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“REVOLT BLACK NEWS Weekly” aired on Friday (Aug. 26) to discuss the case of WNBA player Brittney Griner, the impact inflation has had on Black businesses, and Me Time starring Kevin Hart.
REVOLT Special Correspondent Rochelle Ritchie hosted the episode, titled “The Brittney Griner Effect and Black Americans Behind Bars.” She was joined by political activist Oliver Mac, WNBA All-Star Angel McCoughtry, retired WNBA player Chantel Tremitiere, National Voter Protection Action Fund Founder Don Calloway and political activist Jericho Green. REVOLT Entertainment Correspondent Kennedy Rue McCullough also brought viewers the latest in celebrity news, during which she interviewed Kevin Hart and Mark Wahlberg to discuss their roles in Me Time, a Netflix original comedy film.
Ritchie opened the show by discussing the case of WNBA star Brittney Griner, who was found guilty of smuggling and storing illegal drugs while traveling through an airport in Moscow, Russia. On Aug. 4, the Phoenix Mercury player was sentenced to nine years in prison for breaking international law.
Ritchie held a roundtable discussion with Mac, McCoughtry and Tremitiere to discuss whether Griner’s sentence was harsh. Mac expressed to Ritchie that Griner’s sentence was “excessive,” but that she should have also been more responsible while traveling abroad. “Russia has its own laws. Russia has its own way of doing things and, unfortunately, who are we to criticize the way that they do things in their country? If you’re going over to their country to play basketball or do business of any kind, then you should know exactly what their laws are and what their punishments are for breaking those laws,” he declared.
However, during the discussion, McCoughtry pushed back on Mac’s response and said Griner did not deserve a nine-year sentence and “should have been extradited home.” “We’ve been in and out of the borders for many years — they know who we are. I just feel like the punishment is very cruel. Even our friends [in Russia] believe it’s a political issue,” she asserted. Later in the conversation, Tremitiere criticized those who have blasted Griner in recent weeks for asking President Joe Biden to intervene on her behalf. “To say she’s spoiled is highly exaggerated,” she voiced. “Protesting the National Anthem … it’s not about her not loving this country. She never said she doesn’t love this country,” she added.
Switching gears, Ritchie turned her attention to the rise in inflation and its impact on Black businesses. She spoke with Calloway and Green to discuss the state of the U.S. economy and how a recession could be catastrophic for Black business owners. During the chat, Calloway argued that in the event of a recession, the Biden administration’s response will either help or hurt Black businesses. “The actions that the Biden administration takes to provide not only access to capital, but to open up access to things like negotiating for Medicare prices like we saw with the Inflation Reduction Act or student loan relief. Those things matter to Black families, and they matter to their Black businesses because often those accounts, those cashflows are one in the same,” he explained.
On the contrary, Green does not expect that the Biden-Harris administration would intercede on behalf of Black business owners if a recession were to occur. “The fact that we see the writing on the wall and we know it’s coming and it’s not going to surprise us — we need to start saving. I wish we could rely on the federal government. I wish they would be our safety net, but they just aren’t,” he dissented.
Later in the show, McCullough hosted her “Entertainment Remix” segment, during which she interviewed Kevin Hart and Mark Wahlberg about their newly released film Me Time. Hart told McCullough that the movie solidified the bromance between the two actors. He added, “There’s a real bond here. There’s a bond between the old K-ster and Markster.”
During the segment, McCullough also interviewed British actor John Boyega about his role in Breaking, a film based on the true story of 33-year-old Marine veteran Brian Brown-Easley, who was fatally wounded by law enforcement on July 7, 2017. Five years ago, Brown-Easley walked into a Wells Fargo bank in Atlanta, Georgia and handed an employee a note claiming to possess a bomb. While he was holding up the bank, he was also pleading for missing benefit payments. Brown-Easley wanted the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to hand over his monthly disability check worth nearly $900. After a three-hour ordeal, he was shot by police and was added to the long list of mentally ill individuals killed by law enforcement.
In an interview with McCullough, Boyega disclosed that Brown-Easley’s family was appreciative of how he portrayed the deceased veteran in the film. “His ex-wife, she loves what I did with it and [said] how he would have been quite proud to see that somebody from Star Wars was playing him in the movie because he was a sci-fi nerd,” Boyega revealed. “Brian’s main thing was about being heard. Brian’s main thing was about people understanding his position and where he was coming from. I feel this film is in direct connection to that legacy,” he continued.
Watch a quick clip from this week’s episode up top. Plus, be sure to catch the next installment of “REVOLT BLACK NEWS Weekly” on Friday, Sept. 2, 2022 at 5 p.m. ET on REVOLT’s app.