucky University. The Boys Choir has performed throughout the commonwealth, for mayors, governors other national dignitaries. The Boys Choir’s first European Tour established international prominence in Paris, France and London, England. They received a superior rating during their first international music competition in the Bahamas. They were also awarded first place in the Music Festival at Sea.

The West Louisville Girls Choir made its debut in November 2002. The choir is directed by Mrs. Mamie Bluitt who received her B.M.ED. from the University of Louisville School of Music. The Girls Choir is also a performing choir.   Some of its more notable performances are: Governor Patton’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration in Frankfort, Kentucky, ECHO, Women for Women Conference and at Cincinnati’s National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Their first Southwestern Tour to Texas was held in 2010.

 

The VIPP Report: Kroger Shooting Suspect Charged with Federal Hate Crimes and Firearm Offenses

Official news release from the United States Department of Justice
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 15, 2018

Gregory A. Bush, 51, was indicted today by a federal grand jury on hate crime and firearm charges arising out of the racially motivated murder of two African-American patrons at a Kroger grocery store, and the attempted murder of a third, on Oct. 24 in Jeffersontown, Kentucky. The indictment was announced by Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband for the Civil Rights Division, U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman, and FBI Louisville Special Agent in Charge James Robert Brown, Jr.

Today’s indictment charges Bush with hate crimes for shooting and killing two victims because of their race and color; and for shooting at a third man because of his race and color. The indictment also charges Bush for using and discharging a firearm during and in relation to those crimes of violence. The indictment alleges that Bush committed the offenses after substantial planning and premeditation, that he killed more than one person in a single criminal episode, and that he knowingly created a grave risk of death to others on the scene.

The maximum penalty for the charges in the indictment is life imprisonment or the death penalty.  The Justice Department will determine at a later date whether, in this particular case, it will seek the death penalty.

“The crimes alleged in this indictment are horrific,” Acting Attorney General Whitaker said. “We cannot and will not tolerate violence motivated by racism. We will bring the full force of the law against these and any other alleged hate crimes against fellow Americans of any race. And so I want to thank the FBI, Trial Attorney Christopher Perras, and Assistant United States Attorney Amanda Gregory for all of their hard work that has made this indictment possible. Today we take one step closer to justice for the victims and their families and one step closer to helping this community try to heal.”

“There is no place for hate-fueled violence in our community or Commonwealth,” stated U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman. “Federal, state, and local law enforcement stand united to ensure that Kentuckians can shop, worship, or attend school without the specter of fear.”

“The tragic events of October 24, 2018, are a grim reminder of why the FBI prioritizes investigations of civil rights violations among the top of its criminal programs,” said FBI Louisville Special Agent in Charge James Robert Brown, Jr. “Today’s indictment should be a reminder to those who are motivated by hate and are intent on committing violence; your hateful ideology will not have the last word. The FBI, and the Department of Justice, will be there, and you will be caught and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

“The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is committed to working with our law enforcement partners to ensure justice for the victims, their families and the Louisville community throughout the investigation and prosecution of this alleged, hate-filled and violent crime,” stated Stuart Lowrey, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF Louisville Division. “Today, and every day, ATF’s ongoing priority is to reduce violent crime and secure the safety of our communities.”

An indictment is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

This case has been investigated by the FBI Louisville Office, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Louisville Field Division, and is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Christopher J. Perras of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, and Assistant United States Attorney Amanda Gregory of the Western District of Kentucky.

 

If you have a story idea, send it to The VIPP Report, thevippreport at vippcommunications dot com.  Follow us on Twitter @thevippreport for real-time news.  

Victims in the Oct 24, 2018 shooting at Kroger in Jeffersontown, KY. Pictured below: Vickie Jones (on the left with her nephew) and in the second picture Maurice Stallard.

The VIPP Report: On Veterans Day the FIRST African American to hold the rank of “Colonel” in the U.S. Army will receive a permanent memorial in Louisville

The Charles Young Veterans Memorial

The memorial will be at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage

Today, (Sunday 11th), veterans , officials and community leaders will gather at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage Center, (KCAAH) located at 1701 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd for the official unveiling of the Charles Young Veterans Memorial. This is the first project of the Freedom Flag Initiative. It works through Public-Private Partnerships to install American Flags throughout communities and states across the nation and build memorials to honor our nation’s veterans. The public is invited to attend the Veteran Flag Memorial Project ceremony which takes place at 2:00 pm.

The memorial will be named in honor of Colonel Charles Young.  Col. Young was born a slave in 1864 in Mason County, Kentucky.  He was one of the first African Americans to graduate from the United States Military Academy at West Point and the first black colonel in the U.S. Army.   He also served as a member of the 9th Calvary also known as the Buffalo Soldiers.  Young died in Liberia in 1922. Charles.Young.1919

The Veteran Flag Memorial Project was created by the Region VI Commanders of the National Association for Black Veterans as an opportunity to unify people and communities by providing beautiful spaces to reflect on a symbol that can unify us all.

If you are unable to attend but would like to have photos of the event send your request to info@vippcommunications.com and we will give you a summary of the event and photos of the groundbreaking.

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VIPP Communications is a full service public relations, event management and production firm headquartered in Louisville, KY with clients and/or projects all over the U.S. We can create, maintain and sustain your brand.  Our clientele range from small businesses, non-profits, corporate leaders, entertainment to current and retired professional athletes.  Contact one of our team members to see if we can assist you at info at vippcommunications dot com.

 

The VIPP Report: Dance Theatre of Harlem will perform at the Kentucky Center

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For more than 50 years the Dance Theatre of Harlem, (DTH) have been entertaining audiences all over the U.S.  The 17-member dance ensemble is dedicated to transforming lives thought the power of arts and the vision of inclusion and access for all.  DHT is in Louisville on tonight, (November 9) at 8:00 pm at the Kentucky Center in Whitney Hall.

If you have never seen them perform, it’s a variety of generational art of expression from treasured classics, neo-classical works to ballet and African-American culture.

It’s not only an anniversary for the Dance Theatre of Harlem but the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts 35th anniversary.

Tickets start at $25 and they can be purchased at the Kentucky Center box office, www.kentuckycenter.org and/or by calling 502-502-584-7777.

 

The VIPP Report: Chef Darnell “Supercehef” Ferguson competes on Food Network Thanksgiving Challenge

THE LOUISVILLE ENTREPRENEUR HOPES TO WIN WHILE SETTING THE TONE FOR NEW HOLIDAY TRADITIONS

Darnell Superchef Ferguson

By Sherlene Shanklin, VIPP Communications

I love to pass along good news and when I can and I have a good one.  Client Darnell “Superchef” Ferguson continues to make strides in the food industry locally and nationally.

We are only a few weeks away from Thanksgiving Day and the Food Network is launching a special show catered to that.  It’s called the Ultimate Thanksgiving Challenge.  Five chefs will cook the ultimate Thanksgiving dishes. Darnell “Superchef” Ferguson will be one of those chefs.

The show will be hosted Chef Giada De Laurentiis. There will also be three judges and you will recognize their names.  They will be Alex Guarnaschelli, Christian Petroni and Carla Hall.

Superchef will have to think out of the box to win the first challenge.  According to the Food Network’s site the chefs will be given an ingredient used in the FIRST Thanksgiving.  Hmmmm I wonder what it will be?

The show is not just about turkey but the side dishes and desserts.  This will be a challenge that we HOPE he’s up too.

The winner of the Ultimate Thanksgiving Challenge carves their name in the turkey day history books, bragging rights for a year and $25,000.

So, the premiere of The Ultimate Thanksgiving Challenge is on Sunday, November 4th at 9:00 pm (EST) and 8:00 pm (C).  How far will Darnell “Superchef” Ferguson go?  You will have to watch and see. For showtime changes and/or to follow Darnell as he competes in the Ultimate Thanksgiving Challenge. You can follow him on his social media platforms.

Darnell’s social platforms–IG: @superchef_23; Twitter @superchef_23 & FB: @darnell superchef ferguson

Food Network link to the Ultimate Thanksgiving Challenge: https://www.foodnetwork.com/shows/ultimate-thanksgiving-challenge.

For appearances contact VIPP Communications at info at vippcommunications dot com.