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Matthew A. Cherry Animated Series ‘Young Love’ Greenlit at HBO Max

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HBO Max has ordered a 12-episode season of “Young Love,” an animated series based on the characters from Matthew A. Cherry and Sony Pictures Animation’s Oscar-winning animated short, “Hair Love.”

Creator Cherry will showrun the series with Carl Jones, the animation creative best known for “The Boondocks” and “Black Dynamite”; Blue Key Entertainment’s Monica A. Young, who produced “Hair Love,” will executive produce the streaming service’s new show alongside Lion Forge Animation’s David Steward II and Carl Reed.

“I am beyond excited to continue telling the story of Stephen, Angela and Zuri and further explore the family dynamics of a young Black millennial family we established in our short film Hair Love as an animated series,” said Cherry. “Couldn’t ask for better partners in Sony Pictures Animation and HBO Max in helping us get ‘Young Love’ out to the world.”

“Hair Love” explored the relationship between an African American father and his daughter, Zuri, as he does her hair for the first time.

“Young Love,” which will flesh out the story of that family, takes “an honest look into the world of the Young family – including millennial parents Stephen and Angela, their daughter Zuri and her pet cat Rocky – as they juggle their careers, marriage, parenthood, social issues, and multi-generational dynamics all while striving to make a better life for themselves.”

“’Hair Love’ struck a chord that is still resonating deeply with audiences of all ages,” said Billy Wee, HBO Max’s senior vice president of original animation. “Matthew and Sony Animation’s creative voices are a welcomed addition to the HBO Max family and we can’t wait to bring this joyous story to the world.”

Sony Pictures Animation executive VP of creative and “Hair Love” producer Karen Rupert Toliver called it a “privilege” to continue working with Cherry, adding that he has “gift for tapping into meaningful stories that touch our hearts. I personally can’t wait to collectively laugh and cry with the Young family.”

Last month Cherry inked a first-look deal with Warner Bros. Television Group. Both HBO Max and WBTVG are part of WarnerMedia. Cherry is repped by ICM Partners, Blue Key Management, and the law offices of R. Vaughn Gill.

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Maddie Ziegler Apologizes For Past ‘Ignorant And Racially Insensitive’ Videos

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Another celebrity apologizing for problematic past content in 3, 2, 1…

Maddie Ziegler made a public apology to fans on Tuesday over “ignorant and racially insensitive” videos from her past. At least in this case past meant when she was a literal child…

Related: JoJo Siwa Introduces Her Mystery Boyfriend In Adorable TikTok Video

In a note posted on social media, the Sia avatar acknowledged the mistakes of her younger self and attempted to make things right. She began: 

“There are a few videos some of you have seen from when I was about 9 years old where I thought it was funny to mock people and accents. I’m honestly ashamed, and I’m truly sorry for my actions.”

The 17-year-old went on to insist her (almost) adult self would never make such harmful content, saying:

The decisions I made then are absolutely not decisions I would make today. What I thought was silly humor when I was younger I know was actually ignorant and racially insensitive. We have all made mistakes in our lives and as we grow up we educate ourselves and learn to be better people.”

The Dance Moms alum acknowledged that being a child star comes with a certain amount of responsibility, and that she let down those who have looked up to her over the years. She explained: 

“Growing up in the public eye has its challenges and also comes with the responsibility to set a good example which I failed to do in those videos. I hope you will forgive me and also hope you realize I have in fact grown up and would never act this way now.”

Ziegler concluded:

“I know some of you are hurt and may not accept my apology, but I want to ask all of you to please be kind to each other on socials. There is no need to attack each other or try to defend me. I don’t want anyone to feel bullied and think we can all learn from my mistakes and spread love during these times when we need it most.”

But she wasn’t the only one apologizing…

Maddie and her sister Kenzie, a popular TikTok star, both issued similar mea culpas this week. / (c) WENN/Instar

Earlier this week, the West Side Story star’s younger sister Mackenzie Ziegler issued her own apology in an emotional Instagram Live after accusations she had used racial slurs a couple years ago. She confessed: 

“I’m much more educated now than I was before, and I’m so sorry. And I’m being completely genuine, I’m so sorry that I offended the Black community, and I don’t — I would never treat you like that now. …And if you guys don’t forgive me, I completely understand.”

She added:

“I am sorry for my actions in the past. I am sorry if I offended anyone. That was not my intention. I am NOT a racist. I do not stand for racism. I’m sorry if you all misunderstood me. I’m trying my best.”

If that sounds like it’s leaning into defensiveness, you aren’t wrong. She next insisted she didn’t do what some were accusing her of:

“AND NO I DO NOT SAY THAT WORD. But I apologize for laughing. It was dumb and I learned from it. It was not funny. I was uncomfortable so I laughed. But that still doesn’t make up for what I did. I’m sorry”

While social media has long been an apology stage for celebs, the coronavirus quarantine has been a particularly fruitful season for mea culpas from the rich and famous. Some of the apologies were based on ignorant comments about COVID-19 (remember that Vanessa Hudgens blunder?), while others cropped up around the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement (though apologies couldn’t save the jobs of the Vanderpump Rules cast). 

Related: Ryan Reynolds & Blake Lively ‘Unreservedly Sorry’ For Plantation Wedding

It seems like Maddie and Kenzie were pretty young when these insensitive incidents went down, so we really hope that they’ve genuinely learned and changed since then. Considering Maddie donated to the NAACP for Kenzie’s birthday back in June (see below), it does seem like they’re on the right track!

What do YOU think of the apologies??

[Image via WENN/Instar]

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Valorant Act 2 Release Date Details Include Battle Pass, New Game Mode

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Riot Games’ tactical shooter Valorant is about to kick off Act II, bringing forth a new agent, a Battlepass chock full of exclusive unlockables, a new skinline, and a new Deathmatch mode for players to take on.

First up, the Battlepass will grant access to unique unlockables available only with this Act II pick-up. Launching tomorrow with the rest of the update, this will set you back 1,000 VP but will also give you access to a ton of goodies. If it’s the action you’re focused on, look to Deathmatch, the new free-for-all game mode; the fast-paced mode will give a win to the first player to rack up 30 kills, or the most kills at 6 minutes. (Free-for-all Deathmatch will launch in a Beta window the day after Act II goes live, and if everything looks stable, the Devs will keep it switched on! More on Deathmatch below.) Finally, for the fashion-conscious, a new line of bright, colorful, dystopian skins will be available as Glitchpop options.

Here’s everything that’s coming to Valorant this week:

valorant-glitchpop-odin

Image via Riot Games

Act II Battlepass:

The VALORANT Act II Battlepass is a way to customize your VALORANT experience. The Act II Battlepass will contain a series of unique unlockables, including gun skins, gun buddies, sprays, player cards, player titles, and Radianite Points. These unlockables are only available with the Act 2 Battlepass.

 

The Battlepass will launch on August 4 and cost 1000 VP.

Deathmatch:

Free-for-all Deathmatch is the new game mode that debuts during Act II and gives dedicated gunslingers a chance to test their flicks. Ten players. No abilities. Infinite money. Leave the Spike at home.

Glitchpop Skinline:

Glitchpop is a skinline that leans into a dystopian future where death has no consequence and comes to life through bright, colorful skins and a playful but deadly attitude. There are Glitchpop skins for Frenzy, Odin, Bulldog, Judge, and melee.

 

Glitchpop will be available in VALORANT on August 4.

Want to check out the skins a day early? Watch the trailer below:

We now pause your regularly scheduled programming for a special message from our new sponsors. Glitchpop skins available in the store August 4. Created in partnership with We Are Royale.

 

#VALORANT #Glitchpop #RiotGames

Additional Deathmatch details are as follows, courtesy of Riot Games:

Match: Respawning free-for-all deathmatch!

  • Objective: First to 30 kills, or most kills at 6 minutes.
  • Loadouts: Players can practice gunplay with whatever weapon they want.
    • Players can buy whatever gun they want, and can swap at any time.
    • Players spawn with heavy armor.
    • Players can’t buy or use abilities.
  • Respawn: Fast respawns that selects ideal spawn points
    • Dynamic respawn point selection.
      • Spawn points don’t have enemies in or close to line of sight.
      • Spawn points have their backs to the wall.
      • Spawn points aren’t too far from action.
    • 3 second respawn timer.
    • Respawn with 8 seconds of invulnerability that goes away on movement/firing.
      • Protects players to let them swap weapons.
  • Drop-out: Players can drop out at any time by selecting Leave Match from the options menu.
    • They don’t receive XP for the game.
  • Health Packs: Every death drops a health pack that expires after 10 seconds.
    • Running over the health pack instantly restores you to full 100/50 health.
    • This allows players to heal, and encourages movement & aggression.
  • UAV: Every 5 seconds, a radar sweep reveals the current location of all enemies.
    • This helps discourage corner camping and enables players to move through space quickly.
  • Kill banners: ceremonies (double, triple, …) are time-gated instead of life-gated.
    • After every kill, there’s a window of time for another kill to be secured for the streak to continue.

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Game of Thrones and More: The Best Book to TV Adaptations Ever

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Well, Game of Thrones fans, it’s time to arrest George R.R. Martin.

As the author of the sprawling A Song of Ice and Fire book series has kept fans waiting nearly a decade for The Winds of Winter, the sixth installment of a planned seven, it’s come to light that he hasn’t lived up to his end of a bargain struck in a blog post dated May 21, 2019. 

“As for finishing my book… I fear that New Zealand would distract me entirely too much. Best leave me here in Westeros for the nonce,” he wrote to fans last year, explaining why he wouldn’t be visiting the country just yet. “But I tell you this — if I don’t have The Winds of Winter in hand when I arrive in New Zealand for worldcon, you have here my formal written permission to imprison me in a small cabin on White Island, overlooking that lake of sulfuric acid, until I’m done.”

The kick-off date of CoNZealand, the 78th World Science Fiction Convention, of which Martin is serving as (virtual) toastmaster: July 29, 2020. 

And what do you know? No book in sight.

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