We Absolutely Love The Way Jason Weaver Just Shouted Out His Mama

There's just something about a man who makes the time to affirm his mama...

Celebrity News

I appreciate Very Smart Brothas and their content. To this day, one of my favorite pieces by them, is "Clifton Powell Hall of Fame for Role Players in The Realm of Black Excellence at the Cinematic Arts". If you know anything about Black movies—including the ones that never made it to the movie theatre—you know that Clifton Powell is a true treasure (he is hilarious in the movie 35 & Ticking). Full stop. Well, someone who is a younger version of that to me is Jason Weaver.

He played little Michael Jackson (quite well, I might add) in The Jacksons: An American Dream. He was a regular in the series Thea. He was Earnest in Drumline and Teddy in ATL. Three movies that you may or may not be familiar with are He's Mine Not Yours, Love for Sale and Dysfunctional Friends; I really liked him in those as well. I think what I enjoy most about Jason's acting chops is he has a way of making you wonder if he's actually following a script or making lines up as he goes a long. That kind of relatability is something that I dig in an actor, though. Plus, Jason can sing. Don't play. Who remembers "Love Ambition (Call on Me)"?


But perhaps his greatest claim to fame (at least thus far) is landing the role of young Simba in the original The Lion King. Well, kinda. The reason why "kinda" qualifies is because it was actually Jonathan Taylor Thomas who had the speaking parts of little Simba; what Jason did was sing young Simba's songs ("I Just Can't Wait to Be King" and "Hakuna Matata"). Again, quite well, I might add.

Yeah, Jason is necessary to the culture. However, what made me take this little stroll down memory lane was checking out an interview on Comedy Hype that appeared in my YouTube feed yesterday. It featured Sir Weaver. By the time I was done checking out the nine-minute bit, I hit up my editor and was like, "Can I please pen something about a few things that Jason Weaver just said?" Although he was simply sharing his experiences, in the midst of it all, I found about four solid gems that I thought you might like; especially one in particular.

Why Wasn’t Jason the “Entire” Simba?


According to Jason, while he was shooting The Jacksons film and performing "Who's Loving You?", Elton John was there. Jason sang the song live on set which ended up becoming an unofficial audition. Elton told Jason's mom that he had been hired by Disney to provide the music for an upcoming film, he thought that Jason had an interesting voice and extended the offer for him to officially audition. Jason accepted.

"I remember I went into the studio, sang the song…and getting like an overwhelmingly positive response from the directors and the producers. They had a quick pow-wow for a minute…and then they discussed offering me the speaking role."

So, why didn't Jason get the partner? Now before Black Twitter gets to poppin' (cause y'all know the kind of power that you have, right? Popeyes can definitely vouch for it!), basically it was because the music team wasn't aware that Jonathan had already been officially offered the position, 2-3 days before.

"So, for anybody who has always wondered that and was curious as to why that didn't happen, that was the reason why. It wasn't because Disney didn't offer it."

All these years later, how does Jason feel about how it all played out? He's not salty about it. Not at all. He continues to be mad appreciative for the opportunity. In part, due to the next part of this piece.

Did Disney Jack Jason in Any Way? (You Know, Financially)


"To this day, it's the gift that keeps on giving," Jason says with a smile on his face. "They compensated me well for it. The deal that I worked out with Disney is f—kin' awesome."

(By the way, I personally know a lot of artists. They can't even remotely say the same about the deals that they've made with companies over the years.)

As the interviewer breaks in and says, "'Cause I just want to mention that the movie made $968,000,000 in 1994…so, I would hope that they took care of you."

Jason nodded in agreement and then says, "Naw they did. I have no complaints about Disney whatsoever as it relates to compensation or residual income from any of the projects that I've been directly involved with."

Why exactly is that, Jason?

Jason Provides Some Really Solid Industry Advice


"Quick industry s—t 101. It all depends on how you negotiate your deal. People get f—ed over because they allow themselves to get f—ed over. Because they don't have proper representation; they don't know about their business; they're not reading their contracts; they're not educating themselves as to what they're getting themselves involved in [and] therefore, they don't have any understanding. Unfortunately, a lot of entertainers and even more unfortunately, a lot of Black entertainers have made that mistake, right?"


So, how did Jason avoid becoming a statistic? Here comes my favorite part.

Jason’s Single Mom Is Absolutely the S—t. He Says So.

"Fortunately, for me, I had a mother who was already involved in the entertainment industry. [She] knew how to comprehend and break down contracts. Was able to assemble a proper team around me of agents, managers and attorneys that looked out for my best interest. And things were negotiated properly to where now, I don't have to look back on my experiences with Disney or any other project that I've done and been slighted or short-changed."

Mama handled that. Jason's mama handled that. Here's some more industry info to take note of. According to Jason, Disney initially offered him a flat fee to sing the songs that he did. He goes on record saying that it was "an insane amount of money at the time". But peep what his mama was on.

"So, if you guys are willing to offer him this insane amount of money for a flat fee, where he won't receive any residual income after this, I wonder what the residual income would look like. Well, if you want him, we're negotiating based on those terms."

Get 'em, Ma. Jason said that agreeing to terms like that was "kind of a rarity back then." Jason goes on to share something that I didn't know. His mom was also a singer. She once had a deal with Capitol Records, alongside her sisters. Her group was called Kitty & the Haywoods. They did background singing work for Curtis Mayfield and were the featured background artists on the original Sparkle soundtrack (singing behind Aretha Franklin's "Giving Him Something He Can Feel").

"She knew the game. Was a very smart businesswoman. So, when I expressed a genuine interest in wanting to get involved, she knew how the position the Chess pieces on the board, in order to protect her son. And that's what she did. So, shout out to my mother. I love you mom, thank you. 'Cause you worked it out. You the s—t."

That last part? That is the biggest reason why I wanted to share this interview on this platform. I love that Jason shouted out his mom; that he proudly was like, "Don't get it twisted. It's my mama who had my back." And, because I know that sometimes single moms catch stress and drama, even in the media, I also like that Jason's mother is a brilliant example that single mothers are dope.

So, if you're a mom—and especially if you're a single mom—reading this, I sincerely hope that Jason and his mother have reminded you of just how special and significant you are. You inspire us in ways I'm sure you totally underestimate. And, in the eloquent phrasing of Sir Weaver, we feel that you too are the complete and total s—t!

For Jason's full interview with ComedyHype, watch it here.

Featured image by Strong Black Lead

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.


We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

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