A version of this story appeared in Pop Life Chronicles, CNN’s weekly entertainment bulletin. To receive it in your inbox, Register for free here.
Times have changed, and over the past few years it feels like there has been some accountability when it comes to the treatment of women in hollywood.
From Paris Hilton For Britney Spears to Janet Jackson and much morewe reassessed how female celebrities have been exploited, fetishized and looked down upon.
Which brings us to this week’s newsletter.
Pamela Anderson is having a moment.
Her memoirs, “Love, Pamela” and her Netflix documentary, “Pamela, a love story”, dropped on Tuesday, and now I feel like I have a whole new perspective on the “Baywatch” star.
There’s so much more to her than a Playboy model who married rocker Tommy Lee and sparked the first viral video with their stolen sex tape. This tape paved the way – whether you like it or not – in party for the fame of people like Hilton and Kim Kardashian.
Nor is Anderson just an actress who never outgrew roles that capitalized on her body, or the woman with five ex-husbands (including the aforementioned Lee; she also married one of them, professional poker player Rick Salomon, twice) and a penchant for falling in love hard and fast.
He is someone who has survived the trauma of his childhood and all the assumptions that come with the world by seeing some of his most intimate moments. “I’m not a victim,” Anderson says in “Pamela, A Love Story.”
From the documentary and the book, she showed wisdom, humor and self-awareness – which I find impressive considering how the industry chews up so many people (and then spits them out). Anderson needs to apologize for the public humiliation and media scrutiny she suffered, but I appreciate that she seems to be doing fine without it.
Continuing the theme of strong women in the spotlight, actress Lauren London is currently gaining attention for her role in the Netflix movie, “You People.”
Now before you roll your eyes at it seemingly polarizing reinterpretation from the 1967 classic “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”, know that this eulogy is for London, not necessarily the project.
She’s not new to the scene, and many have enjoyed her work since her breakout role in the 2006 film “ATL.” Others, however, know her as the partner of slain rapper Nipsey Hussle, who was tragically murdered in Los Angeles in 2019.
Their love story was one of the most famous in hip-hop and he was one of its biggest supporters. I can only imagine how bittersweet her success must be right now without the love of her life to share it with.
Shania Twain is highly revered in the pop/country music world, so it makes sense that her new album is titled “Queen of Me.”
But it’s apparently also a record of how she learned treat yourself like royalty: She spoke of feeling ‘liberated’ doing it during an appearance on the “Making Space with Hoda Kotb” podcast.
“I feel positive and optimistic, but still at the same time shameless. I don’t feel like I need to explain myself that much,” Twain said. “But I still feel very responsible. The album title “Queen of Me” couldn’t be more apt for where I’m at in my mind.
“Queen of Me” is out now.
The pandemic, along with the rise of streaming services, has certainly changed the way we see movies. Many people now say they prefer to watch from the comfort of their couch.
Is staying home bad for movies? CNN’s Audie Cornish has a gripping interview with Franklin Leonard, founder of The Black List, about the state of cinema and the cultural necessity of going to the movies in a recent episode of his podcast “The Assignment”.
It’s a timely listen in the middle of awards season, and worth finding out if Leonard can actually win over a reluctant Cornish. return to the theater.
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”
If you missed the “Black Panther” sequel in cinemas, don’t worry – Disney+ has you covered.
The long-awaited film is a love letter to the late Chadwick Boseman, who played the titular T’Challa. (And let’s not forget, it also earned Angela Bassett a groundbreaking Oscar nomination.) So grab your popcorn and plenty of tissues, because Rihanna’s song “Lift Me Up” who plays during the end credits of the film, alone could break you.
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” is streaming now.
“The 65th Annual Grammy Awards”
Trevor Noah returns to host the greatest night of music Sunday, which will feature performances by artists such as Lizzo, Harry Styles, Luke Combs, Sam Smith, bad bunny and Mary J. Blige.
Yes, it’s an awards show, but it’s also a multi-genre music festival — it also happens to have trophies.
The show will air live on CBS and stream on Paramount+ beginning at 8 p.m. EST.