Clay Cane is a New York City-based writer who is recognized for his contributions in journalism. Clay is a regular contributor for various print and online publications such as The Advocate and He is the author of the highly anticipated novel Ball-Shaped World, which is a fictionalized account of the black and Latino ballroom scene. Also, he is the Entertainment Editor at and a member of New York Film Critics Online. He can be reached at

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    Thursday, February 26, 2009

    Check out my interview with the legendary Diahanna Carroll for Diahann talks Halle Berry, Dorothy Dandridge, Hollywood and more. She also stomps the madness of some people who were offended at Halle's role in Monster's Ball.

    Diahann Carroll reflects on "Claudine'

    There are some parts of the interview didn't make the cut, like the exchange we did about Diana Ross. I love how she admits she was the "old" thought. Read below.

    In your biography, you said you saw Diana Ross driving down the street, moving in your neighborhood, and said, "There's go the neighborhood." I was curious to know, where did that come from - did you and Diana Ross not get along or what do that mean?
    Well, you do know there is some disadvantages to being young... you have to wait awhile. I was living in Beverly Hills and I was doing Julia, a television series. I think I integrated the neighborhood. When I was growing up, and most of us remember Detroit was a very dangerous place. I understand that in the city of Detroit at one point there were more guns than in the entire United States. So your take on Detroit is not what my take was on Detroit. That's where all of those wonderful hit songs came out of, Detroit, which was known for not being a safe place, kind of dangerous. The major success that happened in Detroit was Motown. When I saw Diana Ross, I think the description was in a yellow convertible, so if you put all those things together -- Detroit, Diana Ross, what I had to go through to integrate Beverly Hills in the sixties when I came out to do Julia... I hope it becomes a little more clear to you. It was actually said as a joke but it was not really totally joke, it was a double edged sword. Now what do you get out of that?

    I think what you're saying is the idea of what Diana Ross represented, coming from Detroit, Motown - you were the first black person in Beverly Hills. She represented something different.
    A different point of view.

    A different point of view! So, it was nothing personal about Diana Ross.
    I think I had met her once, yes. But, it was really an entire comment about a period of time in our history -- this was a change, her arrival. That's really what the comment was about. I was the old thought, holding onto something that had been a part of cultivating who I was. It was time to let go of that thought because here was something new that was represented by the recording industry, Motown and Detroit.

    Also, after I told Diahann Carroll how the gay community supported her she said, "It's very important to me. I've always felt that the gay community was very much on my side, but I like to hear it again. Thank you


    Posted by Clay :: 10:07 AM :: 22 comments


    Thursday, February 19, 2009

    I know you think I am talking about two girls from around the way -- nope, check out my interviews with Keshia Knight Pulliam and the legendary Rosie Perez. Keshia is starring in Madea Goes to Jail, which I'll be reviewing tomorrow.

    Rosie is reflecting on Do the Right Thing for Black History Month. I am a big Rosie Perez fan, she is such an underrated actress and says some poignant things in this interview. If you haven't seen King of the Jungle with her and John Leguizamo, add to your Netflix now!

    Keshia Knight Pulliam: From Rudy to Candy

    BHM Exclusive: Rosie Perez reflects on 'Do the Right Thing'


    Posted by Clay :: 12:00 AM :: 3 comments


    Monday, February 16, 2009

    I am so disgusted at this Chris Brown and Rihanna coverage. Every channel, every web site, I haven't seen a media circus like this since Anna Nicole Smith died. I think it's terrible what Chrissy did, but I could careless about these two pop hacks. If they never made a piece of music in their overrated careers I wouldn't lose any sleep. Plus, domestic violence is a terrible crime. You would think their, especially Rihanna's, privacy would be respected.

    What is truly sad is this predicament has now extended Rihanna's stay in the spotlight! The power haircut was just getting ready to wear off -- and now BAM! This at least guarantees her another year. Damn you Chris Brown!

    Seriously, I do think this is a disgusting situation but the media has handled it so salacious and tasteless that it's making many people feel desensitized. The media is covering it like a season of The Hills and this is real life. Also, this is the first time in our Internet society that a domestic violence situation has occurred between two celebrities. When David Justice was hitting Halle Berry... when Wesley Snipes was hitting Halle -- there was no Internet.

    Chris - his career is officially over, hitting someone who is more famous than him and who white folks love! This is going to make Ri's career boom. If I were her, I'd talk to Oprah via Skype as soon as possible. Make sure those bruises are still visible, wear an "I, Tina" shirt and say she is releasing a single dedicated to domestic violence and all proceeds are going to the Angel Network. Capitalize!

    It really is sad... and Rihanna is so tiny and delicate. Could you imagine if Chris would've hit Fantasia? BAB-BAY, Fantasia would've screamed like Sindel from Mortal Kombat and finished that m*thaf*cka off with his body landing in the Pacific Ocean!

    I hope our faltering economy manages to make it back in the headlines soon.


    Posted by Clay :: 12:59 AM :: 20 comments


    Thursday, February 12, 2009

    Check out my exclusive interview for with Desreta Jackson -- she talks about Oprah, alleged strife with Whoopi Goldberg, not being invited to the Oscars and surviving sexual abuse. This interview is a must read.

    BHM EXCLUSIVE: Desreta Jackson reflects on 'The Color Purple'


    Posted by Clay :: 2:01 AM :: 5 comments


    Tuesday, February 10, 2009

    I recently read a story that gay inmates at a in prison Costa Rica are not allowed conjugal visits, which was a ruling that came from the nation's highest court.

    The worst place for a gay man to be is in prison. One of my friends is incarcerated at least till the end of 2010 and I am consistently shocked at the horror stories he tells me via letter or whenever he can call. Yes, prison is an awful place for anyone, but if you are gay it is even worse. Prison is the one scenario where racist whites and homophobic blacks will unite against you.

    My friend has experienced endless discrimination from other inmates and especially the staff. A few weeks ago he called to wish me a Happy New Year. I was concerned because I hadn't heard from him in over two months. He was in solitary confinement for those two months because he got into an altercation with a band of ignorant straight boys.

    My friend has been attacked in every way you can think of—slapped, punched and choked, being left with permanent scars. The sexual abuse, he says he isn't being raped... but if he doesn't have sex with particular people who he has no attraction to then there will be no protection from other inmates. His only option is to have a "partner." He recently told me, "I'm tired of being Tina."

    The treatment from the staff is shocking. Their advice is to just "stop" being gay, like he has a choice in the matter and he can change it. Sad. He has no freedom over his time, humanity and body.

    He writes, "I'm tired of being a trash can for these men." And, there are no condoms. He once said he used an empty bag of potato chips as a condom.

    However, he always stresses, "I deserve this though because me, out of all people, should not be here. I have been afforded all the opportunities that many of the people here never got and I am still here."

    I always knew as a black man I had to be better. But, as a gay man you have to be smarter, more intuitive and make nearly flawless decisions in comparison to your straight counterparts. I see some gay men make terrible decisions, seeming to function as if there are no consequences, or living the role of the tragic homosexual. They feel like there is no option, you have a temper, you want to be fabulous, or you don't have discipline. Still, our consequences are usually deadlier and come with little to no sympathy from the outside world. I wish some of us would get this...


    Posted by Clay :: 10:05 AM :: 15 comments


    Friday, February 06, 2009

    Check out the reviews for the week's movie releases!

    Movie Reviews: ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’ and ‘Push’


    Posted by Clay :: 9:27 AM :: 3 comments


    Tuesday, February 03, 2009

    Noah's Arc: Jumping the Broom is on DVD today. I did an interview with Doug Spearman for The first time BET has ever done any press for Noah's Arc. Here is an interesting excerpt from the interview:

    In Hollywood, do you feel like you experience more racism or more homophobia?
    Racism. I've never heard somebody scream faggot on a set. I’ve never been told I couldn’t have something because I was gay. No one's ever going to do that, people aren’t stupid—99% of the people who work in Hollywood are not stupid. They're not going to openly express that kind of prejudice. Are good gay roles hard to find? Absolutely. Even gay people write stereotypical gay roles. When I walk into the room a black man walks into a room, not a gay man. I think I’m black before I’m gay, there is a cultural history attached to that. I look at television and thirty years ago you saw more black faces than you do now. There are no series with the exception of “The Game” and “The House of Payne” that have a predominantly black cast. There are certainly no major networks or cable networks series built around black characters. We are disappearing from our culture and we need to stand up and say something about it. Black and Gay in Hollywood


    Posted by Clay :: 9:17 AM :: 8 comments


    Monday, February 02, 2009

    Yes, Jennifer Hudson killed the national anthem. It was great to see her back in the spotlight and looking amazing, especially after enduring a rough few months.

    Some people sent me texts saying J-Hud's performance had to of been live. No, it wasn't (seems like folks argue this every year), Rickey Minor, the music director, told the Associated Press:

    "Although entertainers can perform live, Minor insisted that Hudson and Faith Hill, who sang 'America the Beautiful' before the national anthem, use the tracks the NFL requires them to submit a week before the game.

    'That's the right way to do it,' Minor said. 'There's too many variables to go live. I would never recommend any artist go live because the slightest glitch would devastate the performance.'"

    Too many variables -- does the NFL think singing the national anthem is the biggest musical event of the year? If folks can sing live at the Oscars or the Grammys they should be able to take it at the Superbowl.

    Does it take away "the magic" for anyone else that these Superbowl performances are never live? Every year people rave how great the artist was, but... it wasn't live singing.

    I remember Whitney's version, she was sweating the Atlantic Ocean, going through it and reverberating for over two minutes -- then word got out performances at the Superbowl are never live. That was probably the first time the public really understood these performances are to a pre-recorded track.

    Cher sang the National Anthem in 1999 at the Superbowl. People said she was amazing -- but it wasn't live. Why exactly does the NFL recommend lip-synching? It's hard for me to take amazing national anthem performances seriously.

    In case you want a live national anthem - check out Patti Labelle.

    Check this out

    Star-Spangled Mess


    Posted by Clay :: 12:20 AM :: 19 comments


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