06-24-2018  11:26 pm      •     
The Skanner Report
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AG Rosenblum Seeks Info from Oregonians

Oregon Attorney General seeks information on children separated from families at border ...

Community Forum: How Does Law Enforcement Interact With Vulnerable Populations?

Forum will focus on public safety and examine mental health and addiction issues ...

King County Council Recognizes Juneteenth

The Metropolitan King County Council recognizes a true 'freedom day' in the United States ...

Unite Oregon Hosts ‘Mourn Pray Love, and Take Action’ June 20

Community is invited to gather at Terry Schrunk Plaza at 6 p.m. on World Refugee Day ...

MRG Foundation Announces Spring 2018 Grantees

Recipients include Oregon DACA Coalition, Kúkátónón Children’s African Dance Troupe, Komemma Cultural Protection Association ...

Teen uses sign language to help blind and deaf man on flight

BOSTON (AP) — A teenager is being credited with coming to the aid of a blind and deaf man during a flight from Boston to Portland, Oregon.Clara Daly, of Calabasas, California, says she and her mother were traveling last week when the flight attendants asked if anyone knew American Sign...

18-year-old driver dies after colliding with log truck

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon State Police say an 18-year-old girl has died after colliding with a log truck on Highway 101 near Beaver.Law enforcement officials say Mikayla Michelle Howard was driving a 2003 Saab when it crossed into the other lane for an unknown reason on Friday morning....

New Mexico residents to testify on atomic bomb fallout

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Residents of a New Mexico Hispanic village near the site of the world's first atomic bomb test say they were long ignored about the lingering health effects and were expected to share their stories with Congress.The Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium plans to...

Small plane hits car after missing runway near Snohomish

SNOHOMISH, Wash. (AP) — A small plane hit a car after overshooting the runway at an airfield near Snohomish.The Seattle Times reports that three people, including a child, were in a single-engine plane when it was approaching the Harvey Air Field on Saturday.Lt. Rick Hawkins of the Snohomish...


How Washington’s 'School Achievement Index' Became School Spending Index

New assessment categorizes schools not by quality of education, but level of funding officials believe they should receive ...

Black Mamas Are Dying. We Can Stop It.

Congresswoman Robin Kelly plans to improve access to culturally-competent care with the MOMMA Act ...

Hey, Elected Officials: No More Chicken Dinners...We Need Policy

Jeffrey Boney says many elected officials who visit the Black community only during the election season get a pass for doing nothing ...

Juneteenth: Freedom's Promise Still Denied

Juneteenth is a celebration of the de facto end of slavery, but the proliferation of incarceration keeps liberation unfulfilled ...


The Latest: Meek Mill debuts 'Stay Woke' song at BET Awards

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on the 2018 BET Awards, which are being presented Sunday at the Microsoft Theater (all times local):7:45 p.m.Rapper Meek Mill has performed a new song, "Stay Woke," on the BET Awards with a striking performance that touched on police violence against black youth...

Anita Baker, H.E.R., Meek Mill shine at BET Awards

The 2018 BET Awards barely handed out any trophies with big stars like Cardi B, Drake and Kendrick Lamar absent, but the show included superior performances by rising singer H.E.R, rapper Meek Mill and gospel artist Yolanda Adams, who paid tribute to Anita Baker and nearly brought her to...

Complete list of winners at Sunday night's 2018 BET Awards

The complete list of winners of the 2018 BET Awards, presented Sunday at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles:— Video of the year: Drake— Best male R&B/pop artist: Bruno Mars— Best female R&B/pop Artist: Beyonce— Best male hip hop artist: Kendrick Lamar—...


The Latest: Prosecutors cancel Stormy Daniels meeting

The Latest on the investigation into the business interests of Trump's longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen (all times local):8:30 p.m.Stormy Daniels' lawyer says the porn actress' meeting with federal prosecutors in New York who are investigating President Donald Trump's longtime lawyer has...

Complete list of winners at Sunday night's 2018 BET Awards

The complete list of winners of the 2018 BET Awards, presented Sunday at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles:— Video of the year: Drake— Best male R&B/pop artist: Bruno Mars— Best female R&B/pop Artist: Beyonce— Best male hip hop artist: Kendrick Lamar—...

US prosecutors cancel Stormy Daniels meeting in Cohen probe

Porn actress Stormy Daniels was scheduled to meet with federal prosecutors in New York on Monday as part of their investigation into President Donald Trump's longtime personal attorney, but the meeting was abruptly cancelled late Sunday after it was reported by news organizations, her attorney...


Anita Baker, H.E.R., Meek Mill shine at BET Awards

The 2018 BET Awards barely handed out any trophies with big stars like Cardi B, Drake and Kendrick Lamar absent,...

US prosecutors cancel Stormy Daniels meeting in Cohen probe

Porn actress Stormy Daniels was scheduled to meet with federal prosecutors in New York on Monday as part of their...

Thousands flee as flames race across dry rural California

CLEARLAKE OAKS, Calif. (AP) — Wind-driven wildfires destroyed buildings and threatened hundreds of others...

Nigeria: 'Deeply unfortunate killings' as 86 reported dead

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria's presidency late Sunday announced a "deeply unfortunate killings across a...

Saudi women in driver's seat as longstanding ban is lifted

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi women steered their way through busy city streets on Sunday, driving to...

Australia and Vanuatu to negotiate security treaty

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia said on Monday it would negotiate a security treaty with Vanuatu,...

Kam Williams Special to The Skanner News

Cuba Gooding, Jr. was born in the Bronx on Jan. 2, 1968, but raised in Los Angeles from the age of 4 on. Best known for his Oscar-winning portrayal of the charmingly-arrogant Rod "Show Me the Money!" Tidwell in Cameron Crowe's "Jerry Maguire," he first found fame in 1991 when he received critical acclaim for his performance in John Singleton's coming-of-age classic "Boyz n the Hood."

Cuba followed-up that success with roles in "As Good as It Gets," "What Dreams May Come," and the Oscar-nominated "A Few Good Men." The versatile thespian's repertoire also includes roles in pictures ranging from "Red Tails" to "Radio" to "Men of Honor" to "Pearl Harbor" to "American Gangster" to "Shadowboxer" to "Boat Trip" to "Snow Dogs" to "Norbit."

Among his upcoming big screen projects are Don Jon and the sequel "Machete Kills." On television, he played the title character in the award-winning "Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story," as well as in "Firelight," the highest rated Hallmark Hall of Fame movie ever.

A decade ago, Cuba's extraordinary achievements were recognized when he was awarded with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Here, he talks about his work opposite Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey in "Lee Daniels' The Butler."

Kam Williams: Hi Cuba, appreciate the time.
Cuba Gooding, Jr: Anytime, Kam. How are ya, buddy?

KW: Great, and you?
CG: Very well, thank you.

KW: What interested you in "The Butler?"
CG: Well, to give you a little history, Lee Daniels and I had been friends even before he was a producer, manager or casting director. When he offered me the role of the shadowboxer in "Shadowboxer," I was invited into the editing room. We've done this thing throughout his career from "Precious" on, where he sends me screenplays that he's considering. So, I feel like this is an invested relationship I have with him. He sent me this screenplay about five years ago, suggesting that I might be the butler.

KW: Were you upset when you didn't land the title role?
CG: No, one thing led to another in casting choices, and now I couldn't imagine this movie without Forest Whitaker playing the lead and Oprah playing his wife. I think they're both deserving of Oscar nominations. Their relationship in the movie's so powerful, and so is Forest's with David Oyelowo's character.  

KW: You did a great job, too.
CG: Thanks. It just feels so good to be involved again with a movie that's socially relevant. I recently met a 27 year-old white male who admitted that he didn't know about the sit-ins until seeing this movie's scene with the kids being refused service in a segregated diner. And it hit me how we can so easily forget, because I'm in my forties. There's such a disconnect from the next generation in terms of all the brutality. That's why it feels good to be a part of this film which revisits that time period and talks about what transpired.

KW: Especially because it tackles the material from a fresh perspective.
CG: It's interesting, too, because when "Django Unchained" came out, so many people were alienated by it, while others who thought it was just a really cool ride from Quentin Tarantino said, "Get over it!" If you look at the latter group, a lot of them were really young kids who had a disconnect from slavery. To them, all they saw was their hero being freed, shooting back, saving the day and getting his girl. It's funny, I started dating my wife, who's Caucasian with blonde hair and blue eyes, in 1987. I got hate mail when I did "Boyz n the Hood" saying stuff like, "I can't believe your girlfriend is white." But I hadn't grown up in the South back in the days when blacks were lynched for even looking at a white woman. And when you look at what I did today, it's elementary compared to the attention being paid to the issue of same-sex marriage. So, we've moved away for the better, but we just can't afford to forget all the sacrifices and trials and tribulations.

KW: How much research did you have to do to prepare for the role?
CG: Well, I'd been researching and gathering information on the subject for several years for both this script and for a Martin Luther King story about Selma. So, it's a time period I'd already become pretty well-versed in.

KW: Editor/Legist Patricia Turnier asks: How similar are you to your character in "The Butler," Carter Wilson?
CG: I AM that guy! [LOL] Sometimes, I can be pretty goofy, and a bit of an exhibitionist. I don't think I'm quite as free with the lips as he is, but I can tell a joke or two. Some of those lines I ad-libbed.

KW: How emotionally affected were you seeing the film for the first time?
CG: I was a wreck. I sat and hugged Pam [producer Pam Williams] like someone had died in the family. And, to be honest with you, Kam, it wasn't so much the history lesson, but simply that my eldest son who's 18 was going off to college, and I couldn't get back to L.A. to see him off when he left because I was stuck in New York. The father-son relationship just hit me, man, especially the scene where Cecil Gaines says goodbye to his son departing for college. What I experienced wasn't a feeling of sadness, but rather a realization of this higher calling in life, and how we're all a part of this chain.    

KW: Speaking of your being in New York, Harriet Pakula-Teweles asks: How did you enjoy being on Broadway? What play were you doing, A Trip to Bountiful?
CG: Yes, sir, since February. I loved it. I actually started in theater, that's where an agent found me in '86, I was doing a Shakespeare festival. On the stage, if you don't understand every word of what you're saying, it is apparent in your countenance. So, I was always about living the character. Then I got stolen away by TV where I got my start as MacGyver's sidekick for awhile which was easy to phone in. You know the guy, you know the peril, and you know how to save the day. So, I leapt at this opportunity to go back, and it reignited my creativity. Just to be across from Cicely Tyson on that stage every day, was great. My creative passion is back!

KW: Harriet also asks: With so many classic films being redone, is there a remake you'd like to star in?
CG: That's an interesting question I've never been asked. Just last night, literary, I was sitting around talking with some friends about those old movies with a Broadway theme. Maybe one of those.

KW: The Viola Davis question: What's the difference between who you are at home as opposed to the person we see on the red carpet?
CG: Well, I smile a lot more on the red carpet.

KW: The Anthony Anderson question: If you could have a superpower, which one would you choose?
CG: I would fly. I've been dreaming about flying since I was 5 years-old.

KW: The Gabby Douglas question: If you had to choose another profession, what would that be?
CG: Social work. Or maybe coaching kids sports. I've always been a people person. It would have to be something where I could help people.

KW: Attorney Bernadette Beekman asks: What is your favorite charity?
CG: The Boys and Girls Clubs of America is one of them. I have a few.

KW: Can you give me a Cuba Gooding, Jr. question to ask other celebrities? 
CG: Yeah, what still scares you?

KW: Thanks, and thanks again for the time, Cuba.
CG: My pleasure, Kam.

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