"The audience needs to be confronted with what we're confronted with. We have to look at each other's dicks every day. We have to be naked every day. As an audience, you have to decide whether to look up or down."Jesse Williams talks about the Broadway return of Take Me Outand its notorious nude scene. Here's a solution: Pay attention to the play and go to BillyMasters.com to see every inch of the scene.
I'm sure you all heard about the kerfuffle regarding The Crownpeople like Dame Judi Dench insist Netflix put a disclaimer at the beginning of each episode, calling the show a "fictionalized drama." I suppose they worry someone might tune in and think they're watching a documentary. But this got me thinking: What do we really know about Richard II? Do we have any idea what Cleopatra and Marc Antony said between the sheets? Aren't all historical dramas somewhat "fictionalized?" Dame Helen Mirren played Queen Elizabeth II on several occasionssurely, the audience knew those weren't officially sanctioned. What about that other ElizabethQueen Elizabeth I, who was portrayed by Dench herself? Her Oscar-winning appearance as the sovereign for eight minutes in Shakespeare in Love was an entirely fictitious scenario. And, if memory serves, no disclaimer was suggested then.
Then there's a more recent royalor ex-royal: Meghan Markle. She recently spoke about being Briefcase Girl #24 on TV's Deal or No Deal, in which she was forced to get a spray tan, wear a padded bra and a cute little dress. She felt "reduced to a bimbo" and "objectified"which comes cheap since she was only paid $800/show! She said on her podcast, "I would end up leaving with this pit in my stomach knowing that I was so much more than what was being objectified on the stage." I'm sure millions of people out there who take jobs that don't utilize all of their talents can identify. They do it because they need the gig. And if it irks you that much, leavewhich Meg ultimately did. On the other hand, I recently hired a plumber to fix my toilet. If he turned to me and said, "I've got other interests. Let's talk about Hezbollah," I'd say, "Shut the fuck up and fix my toilet!" I'm either a part of the solution, or the problem.
I called it months ago: Anthony Rapp asking for $40 million against Kevin Spacey made it look like a money grab. And I say this as someone who believes him 100%. But once he got the layout of the apartment wrong, I knew this case was doomed (and John Barrowman's contradictory details didn't help). Then Spacey took the stand and cried because he was raised by a Nazi. Say what you will, but it's hard to fight a good Nazi story … or even a bad one. I haven't felt this icky since the Menendez boys asked for sympathy because they were orphans! The writing was on the wall, and the fact that the jury reached a non-liable verdict after an hour and a deli platter kinda says it all. "Bringing this lawsuit was always about shining a light, as part of the large movement to stand up against all forms of sexual violence," said Rapp. Bravo for Anthony moving forward. But it was what it was.
Last week, I told you about Belinda Carlisle's mini-U.S. tour. Her opening act is the fabulous Gabe Lopez. He's not only a singer-songwriter, he's also produced most of Carlisle's recent releasesin addition to working with many other artists. Gabe will be joining us this week on "Billy Masters LIVE." We'll also check in with Ben Patrick Johnsonknown as a radio personality (currently on Yummy Hits Radio), voiceover artist and contributor to our little show. We'll be live on Monday, Oct. 24, at 7 p.m. CT at BillyMasters.com/TV or on YouTube.com/BillyMastersTV.
Do you remember Sacheen Littlefeather? She was the Native American who Marlon Brando sent to accept his 1973 Oscarand, instead, protest how Native Americans were portrayed on the screen. Immediately, she was accused of being hired to pose as a Native American. Now, three weeks after her passing, it seems that might have been the case. Littlefeather was actually Marie Louise Cruz, and she was half-Mexican! And there is no documentation of her family belonging to any Native American tribes. And where did these details come from? Her sisters! They claim Sacheen/Marie Louise wanted to be an actress and felt that saying she was an Apache would help her stand out. How right she was! Here's the kicker: Her sisters made the revelation at her funeral! They were troubled seeing their sister "venerated as a saint." That would piss me off, too.
One of my friends refers to 90% of the news as "heartbreaking." I don't know about the rest of you, but I reserve my heartbreak for the sight of a stripper running down the street with my wallet and cellphone! Still, I'm heartbreak-adjacent for Carly Simon. Within 24 hours, Simon lost her two sisters to cancer. First was Joanna Simon, a celebrated operatic singer who died of thyroid cancer. The next day, it was Lucy Simon, composer of such musicals as The Secret Garden, who died of breast cancer. Carly, a breast-cancer survivor, had this to say: "As sad as this day is, it's impossible to mourn them without celebrating their incredible lives that they lived."
When Carly hasn't got time for the pain, it's definitely time to end yet another column. You know what you should make time for? Checking out www.BillyMasters.comthe site that provides oodles of pleasure. (Pain costs extra.) If I can lend you a hand (or two), drop a note to me at Billy@BillyMasters.com and I promise to get back to you before Judi Dench becomes a Briefcase Dame on the reboot of Deal or No Deal! So, until next time, remember: One man's filth is another man's bible.