"I'm proud of whatever small part I've played in continuing Norman's great legacy, but it's mixed with sadness, because I know how many trans and non-binary and queer kids are still having those sleepless nights. I desperately want the world to change for them … just like it did for me."Producer Greg Berlanti references the anti-gay legislation in Florida and Texas during his speech accepting the Norman Lear Lifetime Achievement Award from the Producers Guild
Last week, I risked life and limb to venture into a sleet storm to see the legendary Gladys Knight at the Colonial Theatre in Boston. Should you have the opportunity to see Miss KnightGO! Her vocal skills are undiminished by time, and it was truly an honor to be in her presence. It was one of those lovefests: She loves performing and the audience loves her. What struck me most is how grateful she is. Gladys does not take for granted her talent, her audience, or the fact that people ventured out during a storm AND a pandemic to see her. She's simply the best.
Later that night, I went to a party in Providence, Rhode Island. (By then, the sleet had stopped.). A guy came up behind meas they often doand whispered in my ear, "You are SO hot." Coming soon is my new sitcom: Hot in Providence.
Photographer David Bailey recently recounted an anecdote from his 2014 photo shoot with Queen Elizabeth II. He was admiring her jewels and asked if they were realas if QEII would trot out the fakes, like Dame Joan Collins. When she replied that they were, he quipped, "I bet that cost a few bob, girl." (Yes, he actually called her "girl.") He immediately recognized the faux pas, adding "I call everyone 'girl.'" It's like Queen Elizabeth was on RuPaul's Drag Race!
Then there's Jussie Smollettthe Bachelor of Cell Block 8! He knows he did it. We know he did it. Everyone knows he did it. He didn't take a deal when offered, and he arrogantly continues to deny guilt. He was sentenced to 150 days, which would probably end up being 75 days for good behavior (and I'm sure he'd be very good). Then the judge was criticized for being "overly harsh" with the sentencing. Really? Staging a crime? Costing the City of Chicago more than $130K? Not repaying a debt? And not admitting guilt? I think he's "getting off" easy … which probably ain't so hard in prison! On his first night in the pokey, he was placed on suicide watch. Then he refused food for six days and lived on ice water, which begs the questionwhere is this jail where prisoners have access to an ice machine? As to refusing foodmaybe he wanted to stay fresh for his gentlemen callers. Bowing to pressure, he was released pending appeal. If said appeal failsas it undoubtedly willI hope nobody complains when he has to serve his full sentence. In fact, I insist on it.
Our season-three premiere of "Billy Masters LIVE" with Sharon Gless was amazing. Technical glitches aside (it was Saint Patrick's Day and our staff was drunk!), we got deepand I mean really deep. Gless talked about things she's never discussed beforenot even in her best-selling memoir Apparently There Were Complaints. We spent so much time on her fascinating youth, we barely got into Cagney and Lacey and Queer As Folk before our time was up. Fear notshe's coming back next month! And on Thursday, March 24, at 3 p.m. ET, we have the spectacular Sam Harris talking about his new show, "Openly Gray." We'll also have a panel discussing hot topics. Join in the fun on our YouTube channel, Billy Masters TV, or on BillyMasters.com/TV.
Elsewhere in daytime talk, Ellen DeGeneres is preparing for her departure by attempting to improve the morale backstagewell, better late than pregnant. She's also giving bonuses to long-suffering staff members. People who worked one to four years get a two-week bonus; those who worked four to eight years get a three-week bonus; and people who stuck with the show the longest get a six-week bonus. I believe that means two people are getting big checks!
Wendy Williams broke her silence by granting an audio-only interview to T.J. Holmes of Good Morning America. She said she's ready to return to work, and blames the ongoing financial issues with Wells Fargo Bank as the only stumbling block: "Give me about three months. There are private things that I have to deal with and then I'll be ready to come back and free and ready to do my thing. Keep watching because I'm going to be back on The Wendy Show, bigger and brighter than ever." Greatshe'll be back in time for the final show!
This week's question actually refers to the opening quote from last week's column. James in Los Angeles says, "I first learned that Simon Rex did gay porn in your column. He said they used a prosthetic dick in Red Rocket, but it looks pretty similar. Are you sure he didn't show all again?"
One can never be totally sure about these thingseven an expert such as moi! However, we've got stills of the real thing and stills from Red Rocket. You can check 'em out on BillyMasters.com and decide for yourself.
When Rex is getting out of hand, it's definitely time to end yet another column. Like Simon, I've run long. I barely have time to direct you tothe site that has this full column … uncut. If you have a question, dash it off to Billy@BillyMasters.com, and I promise to get back to you before I sit down again with Sharon Gless (on April 14). So, until next time, remember: One man's filth is another man's bible.