Actress and writer Yvette Nicole Brown joined cultural critic and host Jason Lee for yesterday’s (July 26) episode of “The Jason Lee Show.” The comedian and star of the upcoming film Blind Psychosis stopped by for an unfiltered, anything-goes interview covering a wide array of topics, including the writers’ strike, discussing grief with Janet Jackson, her thoughts on Vice President Kamala Harris, and much more.
In case you couldn’t catch the thrilling installment, here’s a rundown of what you missed.
Last May, the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers found themselves at an impasse, unable to reach a consensus on crucial matters such as fair compensation, streaming residuals, and other pressing issues. After failed meetings, the board of directors for the WGA’s East and West Coast divisions made the difficult decision to call for a strike. At precisely 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, May 2, the strike officially went into effect. In July, SAG-AFTRA, the union representing over 150,000 television and movie actors, also went on strike, marking Hollywood’s first industry-wide shutdown in over six decades.
Brown, a SAG-AFTRA board member, spoke about the ongoing protest and clarified some of the demands, telling host Lee, “The idea that this is a bunch of fat cats and rich and famous people just duking it out over their new yachts, that’s not what this is.” The 51-year-old added, “This is literally the rank and file actors and the rank and file writers who are living at the poverty line.”
The actress also shared, “The business [isn’t] set out for everybody to be a superstar and to be rich. There’s somebody that has to say, ‘Here’s your coffee… The doctor will see you now’ in a television show or movie, and we’re fighting for those people to have what they need.”
Elsewhere, the “Act Your Age” star gushed about her long-standing friendship with Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, and actress Janet Jackson.
“When I was growing up as a kid [in the] ’70s, there wasn’t anybody that looked like us. It was Janet and Kim Fields – you done. And Janet and Kim, but we’re talking about Janet, looked like me. She looked like a little Black girl from the Midwest. And she was a little Black girl from the Midwest, and so I got to see myself doing great things.”
The actress recalled initially meeting the “All For You” singer. According to Brown, who was guest-hosting on “The Real” at the time, producers gifted her tickets for a meet-and-greet with the entertainer during her Las Vegas residency. The memorable moment was all captured on video. “So the first time I meet Janet Jackson, I’m on camera, and it’s an episode of ‘The Real’ and I’m crying,” she said before adding, “It was really bad and I stayed for the birthday party.”
The ladies didn’t exchange contact information right then and there. Instead, Brown revealed the heartening gesture the singer made, noting, “I have her permission to share this.”
The actress revealed that while away in Ireland filming Disenchanted, she got word that her mother died. “The night my mother passed, I’m in this strange city, crying my eyes out in this apartment. No one’s there. I’m nine hours ahead. My phone rings, I pick it up – a number I don’t know,” she began. Brown said she and Jackson “were on the phone for two hours. She’s talking to me about grief, talking to me about life and that was the first time we ever had a conversation.”
“I’m like, she can get a kidney. Anybody that’s going to find me in an Ireland apartment building at like 11 o’clock a night on my darkest day…,” she continued, seemingly unable to find the right words.
After the unforgettable experience of meeting Jackson, Brown shared how thrilled she was when she later had the opportunity to connect with Vice President Kamala Harris via Zoom. The famed entertainer came to the defense of Harris, who has seemingly garnered unfair criticisms over her job duties. Brown strongly believes the high expectations from the public have to do with her skin color. “Because I don’t know any other vice president that they’ve been on like [that]… Nobody asked what [Former Vice President] Mike Pence was doing. Nobody cared what [Former Vice President Dan] Quayle was doing,” she insisted. “For some reason, Kamala has to be all things to all people, which she really is though. She’s really killing it, but nobody’s talking about it.”
When asked if she felt Harris could do anything to improve her public persona, Brown insisted, “The other problem is if she does any flag flying for what she’s done,” she’ll face even more backlash.
The accomplished thespian added, “She can’t win, and I think those of us in the culture should understand. We know she can’t win. So we — out of everyone — should be kinder to her as she threads this very difficult needle.”
The Hollywood star continued, “She wants to do good for the country. She wants to support the president that she’s under. And she wants to have a political career beyond what she’s doing now. All of that is fine. She just needs us to support her and stop tearing her down. And stop lying on her. There’s a lot of people lying on her.”
Brown and Lee kept the conversation going, touching on even more topics, including the actress’ journey playing matchmaker with her “Vetted” series and how it started with her brother. She also shared her thoughts on several other political figures, including Clarence Thomas, Candace Owens, and many more.
Like always, if you liked what you heard, tune into new episodes of “The Jason Lee Show” every Tuesday on REVOLT’s TV channel at 10 p.m. ET as well as every Wednesday on our website, YouTube Channel, and app at 5 p.m. ET. Also, don’t forget to watch the latest installment with Yvette Nicole Brown here.
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