‘Us’ scares up screams and applause at SXSW premiere

(CNN)Jordan Peele is up to his old tricks. “Us” tells the story of family, led by Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke, who are terrorized by their shadowy doubles. The film garnered cheers and strong reviews on social media from those in the theater. “It should surprise no one that US is a very satisfying (and anxiety-inducing) follow up to GET OUT,” Eric Kohn, IndieWire’s chief critic tweeted. “What’s more fascinating: that a high-concept FUNNY GAMES/Hitchcock/Cronenberg/Bradbury mashup could feel so fresh at the same time.” Without giving away too many of the film’s spooky secrets, it explores topical themes of division. “We are at a time where we fear ‘the other,’” Peele said during a Q&A session after the screening. “I …

Amy Schumer reveals husband is on autism spectrum

(CNN)Amy Schumer opens up about her husband in her new Netflix special “Growing,” which started streaming Tuesday. “And once he was diagnosed, it dawned on me how funny it was, because all of the characteristics that make it clear that he’s on the spectrum are all of the reasons that I fell madly in love with him,” she said. “That’s the truth.” The comic said her husband is unable to lie and “says whatever is on his mind.” “He keeps it so real,” Schumer said. “He doesn’t care about social norms or what you expect him to say or do. If I say to him ‘Does this look like s**t?’ he’ll go ‘Yeah, you have a lot of other clothes, …

‘Whiskey Cavalier’ serves up spy games as Oscars chaser

(CNN)ABC and NBC each play spy games, reasonably well, with two new series: “Whiskey Cavalier” — a fun drama with an awful name, which the network will try to boost with a post-Oscars preview — and “The Enemy Within,” essentially NBC’s latest attempt to do another version of “The Blacklist,” only with a female twist. One needn’t be clairvoyant to see that the squabbling duo — and several other team members — will eventually be thrown together in a “Mission: Impossible”-type fashion, but it’s still surprisingly fun getting there, thanks to the breezy interplay among the cast, which also includes Ana Ortiz, Josh Hopkins and Tyler James Williams. Producers Bill Lawrence and David Hemingson have both worked primarily in comedy, …

A not-so-funny story about blackface

(CNN)Some of your favorite comedy stars and “Saturday Night Live” cast members have donned blackface and escaped major criticism for it. “Saturday Night Live” was called out on social media after it aired a skit this past weekend that poked fun at Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s current controversy. There have been calls for Northam to resign over of a racist photo surfaced from his 1984 yearbook page that showed one person dressed in blackface and another in a KKK hood. The governor denied being in the photo, but has said he darkened his skin to mimic singer Michael Jackson for a dance contest in 1984. Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring has also admitted to donning blackface as part of …

Grammys to take world stage Sunday, but 21 Savage will not

(CNN)When the Grammys kick off Sunday night, there will be one notable absence. He has long touted his Atlanta bona fides, so when Immigration and Customs Enforcement said 21 was British and had overstayed his visa, fans were caught off guard. Before collaborating with Post Malone — and long before his second album topped the Billboard 200 — 21 shot into hip-hop’s collective conscience in 2016 with two words: “Issa Knife.” It was in that moment — nonchalantly discussing with VladTV the tattoo of a knife that rests between his eyes — that 21 became celebrated as one of the most authentic rappers in the industry. The phrase was repeated from the city to the suburbs, made into memes and …