Diallo Riddle Talks ‘Silicon Valley’ and New Show ‘Marlon’

Diallo Riddle Photography: Ricky Middlesworth Grooming: Andrea Pezzillo Styling: Michael Mann

Diallo Riddle has had a very extensive career getting his start on shows like Chocolate News on Comedy Central and writing from 2008–2012 on the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. 

Black Enterprise recently caught up with Riddle to discuss his reoccurring role on HBO’s Silicon Valley, where he played Paul the attorney to CEO Gavin Belson, (Matt Ross), providing legal counsel for the over-the-top tech company Hooli and his new show, Marlon, where he stars alongside Marlon Wayans, the unstoppable, larger-than-life personality and unpredictable internet superstar.

Diallo Riddle Photography: Ricky Middlesworth Grooming: Andrea Pezzillo Styling: Michael Mann (Image: Ricky Middlesworth Grooming: Andrea Pezzillo Styling: Michael Mann)


How much research did you have to do in regard to portraying Paul’s character on HBO’s Silicon Valley?

I did probably more research than I needed to. I have a friend who is a corporate lawyer for a company like Hooli who actually was in on the big startup phase so I quizzed him every night about things that I could ad-lib, things that I could say, because I didn’t have to audition for that part, they really liked my audition for another part, so they really just handed me that part, but the lawyer talk is its own language. Whenever you play a lawyer, whenever you play a doctor, you just want to make sure that you speak with the cadence of the people in those fields would speak with.

It was a lot of prep and I do like to over prepare but in the end, the one thing that I do enjoy about that character is that, as time went on, he got to be the straight man of the scene to Gavin Belson’s absurd character. So as time [went] on, Gavin became more and more absurd and I got to just sort of just give my facial expression and say something back to him in a deadpan manner. I really do love playing the straight man. I love playing the character that’s sort of just standing back watching a character destroy himself.

Tell me more about the Marlon show and what the audience should expect from it. 

Easily one of the best jobs of my life and I thank Marlon so much for it. I mean like literally, he’s the nicest guy. It’s easy to forget that he himself has been famous for two decades and it keeps him very balanced in a weird way.

The show takes on a serious divorce but, it handles it in a way that I think makes it a show that can be enjoyed by the entire family. In the show, Marlon and Essence Atkins play a husband and wife who got divorced but they’re still seeing each other all the time because they want the children to have a very traditional childhood.

It’s based a lot on Marlon’s real life marital situation where the marriage didn’t work out but, they still see each other all the time because Marlon wants to be a part of the kid’s lives and there is a certain looseness and there’s a certain casual informality to the way that the couple still interacts with one another so what you see is a very non-traditional family set-up but a lot of the traditional family love.

I think it’s a family show and it’s funny and it’s Marlon being Marlon and it’s based on his real life. Even the character I play Stevie is based on a real life guy, who I’ve met that’s just sort of a really quirky character.

In the show, Marlon plays a guy who’s made his money by being a new media star so he’s one of those guys who’s got millions of subscribers on YouTube and that’s sort of how he makes his living and he has a friend who suggested to him ages ago that this was coming and that this is how he should make his money so he owes my character that bit of loyalty, also, they went to college together.

Beyond that, I’m a complete leech. Like, I’m just a guy who’s sleeping on his couch, I’m borrowing his clothes. [Laughs] He turns to me as a confidant only when he can’t turn to Essence’s character and my advice is terrible, so really I’m just a guy that’s surfing along on a wave of goodwill that I earned when I gave him a good suggestion about two years ago.

Marlon premieres at 9 pm ET/PT with two back-to-back episodes on Wednesday, Aug. 16.

G League President Malcolm Turner Talks League Growth and Partnerships

Last week, The Shadow League had the opportunity to speak with NBA G League President Malcolm Turner about all of the big things in store for the rapidly developing league, including Gatorade’s partnership, the growth in the number of teams, the relationship with the NBA, and global expansion.

(Malcolm Turner, President of the G League. Image: Courtesy of The Shadow League)

As President, Malcolm Turner oversees the business and basketball operations for the NBA G League.

Under Turner’s leadership, the League experienced a dramatic and groundbreaking transformation to become the NBA G League in the first title partnership of its kind. Since assuming his current role in November 2014, the NBA G League has grown to a record 26 teams for the 2017-18 season, with continued expansion on the horizon as the League continues to fulfill its mission of having 30 teams.

Turner has big plans for the League and with the support of Gatorade, the NBA, and a growing fan base, the G League has a bright future ahead of it.

Watch The Shadow League’s full interview below:


—Additional reporting by Ricardo A. Hazell


‘Detroit’ Tells A Gruesome, Horrifying Story That Must Be Seen


Detroit is a powerful film that uncovers a series of events that led to the killing of three unarmed, black teenage boys by white police officers. The movie is set during the 1967 Detroit riots, where outraged communities destroyed public and private property in protest against unjust social and economic conditions in the Motor City.

Rather than digging into the impact of the riots, a large portion of the film is spent recounting the real-life horror that a group of young black men and white women experienced inside of the Algiers Motel on July 25, 1967. Police believed that a sniper was hiding out in the motel and tried to force the victims into a confession by viciously interrogating and beating them. These scenes of brutality are severely uncomfortable and raw to the point of nausea. By the end of the movie, I (and others I watched the film with) was left feeling angry and unresolved, especially in light of the recent acts of police violence against black bodies in the age of smartphones. Still, that didn’t deter me from seeing the film twice. For me, the film was a painful reminder of why we cannot forget, neglect, or trivialize the systems of oppression that continue to kill African Americans. It exposes the grit of racism in a way that cannot be erased from memory and reinforces the need for us to fight for freedom. It also gives voice to the real-life victims—Carl Cooper, 17, Fred Temple, 18, and Aubrey Pollard, 19—who never received justice.

Detroit (Image: file)


In an interview with Black Enterprise, actor John Boyega talked about his role in the movie as Melvin Dismukes, the black security guard who volunteered to assist police in finding the sniper at the Algiers. Nevertheless, he found himself in a compromising position that night, feeling helpless while watching the brutality.

“I relate to the character in a sense that he is a man that is open to several different perspectives, he’s open to several different views,” said Boyega, who starred in Star Wars. “He was a working man, but at the same time was pushed into a situation in which he was trying to protect other black men.” He added that Dismukes “had to kind of stand up to racial injustice but in a very subtle and depressing way.”


BE also spoke to actors Algee Smith and Jason Mitchell who talked about how hard it was to make the film due to its heavy context.

“It affected me a lot,” said Smith. “We had a hard time decompressing, I had a hard time letting that go [once] leaving the set.” “It was uncomfortable,” added Mitchell. “Sometimes you just need an emotional draining to let it out.”



“Detroit” is currently playing in theaters around the country.