The season premiere of TV One’s highly anticipated new series “Hollywood Divas” aired last night and fans were immediately shocked to find out one of the divas — Paula Jai Parker (“Hustle & Flow,” “Friday,” “The Proud Family”) — was homeless and living in an extended stay hotel with her son Onederful and husband Forrest. Unlike many Black actress who can’t find work due to limited roles in Hollywood, Paula attributes her flailing career to being “blackballed.” Girl, please.
Paula revealed that she married an “outsider.” Her husband Forrest was a production assistant on the set of “Hustle & Flow,” and she says “I just never expected it to be so harsh. I never expected to be shut out.” After drying our eyes, several questions ran through our mind. How? Why?
While we don’t know the full story (we’ll be tuned in every Wednesday to find out), something isn’t quite adding up. Instead of spending money on an extended stay hotel, why not get a cheap apartment? Secondly, why wasn’t Forrest at work? Or are we reaching?
Paula eventually met up with Elise Neal (“The Hugleys”), who was working on her own Pussy Cat Dolls-like production “Elise and Assorted Flavors,” where she revealed that she was homeless. Like us, Elise was shocked by the news. Elise learned that Paula blamed her situation on being “blackballed” from the industry, to which she responded (in the confessional, of course) “I 100 percent do not think that Paula Jai Parker or her husband was blackballed in the industry. In my opinion, she doesn’t take the time to nurture relationships.”
Paula and Elise seem like friends as they comfort one another, but feelings change in an instance when the ladies are in the confessional. “Your level? Ad what level would that be sweetie? You always thought you were better than you actually are,” Paula said shading Elise.
We later catch up with Countess Vaughn, who’s in the doctors office during a consultation for “some surge.” She seems to be doing decent for herself. She has a man, children and living in a fine home. She still receives residual checks from “227” (as tiny as they may be). But, it’s pretty clear that Countess has some self-esteem issues as she blames her lack of roles on her appearance.
It isn’t long before we’re reintroduced to Golden Brooks (“Girlfriends”), who is also struggling landing gigs like her cast mates. Coincidentally, she meets up with Countess at acting class where they have a really awkward improv session. Still, Countess invites Golden to meet up with Paula, Lisa Wu and Elise Neal to chat about this production she is putting together.
Chile, the claws were out! The ladies all met up at a luxurious restaurant where ugly insults were thrown from beginning to end. Paula reminds Golden that her “Girlfriends” once threw drinks on her and clearly she’s still harboring feelings about it. Golden then attacked Countess for wanting plastic surgery and made her say “I’m beautiful” with conviction. When Elise arrived, she was relieved to find Golden and Countess at the table…then Lisa Wu walked in and their faces turned up. Golden has an issue with Lisa because she has a background in reality TV, yet she’s on a reality show now. Hmm…
They started throwing more shade than palm trees. “Trial by fire with this group,” Paula said. Yes, we see.
This is going to be good. In the forthcoming episodes, we the ladies clash over who’s career is more b-list, Countess’ third-stage abortion and everything dramatic inbetween. Tune in next week to see the ladies embark on Paula’s production and much, much more!
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