John Singleton Dies at 51 After Suffering Major Stroke & Spending 2 Weeks in ICU

UPDATE: John Singleton has died, the iconic film director’s family announced.

“We are sad to relay that John Singleton has died,” a statement from the Singleton family read Monday (Apr. 29). “John passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family and friends.”

He was 51 years old.

Original story: There were a number of conflicting reports earlier regarding John Singleton’s health, but his family just released a statement announcing that they plan to take the legendary film director off life support sometime today (Mon, Apr. 28).

“It is with heavy hearts we announce that our beloved son, father and friend, John Daniel Singleton will be taken off of life support today,” the Singleton family said. “This was an agonizing decision, one that our family made, over a number of days, with the careful counsel of John’s doctors.”

The statement goes on to say that John “quietly struggled with hypertensions. More than 40% of African-American men and women have high blood pressure, which also develops earlier in life and is usually more severe.”

The devastating news comes a little over a week after it was revealed Single had suffered a stroke while hospitalized after complaining about pain in his leg following a flight from Costa Rica.

Singleton was admitted to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles around two weeks ago and suffered a stroke just days later on April 17th.

Read the family’s lengthy statement in its entirety below:

It is with heavy hearts we announce that our beloved son, father and friend, John Daniel Singleton will be taken off of life support today. This was an agonizing decision, one that our family made, over a number of days, with the careful counsel of John’s doctors.

John Singleton is a prolific, ground-breaking director who changed the game and opened doors in Hollywood, a world that was just a few miles away, yet worlds away, from the neighborhood in which he grew up.

John grew up in South Central L.A with a love of cinema that showed itself early on. He went on to become one of the most lauded graduates of the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Within months of graduating, John returned to South Central to shoot his debut feature, Boyz N the Hood. The movie, which was unusually shot in sequence, masterfully captured a story of friendship, youth and the peril of hard choices in a community marred by gang violence. The film earned special honors at its debut at Cannes and Singleton went onto become the youngest director and first African-American writer-director nominated for the Academy Award. Two decades later, the film was placed in the Library of Congress, a marker of its cultural and historical significance.

John loved nothing more than giving opportunities to new talent and his films came to be known for career -making roles with actors who the industry would come to embrace; talents such as Tupac Shakur, Regina King, Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard, Ice Cube, Tyrese and Taraji P. Henson.

Singleton’s work spanned genres and showcased his curiosity and creativity: the remake of Shaft, was a homage to his mentor, Gordon Parks. He also made historical films such as Rosewood and action films such as 2 Fast 2 Furious. Films like Baby Boy and Four Brothers were prescient in the questions they posed about men and the crisis in American masculinity. As streaming platforms created new opportunities in television, Singleton took his talents to shows such as Billions, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story and Empire. Most recently, he co-created and executive produced the current FX hit drama series Snowfall, in which he engaged such writing talents as Walter Mosley.

John was such a supernova in his youth that we forget that he was only beginning to fully assert his gifts as a director. Kurosawa was 52 when he directed High Low. Hitchcock was 56 when he directed To Catch a Thief. As much as we will treasure his body of work, we were looking forward to the films John would have made in the years ahead.

In his private life, John is a loving and supporting father, son, brother, and friend who believed in higher education, black culture, old school music and the power of film.

John’s confidence in his place in Hollywood was only matched for his passion for the sea. John kayaked in Marina Del Rey every morning. His greatest joy, when not on set, was sailing his boat, J’s Dream, up and down the Pacific Coast. The American writer Willa Cather once said, “There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in the storm.” We who have grown up with John, made movies with him, sailed with John and laughed with John, know the universe of calm and creativity he created for so many. Now in the wake of his death, we must navigate the storm without him. It is, for us, heartbreaking.

Like many African Americans, Singleton quietly struggled with hypertension. More than 40% of African American men and women have high blood pressure, which also develops earlier in life and is usually more severe. His family wants to share the message with all to please recognize the symptoms by going

We are grateful to his fans, friends and colleagues for the outpour of love and prayers during this incredibly difficult time. We want to thank all the doctors at Cedars Sinai for the impeccable care he received.

John Daniel Singleton will be survived by his extraordinary mother, Sheila Ward, his father, Danny Singleton and his children Justice, Maasai, Hadar, Cleopatra, Selenesol, Isis, and Seven.

Details about memorial services will be provided at a later date.

John Singleton Dies at 51 After Suffering Major Stroke & Spending 2 Weeks in ICU is a post from: Gossip On This – Pop Culture, News & Videos

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Peabo Bryson Hospitalized After Suffering Heart Attack

Singer Peabo Bryson is recovering in the hospital after suffering a heart attack over the weekend.

According to TMZ, the Grammy Award-winning singer was at his home in Georgia early Saturday (Apr. 28) morning when he suffered what was described as a “mild” heart attack.

A rep for Peabo says he’s responsive and doctors believe he’ll make a speedy recovery.

Bryson’s rep said in a statement: “At this time, privacy is requested; however, the thoughts and prayers of friends and fans are welcomed and appreciated.”

Peabo Bryson won two Grammy Awards, one in 1992 for his performance of “Beauty and the Beast” with Celine Dion and another in 1993 for “A Whole New World” with Regina Belle for “Aladdin.”

“A Whole New World” was so big back in the day that it dethroned Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” from the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart in March 1993. Both songs also won Oscars for Best Original Song.

It isn’t clear when Peabo will be released from the hospital, but his doctors say he’s in stable condition.

Peabo Bryson Hospitalized After Suffering Heart Attack is a post from: Gossip On This – Pop Culture, News & Videos

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UPDATE: John Singleton Has Died After Suffering Major Stroke

UPDATE: John Singleton Dies at 51 After Suffering Major Stroke & Spending 2 Weeks in ICU

Original story: John Singleton is still alive, but in a coma and nonresponsive. A representative for director gave a medical update on Monday morning (Apr. 29) following reports Singleton had died.

Via TMZ:

John’s publicist tells us the famed director is alive and on life support at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in L.A. We’re told John is still in a medically-induced coma and is non-responsive and not getting better.

Several other credible outlets are also reporting Singleton is still alive and fighting for his life.

False reports that Singleton had died apparently began after FOX4 film critic Shawn Edwards reported that the acclaimed director’s family had told him the directed had passed away.

Singleton, 51, has been in a medically induced coma for several days since suffering a massive stroke on April 17th. It’s been reported that he’s not expected to get better and family and friends have been informed to say their goodbyes.

Singleton’s mother, Sheila Ward, has reportedly requested to be his legal conservator.

However, Singleton’s daughter, Cleopatra, stated that her father was only medically sedated, not in a coma, and is “getting better every day.”

She went on to claim that her grandmother (Ward) only wanted to take control of Singleton’s assets and freeze out his four children.

John Singleton is the first African-American to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director.

He is best known for his films Boyz n the Hood, Poetic Justice, and Baby Boy. His television show Snowfall was just renewed for a third season.

UPDATE: John Singleton Has Died After Suffering Major Stroke is a post from: Gossip On This – Pop Culture, News & Videos

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The Best, Funniest & Saddest ‘Game of Thrones’ Jokes & Memes From “The Long Night” Episode

So, yeah. Winter is here, and so are spoilers!!

If you haven’t seen the latest episode of “Game of Thrones” yet (Season 8, Episode 3: “The Long Night”), you might want to high tail it up out of this here post RIGHT NOW.


Winter came. Winter kicked ass. But winter did not win.

Here are some of the best, funniest, and saddest jokes and memes from “The Long Night” aka “The Battle of Winterfell.”

When everything was completely dark and silent at the beginning of the battle and no one knew was about to happen next.

When Melisandre rolled up on her horse like a boss.

The Best, Funniest & Saddest ‘Game of Thrones’ Jokes & Memes From “The Long Night” Episode is a post from: Gossip On This – Pop Culture, News & Videos

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Avengers: Endgame Abandoned the MCU’s Two Worst Romances

Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America romances in Endgame

You’d think I’d be thrilled about Avengers: Endgame‘s shelving of two unconvincing, strangely shoehorned-in romantic pairings. But I’m not happy about how they were handled.

***Major spoilers for Avengers: Endgame ahead***

When we ask for queer representation in superhero movies, many troll responses like to make the argument that these stories aren’t supposed to be about the heroes’ love lives, so their sexuality shouldn’t matter one way or the other. This is a specious argument, because sexuality and romance don’t need to go together; a character needn’t be in a relationship to be shown as openly queer.

It’s also specious because some element of romance has been present in almost every MCU film to date (Iron Man, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Thor: Ragnarok are the exceptions), so nineteen other films would suggest that Marvel considers romance a rather essential storytelling component.

Nowhere is romantic attachment more highly prized than in Avengers: Endgame, especially as it concerns marriage and expanding into a nuclear family. This rather old-fashioned approach plays a big part in the trajectory of Tony Stark and Clint Barton, and it is the driving force of Steve Rogers’ entire concluding arc. But not every MCU pairing receives fair treatment in the Avengers’ last bow.

We’re meant to believe that Steve would leave behind his team in a state of grieving, his best friend who has just been returned to him, his other best friend who’s about to inherit his shield without any tips, and a broken world still in dire need of assistance—all so that he can go back in time and be with “the love of his life,” Peggy Carter, a woman with whom he was supposed to meet for a date once seventy years ago.

This isn’t a screed against Peggy—I adore her character, and the romance they flirted with in The First Avenger was moving and sweet. If Steve had to end up with anyone, it tracks that it would be her. But the circumstances are out of character and bizarre, not to mention the time travel paradoxes. Beyond this, Steve’s marriage to Peggy absolutely tosses out of the window the romantic connection he forged with her niece—now also his niece, awkward—Sharon Carter.

Steve Rogers and Sharon Carter kiss

I’ve written about why I dislike how Steve and Sharon are shoved together in Civil War for one weird kiss. But I like Sharon’s character quite a lot, onscreen as well as in the comics, and to see her written off without so much as a mention is uncomfortable. The actress Emily VanCamp has spoken diplomatically in the past about how Sharon was part of Steve’s world and not the greater whole, and the Infinity War/Endgame screenwriters have discussed how they felt there wasn’t space in the first film to explore everyone’s personal lives.

But Endgame is a movie that brings back almost every character who’s ever been in the MCU, even for just a brief cameo—and it delves into personal lives quite a lot. Everyone else from “Cap’s world” is there, including Alexander Pierce, Brock Rumlow, Red Skull, and Jasper Sitwell. Even Arnim Zola gets a shoutout. Sharon is totally missing, presumably because her appearance would throw a wrench in the misty-eyed Steve/Peggy resolution by reminding the audience that she was there in the first place.

Just because Steve/Sharon was seen by some of us as poorly executed, and never as broadly popular as Steve/Peggy, doesn’t mean that it’s okay for the MCU to retcon that character development for Steve as though it never happened, and to seemingly retcon Sharon’s worth and involvement entirely. I argued back in January that it would be a mistake for the films to just disappear her. “You don’t give one of your biggest heroes a potential love interest over two movies and then never speak of it again,” I wrote in a memo that Kevin Feige left unread in the stack of my memos on his desk.

If the MCU had no further plans for Sharon, there was no need for the kiss in Civil War; it would have been refreshing for Steve to have simply made a new female friend and skilled ally. Had their attachment level remained as such, it’s not hard to imagine Sharon assembling in the big fight moment with the rest of the MCU’s powerful women. She deserved to be there. Instead, it is as though she never was, a devaluing of character no one else receives.

Bruce Banner and Natasha Romanoff kiss Age of Ultron

The other romance I’ve long railed against—and Avengers: Endgame saw fit to defenestrate—is that of Natasha Romanoff and Bruce Banner. Age of Ultron seemed to attempt to pair them for no better reason than they were the only “unattached” main Avengers. Their interactions thereafter were strained, implying that perhaps some greater sexy tension lay between them, though Bruce generally looked scared and Natasha looked amused.

Still, the MCU insisted on continuing to give them a weighted connection, with moments like the one in Ragnarok where the Hulk turns back into Bruce at the sight of Natasha on the computer monitor.

In Avengers: Endgame, there are suggestions that there is more to Bruce and Natasha’s relationship, but no will whatsoever to develop it. As with Steve and Sharon, Marvel appeared to want to graft in a romance on occasion and then hope we’d forget or stop caring that it was there when it didn’t fit their larger narrative.

When we meet up with the Avengers after the 5-year time jump, Bruce had been working to combine Banner and Hulk as his main goal. This interim would have been, theoretically, the perfect time to be with Natasha had their characters been so inclined—reaching for each other in a fractured universe, creating a sustaining bond. Natasha has moved into a position of leadership, but she also seems to be quite alone.

Had Marvel wanted these two to be developed together for further poignancy or basic continuity, we could have been told that they gave it a go in the background. Perhaps it fell apart, and was part of Bruce’s inclination to so radically change himself and embrace his Hulk side. But there’s nothing.

Yet Endgame isn’t finished. It gives Bruce (Professor Hulk?) the line “Clint, where’s Nat?” as he’s the first to notice she’s missing when they return from their missions. We pan to Professor Hulk’s devastated expression. Then, as the men discuss their fallen teammate, Professor Hulk is overwhelmed by his emotions, tears a bench from the dock, and hurls it into the distance. It’s meant to imply that he has feelings for Natasha even though they’re unexplored otherwise. Later, at Tony’s funeral, sad Professor Hulk stands alone, presumably missing his dead BFF Tony Stark as well as his quasi-lady love.

What bothers me about the abandonment of another romance that I disliked in the first place is simply that: its abandonment. There’s at least some lingering subtext here, which the erased Sharon Carter never gets. But why spend so many movies trying to make Bruce/Natasha happen only to cancel them out?

Does Marvel think that we’re not paying attention? Either resolve them—”we tried to make it work” or “we realized there was nothing there” are easy lines to include—or give us some heartbreaking melodrama. Have Natasha tell Clint, as she’s slipping away, “Tell Bruce I’m sorry.” Or have Professor Hulk weep about how he thought one day they might be together.

It feels as though this may have been excised to make Natasha’s sacrifice more defensible than Clint’s: she was seemingly unattached. No matter what, the MCU should have given us acknowledgment that they’d tried to make us care about these people’s interactions for several years. Steve/Sharon and Bruce/Natasha have their share of fans, sparked by the MCU’s canon and now ignored.

I’m uncomfortable with the implied hierarchy of relationships here. Just because the MCU’s own plotting and writing failed to generate deeper bonds between Steve and Sharon and Natasha and Bruce doesn’t mean they should just fall by the wayside. Not in a movie bent on hammering us over the head with the message that long-term commitment and familial attachment are the true endgame.

(images: Marvel Studios)

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I Just Want to Share My Love for Wanda Maximoff

Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff in "Captain America: Civil War" (Photo Credit: Zade Rosenthal and Marvel)

**Spoilers for Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame.**

The time for stans of Wanda Maximoff has come! For me, I fell in love with this witchy queen back in Avengers: Age of Ultron—the only good thing that movie gave me other than Science Bros. content—but for many, she isn’t the most fleshed out of characters because she is often tied down to a male character and very rarely does anything but kill people accidentally.

When you understand Scarlet Witch and her powers, that’s actually kind of wild. She’s one of the strongest of the Avengers, and she was sidelined through two movies.

Okoye wonders why Scarlett Witch wasn't fighting in Avengers: Infinity War.

But, that time has passed, and now we’re getting the Wanda Maximoff who understands her placement among the Avengers and her abilities. At the end of Avengers: Infinity War, Wanda stands up and takes on Thanos’s army in a way that even has Okoye asking why she wasn’t fighting alongside them all along.

Maybe my love started when I saw her chipped nails in Captain America: Civil War, a detail that I’ve still never gotten over. For so long, I watched as superheroes fought with perfect nails and hair, and then here came Wanda Maximoff, a moody teenager who had a rough go of it and couldn’t understand her own strength.

Now, though, we know that she has come into her own and takes on Thanos in hand-to-hand combat and, arguably, wins. If he didn’t give her and Carol cheap shots, they both would have taken him down. That being said, there is something so incredible about Wanda in Avengers: Endgame because she’s a woman who has nothing to lose. She’s there, ready to take on Thanos, and it makes her stronger in the end.

Do I love Wanda Maximoff more now than I did before? Yes, she is taking on her position as one of the new leaders of the Avengers, and she’s doing so for those they lost, and I can’t wait to see where it takes her character.

(image: Marvel Entertainment)

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The Spider-Verse Is Expanding to TV as Phil Lord & Chris Miller Sign Massive Deal With Sony

Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld, and Shameik Moore in Spider-Man- Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

The Oscar-winning duo of Phil Lord and Chris Miller has signed a massive five-year overall deal with Sony Pictures Television, according to Deadline.

Of course, the reason for this eagerness from the studio is that the pair is coming off of winning an Oscar for Sony’s Spider-man: Into the Spider-Verse—a movie many would consider one of the best to come out last year, and to some, the best Spider-Man movie period. It’s no surprise that Sony wants to keep that kind of creativity in-house.

Deadline explains that, under the agreement, “the duo will develop live-action comedy and drama series as well as animated shows through their Lord Miller Productions company, including a suite of TV series based on Sony’s Universe of Marvel characters, referred to as Spider-verse.”

Lord and Miller released a statement saying, “We are so grateful to everyone at Sony Pictures Television for choosing to partner with us and expand our enduring relationship with the studio. Together we aim to make groundbreaking work of the highest quality and integrity, and to place that work in convenient proximity to your eyeballs and earholes, wherever you may be.”

As someone who loved Spider-verse, I’m excited to see these two getting an opportunity to expand. The fact that they decided to helm a movie focusing on Miles Morales, and also took the time to bring in writers and animators of color to help bring the story to life, shows that they appreciate the input and talents of POC.

Thankfully, having the rights to Spider-Man and choosing to lean into the animated universe definitely allows them to create something unique that stands apart from what the Marvel Cinematic Universe is doing. In the coming years, it’s possible that, we’ll see the Sony branch of Marvel turn into its own force to be reckoned with, and I’m happy for good comic book content from everywhere as we enter the next stage of the comic book film generation.

Also, if we can get a Daredevil/Spider-Man team-up in the animated universe, with Charlie Cox voicing Matt Murdock, I’m not saying it’d be a perfect take that, but it’d be a solid choice.

(via Deadline, image: Sony)

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Janet Could’ve Been Very Different on The Good Place, and We’re Glad She’s Not

Ted Danson, D'Arcy Carden

In the mother of all bad ideas, the now-iconic Janet on NBC’s The Good Place apparently could’ve been a 13-year-old boy instead, and thank god (or the judge?) someone stopped that disaster. Becoming one of the most talked about characters of the series, Janet is a database that exists in both the Good Place and the Bad Place, helping the angels and demons alike and providing information for those whose souls exist there.

Much like the series main Janet herself has gone through many iterations (and disturbingly convincing pleas not to be rebooted), the database idea went through many versions before the series even started, and as the show’s creator, Mike Schur, told The Washington Post, it really could have been anyone.

“We auditioned a million people ranging from 13-year-old boys all the way to 75-year-old women and everything in between.”

In Schur’s defense, they just wanted to explore all the possibilities to find the best actor to personify their database, and that process clearly paid off in the casting of D’Arcy Carden. A beautiful character who is just as complicated as all the humans she’s surrounded by, Janet is not a girl, and not a woman.

But still, just the idea of a 13 year-old boy being the one to deliver the vast information of the universe has my eyes rolling so far back in my head that I can only see the darkness of my own mind. Maybe it’s because I have a teenage cousin, but have you ever spoken to a teenage boy? There’s nothing fun about them, especially not as an all-knowing database meant to make everyone’s stay in the Good Place a pleasant one.

Luckily for us all, we got D’Arcy Carden and our dream of a world where Janet exists became a reality. Otherwise, who know what we could have gotten for the series. Then again, though, I trust Mike Schur with my life so even if he did cast a 13 year-old, he probably would have made it work, and I’d similarly have trouble imagining it any other way.

But that’s something we don’t ever have to worry about. Thanks, D’Arcy!

(via: Jezebel; image: NBC)

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God Bless America’s Ass: A Tribute to Captain America

Chris Evans Steve Rogers America's Ass

**Spoilers for Avengers: Endgame.**

One of the best moments in Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame was the Time Heist and getting to look back at the first Avengers movie in a different way, which included getting to ogle and bestow praise onto the great American wonder that is Steve Rogers’ butt. As Ant-Man so eloquently put it, “that’s America’s ass.”

We have been collectively thirsting over Chris Evans in the role of Steve Rogers for years, but the MCU is filled with hot men with hot butts (hey, Winston Duke), pretty eyes, and a general thirst-trap appeal. What has made Steve (and his butt) special is both how the writers have evolved the character and Chris Evans living up to the image in real life.

Tackling a character like Steve Rogers isn’t easy. We’ve seen media fail to understand the complexity of “good guy”-type, noble characters (Cyborg) or think that the only way to tackle the American exceptionalism root of their legacy is through deconstruction (Superman). It would be easy for Captain America to be boring, to be reduced to simply being a symbol in an okay suit, but from The First Avenger, it was made clear that Steve’s core is good.

Skinny Steve was driven to stand up for the little guy even when he was considered too weak to help. The scene of him jumping on top of the grenade without knowing if it was live or not will forever stand in my mind as the defining image of that character, forever. It’s that scene that proves, more than anything, that Steve is worthy. And that was all without having dat ass.

Still, we could have had a Steve who was unquestioningly noble, but that has been shown not to be the case. Despite enlisting and serving in the American military, what Rogers stands for is the ideals, more than the nation itself. In The Winter Soldier and Civil War, Steve proves that he’s loyal to the people and, most importantly, to his friends. That’s powerful, and throughout all the changes he faces, Steve remains a loyal and good person. He gives hope to the hopeless.

It’s so telling that, after Endgame’s five-year time jump, Steve isn’t in isolation somewhere. He has formed a support group to help other survivors move on. He checks in on Natasha to make sure she’s eating and taking care of herself. He doesn’t hold any grudges or act out in anger in response to Tony’s ranting at him. Time hasn’t made Steve colder or harder; it has made him more empathic, more aware of what matters, and able to readjust his old values into a new environment. The core of his heart never changes, but he finds ways to evolve and be better. That goodness has allowed him to be a friend, a mentor, and a leader.

What’s special about Captain America is that he is an image of a man who can be good, noble, complex, and remain that way even in the face of a changing world. The world may not need him in one way, so he adapts to be something else. That’s why we love Cap; he represents the goodness of an individual who doesn’t keep that for himself, but instead uses it to help other people be their best selves.

Chris Evans doesn’t have a scriptwriter to achieve that level of narrative perfection, but on social media, he has constantly been doing his best to be like his comic book counterpart—noble, kind, a listener, and speaking truth to power. We believe that he is Captain America the same way we believed Christopher Reeve was Superman.

That’s why he is America’s Ass, and we love watching it work.

Steve Rogers I'm with you til the end of the line

(image: Disney/Marvel)

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Things We Saw Today: Rest in Power to John Singleton

Director John Singleton attends the press room at the 2018 DGA Awards at the Beverly Hilton, on February 3, 2018, in Beverly Hills, California. / AFP PHOTO / ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

John Daniel Singleton, the writer-director of Boyz N the Hood who was both the first African-American to have been nominated for Best Director, and, at 24, the youngest person ever nominated, has passed away at the age of 52.

“John passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family and friends,” Singleton’s family said in a statement released by The Hollywood Reporter. “We want to thank the amazing doctors at Cedars-Sinai [Medical Center] for their expert care and kindness, and we again want to thank all of John’s fans, friends and colleagues for all of the love and support they showed him during this difficult time.”

Singleton suffered a stroke in the intensive care unit, his family said, and this Monday morning he was removed from life support. “This was an agonizing decision, one that our family made, over a number of days, with the careful counsel of John’s doctors,” they said.

Singleton directed only eight films in his tragically shorted career, but with that created a legacy that helped to mold other young African American filmmakers like Jordan Peele and Barry Jenkins. His passing is truly a loss for us all.

R.I.P to the man who worked to bring humanity to a community often dehumanized.

(via THR, image: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

It’s our first Monday post-Endgame, will we ever be the same?

ben affleck

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