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George Michael in jail, Gaga's meat dress, LFO singer dies and more
Entertainment news: Special to the Online Edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis
2010-09-15

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The book Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture, a companion to the first major museum exhibition in U.S. history to focus on gay and lesbian art and culture from the late 19th century to the present, will be released Nov. 2. Beginning with Thomas Eakins and Walt Whitman and proceeding to the reconsolidation of the gay and lesbian community after the worst years of the AIDS crisis, Hide/Seek details the impact of gay and lesbian artists on U.S. art and portraiture.

In Italy, the film Black Swan—featuring Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis as competing ballerinas—stirred controversy at the Venice Film Festival because of a love scene between the two stars, according to the Herald Sun. The diminutive Portman has said, "I'm trying to find roles that demand more adulthood from me, because you can get stuck in a very awful 'cute' cycle as a woman in film, especially being such a small person." The movie, directed by Darren Aronofsky ( Requiem of a Dream ) , also has scenes of self-harming and drug-taking.

Rapper Nicki Minaj told Paper magazine that although she did not intend to be a gay-friendly presence in the hip-hop world, she is glad it happened that way, according to Advocate.com . Minaj—who has said she is bisexual—said, "I just like to put a spotlight on the people who support me, and it just so happens, you know, that the gay community has supported me—more than I ever could have imagined." She added that the diversity she encountererd at LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts opened her eyes.

In his new book, Project Runway's Tim Gunn talks about his anti-gay father and his own celibate life, according to Advocate.com . In Gunn's Golden Rules: Life's Little Lessons for Making It Work ( Gallery Books ) , Gunn speculates about FBI director J. Edgar Hoover wonders about the sexual orientation of his own dad, who was Hoover's ghostwriter. Gunn also writes that he has not been in a relationship in more than 20 years because his last romantic involvement resulted in a horrific betrayal. There's also industry gossip about people such as Vogue editor Anna Wintour and designer Isaac Mizrahi.

Speaking of books, the mother of actress Anne Heche ( who once dated Ellen DeGeneres ) has released The Complete Christian Guide to Understanding Homosexuality—an anti-gay work, according to Advocate.com . Four years ago, Nancy Heche published The Truth Comes Out, an anti-gay book about her life with a husband who was in the closet and about daughter Anne. When Anne and DeGeneres went public in the '90s, Nancy said, "It's like a betrayal of an unspoken vow: We will never have anything to do with homosexuals."

Openly gay Tony Award-winning choreographer Bill T. Jones, gay Tony Award-winning composer/lyricist Jerry Herman and talk-show titan Oprah Winfrey are among the latest Kennedy Center honorees, according to the New York Times. Winfrey said that her initial reaction could be summarized in two words: "Wowie gazowie." The honorees—who also include musician Paul McCartner and country singer Merle Haggard—will be feted at the Kennedy Center Dec. 5.

Chuck Panozzo, the openly gay and HIV-positive member of the band Styx, has teamed with Atlanta, Ga.-based biotech firm GeoVax Labs to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS, according to a GeoVax press release. The partnership happened after Panozzo met GeoVax's lead scientist, Dr. Harriet Robinson, at an AIDS-awareness event in Florida. Panozzo said, "The hope [ is for ] a vaccine," he continued, "that can be taken once a year at much less cost than current treatments allow, and one that can be made readily available to patients around the world."

Pop singer Britney Spears is being sued by Fernando Flores, an ex-bodyguard who is claiming that she sexually harassed him, according to the Chicago Tribune. Flores said that Spears exposed herself to him on more than one occasion and performed sex acts in front of him. US Magazine reported that Spears has responded by saying, "This lawsuit is another unfortunate situation where someone is trying to take advantage of the Spears family and make a name for himself."

Boxing champion Floyd Mayweather, Jr., has apologized for racist comments he used against Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao—but not for the anti-gay comments he made, according to Advocate.com . On UStream, Mayweather called Pacquiao a "faggot" and said he would make him "make some sushi rolls and cook some rice" if they ever fought. Mayweather went on UStream again to apologize, but only did so for the racist part of his rant.

In California, Judge Elizabeth Allen White is allowing former Desperate Housewives actress Nicollette Sheridan to proceed with her $20-million lawsuit against ABC and openly gay series creator Marc Cherry, according to Advocate.com . Sheridan is claiming she was fired from the show in retaliation for her complaining about Cherry allegedly hitting her on the set. The sides have reportedly not agreed to mediation, meaning that the case could go to trial.

Rich Cronin—the lead singer of the '90s boy band LFO ( Lyte Funky Ones ) —passed away recently at age 36 of leukemia, according to EW.com . LFO was known for the hits "Summer Girls" and "Girls on TV." Lance Bass, the out gay singer who was part of the band *NSYNC, posted on Twitter, "Sad sad day that Rich Cronin died—was an amazing guy."

Valentino, Giorgio Armani and Donna Karan are among the almost two dozen designers whose works will be auctioned off Sept. 20 at "22 Ways to Say Black," a private auction that will be held at New York City's Phillips de Pury & Co. auction house, according to Uptown magazine. According to the Swavorski Elements website, all of the night's proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society and France's la Ligue nationale contre le cancer. The dresses are on display at Phillips de Pury until the event, which is under the patronage of France's first lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy.

Michael Kenneth Williams—who portrayed gay drug dealer Omar Little in HBO's critically acclaimed series The Wire—is now in quite a different role as Chalky White in the new show Boardwalk Empire, which takes place in a Prohibition-era Atlantic City. According to Uptown magazine, not only is White the leader of the Black community, but, according to Williams, "That man can dress his ass off." Michael Pitt, Dabney Coleman, Gretchen Mol, Michael Shannon and Steve Buscemi are among the others starring in the series, which premieres on HBO Sept. 19.

GLAAD has called on rapper 50 Cent to stop joking about anti-gay violence to his Twitter followers, who number more than 3 million, according to Advocate.com . Apparently in response to gay Internet gossip columnist calling him a "douchebag," 50 tweeted, "Perez Hilton calld me douchebag so I had my homie shoot up a gay wedding. wasnt his but still made me feel better." The rapper has also defended boxer Floyd Mayweather, Jr., who has not apologized for anti-gay comments he made on Ustream.

New York City's Tectonic Theater Project will launch a multi-city tour of the Laramie Project and the Laramie Project Epilogue: 10 Years Later this fall as part of a Laramie Project Residency, according to a press release. Performances locations include Boston; Philadelphia; University Park, Penn.; Cedar Falls, Iowa; San Francisco; and Whitewater, Wis. Performances will include an educational component with artists leading workshops in "Moment Work," the company's style of creating plays and post-performance discussions with audiences.

ESPN has started showing Unmatched, the new documentary that profiles the rivalry between tennis legends Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert, according to Advocate.com . The hour-long film has the two icons reminiscing about issues such as Navratilova coming out of the closet in 1981 and Evert's support of that decision.

After meeting with the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, Univision.com editors have pulled a survey that asked, "Is homosexuality compatible with sports?," according to Advocate.com . ( The question surfaced days after GLAAD pressured CNN pulled a question that asked, "Is the surge in gay TV characters 'bad for society'?" ) The survey question had several answers, including "No, soccer is a sport for macho men." In addition, Univision's sports editor has apologized.

Openly gay singer George Michael, 47, has begun serving eight weeks in jail after crashing his vehicle while under the influence of marijuana, according to Pink News. In July, Michael crashed his Range Rover into a store while driving home from Pride celebrations. Two years ago, he was banned from driving after he was caught possessing marijuana and crack cocaine; the ban was recently lifted.

Ryan Buell, who stars in the A&E documentary series Paranormal State, has come out as bisexual is his book, Paranormal State: My Journey Into the Unknown, according to EW.com . Buell, a Roman Catholic, wrote, "I've decided to share my sexuality and struggle over faith in hopes that others will no longer feel as though they are alone or that they can't be religious."

Lady Gaga has defended the meat dress she sported at the Sept. 12 MTV Video Music Awards, according to Pink News. The Franc Fernandez-designed outfit was made up of raw meat, complete with matching shoes. On Ellen DeGeneres' post-awards show, Gaga said that the dress represented her protest for gay rights, saying, "If we don't fight for our rights, pretty soon we're going to have as much rights as the meat on our bones." She added that she did not mean to "disrespect to anyone [ who's ] vegan or vegetarian."

Former Chicago Bear Dan Hampton has apologized on the show Pro Football Weekly for an anti-gay statement he made during the Sept. 5 broadcast, according to On Top Magazine. Analyzing one particular team, Hampton said, "The Cowboys think they are Clint Eastwood; they're more of the Brokeback variety, if you know what I'm talking about," referring to the gay-cowboy film Brokeback Mountain. In apologizing, Hampton said, "Last week I made a couple of comments about Katrina and the gay community that not only embarrassed myself but the fine people here at Pro Football Weekly. I'm an idiot. And I am truly sorry if those comments, you know, offended any of our great and wonderful viewers." Regarding the storm that devastated New Orleans and other parts of the South, Hampton had also said, "The Vikings need to go down there and hit that town like Katrina."


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