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Review: Netflix’s ‘Step Sisters’ is a hit… and a miss

Corny and cringey at the same time.

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I’ll admit when I heard that Netflix was coming out with a movie centered around a white sorority stepping, I didn’t know what to think. Actually, I’ll show you what I thought…

As someone who is familiar with black fraternity and sorority traditions and customs, I knew this film had to bring something special to the table. If it didn’t, people were going to trash it for sure.

(Image: Los Angeles Media Fund)

After watching the film, I realized it was something I wouldn’t immediately turn off. Unlike most movies on Netflix, the acting in Step Sisters is surprisingly really good.

The film tells the story of dedicated (and legacy) member of Theta Chi Phi Jamilah, played by Megalyn Echikunwoke, and her pursuit of Harvard Law School.

Desperate to fulfill her Harvard destiny and receive a coveted Alumni recommendation letter, Jamilah begins to coach Sigma Beta Beta, a white sorority who have been suspended, in stepping.

As much as I want to root for this film, there are some questions I can’t keep to myself.

  1. Why do all black people in the film have to be so discriminatory to the white team? Being mean is one thing, but they were just downright disrespectful. Would a black sorority be upset that one of its members is teaching a white sorority something so sacred? Yes. But they would have something to say about race in every interaction they have with the member. Let’s be real.
  2. Why are there so many microaggressions that the lead never acknowledged?  Jamilah’s boyfriend Dane, played by Matt McGory is a walking microaggression, Dean Berman is a microaggression and even the members of Sigma Beta Beta are microaggressions. If Jamilah is so woke, why isn’t she calling them out in the beginning?
  3.  How is this film corny and cringy at the same time? I feel like this question warrants no explanation. Watch it for yourself, you’ll understand.

The movie will make you smile and even laugh at times, but if you’re familiar with HBCU and black greek culture you’ll also wonder how writer Chuck Hayward (Dear White People) could write and release something so ill-informed.

The movie strives to be a Stomp the Yard for all shades, but in reality, it’s just a Bring It On/Pitch Perfect hybrid that got lost in translation.

The film is now streaming on Netflix. Check out the trailer below.

Laura Eley serves as a Digital Producer for the College Media Network. She attends Spelman College in Atlanta, GA where she majors in English. In her free time, Laura enjoys brunch, cooking, and binge watching Law and Order SVU for an unhealthy amount of time.

Academics

UC San Diego Refuses to Cancel Course on Woody Allen Films

University of California, San Diego refused to cancel a course on Woody Allen films despite a petition with over 20,000 signatures.

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The University of California, San Diego is refusing to cancel a course on “The Films of Woody Allen” despite a petition with more than 20,000 signatures.

The UC San Diego Academic Senate announced that they “conclude that canceling or removing this or any other course for the reason that it contains the study of controversial material, or even material widely regarded as morally problematic, would undermine both the value of free inquiry and the associated rights of faculty to engage in such inquiry by choosing their course content” in a press release.

The Senate also defined the subject of the press release as “Academic Freedom at UCSD”.

The petition, which currently has 21,895, was created by theater student Savanah Lyon, who said she “emailed all of the people in charge in an attempt to appeal to their sense of reason, humanity, and morality to stop this class and take it off the books so that no one can teach this class again.” Lyon’s emails have been met with dismissal, unprofessionalism, and dehumanizing rhetoric, according to the petition.

“They believe they have a right to teach this class due to academic freedom. They do not care about the statement it makes to survivors everywhere. They do not care that Woody Allen is on his way out of Hollywood,” Lyon also said in the petition.

“They do not care that the class is less than 1/3 full, making it an unpopular class that has no reason to be taught. They do not care that there are thousands of other directors who could teach the same film basics that they use Woody Allen to teach, directors who haven’t raped seven-year-old girls.”

Dylan Farrow, Woody Allen’s adoptive daughter with Mia Farrow, had accused him of molesting her when she was a seven year old. Allen is currently married to Mia Farrrow’s other adoptive daughter Soon-Yi Previn. He claims the affair with Previn started when she was 21 years old.

In  a Facebook post Lyon said she tried as hard as she could but the odds were stacked up against her from the beginning.

I tried, I tried as hard as I could, and the people around me and across the globe tried as well. The odds were stacked…

Posted by Savanah Lyon on Tuesday, February 20, 2018

“It’s hard to believe what would’ve been enough to get them to remove it from the books. Over 3,700 emails weren’t enough. Over 14,500 signatures weren’t enough. Various news clips and articles weren’t enough. The students weren’t enough, but the way the system works, I have a hard time believing we ever will,” she said.

“I don’t know if free speech and academic freedom will ever stop protecting oppressors. But, we can keep trying. Trying is radical and it will make them jump back every time. You get enough people pushing for change, it’ll start to happen. Don’t be discouraged by this.”

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Entertainment

The Best Tweets About Fergie’s National Anthem

That was a really, um, interesting version.

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Fergie sang the National Anthem at the NBA All-Star Game Sunday and it was, um, a different version.

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Entertainment

Man Who Tricked Emory University Into Paying for Fake Migos Concert Faces Charges

Emory paid $37,500 to a man who had no connection to the hip hop trio.

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26-year-old Octaveon Woods has been arraigned by federal officials for falsely claiming to represent musicians and entertainers, and collecting thousands of dollars for events that never took place. Both Emory University and the University of Missouri fell victim to the scheme.

A U.S. District Court in Georgia handed down five counts of wire fraud and six counts of money laundering.

The Emory Wheel reports that the school paid $37,500 to and organization Woods fronted for a Migos concert last spring. Shortly before the show was to take place, the university realized it had fallen victim to a scam and scrambled to book Ty Dolla Sign as a last-minute replacement.

According to the indictment, Woods claimed “he was a booking agent for famous musicians such as Migos, Lil Yachty, and Lil Uzi Vert.”

“Woods allegedly convinced others to pay him thousands of dollars to ‘book’ these artists for concerts and festivals—when he had no relationship with the artists at all,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “Woods immediately laundered the money to try and conceal his fraud.”

Much of the $66,250 Woods fraudulently collected came from Emory.

Woods pleaded not guilty to all charges and posted a $10,000 bond earlier this week. His fate will decided at a trial later this year. If found guilty, he could face up to 20 years in prison and substantial fines.

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