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Could A Bad Hair Day Be In The Cards For Chris Rock?

Chris Rock’s new film, “Good Hair,” may experience a bad day on October 19 if Regina Kimbell has her way in court.

On that date, a Federal Judge will hear from Kimbell who has not only filed an infringement suit against the comedian, but is also asking for an injunction against the film being shown.

On Monday October 5th Kimbell filed the $5 million infringement lawsuit alleging that Rock duped her into thinking that he was interested in furthering her film entitled “My Nappy Roots: A Journey Through Black Hair-itage.”

According to the lawsuit filed in United States District Court, Central District of California, Kimbell claims that after Rock viewed her film, at a private screening set up by his then assistant Doug Miller, Rock made “Good Hair”. The complaint alleges that the new film which Rock has been promoting is very similar to “My Nappy Roots: A Journey Through Black Hair-itage.”

“Good Hair” is “clearly copied from” her own film the complaint states.

Kimbell claims there are over a dozen similarities between her film and Rock’s, including their titles, which she says are opposites on the spectrum of how a person defines black hair.

She also claims both films are “socially and politically conscious”; both films were inspired by the filmmakers’ respective daughters; each film includes interviews with medical professionals — in the case of “Nappy Roots” a doctor was used while “Good Hair” used a dermatologist; both films interviewed hair care pioneers; each film looks at how India is involved in the use of weaves; both films have comedians to add “comic relief”; both have “celebrities tell their own hair stories”; both tour a “manufacturing plant where hair relaxers are made” and more.

In the court filing, Kimbell claims Doug Miller, now an Executive Producer of “Good Hair,” requested a screening of “My Nappy Roots” for Rock over two years ago.

During the alleged 2007 screening, Kimbell claims Rock yelled at the screen during a segment about Indian hair, saying, “We have to go to India!”

She alleges in her legal filing that she asked Miller to sign a non-disclosure agreement with respect to the film and she claims he said he would but after the screening refused to do so.

Chris Rock does not dispute seeing Kimbell’s film. In commenting on the lawsuit Rock says “It’s weird because I called her to see the movie, and told her I was doing a movie, so it’s not like anybody was hiding it. It’s like, I’m thinking about doing a movie on hair. It was really to watch it to make sure I wasn’t going to make that movie. The only similarity is her movie goes to India and mine goes to India, but I don’t even know if she went to India. I think she got footage. That’s about it.” Rock continues, “Her movie is about [hair care entrepreneur Madam] C.J. Walker, histories of hair, men, women… She’ll probably be able to sell it now because of “Good Hair,” but it’s not humorous at all. [laughs] If you did two documentaries on George Washington, there’d be some similarities, but they’re not the same documentary.”

On October 7, 2009 Kimbell asked the court for an injunction to prevent the film from opening in theaters.

The film has a limited opening and a nationwide opening.

The court refused to grant the temporary injunction preventing the limited opening which started today, but if Kimbell prevails in her October 19 hearing the rest of the nation and Foreign countries will not see the film that is said to be hilarious.

In order to prevail on the injunction, Kimbell and her lawyer, Reginald Brown will have to prove that there is a substantial likelihood that Kimbell will prevail on the merits of her lawsuit filed on October 5, 2009 and that she will suffer irreparable injury if the injunction is not granted.

Brown argues strongly in the pleadings that Rock’s irrefutable access to My Nappy Roots, and the overwhelming similarities between “Good Hair” and “Nappy Roots”, Kimbell will easily succeed on the merits. Kimbell’s legal counsel also contends that the market value of “My Nappy Roots” will be reduced to zero thus showing irreparable harm.

Unless Kimbell can show that she will be precluded from seeking justice otherwise, she may also be required to post a bond before an injunction can be granted.

On October 19, between the two parties, someone will have a bad hair day unless the two come to an equitable agreement.

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    Posted 5 years ago at 4:30 pm. Add a comment

    Ben Ali Founder Of Famous DC Eatery Dead At 82

    Ben Ali Founder

    Ben Ali Founder of Ben's Chilli Bowl

    In a self-important city of steakhouses and expense accounts, Ben Ali, a modest man, found fame and fortune with a chili-topped half-smoke.

    Mr. Ali’s Ben’s Chili Bowl, an unpretentious eatery that grew into a down-home D.C. cultural touchstone, brought together all races and classes, presidents and paupers, the locals and the tourists, around its menu of chili dogs, cheese fries and milk shakes.

    Politicians, lobbyists, athletes and rock stars have sat alongside bike messengers and Midwestern tourists on the red-vinyl stools at the Chili Bowl, which survived the race riots of 1968 to become the most famous landmark on the city’s historic black corridor.

    Scenes from Hollywood productions such as the “The Pelican Brief” and “State of Play” used Ben’s for some of their key D.C. scenes.

    Mr. Ali, a native of Trinidad, came to the United States at age 18 to become a dentist, but a back injury prevented him from pursuing that dream. He tried several jobs before landing a position at Ann’s Hot Dogs.

    He met his wife, Virginia, who had worked as a bank teller, and together they opened the restaurant a week before they were married.

    “It was somewhat of a shock that he died,” said Sonya Ali, wife of Mr. Ali’s son Kamal, who manages the business. “He had a procedure done yesterday and he did well. He was hungry and wanted to go home.”

    She said he died about 9 p.m. Wednesday.

    News of Mr. Ali’s passing was reported on CNN — a far cry from his restaurant’s humble beginnings in a segregated D.C. neighborhood.

    Before becoming Mr. Ali’s restaurant, Ben’s was a silent movie theater, the Minnie-Hah-Hah, and then operated as a pool hall before Mr. Ali opened up for business after a $5,000 renovation.

    Before the 1968 race riots, U Street was known as Washington’s “Black Broadway.” Miles Davis and Duke Ellington played there, along with such legendary entertainers as Ella Fitzgerald, Cab Calloway, Nat King Cole, Redd Foxx and Dick Gregory. Almost from the day the riots ended, Washingtonians talked about a “new” U Street that would recapture the past glories of the neighborhood.

    Located at 1213 U St. in Northwest Washington, in the heart of the U Street corridor, Ben’s Chili Bowl stood out among shuttered brick buildings and storefronts from the riots after Martin Luther King’s assassination until the mid-1990s. But the U Street corridor experienced a rebirth in the 1990s, with gentrification, a revitalized night life and younger crowds returning to the area.

    But commercial redevelopment was slow to come. The corridor remained blighted for decades, and construction of a stop along Metro’s Green Line drove out many of the businesses that survived the riots — during which Mr. Ali fed protesters and authorities alike.

    Mr. Ali was known to tell customers the Chili Bowl opened in 1958, survived the riots of 1968, the drug wars of 1978, the Metro construction of 1988 and the new housing construction of 1998.

    “I have resisted changing anything,” Mr. Ali told The Washington Times in a 2003 interview. “We have come through a lot over 45 years. We stayed open through the 1968 riots. We made it through the Metro construction. Here we are.”

    The following year, the D.C. Council changed the name of the alley next to the restaurant and the Lincoln Theatre to “Ben Ali Way.”

    Mr. Fenty on Thursday expressed sadness about what he called one of “the greatest treasures in the District of Columbia.”

    “Ben Ali was a man who invested his life in a small business that weathered many storms and became the soul of a neighborhood and the pride of our city,” Mr. Fenty said. “Though we mourn the loss of Mr. Ali, we are grateful that his legacy will live on in our hearts.”

    Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray, who is a “regular patron,” said Thursday that the community “has lost a well-respected and iconic figure in the shaping of the historic U Street corridor.”

    Though the font on the sign has grown bigger, not much has aesthetically changed about the bright-red eatery with the throwback decor.

    Despite Mr. Ali’s passing Wednesday evening, the restaurant opened Thursday just as it did every day for the past five decades.

    “The reason we are working today is because that is the way he would have wanted it,” Mrs. Ali said. “He was a businessman to the very end. He is the reason we’re here 51 years later. We want to continue his legacy.”

    Mr. Ali, died Wednesday night of congestive heart failure. He was 82.

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      Posted 5 years ago at 10:50 am. Add a comment

      President Obama Responds To Winning The Nobel Peace Prize


      I am both surprised and deeply humbled,” Obama said at the White House.

      “I do not view it as a recognition of my own accomplishments. But rather as an affirmation of American leadership. … I will accept this award as a call to action.”

      Obama said he did not feel he deserves “to be in the company” of past winners, but would continue to push a broad range of international objectives, including nuclear non-proliferation, a reversal of the global economic downturn, and a resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

      He acknowledged the ongoing U.S. conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, noting that he is the “commander in chief of a country that is responsible for ending” one war and confronting a dangerous adversary in another.

      “This award is not simply about my administration,” he said. It “must be shared” with everyone who strives for “justice and dignity.”

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        Posted 5 years ago at 8:26 am. Add a comment

        Barack Obama Awarded Nobel Peace Prize


        OSLO — President Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize today for “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples,” the Norwegian Nobel Committee said, citing his outreach to the Muslim world and attempts to curb nuclear proliferation.

        The stunning choice made Obama the third sitting U.S. president to win the Nobel Peace Prize and shocked Nobel observers because Obama took office less than two weeks before the Feb. 1 nomination deadline. Obama’s name had been mentioned in speculation before the award but many Nobel watchers believed it was too early to award the president.

        “Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world’s attention and given its people hope for a better future,” the committee said. “His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world’s population.”

        The committee said it attached special importance to Obama’s vision of, and work for, a world without nuclear weapons.

        “Obama has as president created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play,” the committee said.

        Theodore Roosevelt won the award in 1906 and Woodrow Wilson won in 1919. Former President Jimmy Carter won the award in 2002, while former Vice President Al Gore shared the 2007 prize with the U.N. panel on climate change.

        The Nobel committee received a record 205 nominations for this year’s prize.

        In his 1895 will, Alfred Nobel stipulated that the peace prize should go “to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between the nations and the abolition or reduction of standing armies and the formation and spreading of peace congresses.”

        Unlike the other Nobel Prizes, which are awarded by Swedish institutions, he said the peace prize should be given out by a five-member committee elected by the Norwegian Parliament. Sweden and Norway were united under the same crown at the time of Nobel’s death.

        The committee has taken a wide interpretation of Nobel’s guidelines, expanding the prize beyond peace mediation to include efforts to combat poverty, disease and climate change.

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          Posted 5 years ago at 6:22 am. Add a comment