Lee Daniels said he couldn’t find a new network for ‘Star’

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Lee DanielsBy Defender News Service

After the cancellation of Lee Daniels’ FOX series Star, the internet called for Daniels to shop the show to the other networks, and he listened. Unfortunately, his calls have gone unanswered. He revealed on social media that he was able to persuade another major network to pick up the series.

“Thank you guys for loving Star! I’m at a loss for words to describe my sadness. So I’m gunna just say THANKS ….to my incredible cast and crew and FANS!!!! And a shout out to #foxtv for letting us into your homes every Wednesday,” he wrote on Instagram.

Page Six reported that Daniels pitched the show to BET, OWN and Amazon.

Star premiered back in December of 2016 and was coupled with Daniels’ other hit show Empire on the FOX Wednesday night line up. The show maintained adequate ratings but viewership fell 11 percent during the last season. The cancellation was reportedly related to FOX wanting to prioritize Empire since it is heading into its last season.

“We looked at our priorities and were trying to prioritize giving Empire the send-off it deserves,” FOX Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier told Deadline. “The move [of Empire] to 9 p.m, made it a challenge because Star was always the lead-out from Empire and obviously we don’t have the 10 p.m hour, so it was another tough choice in a year where we were prioritizing Empire and obviously some of the other shows that we’ve put on the schedule.”

Star was cancelled after three seasons.

This article originally appeared in the Defender News Network.

Ella Fitzgerald, January 1940 (Photo: From the Carl Van Vechten Photographs collection at the Library of Congress. / Wikimedia Commons)

“I am sure you are well aware of the national “Take ‘Em Down” campaign. As a representative of “Take ‘Em Down Jax” I am writing to urge you to use your celebrity status to assist in this effort.

“You are scheduled to perform in Hemming Plaza but what you may not be aware of is that towering above the park is a confederate monument. In addition, Hemming Plaza was the site of a horrific incident known as “Axe Handle Saturday” during the civil rights movement.

“I am writing to request that you do one of two things. It would make a very big impact in this campaign if you would agree to pulling out of the Jazz Festival and informing the organizers that you will not perform in the shadow of white supremacy.

“If you feel that you are unable to pull out of the show altogether, I would like to request that you make mention of the monument and tell Jacksonville that it needs to come down during your performance and post to social media using hashtag #TakeEmDownJax.

“Thank you for your time and I await your response.”

In the interest of full disclosure, I have my own personal concerns with the so-called Jazz Festival. I mentioned my lifelong love affair with jazz. However, I omitted the fact that I am also a formally-trained jazz musician, with a career of my own spanning 40+ years.

I am a well-known, well-respected, national recording artist, residing in the Jacksonville area, and while I have received promises and assurances — from City Hall officials to the event organizers — that I would be called to perform for my new hometown, I have never received such a call.

In fact, I’ve lived in Jacksonville for three years and have never been called for the Jazz Festival. It’s either paranoia or I’m “on the list” — more commonly known as being “Black-Balled.”

I do believe the individuals who book these events have every right to secure whatever talent they deem appropriate and sufficiently popular, after-all, there is a great deal of subjectivity to any booking scenario. However, it begins to look as though politics has played more than a minor role in the selection process over the years.

Having played festivals in various parts of the world, other than a matter of principle and fair play, I have no vested interest in this particular festival.

Finally, given the opportunity, I could provide a dozen or more names of world-renowned, authentic jazz players and singers who would be perfectly suitable for the event, and since revenue from tickets sales is not a factor in a free event, subjectivity or the perception of their popularity would not come into question. It would simply be a great event celebrating a wonderful American art form.

Miles Jaye Davis plays over 12 instruments and is an artist, musician, author, painter, writer and singer. He is also a trained chef. www.milesjaye.net

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of BlackPressUSA.com or the National Newspaper Publishers Association.

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