Over the weekend, the Black Panther star’s girlfriend, Lori Harvey, shared photos from an apparent launch party for a rum called J’Ouvert. “Congratulations on the launch of your rum baby!!! I’m so proud of you!!!” Lori captioned an Instagram Story photo of Michael at the gathering, according to screenshots shared on social media.
However, many took social media to express their disappointment with the 34-year-old actor’s company name, including Nicki Minaj. Some have even accused the brand of cultural appropriation.
Traditionally, J’Ouvert is a festival that celebrates Caribbean culture. In addition to being held annually in Trinidad, Tobago and Grenada during Carnival, it’s also celebrated worldwide.
“I’m sure MBJ didn’t intentionally do anything he thought Caribbean ppl would find offensive,” the Queen rapper captioned her post on Tuesday, June 22. “but now that you are aware, change the name & continue to flourish & prosper.”
The musician wasn’t the only one to speak out.
“What’s next? A free doubles with every #JouvertRum purchase?!” one Twitter user wrote. “Someone point out Michael B Jordan’s Trini roots fast for me please!!! Cuz I’m not understanding this s–t. Is it his grandma who makes the rum cakes???”
Charles Sykes/Invision/AP/Shutterstock; Leon Bennett/Getty Images for BET
“please tell me michael b jordan did not trademark the word jouvert. please let this be a joke. please please please no,” another person expressed, with someone else adding, “I suggest Michael B. Jordan take that L. There’s no way you’re trade marking Jouvert bro.”
According to screenshots from the brand event, the packaging for the rum included a message about J’Ouvert’s history.
“Derived from the Antillean Creole French term meaning ‘daybreak,’ J’OUVERT originated in the pre-dawn streets of Trinidad, as celebrations of emancipation combined with Carnival season to serve as the festival informal commencement,” a statement read. “Crafted on those same islands, J’OUVERT Rum is a tribute to the ‘party start.'”
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images for Turner
The liquor brand’s trademark for the name J’Ouvert, which was filed last September under a third party, has also sparked controversy.
A Change.org petition, which has amassed more than 10,000 signatures, criticized the trademark filing, which read in part, “The wording ‘J’OUVERT’ has no meaning in a foreign language.”
“We are not a powerless people! We are a people rich in culture, history and love,” a statement read on the petition. “It’s time we love ourselves enough to stop the sale of our culture to foreign entities that do not respect or value our global contributions, and who do not support and uphold our countries in respectful, long-lasting, tangible and verifiable ways!”
The petition also asked Michael “to do the right thing by calling this a loss!”
Following the backlash, the Trinidad and Tobago Minister of Trade and Industry Paula Gopee-Scoon told Newsdaythe ordeal was “of extreme concern.”
“The first thing is to gather the information to see if it is in fact so,” Paula said. “Then working together with the intellectual property office of the Ministry of the Attorney General, we’ll do the necessary investigation and, as always, seek to support anything that is Trinidad but at the same time protect what is ours.”
At this time, Michael has yet to publicly address the controversy surrounding the product. Additionally, the brand’s Instagram page has been set to private and the website is password protected.
E! News has reached out to the actor’s rep for comment, and we have yet to receive a response.
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The early summer months are traditionally a slow period for fans of tabletop games, as big publishers gird their loins for the convention circuit. This year, the pandemic’s disruption to tabletop’s annual events calendar has freed things up a bit, and there are a bunch of great games going up for sale this June, July, and August. We’ve rounded up all the information that we could, and dropped the most notable new titles here for you.
My personal picks include Terraforming Mars: Ares Expedition, which promises to streamline the award-winning strategy board game into a more beginner friendly, one-hour experience. There’s also a ton of new and revised content on the way for Vampire: The Masquerade, which was recently handed off to the capable team at Renegade Game Studio.
I was introduced to the Clever series of games by NPR’s Petra Mayer, and I’ve since sort of fallen in love with the roll-and-write genre. Players roll a series of multi-colored dice and use them as a kind of shared resource, tallying them on a scorecard with the intention of earning the most points and doing the most harm to their competitors’ totals. Clever Cubed is getting its first English translation this summer. Copies should be available through the Stonghold Games website soon. Your best bet, however, is probably to drop a dime on your local game store and get it pre-ordered.
If you’ve heard of Czech Games Edition (CGE) then you likely know them from their breakout hit series, Codenames. But tabletop aficionados will also know them for their very first game, Galaxy Trucker. It’s a madcap adventure with a frantic real-time ship-building sequence and a turn-based delivery phase. The award-winning formula helped put the publisher on the map back in 2007. CGE is relaunching the game with a brand new edition featuring fresh art and revised rules. You’ll find it available for order on the CGE website soon.
Gravwell 2nd Edition reprint
Gravwell is one of those high-concept board games that sounds incredibly complex, but is actually quite simple and compelling at the table. Players take on the role of a party of small ships navigating a black hole. With your engines failing, the only way to maneuver is by using tractor and repulsor beams. That means you’ll have use your neighboring ships as leverage to catapult your own crew to safety. This second edition of the game appears to be a straight reprint, but it’s well worth your time.
Haba is a household name in Germany with lots of different product lines, but American consumers likely only know them for the bright yellow boxes of their family board games, including mainstays like Rhino Hero and Animal Upon Animal. Haba has a new game coming to the states this summer called Hammer Time, and no it doesn’t have anything to do with parachute pants. Players will use a toy hammer to knock gems loose, all while being careful not to wake the sleeping dragon. Pre-orders kick off on Aug. 1, which a retail release set for Aug. 20. Keep an eye out on the official Haba Amazon storefront, or let your local hobby store know you’d like a copy when it’s available.
MicroMacro: Crime City
Germany’s biggest board game award, the Spiel des Jahres, unveiled its 2021 nominees in May and among the more traditional titles was an outlier — MicroMacro: Crime City. This cooperative game consists of a poster and a deck of cards. Players work together to scour the Where’s Waldo-style map for clues to solve clever little mysteries all around the city. The awards hype made the game hard to find in the spring, but stock has been flowing in sporadically all summer. Keep an eye on the official website, or ping the nearest game store.
Oath: Chronicles of Empire and Exile
Cole Wehrle is a strategy board game designer with a very specific oeuvre. His past games have dealt with the politics of nation-states, but in beautiful and at times cuddly ways. Root: A Game of Woodland Might and Right, for instance,is basically an asymmetrical wargame starring adorable woodland creatures who use guerrilla tactics to fight against an oppressive monarchy. Oath: Chronicles of Empire and Exile uses some of the same design hooks, but extends the experience out into a longer campaign. Pick this up if you’re looking for an engaging solo experience, or have a gaming group eager for a new obsession.
Plague Inc. The Board Game
Based on the hit video game of the same name, Plague Inc. The Board Gameis a “strategic game of infection, evolution and extinction” where players take on the role of viruses with the goal of infecting the world. While this may feel a bit too on the nose given the ongoing global pandemic, it’s actually a very entertaining way of teaching the broad strokes of modern virology.
Terraforming Mars: Ares Expedition
Terraforming Mars is a hugely successful strategy board game, but it takes quite a bit of work to get new players up to speed. Terraforming Mars: Ares Expedition aims to streamline the onboarding process considerably, all while speeding up playtime as well. This new version began life as a Kickstarter, and went on sale at Target stores on June 20. Expect to find it available on Target’s website soon as well.
The Loop caught my eye with its quirky, Saturday morning cartoon-style art treatment, and then drew me in with its mechanics. The cooperative game tasks players with stopping the evil Dr. Faux from destroying the galaxy. Players spend energy to create temporal loops, allowing them to use skills over and over again. While the game ships in August, you can peruse the manual online before you decide to place your pre-order.
The Snallygaster Situation: A Kids on Bikes Board Game
Kids on Bikes is a tabletop role-playing game that rode the wave of Stranger Things fandom to commercial success. Now there’s a spin-off board game set in the same universe called The Snallygaster Situation. The game begins with one player taking on the role of the Lost Kid, whom the other players must rescue from the clutches of the monster of the week. Then it’s a matter of gathering up enough resources in order to win the day. Expect a charming art style and lots of twists and turns.
Thirsty Sword Lesbians
Evil Hat Productions’ (Blades in the Dark, Agon) most anticipated new tabletop role-playing game is called Thirsty Sword Lesbians, and it sounds like an absolute blast to play. Using a ruleset inspired by Powered by the Apocalypse it will help players tell queer stories with their friends. I’m especially interested to see how its flirting mechanics work. The game is available as a physical book and as a downloadable PDF.
Ticket to Ride Europe: 15th Anniversary Edition
Alongside Pandemic and Catan, Ticket to Ride remains one of the most newbie-friendly board games around. Players take turns drawing cards and then use them to take trips across the map. It’s dead simple to teach, and the base game looks marvelous when it’s all set out on the table. Ticket to Ride Europe: 15th Anniversary Edition is a collector’s dream. It includes metal tins filled with intricate train car playing pieces that can be used with any version of the game. I’ve been told this set is only available in limited quantities, so grab your copy before they’re gone.
Much like Terraforming Mars: Ares Expedition, Trails is a streamlined version of an even larger game called Parks. The family-friendly board game takes just 20 or 30 minutes to play, and includes beautiful art from the Fifty-Nine Parks project. You can read our full preview from early June right here. The boxed game is available in-store at Target and will soon be available on the Target website.
The latest edition of Vampire: The Masquerade, the classic tabletop role-playing game, got off to a disastrous start by courting several entirely unnecessary controversies. Development has since shifted to Renegade Game Studios, and they’re pushing out a load of new and reprinted material this summer. That includes the core rulebook and the Anarch and Camarillasourcebooks, which are all currently up for pre-order. If you’ve been interested in doing something other than medieval fantasy with your TTRPG group, now is the time to hop in. The system is even available via Roll20 for remote or enhanced in-person play.
Warhammer 40,000 Wrath & Glory: Church of Steel
I’ve yet to try my hand at Wrath & Glory, the current iteration of the Warhammer 40,000 role-playing universe, but I have started painting up some Adeptus Mechanicus miniatures. That sudden interest has been brought on by Audible’s comprehensive selection of books from the Black Library and the upcoming release of Warhammer Plus, Games Workshop’s new streaming video service. Cubicle 7 will soon be adding to its own library with Church of Steel, which promises all the inside information on the artificers of Mars. Look for more information soon on the Cubicle 7 website.
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It follows Call Screen and Verified Calls as new features that use Assistant to make phone calls less annoying, and repurposes the Duplex developments to let AI detect hold music and produce a notification once someone actually picks up. According to Google, you’ll see captions produced in real-time on your phone’s screen to let you know what’s happening, as Duplex can tell when it’s picking up a recorded message vs. a live representative.
Los Angeles led by as much as 32 points during the game. Miami gave the Lakers a tiny scare in the final quarter, cutting the lead down to 12 points but Los Angele was ultimately able to prevail.
Los Angeles Lakers’ Anthony Davis (3) led all scorers with 32 points. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Anthony Davis led the way with 34 points, nine rebounds and five assists. LeBron James nearly got another triple-double. He finished with 25 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists.
It was the three-point shooting that was the key. Los Angeles at one point was 13-for-20 from beyond the arc. They finished 15-for-38 as they began to take their foot off the gas pedal. On the other side, Miami was 11-for-35 from deep.
Miami didn’t get much from its young players like Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson. Herro had 14 points in 30 minutes off the bench. Robinson was 0-for-3 from deep. Those were the only shots he took.
Miami Heat’s Jimmy Butler twisted his ankle in the game. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
The Heat also got hit with the injury bug. Goran Dragic left the game with what was being called a foot injury. Bam Adebayo left in the third quarter with a shoulder strain and Jimmy Butler twisted his ankle and wasn’t the same. He finished with 23 points – leading the Heat.
After many weeks of delays due to faulty equipment and bad weather, the United Launch Alliance is set to launch its most powerful rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida, lofting a classified spy satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office. The mission is finally ready to fly a full month after the rocket’s first launch attempt, which was aborted just three seconds before liftoff.
The rocket going up on ULA’s mission is the Delta IV Heavy, a giant vehicle that consists of three rocket cores strapped together to provide extra thrust. It’s one of the most powerful rockets in the world, though it falls short of the power packed into SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy. ULA doesn’t fly the Delta IV Heavy very often, as it’s an expensive vehicle to make, but the company uses the rocket for large, heavy satellites headed to super-high orbits.
The rocket’s payload is NROL-44, and like all NRO missions, its purpose is cloaked in secrecy. The office simply notes that “NROL-44 supports NRO’s overall national security mission to provide intelligence data to the United States’ senior policymakers, the Intelligence Community and Department of Defense.” ULA has already launched 29 missions for the NRO, many of which have required the Delta IV Heavy.
ULA was all set to launch NROL-44 in the wee hours of the morning on August 29th. ULA counted all the way down to just seconds before liftoff, with the Delta IV Heavy’s main engines briefly igniting. But the engines quickly shut off and the rocket remained fixed on the launchpad. ULA later learned a piece of ground equipment had failed, prompting the abort. It took the company a few weeks to replace the faulty equipment.
Further problems with equipment on the launchpad pushed back the launch time again, but ULA is hoping to get off the ground this week. Unfortunately the weather has not been agreeable, with bad conditions delaying attempts on Monday and Tuesday. But at last, there’s a 70 percent chance that the weather will cooperate for launch tonight — so perhaps today is the day.
The Delta IV Heavy is scheduled to lift off on Tuesday at 11:54PM ET from ULA’s launch site at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. ULA’s launch blog will begin at 3:15PM ET, and its webcast will begin at 11:34PM ET, for anyone who is still awake and hoping to catch a midnight launch.
Update September 30th, 3:00PM ET: This post has been updated from an older post, after multiple launch delays.
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“Cinemas are an essential industry that represent the best that American talent and creativity have to offer. But now we fear for their future,” reads a letter sent to Capitol Hill lawmakers asking for additional pandemic relief.
Dozens of influential filmmakers on Wednesday joined the National Association of Theatre Owners, the Directors Guild of America and the Motion Picture Association in urging Congress to provide assistance to struggling theater owners impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
Together, they warned that many cinemas may not otherwise survive. The vast majority of exhibition companies — or 93 percent — weathered losses of 75 percent in the second quarter of 2020 after moviegoing came to a standstill in mid-March.
If this trend continues, NATO is warning that 69 percent of small- and mid-sized movie theaters will be forced to file for bankruptcy or close permanently, while 66 percent of theater jobs will be lost.
“I am extraordinarily grateful for the unprecedented support from our industry partners and the talented and concerned members of the movie industry creative community,” NATO president-CEO John Fithian said in a statement. “The value of their recognition of the unique importance of movie theaters to our communities, culture, and economy, and their support before Congress of the unique needs of movie theaters in this pandemic cannot be underestimated.”
The letter itself — which was addressed to Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy — asked that Capitol Hill lawmakers work in a bipartisan fashion to redirect unallocated funds from the CARES Act, or authorize new assistance programs for those businesses which have suffered the steepest revenue drops as a result of COVID-19.
“Cinemas are an essential industry that represent the best that American talent and creativity have to offer. But now we fear for their future,” states the document. “Our country cannot afford to lose the social, economic, and cultural value that theaters provide. The moviegoing experience is central to American life. Theaters are great unifiers where our nation’s most talented storytellers showcase their cinematic accomplishments.”
Continuing, the letter noted that theaters “supports millions of jobs in movie production and distribution, and countless others in surrounding restaurants and retailers that rely on theaters for foot traffic. Movie theaters are also leaders in employing underrepresented groups, including people with disabilities, senior citizens, and first-time job holders.”
Below are the directors, writers and producers signing the document.