Rapper The Game has turned the family of slain U.S. teen Trayvon Martin into fans after having the youngster's image tattooed on his leg. The Dreams hitmaker decided to pay homage to the African-American struggle in the U.S. after Martin's killer, Neighbourhood Watch volunteer George Zimmerman, was allowed to walk free when a jury acquitted him of murdering the unarmed teenager this past summer (13).
He reveals Martin's family have reached out to applaud him for honouring Trayvon.
He says, "I got him in a hoodie, just the picture that everybody knows... I actually got a text message from his mom, which was cool. She appreciated the gesture.
"That whole story... I got a kid and I just thought that it was so unfortunate, so I did it."
The rapper also has the faces of his three children tattooed on his body of art.
Rapper Macklemore paid tribute to tragic Florida teenager Trayvon Martin and called for an end to racial profiling as he accepted an honour at the 2013 American Music Awards via satellite from the state. The Thrift Shop hitmaker was preparing for a gig with his producer pal Ryan Lewis on Sunday (24Nov13) when they learned they had won the Favorite Album - Rap/Hip-Hop prize for The Heist.
They delivered an acceptance speech to the audience at the Los Angeles prizegiving via video link from Miami, and Macklemore used the opportunity to urge fans and viewers to take a stand against race discrimination in the aftermath of Martin's death last year (12), when the unarmed black youth was shot by Neighbourhood Watch volunteer George Zimmerman.
Macklemore said, "It has been an absolutely incredible year, I feel extremely blessed to be accepting an award from the AMAs and now that I'm sitting here in front of millions of people, I'd like to address something extremely important to me...
"I was talking to my friend... before the show and he reminded me of a great Martin Luther King quote. He said, 'Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice anywhere', and due to the fact that we are in Florida tonight accepting this award, I want to acknowledge Trayvon Martin and the hundreds and hundreds of kids each year that are dying due to racial profiling and the violence that follows it.
"This is really happening, these are our friends, our neighbours, our peers and our fans and it's time that we look out for the youth and fight against racism and the laws that protect it."
Zimmerman cited Florida's controversial Stand Your Ground law, which allows a person to use reasonable force to defend themselves if they feel their safety is threatened, and an all-female jury agreed he was justified in taking the student's life when he was acquitted of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges in July (13).
The verdict prompted mass demonstrations and inspired many leading human rights leaders and celebrities, including Jay Z and Beyonce, to speak out.
Lions Gate via Everett Collection
When we last left our heroes, they had conquered all opponents in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, returned home to their newly refurbished living quarters in District 12, and fallen haplessly to the cannibalism of PTSD. And now we're back! Hitching our wagons once again to laconic Katniss Everdeen and her sweet-natured, just-for-the-camera boyfriend Peeta Mellark as they gear up for a second go at the Capitol's killing fields.
But hold your horses — there's a good hour and a half before we step back into the arena. However, the time spent with Katniss and Peeta before the announcement that they'll be competing again for the ceremonial Quarter Quell does not drag. In fact, it's got some of the film franchise's most interesting commentary about celebrity, reality television, and the media so far, well outweighing the merit of The Hunger Games' satire on the subject matter by having Katniss struggle with her responsibilities as Panem's idol. Does she abide by the command of status quo, delighting in the public's applause for her and keeping them complacently saturated with her smiles and curtsies? Or does Katniss hold three fingers high in opposition to the machine into which she has been thrown? It's a quarrel that the real Jennifer Lawrence would handle with a castigation of the media and a joke about sandwiches, or something... but her stakes are, admittedly, much lower. Harvey Weinstein isn't threatening to kill her secret boyfriend.
Through this chapter, Katniss also grapples with a more personal warfare: her devotion to Gale (despite her inability to commit to the idea of love) and her family, her complicated, moralistic affection for Peeta, her remorse over losing Rue, and her agonizing desire to flee the eye of the public and the Capitol. Oftentimes, Katniss' depression and guilty conscience transcends the bounds of sappy. Her soap opera scenes with a soot-covered Gale really push the limits, saved if only by the undeniable grace and charisma of star Lawrence at every step along the way of this film. So it's sappy, but never too sappy.
In fact, Catching Fire is a masterpiece of pushing limits as far as they'll extend before the point of diminishing returns. Director Francis Lawrence maintains an ambiance that lends to emotional investment but never imposes too much realism as to drip into territories of grit. All of Catching Fire lives in a dreamlike state, a stark contrast to Hunger Games' guttural, grimacing quality that robbed it of the life force Suzanne Collins pumped into her first novel.
Once we get to the thunderdome, our engines are effectively revved for the "fun part." Katniss, Peeta, and their array of allies and enemies traverse a nightmare course that seems perfectly suited for a videogame spin-off. At this point, we've spent just enough time with the secondary characters to grow a bit fond of them — deliberately obnoxious Finnick, jarringly provocative Johanna, offbeat geeks Beedee and Wiress — but not quite enough to dissolve the mystery surrounding any of them or their true intentions (which become more and more enigmatic as the film progresses). We only need adhere to Katniss and Peeta once tossed in the pit of doom that is the 75th Hunger Games arena, but finding real characters in the other tributes makes for a far more fun round of extreme manhunt.
But Catching Fire doesn't vie for anything particularly grand. It entertains and engages, having fun with and anchoring weight to its characters and circumstances, but stays within the expected confines of what a Hunger Games movie can be. It's a good one, but without shooting for succinctly interesting or surprising work with Katniss and her relationships or taking a stab at anything but the obvious in terms of sending up the militant tyrannical autocracy, it never even closes in on the possibility of being a great one.
Follow @Michael Arbeiter
| Follow @Hollywood_com
George Zimmerman has been released on bail and fitted with an electronic monitor after being charged with assault and domestic violence following an alleged altercation with his girlfriend Samantha Scheibe on Monday (18Nov13). The 30 year old was a point of discussion across America over the summer (13) after he was acquitted of killing unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin.
George Zimmerman, the man cleared of murdering teenager Trayvon Martin, has been arrested over allegations he attacked his girlfriend. The 30 year old was taken into custody in Florida on Monday (18Nov13) and charged with felony aggravated assault, battery, domestic violence and criminal mischief after an altercation with Samantha Scheibe, who is reportedly pregnant.
He is also accused of pointing a shotgun at the woman during the bust-up, said Chief Sheriff's Deputy Dennis Lemma.
In July (13), Zimmerman was acquitted of the second-degree murder and manslaughter of unarmed 17-year-old Martin, who was shot dead during a neighbourhood watch patrol. The verdict prompted mass demonstrations and inspired many leading human rights leaders and celebrities, including Jay Z and Beyonce, to speak out.
Director Spike Lee has been hit with a lawsuit after mistakenly publicising the address of an elderly couple in Florida in a mix-up over the whereabouts of controversial shooter George Zimmerman. The He Got Game filmmaker was so furious following the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in February, 2012, he used his Twitter.com blog to share the address of neighbourhood watch volunteer Zimmerman, who fatally shot the unarmed youngster in his gated community, sparking outrage and protests across the U.S.
However, the location Lee retweeted was actually the home of Elaine and David McClain, who have a son named William George Zimmerman - no relation to the Zimmerman involved in the headline-grabbing case.
The director apologised after learning the McClains were forced to flee their over his blunder, and he agreed to compensate the family for his actions.
Now it appears the settlement was not enough - the McClains have filed legal papers seeking further, unspecified damages, accusing Lee of putting their lives in serious danger, according to TMZ.com.
The plaintiffs claim Lee's tweet encouraged "a dangerous mob mentality" and they allege that they were subjected to death threats and hate mail and lived in constant fear for their safety.
Lee has since admitted it was a "stupid" mistake and reveals he received a scolding from his own wife, Tonya.
In an interview with U.S. talk show host Oprah Winfrey, which aired on Sunday (10Nov13), he said, "I don't know what my intention was (for tweeting the address). (I was just) angry... but angry is not a justification for stupidity... There's nothing I can say that can defend what I did. It was stupid...
"It was not a good time in the Lee household at that time... You gotta be a man, say, 'I made a mistake', and learn from it, because you can't do stuff that's going to affect other people's lives."
Shooter Zimmerman was acquitted of Martin's murder earlier this year (13) - a decision which sparked a further wave of demonstrations and inspired many leading African-American human rights leaders and celebrities, including Jay Z and Beyonce, to speak out.
Soul superstar Stevie Wonder used his set at the Global Citizen Festival in New York on Saturday (28Sep13) to call for gun laws in the U.S. to be tightened. The Superstition hitmaker was one of the headliners at the Central Park concert, which aims to help tackle poverty worldwide, but he also drew fans' attention to the hot-topic weapons ownership debate.
He declared to the crowd of 60,000, "We must do something about the gun laws in this country," before noting that John Lennon was gunned down nearby in 1980 - and then performing the Beatles icon's world peace anthem Imagine.
During his set, Wonder also invited onstage Ban Ki-moon, the secretary general of the United Nations, as well as singers Janelle Monae and Maxwell, according to The New York Times.
The 63-year-old singer was the final act of the five-hour concert, following sets by John Mayer, Alicia Keys, Kings of Leon, and Elvis Costello.
In July (13), Wonder vowed never to perform in Florida again until a controversial self-defence law is abolished following the acquittal of George Zimmerman, who gunned down teenager Trayvon Martin in February, 2012.
Rapper The Game has had the image of slain teenager Trayvon Martin tattooed on his leg. The black teenager was shot and killed by Neighbourhood Watch volunteer George Zimmerman in Florida last year (12). Zimmerman was controversially acquitted of the youngster's murder last month (Jul13), and the decision sparked a wave of protests across the U.S.
On Saturday (17Aug13), The Game, whose real name is Jayceon Terrell Taylor, posted a picture of the finished tattoo, which took seven hours to create, to his Instagram.com page.
Actress Stacey Dash has slammed Oprah Winfrey over comments the TV titan made comparing slain teen Trayvon Martin to hate crime victim Emmett Till. Martin was the black teenager who was shot and killed by Neighbourhood Watch volunteer George Zimmerman in Florida last year (12). Zimmerman was controversially acquitted of the youngster's murder last month (Jul13), and the decision sparked a wave of protests across the U.S.
Emmett Till was a 14-year-old African-American boy who was murdered in Mississippi in 1955 after reportedly flirting with a white woman.
The Republican Clueless star took to her Twitter.com account on Friday (16Aug13) to slam the legendary TV show host, while quoting civil rights activist Malcolm X and linking to a Fox News article that criticised Winfrey for making the comparison.
She writes, "If You aren't careful, The newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed And loving the people who are doing the oppressing - Malcolm X Oprah Compares Trayvon Martin to Emmett Till."
This isn't the first time Dash has made headlines for her comments on the social media site.
In April (13), she blasted Jay Z and Beyonce for taking a vacation to Cuba.
In the last U.S. presidential election, Dash also voiced her backing for Mitt Romney, who ran against President Barack Obama.
The woman who allegedly attacked soul singer Lester Chambers on stage in California last month (Jul13) has been charged with two felony counts of assault and elder abuse. The Chambers Brothers star was briefly hospitalised after a woman stormed the stage at the Hayward Russell City Blues festival and pushed the 73 year old to the ground after she took offence to him dedicating a song to slain African-American teen Trayvon Martin.
Dinalynn Andrews-Potter, 43, was arrested, cited and released following the incident and prosecutors in Alameda County charged her with assault and elder abuse on Wednesday (14Aug13).
Chambers and his family had asked that Andrews-Potter, who is white, be charged with a hate crime, but authorities stated that her motives were unclear.
Chambers had paid tribute to Martin with a cover of Curtis Mayfield and The Impressions' track People Get Ready shortly after the man charged with his murder was acquitted.
The 17 year old was shot dead in February, 2012, by neighbourhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, who claimed he acted in self-defence. The trial's verdict sparked mass protest across several U.S. cities and was denounced by the likes of Beyonce, Jay Z, Rihanna and Stevie Wonder.