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Cynthia McKinney: The ‘N’ word, from the Champs Elysée to Avenue of the Americas

June 13, 2012

by Cynthia McKinney

Gwyneth Paltrow invited her friends, Beyoncé Knowles and Jay-Z, out for an intimate dinner at a Spanish restaurant in New York’s West Village on the eve of her 39th birthday, Sept. 26, 2011, and tweeted afterward, “You guys make my life great.”
June 13, 2012 – The latest Hollywood brouhaha over Gwyneth Paltrow’s decision to tweet the caption “ni**as in Paris for real” to accompany a picture of her with friends Jay-Z and Beyoncé while in Paris doesn’t compare to the new evidence of “fraud upon the court” that has emerged in a largely unnoticed civil rights case that very well should be reopened after being unfairly dismissed six years ago.

How about Hollywood executives regularly referring to their own clients – and Blacks in general – as “niggers,” “niggas,” “coons,” “spooks” and “monkeys” while they intentionally discriminated against Black concert promoters, putting them out of business? It is the contention of Leonard Rowe, perhaps the best-known and most successful of all Black concert promoters, that the regular use of these words by powerful Hollywood executives is a telling indicator of Hollywood’s pervasively racist attitudes toward Blacks, an attitude that produced illegal trust-like business practices that essentially made Black concert promoters extinct.

How could these particular Hollywood executives do that?

According to music industry veterans, once a Black entertainer “crossed over” to a White audience, Black concert promoters were almost never allowed to promote that entertainer again. Moreover, according to Rowe, not once was a Black concert promoter allowed to promote a White entertainer. According to Rowe, this collusion to fix profits effectively denied the Black community the spin-off economy associated with concerts and concert promotions and the multiplier effect of dollars turning over in the Black community.

Someone presented evidence to me that was just presented to District Judge Robert P. Patterson and Chief Judge Loretta A. Preska of the Southern District of New York: a summary of the racially-charged words that were regularly used by these particular Hollywood executives: “nigger,” “spade,” “colored,” “monkey,” “nigga,” “uncle tom,” “spook” and “coon.” It makes for depressing reading: Page after page after page after page, the evidence provided to me shows the last name of the particular executive and the number of times that person used one of the above words in e-mail traffic. It is 18 pages, with two pages mysteriously missing, of heartbreak where specifically the word “nigger” is used hundreds of times.

Even more to the point of “fraud upon the court,” decisions were made in Rowe’s previous case without even a mention of the e-mail evidence. In fact, Rowe was never given the e-mails that produced the 18-page summary sheet, although he paid for them. Rowe’s case was dismissed by the court at summary judgment.

To think that this is the way these Hollywood executives view their African-American clients is not only appalling, but represents more than a virtual throwback to the ignominious days of a Southern plantation. According to Marcus Washington, who worked at William Morris, that company client list has included Bill Cosby, Whoopi Goldberg, Lauryn Hill, Rihanna, Outkast, Trya Banks, Serena Williams, LeBron James, Whitney Houston, Maxwell, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Spike Lee, Janet Jackson, Tyler Perry, Kanye West, Jay-Z, Usher, Halle Berry, Alicia Keys, Jennifer Hudson, Queen Latifah and Denzel Washington, to name a few.

The racially-charged words that were regularly used by these particular Hollywood executives include “nigger,” “spade,” “colored,” “monkey,” “nigga,” “uncle tom,” “spook” and “coon.” To think that this is the way these Hollywood executives view their African-American clients is not only appalling, but represents more than a virtual throwback to the ignominious days of a Southern plantation.

The evidence of how particular Hollywood executives referred to their own clients is available for anyone interested in seeing it. Just click here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/93697362/Rowe-Entertainment-Inc-v-William-Morris-Agency-et-al-98-8272-Breakdown-of-Racial-Epithets-Including-Nigger-Used-By-Execs-Email-Search-Re.

And who exactly are these particular Hollywood executives? Rowe’s lawsuit is against The William Morris Agency (now known as William Morris Endeavor) and Creative Artists Agency, the biggest and the baddest of the bunch. (And adding political muscle to this tawdry script, William Morris Endeavor is currently headed by Ari Emanuel, brother to the former Chief of Staff of President Obama and now Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel.)

At The William Morris Agency in Beverly Hills, a little more color can be found staffing the mailroom than the nearly all-White suites.
For many aspiring Black entertainers, signing with these agencies represents a dream come true. Too bad that this new evidence brought forward in the Leonard Rowe case shows how these agencies truly feel about African Americans when they think no one is watching.

Sadly, Leonard Rowe is not the only witness to Hollywood’s institutional racism. Marcus Washington, with whom I have spoken, has his own sordid tale of life while employed at Hollywood’s titan – The William Morris Agency. In published reports on the internet, Marcus, acting as his own lawyer, filed a $25 million lawsuit alleging racial discrimination in December 2010.

Among the many details in his 80-page complaint, Washington said that upon his entry into William Morris’ New York office in September of 2008, there were zero Black, zero Latino and only one Asian-American agent employed out of an executive staff of 50. Washington wrote that he was the only Black hired into the agent trainee program and while he had recently graduated from the University of Miami with his masters in music business and entertainment industries and helped co-manage the career of J Records singer-songwriter and now eight-time GRAMMY® nominated artist Jazmine Sullivan, all of his White counterparts advanced above him having considerably fewer academic achievements and less professional work experience.

Washington said that upon his entry into William Morris’ New York office in September of 2008, there were zero Black, zero Latino and only one Asian-American agent employed out of an executive staff of 50.

According to Washington, William Morris immediately sought to have Washington’s case compelled into arbitration because of an arbitration agreement Washington signed as a condition of employment. Washington argued that the provision which stated that “any issue,” including ones of “discrimination” and “retaliation,” were to be arbitrated was “unconscionable, tainted with illegality and “malum in se,” given the historical evidence presented to the court showing the company’s 113-year history of systemic disparate treatment towards Blacks.

In July 2011, Washington’s judge ruled in favor of William Morris. In September 2011, Washington appealed to the 2nd Circuit that his lawsuit against William Morris was erroneously compelled into arbitration and, over the last nine months, Washington has attempted three times to have this decision reversed so that his case can be impartially decided in a public forum by a jury that reflects the diversity of New York City. Each time, the court has denied his appeal without providing a judicial opinion.

Sadly, this industry has been successful at keeping this type of racial discrimination away from the eyes of a jury. But now, after acquiring the new evidence discovered in the Rowe case, Washington filed a motion in the court to introduce evidence that various attorneys at Loeb & Loeb LLP – the law firm representing William Morris in both the Rowe and Washington cases – as well as judges have been involved in a corrupt conspiracy to collude and commit “fraud upon the court.”

Cynthia McKinney talks with a voter during her 2008 Green Party presidential campaign. – Photo: ©Danny B!
Because of what Rowe felt were unreliable lawyers colluding and conspiring with his opponents’ lawyers, Rowe has joined Washington as a pro se litigant in the Southern District of New York. They both have refiled their cases and they are awaiting decisions from the court.

This time around, the Southern District Court of New York has the opportunity to do the right thing. Both Rowe and Washington are involved in litigation that could produce landmark civil rights decisions. Both of them are willing to share the evidence unearthed in the Rowe case that could deal a devastating blow to “business as usual” in the entertainment industry.

Leonard Rowe and Marcus Washington are available, together or individually, for interviews to explain their firsthand experiences with Hollywood, racism or corruption in the U.S. justice system. Leonard Rowe can be reached at roweentertain@aol.com; Marcus Washington can be reached at humanrights.areamust@gmail.com.

For news from, by and about Cynthia McKinney, former Georgia congresswoman and Green Party presidential candidate, subscribe to her Updates at http://lists.allthingscynthiamckinney.com/listinfo.cgi/updates-allthingscynthiamckinney.com. She can be reached at Cynthia@runcynthiarun.org.

 

7 thoughts on “Cynthia McKinney: The ‘N’ word, from the Champs Elysée to Avenue of the Americas

  1. H. Lewis Smith

    Clearly, there are some racial issues that needs to be resolved, but when Cynthia McKinney and others are able to summon the strength to address the issues of the abject self-desrespect that we as the black community have for ourselves then we'll truly be making strides. The fact that the community failed to hold Jay Z and Kanye West accountable for their use of the n-word in their song title shows that we have a long ways to go. We point a finger at the white man while there are three more pointed right back at us.

    Reply
  2. Sharon Jones

    I’m delighted to read you’re a journalist now as well as a fact-finder. I haven’t had your e-mail address since the one for you campaign was discontinued. I moved to (get ready for this) Grand Prairie Texas not long after you spoke about Lybia at the church on O’Farrel between Gough and Franklin streets. It’s good to see you’re happy, vibrant, and even prettier and younger-looking than ever in the picture accompanying your article on the ‘N word in the BayView. Stay wonderful, dear heart. I miss you.

    Reply
  3. Selina

    Nigger is originated from the word Naga a culter of Cambodia, NGR used by the KMT or KEMetic people

    known today as so-called Egyptians- the word NGR referring to the dark skin of the Kmt people

    Nigger– Niger (male) Nigeria ( female) only in recent history when the white man first came encounter with the word NGR or NAGA he change the name to NIGGER giving the word a derogatory meaning in referring to African people.

    reference to this go to Bing.com I believe the article is titled "Naga vs Nigger "

    Reply
  4. Selina

    So in response to Gwenith P.'s action she was only referring to her Niggahs or her NAGAs as THE GODS

    Who are LORD over her

    Reply
  5. Guest

    Boosch! Boosch! Boosch! Blame Boosch! It's his fault! Too bad the IDF didn't sink Moonbat McKinney when she was riding on the S.S. Jihadist a few years ago.

    Reply
    1. The 56%

      They had every right to as well, I dont know why people would try and go through a military blockade. Military blockade means if you try and go through you will be met with military action.

      Reply

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