Amanda Seales

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Amanda Seales
Amanda Seales on Adweek.jpg
Seales in 2019
Born
Amanda Ingrid Seales

(1981-07-01) July 1, 1981 (age 41)
EducationState University of New York, Purchase (BA)
Columbia University (MA)
Occupation
  • Comedian
  • actress
  • poet
  • rapper
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • media personality
  • activist
Years active1992–present
Comedy career
Medium
GenresStand-up comedy
Musical career
Genres
Instrument(s)Vocals
Websiteamandaseales.com

Amanda Ingrid Seales (born July 1, 1981), formerly known by the stage name Amanda Diva, is an American comedian and actress. Since 2017, she has starred in the HBO comedy series Insecure. In 2019, HBO released her first stand-up comedy special I Be Knowin.[1] Then, in 2020, Seales launched Smart Funny & Black, a comedy gameshow that showcases Black culture, history, and experience.[2] Seales was also one of the co-hosts of the syndicated daytime talk show, The Real, alongside Loni Love, Tamera Mowry, Adrienne Bailon, and Jeannie Mai.[3]

Early life[edit]

Amanda Seales was born in Inglewood, CA on July 1, 1981. Her mother was born and raised in Mt. Moritz, Grenada. Her father is African-American. As a result, both she and her mother are dual citizens of the US and Grenada. She moved to Orlando, Florida, in 1989, where she later attended Dr. Phillips High School. She graduated from SUNY-Purchase, then acquired a master's degree in African-American studies with a concentration in Hip hop from Columbia University.[4][5][6]

Career[edit]

Film and television[edit]

Seales's first film was a minor role as Katy in the 1993 movie Cop and a Half.[7] The next year Seales was featured on the Nickelodeon sitcom My Brother and Me (1994) as Deonne Wilburn. In 2002 she appeared on Russell Simmons' Def Poetry Jam.[8] Seales became publicly known as "VJ Amanda Diva" on MTV2 Sucker Free Countdown on Sundays.[4] In 2016 she appeared in a recurring role on the HBO series Insecure, as Tiffany DuBois.[9] Also in 2016, Seales began hosting her own show on truTV called Greatest Ever.[10][11]

On January 26, 2019, HBO debuted her first stand-up comedy special I Be Knowin'.[12] Bring the Funny is a comedy competition series that premiered on July 9, 2019 on NBC.[13] Seales hosts, alongside judges Kenan Thompson, Chrissy Teigen, and Jeff Foxworthy.[14]

Throughout 2019, Seales served as a frequent guest host for the syndicated daytime talk show The Real.[15] On January 6, 2020, Seales was promoted from guest co-host to permanent co-host.[16] She departed the series after six months of co-hosting, citing her dissatisfaction with the inability to openly speak on recent social issues as a reason.[17][18] In September 2020, Seales accused The Real of stealing ideas from her show Smart Funny & Black, saying The Real's segment "Black Lives Matter University" featured a logo that closely resembled Smart Funny & Black's emblem.[19]

In June 2020, Seales revealed on social media that she will host the BET Awards 2020 on June 28, 2020.[20]

In February 2022, Seales was cast in the three-part documentary series Everything's Gonna Be All White, airing on Showtime.[21]

Music[edit]

In 2007, Seales replaced Natalie Stewart of the musical duo Floetry on tour with Marsha Ambrosius, and in December of that same year Seales (as Amanda Diva) released her first extended play (EP) Life Experience.[citation needed] In 2008, she was featured on the song "Manwomanboogie" on Q-Tip's Grammy-nominated album The Renaissance.[22] On March 3, 2009, Seales released Spandex, Rhymes & Soul.[23][24][25]

Podcast[edit]

Seales hosts a weekly podcast titled Small Doses.[16][26]

Game Show[edit]

She created and hosts the touring variety game show, Smart Funny & Black, where her love of games and music, was used to serve as a safe space for the Black voice and celebrates the many contributions Black Americans have made to history and pop culture and more.[27]

Activism[edit]

In 2010, Seales teamed up with Truth, to start an anti-smoking campaign.[28]

In November 2014, Seales appeared in a segment on CNN alongside Steve Santagati, hosted by Fredricka Whitfield, discussing the video 10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman. During the segment, Seales said that men catcalling women is not complimentary and that women do not like being catcalled, while Santagati went on to defend men catcalling women, saying that women should take catcalling as a compliment and not abuse.[29][30]

On June 11, 2017, during a livestream on Katy Perry's YouTube channel, an exchange took place between Seales and Caitlyn Jenner, with Seales saying that Jenner benefits from white privilege. Towards the end of the exchange, Seales told Jenner "This country is here for you. This country ain’t here for me in the same way, sis".[31] Seales has attributed this exchange to her becoming an activist.[32]

Radio[edit]

On April 18, 2022, Seales began co-hosting a new weekly radio show, Amanda Seales’ Smart Funny & Black Radio on SiriusXM, alongside Taj Rani and JeremiahLikeTheBible, featuring topics such as games, celebrity interviews and African-American culture.[33]

Controversies[edit]

In 2019, Seales was involved in a controversy where many people mistakenly reported that she had accused former NFL player and neurosurgeon resident Myron Rolle of sexually harassing several women. She made several Instagram videos alleging he was sexually inappropriate, and was sharing that she had heard those allegations from other women. Multiple people who were spreading that story have since admitted that Seales did not make those allegations herself.[34][35][36]

In the weeks preceding Rodney Reed's November 20, 2019 execution date, Seales publicly urged Texas Governor Greg Abbott to exonerate Reed or stay his execution. She later rescinded her support after learning more about his history.[37]

In February 2020, Seales sought controversy while on The Real when defending Jussie Smollett after he was arrested for faking a hate crime. While describing the accusations as alleged, she went on to defend the actor saying, "Even if it was a hoax for the sake of bringing attention to this, then I’m like, that’s low-key noble".[38] In 2022, Smollett was found guilty of orchestrating a fake hate crime and sentenced to 150 days in prison.[39]

In 2021, Seales was criticized for portraying an Alpha Kappa Alpha, or "AKA," on the series Insecure. Real-life members of the sorority responded negatively to Seales' character wearing Alpha Kappa Alpha colors.[40] Seales responded to the criticism in an Instagram video defending her portrayal.[41] It was later reported that the sorority plans to take legal action against Seales.[42]

Discography[edit]

EPs[edit]

List of extended plays, with selected details and year released
Title Album details
Life Experience
Spandex, Rhymes & Soul
  • Released: March 3, 2009[44]
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: Digital download
Madame Monochrome
  • Released: April 27, 2011[45]
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: Digital download

Mixtapes[edit]

List of mixtapes, with selected details and year released
Title Album details
Foreplay
Technicolor Lover
  • Released: May 29, 2012[47]
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: Digital download

Guest appearances[edit]

List of non-single guest appearances, with other performing artists, showing year released and album name
Title Year Album Artist(s)
"Manwomanboogie"[48] 2008 The Renaissance Q-Tip
"Get Right"[49] 2010 Rebel Without Applause Johnny Polygon
"Blvd Broad"[49]
"You Belong to Me"[50] Catch-Up
"Beautiful Things" LIFE Kenichiro Nishihara
"Proud 2 Be"[51] 2012 Crack on Steroids N.O.R.E., M-1

Filmography[edit]

Film and TV[edit]

Year Production title Role Notes and awards
1993 Cop and a Half Katy
1994–95 My Brother and Me Deon Wilburn
2006 Freedomland Angry Female Tenant
2011 Identical Poet #2
2015–17 Get Your Life Herself
2016 Ladies Book Club Helena
2016–2021 Insecure Tiffany DuBois
2016–17 Greatest Ever Herself Host
2017 Hood Adjacent Herself
2018 Black-ish Barbara
2019 I Be Knowin'' Herself
2019 Bring the Funny Herself Host
2020 Ellen's Game of Games Herself/Guest Episode 2: Stink Tank
2020 The Real Herself Co-Host and Producer
2020 Match Game Herself/Guest Episode: "Joel McHale, Amanda Seales, Ron Funches, Ana Gasteyer, Ron Huebel, Nikki Glasser"
2022 To Tell the Truth Herself/Guest Episode: "Amanda Seales, Kevin Nealon and Jaleel White"[52]

Music videos[edit]

List of music videos, showing year released and director
Title Year Director(s)
"Neon"
(featuring Johnny Polygon)
2009 Lyn-don McCray[53]

Bibliography[edit]

Seales's first book, 'Small Doses: Potent Truths for Everyday Use' was also released in 2019. The book is an extension of her podcast of the same name. It is a volume of essays, axioms, original illustrations, and photos from her trademark "self-help from the hip” style of commentary.[54]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Williams, Janaya; Martin, Michel. "'Insecure' Star Amanda Seales Takes The Stand-Up Stage In HBO's 'I Be Knowin". npr.org. NPR. Retrieved 9 September 2021.
  2. ^ Zaino III, Nick A. "With 'Smart, Funny & Black,' Amanda Seales has created a showcase for 'ebony excellence'". bostonglobe.com. Boston Globe. Retrieved 9 September 2021.
  3. ^ All Music Amanda Seales Biography
  4. ^ a b Seales, Amanda. "imdb.com". IMDb.[unreliable source?]
  5. ^ "30 Movie and TV Stars who Graduated from Columbia". Columbia Magazine. Retrieved 2021-10-02.
  6. ^ "Amanda Seales, Star of 'Insecure,' Discusses Black History Month and Why She Chose Columbia". Columbia University Neighbors. Retrieved 2022-02-24.
  7. ^ Seales, Amanda. "imdb.com". IMDb.[unreliable source?]
  8. ^ "youtube.com". YouTube.[dead YouTube link]
  9. ^ Seales, Amanda. "imdb.com". IMDb. Retrieved November 8, 2016.[unreliable source?]
  10. ^ "trutv.com".
  11. ^ "comedyhype.com".
  12. ^ Ngangura, Tari (January 25, 2019). "Amanda Seales Be Knowin', and You Should Listen". Vulture. Retrieved January 29, 2019.
  13. ^ Otterson, Joe (February 1, 2019). "NBC Orders Comedy Competition Series With Jeff Foxworthy Among Judges". Variety.
  14. ^ "Who Is Amanda Seales? 10 Facts About The 'Bring The Funny' Host". Talent Recap. July 15, 2019. Retrieved July 21, 2019.
  15. ^ Henderson, Cydney. "'The Real' has a new co-host: 'Insecure' star and comedian Amanda Seales". USA Today. Retrieved 2022-04-16.
  16. ^ a b Petski, Denise (January 6, 2020). "Amanda Seales Joins 'The Real' As Permanent Co-Host". Deadline Hollywood.
  17. ^ Nakamura, Reid (June 3, 2020). "Amanda Seales to Exit 'The Real': 'I Cannot Speak to My People the Way They Need to Be Spoken To'". TheWrap. Retrieved June 4, 2020.
  18. ^ Merrett, Robyn (August 4, 2020). "Amanda Seales Says She Left The Real Because It 'Felt Like a Betrayal to My People'". people.com. Retrieved 2022-04-18.
  19. ^ Slater, Georgia (September 22, 2020). "Ex The Real Co-Host Amanda Seales Says Show Needs to Be Called Out for Allegedly Ripping Her Off". people.com. Retrieved 2022-04-18.
  20. ^ "Amanda Seales to Host 2020 BET Awards". Billboard. 2020-06-15. Retrieved 2020-06-16.
  21. ^ Green, Kai (2022-02-10). "Everything to Know About Showtime's Provocative New Docuseries, everything's gonna be all white". Parade: Entertainment, Recipes, Health, Life, Holidays. Retrieved 2022-04-18.
  22. ^ "vimeo.com".
  23. ^ "Amanda Diva – Spandex, Rhymes & Soul EP".
  24. ^ "Amanda Diva Gets in Touch With "Spandex, Rhymes, & Soul" On New EP [Free Download]".
  25. ^ "Amanda Diva – Spandex, Rhymes & Soul FreEP". March 3, 2009.
  26. ^ Wilstein, Matt (October 29, 2019). "Amanda Seales: 'I'm Expected To Make White People Uncomfortable'". The Daily Beast.
  27. ^ "Smart Funny & Black".
  28. ^ Kulp, Patrick (12 February 2017). "A new anti-smoking ad slams Big Tobacco for targeting black neighborhoods". Mashable.
  29. ^ "That time CNN asked a 'bad boy' expert to give his thoughts on catcalling". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2022-04-23.
  30. ^ "You Won't Believe This Man's Sexist Reaction to the Viral Catcalling Video: Watch Now!". E! Online. 2014-11-05. Retrieved 2022-04-23.
  31. ^ "Watch Amanda Seales School Caitlyn Jenner On White Privilege". HuffPost. 2017-06-12. Retrieved 2022-04-18.
  32. ^ "'Completely Pivoted Me': Amanda Seales Reveals How Viral Moments with Caitlyn Jenner Led Her to Accidentally Become an Activist". news.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2022-04-18.
  33. ^ Hipes, Patrick (2022-04-14). "Amanda Seales Secures New SiriusXM Show On Kevin Hart's Laugh Out Loud Radio". Deadline. Retrieved 2022-04-18.
  34. ^ "Amanda Seales Admits Myron Rolle Never Did Anything Wrong to Her - BlackSportsOnline - Part 4". blacksportsonline.com. 6 March 2019.
  35. ^ Dill, Jason. "He quit the NFL to save lives. Now this former FSU star is accused of sexual harassment". www.miamiherald.com.
  36. ^ "Insecure's Amanda Seales Calls Out Ex NFLer Myron Rolle For Sexual Harassment". YouTube.[dead YouTube link]
  37. ^ Greig, Jonathan. "Blavity News & Politics". Blavity News & Politics.
  38. ^ "'The Real' Co-Host Amanda Seales Defends Jussie Smollett: Even If Attack Was a 'Hoax,' It Was 'Noble' Thing to Do (Video)". The Wrap. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  39. ^ "Jussie Smollett sentenced for false police reports". March 11, 2022.
  40. ^ "Insecure's Amanda Seales Claps Back at Angry Fans After AKA Sorority Backlash: 'I'm Just Playing a Character'". 26 October 2021.
  41. ^ "Amanda Seales and Issa Rae Clap Back After Debate Erupts Online Over 'Insecure' Character Tiffany Wearing Greek Letters". news.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2022-04-18.
  42. ^ "Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Director Planning to Take Action After AKA Logo Worn By Actress". Black Enterprise. 2021-10-28. Retrieved 2022-04-18.
  43. ^ "Life Experience Ep, by Amanda Seales". Amanda Seales.
  44. ^ "Spandex Rhymes & Soul, by Amanda Seales". Amanda Seales.
  45. ^ "Madame Monochrome, by Amanda Seales". Amanda Seales.
  46. ^ "Foreplay Mixtape, by Amanda Seales". Amanda Seales.
  47. ^ "Technicolor Lover, by Amanda Seales". Amanda Seales.
  48. ^ "The Renaissance - Q-Tip - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic.
  49. ^ a b "Rebel Without Applause by Johnny Polygon on Apple Music". iTunes. March 23, 2010.
  50. ^ "Johnny Polygon Catches Up With New Mixtape - OklahomaRock.com". oklahomarock.com.
  51. ^ "N.O.R.E. - Crack on Steroids Hosted by DJ Green Lantern". DatPiff.
  52. ^ Kari. "Amanda Seales, Kevin Nealon and Jaleel White Appear on 'To Tell the Truth' | Feeling the Vibe Magazine". Retrieved 2022-04-20.
  53. ^ ""Neon" Feat. Johnny Polygon Official Video!!!!". www.amandaseales.com. Amanda Seales. August 12, 2009. Archived from the original on December 19, 2013. Retrieved December 18, 2013.
  54. ^ "UTA Agency, Amanda Seales Bio".

External links[edit]