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A look at Hollywood’s strained relationship with race and how the Black Lives Matter is changing our view on TV and film. There is a reckoning In Hollywood. Books, podcasts, documentaries exploring racial issues in America are topping charts and being newly featured on streaming services. Meanwhile, artworks deemed racially insensitive — or downright racist — are getting banned. Is the long-overdue reckoning in Hollywood a movement or just a moment? We caution you our story unavoidably includes insensitive images.

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Activism

Kim Kardashian West, Paulina Aguirre & More Stars In Celebrity PSA Campaign “I Stand With Armenia and Artsakh”

In an effort to educate Western audiences on the humanitarian crisis happening now in Armenia due to the unprovoked attack by Azerbaijan and Turkey, USATVProductions/USArmenia TV and the Armenian National Committee of America  (ANCA/www.anca.org) have launched the PSA campaign “I Stand With Armenia and Artsakh.” 

At launch, multiple Grammy-winner Paulina Aguirre, Yasmine Al Massri (Quantico), Ed Begley Jr., Andrea Martin, Serj Tankian (System Of A Down), Kim Kardashian West and lifestyle and fashion expert Lawrence Zarian have lent their support to the campaign, with more celebrities to be joining daily.


Videos Courtesy of USATV Productions.

Recently, USATV’s Bagrat and Vahag Sargsyan and their friends successfully arranged for 20 tons of urgently needed humanitarian aid that was shipped via a Boeing 757 charter aircraft from Los Angeles to Armenia. The shipment included vital necessities to help the citizens of Artsakh, victims of the unprovoked war waged against Armenia and Artsakh. Financial support for the mission was provided by Sargsyan friends, Harutyun Harutyunan, Dr. Stephan Gevorkian, Vardan Seropyan, Gary & Hakop Taglyan, Arthur Levonyan and Nelson Patatanyan, along with the collective efforts of LA Armenians and Armenia Fund.

The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots political organization. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters and supporters throughout the United States and affiliated organizations around the world, the ANCA actively advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.

Brothers Bagrat and Vahag Sargsyan founded the first commercial private television company in Armenia, after the country became independent. Following in the footsteps of their father Artem Sargysan, a renowned scientist, academic and TV personality, the brothers built the largest media conglomerate in Armenia and Eastern Europe, including four national television networks, a publishing house, cable distribution companies and film studios.  In 2008, they moved to the United States and purchased the FCC licensed station KIIO Channel 10 in Los Angeles and formed USATV productions and broadcasting company.  Since USATV’s inception, the Sargsyans have produced many television formats in Armenia and Eastern Europe, including NBC’s The Voice and Deal Or No Deal, Minute to Win It (GSN) and Fort Boyard (France 2/Channel 5 UK), and in the US, more than 48 television series, five feature films, and acted as executive producer for recent features American Skin (2019) and Hunter’s Moon (2020) and series Nova Vita (2020),  among others.

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Activism

Zindzi Mandela Laid to Rest In South Africa

Zindzi Mandela speaks onstage during the BAFTA Los Angeles Britannia Awards held at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on November 9, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California.
Zindzi Mandela speaks onstage during the BAFTA Los Angeles Britannia Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on November 9, 2013.

The daughter of one of the world’s most renowned political leaders and South Africa’s first Black President Nelson Mandela was laid to rest on Friday. Zindzi, the youngest daughter of Nelson Mandela and Winnie Madikizela, was buried at Fourways Memorial Park in Johannesburg.

She was laid to rest next to her mother, who passed away in 2018.

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa praised the Mandela family for revealing that Zindzi had Covid-19 at the time of death. The gesture will “encourage acceptance” of those infected, Mr. Ramaphosa said. “I would like to thank the Mandela family for the very important gesture of sharing this information with the nation. This is a virus that affects us all, and there should never be any stigma around people who become infected,” he tweeted ahead of Zindzi Mandela’s funeral.” The cause of death has not been disclosed.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, only a handful of close friends, relatives and South African political figures attended the funeral service.

As South Africa’s ambassador to Denmark, Zindzi Mandela dedicated her life to honoring the legacy of Nelson Mandela, becoming an activist in her own right. She co-founded the Mandela Legacy Foundation and was also the Managing Trustee of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund. She leaves behind four children.

Her son Zondwa said his mother’s passing was “an unfortunate loss” to the family and country. “I cannot describe the feeling. It has been an unfortunate loss,” Zondwa told national broadcaster SABC during the live telecast.

Describing her as a person full of love and affection, Zondwa said the family will keep their mother’s legacy alive by continuing with her work. “She survived the most brutal regime at an early age, and we thought that this crisis and this invisible enemy that we are faced with today, she is going to survive because she has seen worse,” said Julius Malema, the leader of the radical opposition EFF party. She added, “We are shattered. We are still in disbelief, but there is nothing we can do. She was fearless. She spoke her mind.”

Zindzi grew up at the height of anti-apartheid struggle. She suffered years of harassment and intimidation by the apartheid regime when her father was imprisoned on Robben Island.

There are only two of Nelson Mandela’s six children who are still alive – Zenani Dlamini, Zindzi’s sister; and Pumla Makaziwe Mandela, a daughter from his first marriage, to Evelyn Mase.

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