The BAME debate: Why terminology matters when we're talking about race

BAME, POC, BIPOC – the acronyms are designed to make it easier, neater and simpler to talk about people from ethnic minority backgrounds.

But conversations about race, racism and racial injustice are rarely easy, neat or simple, which is why the chosen terminology for these discussions is so often contentious – and so important to get right.

With the recent mainstream focus on racism and the injustice faced by Black people specifically – sparked by the death of George Floyd and the global Black Lives Matter movement – writers, journalists, commentators and critics have had to grapple with racial terminology on a regular basis, and there has been significant backlash about the use of certain terms.

BAME – which is an acronym for Black, Asian, minority ethnic – has been popular in the UK since the 1970s and its use is widely accepted by the media and the corporate world. But, while BAME was born out of a desire to create solidarity between minorities against racism, it is now more readily used by white people to lump everyone who is not white into a singular category.

The same can be said for POC – People Of Colour, WOC – Women Of Colour, and BIPOC – Black and Indigenous People Of Colour, which are all even more vague in who they are referring to.

Many of these acronyms and unifying terms were originally created by minority groups who used them to signal a unity against discrimination, violence and inequality. But, over time they have been co-opted and their political meanings have been sanitised and flattened.

For many critics, these terms no longer signal unity. Instead, they signal a lazy homogenisation of all non-white groups, and the erasure of individual struggles.

And it is the laziness that really grates. Specifically when ‘BAME’ is used where ‘Black’ could have been used in its place. And using the acronym to refer to specifically Black issues smacks of anti-Blackness.

When Matt Hancock was asked recently on Sky News how many Black people are in the current cabinet, he responded by saying, ‘Well, there’s a whole series of people from a black and ethnic minority background.’ Hancock must have been referring to the two South Asian members of the cabinet, Priti Patel and Rishi Sunak, because there are zero Black cabinet members.

Labour MP David Lammy criticised the health secretary for lumping ethnic minority communities together and effectively erasing the fact that there are no Black cabinet members. Lammy said: ‘It’s offensive to say it’s OK because they’ve got “diversity of thought”. Especially at time of real pain for the black community. Do better.’

Hiding behind BAME can mask the true inequalities that Black people face, and present a falsely optimistic picture of progress.

Scholar-Activist and CEO of Ladders4Action, Dr Addy Adelaine, says understanding the history of BAME will help us to understand why the term is problematic.

‘The term BAME is rarely used outside of the UK, as it reflects the UK’s contentious and unique conceptual struggle with human identity,’ Dr Addy tells

‘Throughout British history, how we identify individuals has evolved. The term BAME reflects the UK’s social and legal history, it is a strange conceptual mix of race, ethnicity and nationality.’

Dr Addy explains that in the late 18th Century, colonialism enabled white people to present themselves as inherently superior to others. She says racial hierarchies were created to specifically enable slavery and to ‘other’ the people they wished to claim power over.

‘Nuance of identity was removed because it is easier to mistreat and abuse those we do not see with nuance,’ she explains.

‘Nuance of identity helps us to see individuals, with individual stories, individual families and histories. Individuals who are deserving of equal treatment and a respected part of a collective humanity.

‘While white people maintained individuality and nuance of identity, history tells us that nuance of identity is a privilege that not everyone is afforded.’

Dr Addy says nuance of identity for those under colonial rule was ‘purposely destroyed’ in order to control and dehumanise.

‘Enslaved people were prohibited from learning or teaching the languages, history or culture of their home,’ she says. ‘Those living in Africa under European colonial rule were forced to deny centuries-long ethnic and cultural groupings and to instead adopt national identities that had been arbitrarily imposed upon them.’

She believes that the term BAME is an extension of this behaviour. That it is a way to silence and control people outside of the dominant group by stripping them of individuality and identity.

‘BAME has emerged from the legacy of un-examined colonial rule,’ Dr Addy explains. ‘Each letter of the acronym needs examination and explanation, each letter emerged out of a specific sociopolitical and historic reason.

‘But, rather than spending a long time breaking down the acronym, I would rather that we decolonise our language by allowing nuance of identity and affording everyone the right to be viewed as a complex individual with the right to define themselves in the manner they chose.’

Talking in specifics should be the bare minimum. If you mean Black, say Black. Using BAME or POC when you have the option to be specific contributes to the silencing of struggles that individual communities face.

But Dr Addy says we need to need to go further than this. She says we should address why it is that some people prefer to speak in acronyms and group non-white individuals together.

She is suggesting that the use of BAME is deeper than simply for conciseness or ease of writing, that it is instead a marker of a deep-rooted white superiority complex.

Having a category that is for everyone who is not white, positions whiteness as the default – the ‘norm’ – and everybody else as ‘other’. Understanding the complicated history of this kind of homogenisation is the only way to dismantle these archaic hierarchies.

There is a tendency for people to roll their eyes when we talk about terminology, an assumption that the words we use are superficial and unimportant compared to what we mean, and the intention behind those words.

A common argument is that it’s hard to ‘keep up’ with the changing terminology around race. Our grandparents might have been taught to say ‘coloured’, our parents might think it’s impolite to say the word ‘Black’, and it can be easy to dismiss new terms as unnecessary political correctness.

But the words we use do matter, they affect the people who hear them – regardless of the intention. And it is important to be open to hearing criticism and learning about context as language inevitably evolves.

‘Language matters because the production of language and meanings is always linked to unequal power relations, domination, and resistance to domination,’ explains Michael Mumisa, a Cambridge Special Livingstone Scholar.

‘Dominant groups, and the beneficiaries of the status quo, often exercise their power to enforce their definitions of “reality” on others. For centuries, those subjected to the “othering” process have always resisted and rebelled against the dominant group’s definitions and meanings of “reality”.’

Michael says BAME is a ‘dangerous anti-Black’ term, as it silences and erases Black people, he adds that it ‘can be used by governing powers to hide their failure to eradicate anti-Black hatred and racial inequalities.’

So, where do we go next? The key thing is to be specific, and to allow terminology and definitions to be led by those who it defines – Black people and minority communities.

‘The terminology will continue to evolve as it is resisted and challenged by those on the margins it is designed to silence and erase,’ adds Michael.

‘They will continue to push their own languages and meanings of self-identification from the margins to the centre of debates and discussions on race and racial discrimination in the UK.’

The way we talk about race impacts how we feel about race, racism and minority groups.

We simply can’t afford for insidious negative messaging and inequalities to be perpetuated through a laziness of language. It’s not hard to be specific when we speak.

Do you have a story to share? We want to hear from you.

Get in touch: [email protected]

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Why John Bonham Wasn't Sure About Joining Led Zeppelin at First

In 1966, after a few years of session guitar work, Jimmy Page was ready to form a band. And he nearly dove in with an all-star lineup that included Jeff Beck and The Who’s Keith Moon. At the time, Moon suggested the band go by the name Led Zeppelin. But it never took off, and Page joined Beck in The Yardbirds later in ’66.

Page hung onto the name, though, and after the fall of The Yardbirds in ’68 he went back to the drawing board. This time around, he knew he had something when he heard Robert Plant sing. Looking back, Page couldn’t believe Plant hadn’t found himself a band yet.

With Page’s group still lacking a drummer, Plant suggested his bandmate John Bonham from back up north. “I got so enthusiastic that I hitched back to Oxford and chased after John, got him to one side at a gig and said, ‘Look mate, you’ve got to join The Yardbirds,’” Plant said in an interview from Led Zeppelin in Their Own Words.

But Bonham didn’t jump at the chance right away. “He wasn’t easily convinced,” Plant recalled. “He said, ‘Well I’m all right here, aren’t I?’” And it took some doing to get Bonham aboard the Zeppelin, even after Page got involved. Bonham had plenty of offers to consider at the time.

John Bonham had a gig and more offers when Led Zeppelin came calling

RELATED: When Led Zeppelin Dove Into Samba on a Wild ‘In Through the Out Door’ Track

Plant knew Bonham from the Band of Joy, a group the two played in across two separate stints. And they were playing together in the group in ’68, opening for American singer-songwriter Tim Rose on his U.K. tour. Following that tour, Rose took Bonham as his own band’s drummer.

“He’d never earned the sort of bread he was getting with Tim Rose,” Plant recalled. “So I had to try and persuade him.” While Bonham was thinking, Page traveled up north to see him play. And Page agreed he was the right man for the job.

But Bonham still didn’t join Plant and Page. In addition to the gig with Rose, Bonham had job offers from Chris Farlowe and Joe Cocker. “Farlowe was fairly established and I knew Joe Cocker was going to make it,” Bonham said in In Their Own Words.

For him, it wasn’t about which band was going to have the most success, but which was going to take the musical path he hoped to follow. As he kept thinking, Page and future Zep manager Peter Grant kept sending telegrams asking Bonham to join.

Bonham finally joined Zep because he liked the music best

In the end, Bonham’s choice came down to his relationship with Plant. He decided this “New Yardbirds” group would be playing the sort of music he wanted to work on. “I already knew from playing in Band of Joy with Robert what he liked,” Bonham recalled.

As for Page, Bonham knew of the guitarist from the rock scene as well. “I knew what Jimmy was into,” he said. “And I decided I liked that sort of music better [than that of Farlowe and Cocker].” So Page and Grant could stop the telegrams and wait for their new drummer to arrive.

By the time Bonham got to London, Page had filled out the group with bassist-keyboardist-arranger John Paul Jones (another ace session man). And after a few tentative moments the four launched into “Train Kept A-Rollin’.” And they knew they had something special immediately.

RELATED: Why the Potent ‘Immigrant Song’ Kicked Off Led Zeppelin’s Most Acoustic Album

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TV and Movies

Why 'Watchmen' Director Stephen Willaims Compares the Tulsa Massacre to Krypton's Destruction (Video)

Williams describes the real-life tragedy as “the catalyst to set all the pieces of the narrative puzzle into play” for HBO series

“Watchmen” director Stephen Williams has a curious analogy for how Damon Lindelof weaved the Tulsa Massacre into his HBO update of Alan Moore’s acclaimed graphic novel.

The 9-episode run begins by going back to the site of the ugliest, and mostly untold, moments in American history that is widely considered to be the country’s single worst incident of racial violence. Williams said, “In much the same way that the destruction of the planet Krypton was the birth moment for Clark Kent/Superman, so too this event could become the catalyst to set all the pieces of the narrative puzzle into play.”

Williams’ comments came during TheWrap’s Emmy contenders virtual roundtable with directors and showrunners on Monday, which also included Derek Cianfrance (“I Know This Much is True”), Nichelle Tramble Spellman (“Truth Be Told”), Alan Poul (“The Eddy”) and Paul Simms (“What We Do in the Shadows”).

In “Watchmen,” the Tulsa Massacre serves as the start of Will Reeves’ story, after he witnesses the event as a child. Reeves, of course, would go on to assume the moniker of Hooded Justice, the first vigilante in the alternate-reality world of “Watchmen.”

The show has been lauded for its inclusion of the event, which had gone largely unknown by the general American public and has taken on even greater resonance in the aftermath of the nationwide protests against systemic racism that have marched on since Memorial Day.

“As people have continued to excavate that portion of American history that has been buried and left in the shadows for many people, as that event has come to life and many others in recent times, in recent days and years, it’s acquired particular resonance and refracted off the construction of ‘Watchmen’ in a way that we certainly hadn’t imagined, but are satisfied is finally now being seen for what it is, and is being examined and explored,” Williams said.

Elsewhere in the panel, the participants spoke about the challenge of having to film one actor playing dual roles. “I Know This Much Is True,” based on Mark Lamb’s novel of the same name, stars Mark Ruffalo as twins Dominick and Thomas Birdsey. Cianfrance, who directed and co-wrote the limited series, said that he didn’t want it to feel like a “technical trick.” One way he was able to do that was to have Ruffalo gain 30 pounds to play Thomas, who suffers from schizophrenia, but that meant that they would have to shoot all the scenes that featured both brothers twice, and months apart.

“We ended up shooting 16 weeks of Mark as one twin, and then he went away for 6 weeks. He gained 30 pounds and then we came back to the same location. Sometimes, the big challenge was to shoot a driving scene in a car, where one side was shot in April and the other side was shot in September, and to have that continuity between the two characters,” Cianfrance said, adding that Ruffalo “embodied a completely different person.”

How different? Ask Mark’s dad, Cianfrance said. “When Mark Ruffalo’s dad first saw the trailer to our show, he asked Mark, ‘Looks great, who did you get to play your brother?’”

Spellman added for “Truth Be Told,” which features Lizzy Caplan as twins Josie and Lanie Buhrman, that they had specific days for Caplan they called “twin days.”

“Everybody prepared for twin days. It just took a little bit more time,” she said, before praising Caplan’s ability to make both characters feel like completely separate people. “She really made them different. The first day that she was in the blonde wig for one of the twins, I walked right past her.”

In the book that “Truth Be Told” is based on (Kathleen Barber’s “Are You Sleeping”), Caplan’s twins are the central characters. But the Apple TV+ series shifts the narrative around Octavia Spencer’s Poppy Parnell, a minor character in the source material. “That would mean it was very closed-ended, if we just followed that,” Spellman said. “We basically had the spine of the novel, the basic story that we wanted to tell with the mystery, and then it sort of bloomed from there based on casting, based on the fact that we wanted to have a little more longevity.”

Even Simms had that experience briefly on “What We Do in the Shadows,” which featured an episode that saw the main cast play their own characters’ ghosts. “Each of the vampires acted opposite themselves as their own ghosts. We did actors playing two parts but four times within one episode,” Simms said. “I know what a nightmare it is. But fun.”

Alan Poul was the only person on the panel who wasn’t working off some type of pre-existing material. That allowed the series the ability to create something from scratch and show something not often depicted on screen: Modern-day Paris.

“One of the things we knew going in was we wanted to show Paris as it is now. You say you’re going to do a show set in a jazz club in Paris and everybody says, ‘Ooh, 40s? 60s?’ I never had anybody think the show was contemporary when I told them what the show was about. But what we wanted to show was Paris today. The multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-faith Paris, which is really what Paris is,” Poul said. “The challenge was building a world that we had to keep authentic, even though we weren’t French.”

Emmy Contenders 2020, From Issa Rae to Jennifer Connelly (Exclusive Photos)

  • Stars and creators of the season’s biggest shows pose for StudioWrap

  • Actress Jennifer Connelly, “Snowpiercer”

    Photographed by Matt Sayles for TheWrap

  • Actress and series co-creator Issa Rae, “Insecure”

    Photographed by Matt Sayles for TheWrap

  • Actor Bradley Whitford, “The Handmaid’s Tale”

    Photographed by Matt Sayles for TheWrap

  • Actress Aidy Bryant, “SNL” and “Shrill”

    Photographed by Matt Sayles for TheWrap

  • Actor and creator Rob McElhenney, “Mythic Quest” and “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”

    Photographed by Matt Sayles for TheWrap

  • Actor Billy Porter, “Pose”

    Photographed by Matt Sayles for TheWrap

  • Director Eric Goode, “Tiger King”

    Photographed by Matt Sayles for TheWrap

  • Director Rebecca Chaiklin, “Tiger King”

    Photographed by Matt Sayles for TheWrap

  • Showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich, “The Witcher”

    Photographed by Matt Sayles for TheWrap

  • Actor and showrunner Dan Levy, “Schitt’s Creek”

    Photographed by Matt Sayles for TheWrap

  • Producer Ed Guiney, “Normal People”

    Photographed by Matt Sayles for TheWrap

  • Director Kenny Leon, “American Son”

    Photographed by Matt Sayles for TheWrap

  • Actor Jeremy Pope, “Hollywood”

    Photographed by Matt Sayles for TheWrap

  • Actress Kaitlyn Dever, “Unbelievable”

    Photographed by Corina Marie Howell for TheWrap

  • Actor Tim Blake Nelson, “Watchmen”

    Courtesy of Tim Blake Nelson

  • Actor Ramy Youssef, “Ramy”

    Photographed by Marissa Mooney for TheWrap

  • Actress D’Arcy Carden, “The Good Place”Photographed by Matt Sayles for TheWrap
  • Executive Producer, “Insecure”

    Photographed by Matt Sayles for TheWrap

  • Actress and series co-creator Issa Rae, “Insecure”

    Photographed by Matt Sayles for TheWrap

  • Actress Linda Cardellini, “Dead to Me”

    Photographed by Steven Rodriguez for TheWrap

  • Actress Justina Machado, “One Day at a Time”

    Photographed by Irvin Rivera for TheWrap

  • Actor Jeremy Strong, “Succession”

    Photographed by Christian Friis for TheWrap

  • Actor J.B. Smoove, “Curb Your Enthusiasm”

    Photographed by Embry Lopez for TheWrap

  • Actor Diego Luna, “Narcos: Mexico”

    Photographed by Shayan Asgharnia for TheWrap

  • Director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, “Hunters”

    Photographed by Irvin Rivera for TheWrap

  • Actor Harvey Guillen, “What We Do in the Shadows”

    Photographed by Corina Marie Howell for TheWrap

Stars and creators of the season’s biggest shows pose for StudioWrap

Stars and creators of the season’s biggest shows pose for StudioWrap

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Why Will Smith Refuses to Watch Episodes of 'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'

Will Smith was an accomplished rapper when he made his acting debut in the ’90s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Smith played a fun-loving teen from Philadelphia who moves out to Los Angeles with his wealthy relatives.

NBC initially planned to wrap the show after season 4. However, fans voiced their displeasure with that decision by writing letters to Smith and network executives asking them to renew the series. They did, and it ran for two more seasons ultimately ending in 1996 when Smith and the rest of the cast agreed “it was time” to move on.

RELATED: Are Will Smith and His Oldest Son Trey Estranged?

While the sitcom was a hit and still airs reruns today, you won’t catch Smith watching it. Read on to find out why the actor said he doesn’t tune into old episodes of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Will Smith and ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ castmates have virtual reunion

In April, Smith and his Fresh Prince castmates got together for a virtual reunion.

Alfonso Ribeiro, Tatyana Ali, Karyn Parsons, Daphne Reid, DJ Jazzy Jeff, and Joseph Marcell joined Smith via Zoom for his Snapchat series, Will From Home.

“It’s [a] beautiful pause button for us to stop and think about what’s really necessary. How often do we even pop on a call and say, ‘Hey, how you doing?’” the Men in Black star said, adding, “Of all the things I have ever done, nobody brings up things more than they do about the Fresh Prince.”

Of course, the person missing from the reunion was on everyone’s mind.

James Avery, who played the Banks family patriarch and Will’s Uncle Phil, died of complications from open-heart surgery on Dec. 13, 2013.

“The Fresh Prince wouldn’t have been HALF what it was without the talent and light that was James Avery. We all love and miss you James,” Smith wrote on Instagram with several clips of the late actor.

The reason Smith doesn’t watch old episodes of the show

Despite ending more than two decades ago, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air remains a fan favorite today with so many people tuning in for the theme song, the colorful outfits, and “The Carlton” dance. But Smith is not one of those people.

During an appearance on The Graham Norton Show a few years back, Smith revealed that he doesn’t watch old episodes of the series that made him a household name because of how bad he thought his acting was back then.

“It was my very first role, and I was very, very focused on being successful, so I learned the whole script and everyone else’s lines,” he explained (via HuffPost). “If you watch the first four or five episodes, you can see I’m mouthing other people’s lines. It’s terrible and I can’t bear to watch it.”

RELATED: Which ‘Bad Boys for Life’ Star is Older and Who Has a Higher Net Worth: Will Smith or Martin Lawrence?

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TV and Movies

Why Quentin Tarantino Entrusted His First Original Score to Ennio Morricone With 'The Hateful Eight'

“I finally broke down. And it was the maestro that made me break down,” Tarantino told TheWrap in 2015

  • 10. “Once Upon a Time in … Hollywood” (2019) 

    Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie) is a meaningless footnote in her own life story in Quentin Tarantino’s baffling and insulting ode to 1960s Hollywood. Robbie is criminally underutilized, taking a backseat to a fictional, mediocre actor (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his stunt double (Brad Pitt). They worry about their careers and mock Bruce Lee for two hours, until the film builds to a cruel, misogynistic Manson Family climax that finally reveals the true reason the film exists: to be a shameless self-insert fantasy. “Once Upon a Time” is by far Tarantino’s most immature film, a nonstop nostalgia fetish parade with no demonstrable respect for the real-life tragedies it portrays.

    Sony Pictures

  • 9. “The Hateful Eight” (2015) 

    Quentin Tarantino’s 70mm one-location parlor mystery is chockablock with excellent performances and his signature, sparkling dialogue. But he seems all too eager to exploit the horrors of hatred and all too reticent to come to any meaningful conclusions about them. The gruesome story follows despicable human beings trapped in a Wild West rest stop. The dynamite ensemble — Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Bruce Dern, et al — makes a meal of the screenplay, but all we’re left with is a mean-spirited punchline, which suggest that men can only overcome their racism by finding common ground in misogyny.

    The Weinstein Company

  • 8. “Kill Bill: Vol. 2” (2004) 

    The second installment of Tarantino’s “Kill Bill” — which was released theatrically in two parts, so that’s how we’ll review it — is gutsier than the first, but also less cohesive. The Bride (Uma Thurman) continues her roaring rampage of revenge with increasingly episodic adventures, as she fights her one-eyed nemesis Elle (Daryl Hannah) and Bill’s brother Bud (Michael Madsen). But after the bravura finale of “Vol. 1,” the momentum never picks up again, and we’re stuck watching digressive subplots about menial strip-club maintenance and flimsy excuses for Michael Parks to play multiple roles. A few great battles, a memorable flashback training sequence with the iconic Gordon Liu, and David Carradine’s greatest (albeit short) performance make it worth watching, but it’s hard to deny that Tarantino simply front-loaded his grindhouse homage.


  • 7 1/2. “The Man From Hollywood” from “Four Rooms” (1995) 

    The oft-overlooked anthology comedy “Four Rooms” features humorous vignettes from Allison Anders, Alexandre Rockwell, Robert Rodriguez and Tarantino. Although the installments are hit-and-miss (Rodriguez’s is the best), Tarantino’s “The Man From Hollywood” is a deft little experiment in suspense. Tim Roth plays a hapless bellboy who’s enlisted to chop off someone’s finger if, as Tarantino himself explains at length, they can’t get a Zippo lighter to ignite 10 times in a row. It’s an awful lot of build-up for a delectably amusing finale, subverting the Hitchcockian concept of cinematic tension in favor of whimsical, unexpected realism.


  • 7. “Death Proof” (2007)   

    Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez each directed a 1970s throwback for “Grindhouse,” a double-feature event htat also featured trailers by Edgar Wright and Rob Zombie. But unlike Rodriguez’s “Planet Terror,” which is bigger and crazier than its source material, Tarantino’s “Death Proof” accurately re-creates the low-budget, talky aesthetic of films that could only afford to have two cool set pieces. The story of Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell), a misogynist who kills women with his specially modified car, gets lost in its own dialogue but features one of the greatest car chases ever filmed, with stunt legend Zoe Bell, playing herself, strapped to the hood of a car most of the time. In light of the behind-the-scenes events of “Kill Bill,” which are uncomfortably reminiscent of the events of “Death Proof,” the film ultimately feels more creepy (in a bad way) than thrilling.

    Genius Products

  • 6. “Reservoir Dogs” (1992) 

    Tarantino’s first (finished) feature is a heist film where we never see the heist, and instead flash back and forth between the planning stages and the tragic aftermath, where almost everyone is dead and nobody knows who’s responsible. Although it’s very similar to Ringo Lam’s “City on Fire,” the film became a statement of purpose for Tarantino, establishing his vision of a criminal underworld full of chatty, violent, macho posturers who aren’t nearly as cool, or as bulletproof, as they think they are. Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Steve Buscemi and Michael Madsen give iconic performances in this smart, low-budget ensemble thriller.


  • 5. “Django Unchained” (2012) 

    The Oscar-winning Western takes the racist dialogue Tarantino frequently writes, gives it to horrible people and then lets Jamie Foxx brutally murder them. Foxx plays a freed slave turned bounty hunter who teams up with mentor Dr. King Schulz (Christoph Waltz) to rescue Django’s wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington), from a monstrously hateful southern dandy, Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio). The grindhouse story structure helps Tarantino’s sprawling saga of violent justice stay focused, and excellent performances help elevate the material further. One of Tarantino’s most satisfying films.

    The Weinstein Company

  • 4. “Kill Bill: Vol. 1” (2003)

    Uma Thurman’s quest for stylish, violent vengeance is filled with fantastic fight choreography, unforgettable set pieces and fascinating characters. Although the story  ends on a cliffhanger teasing “Part 2,” the film feels impressively complete. It’s every awesome 1970s movie mashed together, bound by an infectious love for the medium. Tarantino seems desperate to push every underappreciated genre to its artistic and technical limits, and his love for his source material is infectious.


  • 3. “Inglourious Basterds” (2009) 

    Tarantino takes a chainsaw to history in this rousing, fascinating World War II drama. Mélanie Laurent stars as the Jewish owner of a movie house in Paris, who plans to assassinate Hitler when he attends the premiere of a new Nazi propaganda film. Meanwhile, Brad Pitt and his ragtag band of Jewish soldiers are taking Nazi scalps behind enemy lines, and the mesmerically evil Hans Landa (Oscar winner Christoph Waltz) tries to play them all for suckers. Unlike the insulting “Once Upon a Time in … Hollywood,” the historical revisionism in “Inglourious Basterds” comes across as empowering, celebrating the heroic power of cinema and giving WWII an unexpectedly cathartic — though highly implausible — Hollywood climax.

    The Weinstein Company

  • 2. “Pulp Fiction” (1994) 

    The second film from Quentin Tarantino solidified the filmmaker’s distinctive storytelling style and ushered in a torrential wave of imitators, making films full of fast-talking, pop culture-savvy criminals. “Pulp Fiction” did it best, and this series of interconnected stories (about ill-fated hitmen, an ill-fated boxer, and an ill-fated gangster’s wife) doesn’t feel like an empty style exercise. Tarantino and co-writer Roger Avery tore away the artifice of genre cinema and forced all the archetypal characters to reveal their previously unexplored humanity. Crime was no longer alluring and mysterious, it was everyday and familiar, and — surprise! — we love it that way. “Pulp Fiction” reintroduced the moviegoers to crime cinema.


  • 1. “Jackie Brown” (1997) 

    Tarantino’s films have always been about exposing the hidden depths in seemingly shallow cinema, but when he finally had a story with actual depth — courtesy of Elmore Leonard, on whose novel “Rum Punch” this was based — he knew enough to let it ride. Pam Grier gives an all-time great performance as a flight attendant caught between a smuggler, an ATF agent and an amorous bail bondsman. Her chemistry with Oscar nominee Robert Forster is genuine and rich, and Samuel L. Jackson’s performance as a criminal who refuses to admit he’s not a mastermind is unpredictably memorable. Meanwhile, Tarantino’s deft direction lifts the multi-perspective racetrack centerpiece from Stanley Kubrick’s “The Killing,” infusing Leonard’s story with his own distinctive preoccupations. “Jackie Brown” is Tarantino’s smartest, his most earnest and — in a subtle way (rarely the auteur’s strong suit) — his most beautiful film to date.


  • Where does “Once Upon a Time in … Hollywood” fall among the grindhouse auteur’s films?

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    Why High School Musical’s Lucas Grabeel Doesn’t Think He’d Play Ryan Today

    A different path. High School Musical star Lucas Grabeel talked about his role in the Disney Channel movies after director Kenny Ortega revealed that his character, Ryan Evans, was gay.

    ‘High School Musical’ Cast: Where Are They Now?

    “If High School Musical was made today, I don’t know if I would play Ryan,” Grabeel, 35, told TMZ on Sunday, July 5. “I would love to, but I just don’t know. The last thing that I want to do is take something away, take an opportunity away from other people, and as a straight white man, I know that even without trying I’ve taken opportunities away from people.”

    He added, “There’s so many amazingly talented gay actors that could do it as well.”

    Stars at Pride Through the Years

    Ortega, 70, made headlines on Tuesday, June 30, when he told Variety that Ryan was not openly gay in the High School Musical movies because he did not think Disney was “ready to cross that line and move into that territory yet.” However, the filmmaker, who is gay, insisted that the company consisted of “the most progressive group of people I’ve ever worked with.”

    Grabeel recalled during Sunday’s interview that he once approached Ortega on set and asked about Ryan’s sexuality.

    “He was like … ‘It’s a touchy subject sometimes with children’s programming, and I’m not sure if Disney is ready right now for that kind of thing, but I absolutely agree that he is [gay],’” the actor recounted to the website, noting the importance of having a character that kids “don’t often see portrayed on television.”

    Celebrity LGBTQ Allies

    Grabeel starred as Ryan, who was the brother of Ashley Tisdale’s character, Sharpay Evans, in High School Musical (2006), High School Musical 2 (2007) and High School Musical 3: Senior Year (2008). He recently had a virtual reunion with his former costars including Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Tisdale, 35, and Corbin Bleu on ABC’s The Disney Family Singalong.

    “We need to start educating everyone at the youngest age possible, and that’s why it will fall into the hands of people like Disney who create so much great programming for the developing minds of our future country,” Grabeel told TMZ. “We in the film industry have a duty and have a responsibility to educate as well as entertain.”

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    TV and Movies

    ‘Umbrella Academy’: Why Luther Hargreeves Looks So Familiar

    Today, Tom Hopper might be best known for his role in the Netflix series The Umbrella Academy. But the actor had several other parts before landing the comic book-inspired role of Luther Hargreeves. Find out what else Hopper has starred in that you might recognize. 

    Tom Hopper plays Luther in ‘The Umbrella Academy’ 

    The Netflix series The Umbrella Academy is based on the comic book series of the same name created by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá. It tells the story of the Hargreeves family, an unconventional group of anti-heroes who, after disbanding due to loss, must reunite to save the world. 

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    RELATED: ‘Umbrella Academy’ is Coming Back This July — Questions We Have About Season 2

    Raised by the seemingly emotionless Sir Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore), each Hargreeves child is assigned a number. As Number One, Luther assumes the leadership role in the family, much to the disappointment of many fans.

    Fans love to hate on Luther 

    Several fans blame Luther for all of the bad that occurs during season 1 of The Umbrella Academy. From the apocalypse to the uncontrollable Hargreeves sibling who causes it, many fans think Luther is at the root of all of the family’s problems. Some fans feel Luther’s judgment is clouded by his romantic feelings for Allison (Emmy Raver-Lampton) or his rivalry with Diego (David Castañeda). That’s not necessarily a quality you want someone to have — especially when they’re taking charge against the impending apocalypse.

    Still, other fans feel for Luther, considering everything Reginald put him through. After learning that his trip to the moon was a farce, Luther’s decision-making abilities worsen as he works to find himself again. 

    Tom Hopper has an impressive portfolio outside of ‘The Umbrella Academy’

    Before landing the role of Luther, Hopper played Sir Percival on the fantasy series Merlin. When that show ended, Hopper quickly found a place within Michael Bay’s Starz series, Black Sails. According to Looper, the four-season show is a prequel to Robert Louis Stevens’ Treasure Island. Hopper played William Manderly, better known as Billy Bones. 

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    RELATED: ‘Umbrella Academy’: Why You’ll Never See a Cell Phone in the Netflix Series

    After the success of Black Sails, Hopper started getting more acting gigs. He appeared in the popular HBO series Game of Thrones as Dickon Tarly, the brother of Samwell Tarly (John Bradley). The role was initially played by Freddie Stroma, who some might recognize as Cormac McLaggen in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Due to scheduling issues, Hopper was brought on in the following season. Black Sails fans were excited to see Hopper on Game of Thrones, but his time was short lived. Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) burned Dickon and his father, Randyll (James Faulkner), alive for refusing to bend the knee. 

    Hopper has also appeared in several movies, including I Feel Pretty with Amy Schumer, Michelle Williams, and Emily Ratajkowski. He was also in Terminator: Fark Fate as the role of William Hadrell.

    Regardless of how some viewers feel about his role as Luther, fans can’t get enough of The Umbrella Academy. Start streaming season 2 of The Umbrella Academy starting July 31. 

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    Why Did Jessica Capshaw Leave ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ as Arizona Robbins?

    As any Grey’s Anatomy fan will tell you, Arizona Robbins (Jessica Capshaw) is a good man in a storm. Sure, the character had her moments. But even after Arizona’s rollercoaster romance with Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez) ended, the pediatric and fetal surgeon continued to shine. So naturally, viewers were shocked when ABC announced Capshaw would be leaving Arizona behind after Grey’s Anatomy Season 14. But why did the actor exit the hit Shondaland series? Here’s what happened in 2018.

    What happened to Arizona Robbins in ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 14?

    RELATED: Former ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Star Jessica Capshaw Was Turned Down For Two Roles Before Landing the Part of Arizona Robbins

    In Grey’s Anatomy Season 12, Callie and Arizona fought for custody of their daughter, Sophia, after Callie chose to move to New York City with her girlfriend, Penny Blake (Samantha Sloyan). The hearing itself was difficult to watch, to say the least. But in the end, Arizona won sole custody of Sophia. 

    Nevertheless, Callie and Arizona eventually came to an agreement and split time with their daughter. Then Callie went to New York, leaving Arizona behind in Seattle. Though this may not be the end of their story.

    When Grey’s Anatomy Season 14 aired in 2018, Sophia returned to Seattle. However, she had a hard time adjusting. She missed her life and mom in New York. Meanwhile, Arizona’s fetal surgery mentor, Nicole Herman (Geena Davis), returned and wanted to start a new women’s health center. And because the center could be built anywhere, Arizona and Nicole decided on New York.

    Finally, in the Grey’s Anatomy Season 14 finale, Arizona hinted she could eventually get back together with Callie, noting she couldn’t help but smile when texting her ex. But whether or not Calzona rekindled the romance, Arizona left Seattle for the Big Apple and hasn’t returned to Grey Sloan Memorial.

    Jessica Capshaw on leaving ‘Grey’s Anatomy

    RELATED: 4 ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Couples That Deserved to Be Endgame

    In March 2018, Deadline reported Capshaw and Sarah Drew — who played April Kepner — would not be returning after Grey’s Anatomy Season 14. The publication also shared the decision was made because the ABC medical drama wanted to go in a different creative direction. Then showrunner Krista Vernoff said in a statement:

    The characters of Arizona and April are permanently woven into the fabric of Grey’s Anatomy thanks to the extraordinary work of Jessica Capshaw and Sarah Drew. As writers, our job is to follow the stories where they want to go and sometimes that means saying goodbye to characters we love. It has been a joy and a privilege to work with these phenomenally talented actresses.

    Meanwhile, Capshaw released a statement of her own on Twitter, acknowledging the impact of her Grey’s Anatomy character. 

    “For the past ten years I have had the rare privilege of not only playing Arizona Robbins, but also being madly in love with playing her,” Capshaw wrote. “ She was one of the first members of the LGBTQ community to be represented in a series regular role on network television. Her impact on the world is forever. ”

    Can Jessica Capshaw return to ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ as Arizona Robbins?

    RELATED: 3 Songs ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Fans Can’t Listen to Without Bursting Into Tears

    It’s been about two years since Capshaw left Arizona behind on Grey’s Anatomy. And of course, fans would love to see the actor reprise her role in the Shondaland drama, even if it’s just a cameo. However, everyone will just have to wait and see what happens next. 

    Even so, creator Shonda Rhimes hinted the door is always open, noting Capshaw and Drew “will always be a part of our Shondaland family.” Meanwhile, in an interview with Marie Claire ahead of her exit, Capshaw pointed out Grey’s Anatomy characters can always return, so long as they didn’t die. 

    “You know, everyone consistently says that once you’re in Shondaland, you’re in Shondaland. Because it’s true,” Capshaw said in 2017. “You’re in the fold. You’re in the mix. You’re one of her people. So you never say never because unless your character actually genuinely dies, you can always come back.”

    She added, “And even then you could be a ghost.”

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    Why HBO's 'Watchmen' Probably Won't Get the Second Season Fans are Hoping For

    When Watchmen premiered on HBO in 2019, it received widespread critical acclaim and became an instant fan favorite. The finale left the door open for a future storyline, but it doesn’t look like the show is going to get another season. Here’s why.

    HBO’s Watchmen proves its relevance months after the finale

    Based on Dave Gibbons and Alan Moore’s graphic novels, Watchmen is set in an alternate reality where superheroes Dr. Manhattan (Yahya Abdul-Mateen) and Angela Abar, aka Sister Night (Regina King) come together to fight supervillains in a society plagued by racial tensions. 

    The HBO series recently returned to the spotlight when President Donald Trump announced he his Juneteenth rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The date and his choice of venue led fans to recall the series’ depiction of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, a little-known real-life incident in which mobs of Klan members attacked and killed Black Tulsa residents. 

    RELATED: Did HBO’s ‘Watchmen’ Lowkey Troll the Trumps? Some Fans Think So

    Regina King says she would only return if showrunner Damon Lindelof does

    In the finale of Watchmen, Regina King’s character, Angela Abar, consumes an egg that could potentially give her Dr. Manhattan’s powers. Her story could easily continue into a second season, but King says she’ll only return if showrunner Damon Lindelof does. 

    “I don’t know,” King said when talking to Reese Witherspoon for Variety. “Honestly, I feel like I think HBO would want it back in a heartbeat, but if Damon Lindelof doesn’t see an entry point for Season 2, I think that the possibilities are infinite. But I feel that if Damon doesn’t see it, then it’s going to be a no for me.”

    Watchmen showrunner Damon Lindelof isn’t interested in doing another season

    If King’s return relies on Lindelof, then Watchmen probably won’t get another season,  or at least not one that’s centered around her character.  Because, in a recent interview with Collider, Lindelof clearly stated he’s not interested in writing another season.

    “It’s more about me wanting to honor what Watchmen was before I became a part of it,” said Lindelof. “The legacy of Watchmen is Alan [Moore] and Dave [Gibbons] created it and it sat for 30 years, obviously Zack [Snyder] made his movie which was a pretty canonical adaptation of the 12 issues, and then we made our season of television, that was my turn. I got in the middle of the dance floor for a minute and got to do my move, but then you retreat to the edge of the circle and it’s someone else’s turn to dance.”

    Lindelof wrote the nine-episode season as one cohesive story, but he said he wouldn’t mind if someone else took the reigns to continue it. 

    “I think you and I both know there’s going to be more Watchmen,” he said. “That’s going to happen, and whether or not the individuals who decide that they want there to be more Watchmen pick this story up where it left off or they do an entirely different kind of Watchmen story, that’s up to them. But I am seeing a lot of people who respond to the show are catalyzed and interested in what the world would look like if it were being reshaped by Angela Abar. I don’t have a good answer to that question, but that’s why it cut to black when it did.”

    Without Lindelof, it’s unclear what a second season of Watchmen would look like. And if someone else were to take over, there’s no guarantee King would return. 

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    'Hamilton': Why the Cast of the Disney+ Film Looks So Familiar

    Now that it’s streaming on Disney+, viewers can finally watch the brilliance of Hamilton at home. The musical film features most of the original Broadway cast, including writer and producer Lin-Manuel Miranda. 

    But fans are finding lots of other familiar faces on the show that they just can’t place. So, here’s a quick breakdown of the Hamilton cast, and what else they’ve been in. 

    Lin-Manuel Miranda as Alexander Hamilton

    Miranda is known for writing, composing, producing, and starring in Hamilton as the lead, but he’s also been in a number of other popular projects over the years. He portrayed Jack in Disney’s 2018 film, Mary Poppins Returns. And he plays the hot air balloon driver, Lee Scoresby in the HBO fantasy drama, His Dark Materials

    Miranda has also appeared on episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Fosse/Verdon. And back in 2013, he had a recurring role on the NBC medical drama, Do No Harm

    Leslie Odom Jr. as Aaron Burr

    RELATED: ‘Hamilton’: Who Plays King George in the Disney+ Movie?

    Aside from his Tony Award-winning performance as Aaron Burr in Hamilton, Leslie Odom Jr. has had an extensive TV career, with recurring roles on shows like CSI: Miami, Smash, Persons of Interest, and Law & Order: SVU.  He was also featured on episodes of Gilmore Girls, Grey’s AnatomyNCIS: Los Angeles, Supernatural, Gotham, and The Good Wife

    Odom starred as Dr. Arbuthnot in the 2017 film, Murder on the Orient Express. And he played William Still in the 2019 Academy Award-nominated movie, Harriet

    Renée Elise Goldsberry as Angelica Schuyler

    For her performance as Angelica Schuyler in the Broadway production of Hamilton, Renée Elise Goldsberry picked up a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical in 2016. But she actually started her TV career nearly 20 years prior.

    She joined the cast of Ally McBeal in 1997, then landed recurring roles on shows like One Life to Live, The Good Wife, and Law & Order: SVU. Goldberry currently plays Quellcrist Falconer on Netflix’s sci-fi series Altered Carbon.  

    Daveed Diggs as Marquis de Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson

    For his performances as Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson, Daveed Diggs picked up both a Grammy and a Tony Award in 2016. After Hamilton, the actor found recurring roles on Black-ish, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Law & Order: SVU, and The Get Down

    Diggs’s recent film credits include Velvet Buzzsaw, Wonder, and Blindspotting. He currently plays the lead role of Andre Layton in the TNT series, Snowpiercer

    Christopher Jackson as George Washington

    Before joining Hamilton as George Washington, Christopher Jackson was a seasoned Broadway star with productions like The Lion King and In The Heights under his belt. His TV credits include appearances on Oz, Nurse Jackie, and The Good Wife. And in 2019, he joined the cast of When They See Us as Peter Rivera.     

    Jackson currently portrays Chuck Palmer on the CBS drama, Bull

    Phillipa Soo as Eliza Hamilton

     After picking up a Tony nomination for her performance as Eliza in Hamilton, Phillipa Soo continued to pursue her Broadway career with productions like Amélie and The Parisian Woman. She doesn’t have an extensive TV and film resume, but Soo has had small roles on shows like Here and Now, Smash, and The Code

    Jonathan Groff as King George

    Before joining the cast of Hamilton as King George III, Jonathan Groff was a Tony Award-nominated actor. In 2006, he originated the role of Melchior Gabor in the Broadway rock musical Spring Awakening, and then went on to join his co-star Lea Michele on the Fox series, Glee.

    And if Groff’s voice sounds familiar, it’s probably because he voices Kristoff in Disney’s Frozen film franchise. The actor currently stars as FBI profiler Holden Ford in the Netflix thriller, Mindhunter

    Jasmine Cephas Jones as Peggy Schuyler/Maria Reynolds

    Along with portraying Maria Reynolds and Peggy Schuyler in Hamilton, Jasmine Cephas Jones has been featured in a variety of films and TV projects. She appeared in the 2018 film, Dog Days, and has a recurring role in the HBO comedy series, Mrs. Fletcher.  

    Anthony Ramos as John Laurens/Philip Hamilton

    Known for playing dual roles in Hamilton as John Laurens and Philip Hamilton, Anthony Ramos has gone on to star in a number of television and film productions in the last few years. He appeared on episodes of Younger, Law & Order: SVU, and Will & Grace. And he also had a recurring role as Mars Blackmon on Spike Lee’s Netflix series, She’s Gotta Have It

    In 2018, Ramos played Ramon in the Academy Award-winning film, A Star Is Born, opposite Lady Gaga.

    Okieriete Onaodowan as Hercules Mulligan/James Madison

    Aside from his roles as James Madison and Hercules Mulligan in Hamilton, Okieriete Onaodowan has been featured in a number of Broadway productions including Cyrano De Bergerac, Rocky, and Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812.  

    Onaodowan has appeared on a few TV shows as well, including Grey’s Anatomy, The Get Down, and Ballers. The actor currently plays Dean Miller on the ABC drama, Station 19.

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