"King Kong ain’t got nothin on Lee" Okay, I changed the quote from Denzel Washington’s character in,"Training Day". But that’s how I feel about what I do. Movies may happen in Hollywood but Movie Michigan has its own rich history in cinema. And I have had the good fortune of shining light on "MI" Hollywood for over 2 decades. From talking to Hugh Jackman about "the Silverdome shot" in Real Steel to the entire cast of "The Justice League" hanging around Royal Oak. And Yes, WonderWoman lived here during production.
As a broadcaster, the beginning of my career was amazing. I covered the Oscars, did a live interview with astronauts on the space station and spent three week in Los Angeles during the riots. I was a correspondent on the nationally syndicated teen news program,"Channel One". With Entertainment as my niche, I spent a short time on "Louisville Tonight Live" in Kentucky. One of the only pm magazine style entertainment shows left in the country at the time. I went Fan Fair in Nashville and of course The Kentucky Derby.
From there I was hired as the entertainment and feature reporter for ABC's flagship local affiliate in NYC. I was able to talk to people like Paul Newman and Christie Brinkley while covering everything from the Grammys to the Tonys. With all of my contacts in hand, I went from reporter in NYC to weekend anchor and entertainment reporter at Fox 2.
I love this job especially my movie review show,"CriticLee Speaking". And the people of Michigan… man! MI people have held me up and I love you them for it. I always say, I may not have been born here but like the best cars in the world I was "made in Michigan". And that’s not just about sharing movies or entertainment magic, the people of metro Detroit have always accepted me on the merits of my work and not because of what I looked like, no matter how much that has changed.
Early in my career, I was diagnosed with vitiligo, an autoimmune disease that destroys skin pigment. As a television broadcaster that could mean disaster, but the thing that I thought would be a show stopper, turned out to be the biggest blessing in my life. My memoir "Turning White" was released through the regional publisher, Momentum Books. The attention my story got was overwhelming, words don’t seem to cover how thankful I am to you all accepting me.
I am fortunate to have the job of my dreams but sharing my life experiences has been the most rewarding surprise along this journey. Check out more of my journey here.
And to my CriticLee Movie people… I will see you at the theater.
The latest from Lee Thomas
Meatless Monday: The Best Vegan Chili Ever
Que Broden, Owner of The Kitchen in Detroit (cookingwithque.com), shares her recipe for The Best Vegan Chili Ever.
Lee Thomas reflects on World Vitiligo Day, narrates short film Shed Some Light
June 25 is World Vitiligo Day and on this day annually, I always have to reflect. I have been dealing with vitiligo for almost 3 decades now. And my skin has gone from beautiful brown to a pale white. It has forced me to answer questions about my identity and how I chose to deal with people. And man, the lessons I have learned defined me in a way I never expected. My story has traveled the globe and you never know who will get inspiration for your journey.
Sterling Heights woman's Juneteenth t-shirt design benefitting her hometown
Porsha Webb was just playing around with some designs when she came up with the idea. But it's the reception she got at work that got her thinking.
Detroit Tigers Jeimer Candelario talks the 2022 season and buzz around the team's rebuild
Think Detroit Tigers third baseman Jeimer Candelario can hit a home run on Opening Day? The crew of FOX 2 Detroit's The Nine think he can. But does Candelario? “Ooooh,” he replies, shaking his head with a smile.
CriticLEE's top 10 movies of 2021
Top 10 lists are subjective. Opinions guide the rankings, regardless of their Rotten Tomato score or budget or viewership when in theaters. But, CriticLEE speaking, you could do worse than to kick off the new year with some movies from Lee Thomas's top 10 list.
Shuttered theaters, delayed releases -- COVID-19’s toll on the movie industry
The COVID-19 changed the moviegoing experience and led to struggles for studios.
In 1890 David Augustus Straker fought for everyone to be served in public
David Augustus Straker was the first African-American lawyer to appear before the Michigan Supreme Court.
Remembering former FOX 2 editor Ken Krato
It's a very sad day for us at FOX 2. We've lost a beloved member of our FOX 2 family -- Ken Krato.