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Dustin Lance Black plane scare; Quinto movie news; NeNe vs. Wendy
Entertainment news: Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

This article shared 8341 times since Tue Jul 22, 2014
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Dustin Lance Black—the openly gay screenwriter who won as Oscar for his work on the film Milk—has been hired to adapt Paramount TV's event series Lindbergh, based on A. Scott Berg's Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of the same name, according to Deadline. Berg, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Killoran and Kevin McCormick will produce the project. The story of Charles Lindbergh—both in his flight achievements in 1927 and the subsequent kidnapping of his young child in 1932—became international news.

Speaking of Black, he and boyfriend Tom Daley's plane made an emergency landing in Russia after a part of the aircraft broke, according to E! Online. "Just had to make an emergency landing in Irkutsk, Russia on the way back from Shanghai," Daley wrote on Instagram. Black added, "EMERGENCY LANDING into a Russian town. This was our view over Mongolia. #VirginAtlantic #ScaryAsHell," along with a video of the fuel leak.

Gay actor Zachary Quinto has joined a new biopic that will chronicle the life of an "ex-gay" activist, according to Pink News. The film Michael will portray the life of Michael Glatze—who, as a young man, edited Young Gay America magazine before renouncing homosexuality and marrying a woman. James Franco is set to star in the lead role, but Quinto, who came out as gay in 2011, has signed on to the film to play Glatze's ex-boyfriend, while Emma Roberts will star as his female "love" interest.

The ongoing feud between talk show host Wendy Williams and Bravo's Real Housewives of Atlanta star NeNe Leakes has reached a new boiling point, The Wrap noted. Leakes directed her blog to "Wendell"—a jab that seemingly implies that Williams resembles a drag queen—after the talk show host asked her followers on Twitter what they thought of Leakes "defacing her Birkin bag." In July of last year, Leakes announced she would never go back on Williams' show.

Singer and occasional The Voice judge Shakira's Facebook page has received 100 million "likes"—becoming the first page to do so, The Wall Street Journal reported. That's 8 percent of Facebook's universe of 1.28 billion monthly active users around the world. Only Facebook's own brand page and mobile-app page have more people who have liked them.

Farrah Franklin, who was in Destiny's Child for five months in 2000, was arrested near Myrtle Beach, S.C., for disorderly conduct, according to USA Today. ( TMZ originally reported it. ) She was released the same day after posting $280 bail. Franklin was reportedly kicked out of Destiny's Child in July 2000 for missing promotional appearances and shows.

A fashion exhibit centered on Beyonce will debut at Cleveland's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in a section previously featuring only Hall of Famers, the Associated Press reported. Outfits from Beyonce's Super Bowl performance and music videos have debuted in the Ahmet Ertegun Main Exhibit Hall in its Legends of Rock section, next to iconic pieces from Michael Jackson, David Bowie and Bruce Springsteen. Beyonce, 32, would be eligible for induction into the Rock Hall as a member of Destiny's Child in 2022 and as a solo artist in 2027.

At the recent ESPY Awards, Michael Sam received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, following his groundbreaking decision to come out in February and become the NFL's first openly gay player, The Hollywood Reporter noted. Sam accepted the award from Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, and was greeted with a standing ovation. In a speech many described as emotional, Sam said, "It's amazing to think that by doing what we can, we can all touch, change and even save lives."

Oscar and Grammy winner Adele will drop a new album, 25, and subsequently embark on a world tour next year, according to . Adele's previous effort, 21, proved to be a musical juggernaut, selling 10 million copies in the United States and earning six Grammys, including Record and Album of the Year.

Legendary Broadway and screen actress Elaine Stritch has died at the age of 89. Stritch, whose stage career began in the 1940s, is perhaps known for her association with Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim. Stritch nabbed Tony nominations for William Inge's 1955 play Bus Stop, Sondheim's Company and Noel Coward's 1961 musical Sail Away before winning just a few years ago for her one-woman show, Elaine Stritch at Liberty. She also won an Emmy for her role as Alec Baldwin's pushy mother on the NBC show 30 Rock. Most recently, Stritch was the subject of a documentary, Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me.

On July 15—ahead of the 85th All-Star Game in Minneapolis, Minnesota—Major League Baseball ( MLB ) Commissioner Bud Selig announced a series of actions designed to make baseball more inclusive, according to MSNBC. Also, Selig recognized the late Glenn Burke, who came out three decades ago and who succumbed to AIDS about 20 years ago. In addition, Selig announced that out player Billy Bean would be working with MLB again, this time as the first ever ambassador of inclusion.

R&B star Deborah Cox has been tapped to provide the singing voice for Whitney Houston in the late star's biopic, according to . Former America's Next Top Model star Yaya DaCosta will be playing Houston in the TV movie, but Cox will re-create the music legend's songs for the film. I Will Always Love You: The Whitney Houston Story also features Final Destination 5 star Arlen Escarpeta as Houston's former husband, Bobby Brown; Angela Bassett is directing the film.

Gay documentary filmmaker Steven Slomkowski is claiming that the owners of Stahl House breached an agreement to allow him to make a movie about the Stahl family after it was revealed their father was an "outspoken homophobe," and tat his closeted gay son committed suicide during the making of the film, according to Courthouse News. Slomkowski and his company USAN Group are suing Stahl House, Bruce Stahl and Shari Stahl, alleging breach of contract, fraud, negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Stahl House, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, has been featured in several movies, television shows, advertising campaigns and photo shoots.

Bell Media—the parent company of Much ( formerly MuchMusic ), MTV Canada, M3 and other specialty channels—has laid off almost 100 employees and cancelled at least eight in-house-produced TV shows, according to The Huffington Post. Among the shows that have been cancelled are After Degrassi, MTV News and 1 Girl, 5 Gays.

London resident Claire Leeson has spent almost 20,000 pounds ( more than $30,000 U.S. ) in plastic surgery and cosmetic enhancements in an effort to look more like her idol, Kim Kardashian, according to E! Online. The 24-year-old said that part of the reason she wanted to resemble Kim so badly was because she was bullied so much in school. Leeson has had a boob job, teeth whitening and hair extensions, and dropped thousands on spray tans, clothing, make-up and a special pad for her derriere.

Thor is now a woman. According to The Hollywood Reporter. The female Thor was unveiled on the ABC daytime series The View, with the co-hosts debuting artwork of a blond woman with a silver outfit carrying the superhero's signature hammer. The classic male hero is no longer able to wield the mighty hammer, so a female hero will emerge, worthy of the name "Thor," Marvel explained in a press release.

Rocky—the stage musical adapted from the iconic 1976 best picture Oscar winner about underdog Philadelphia boxer Rocky Balboa—will close Aug. 17, according to The Hollywood Reporter. By the time it closes, the show will have played 28 previews and 188 regular performances. Financially, the commercial failure represents a major blow to a production that reportedly cost $15 million.

Barbie is getting a makeover—courtesy of fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, according to . Part of the Barbie Collector series, the doll is dressed according to the German couturier's custom: in a tailored black jacket, a white shirt with a high collar and skinny black jeans. Accessories are key, including a fat necktie, dark sunglasses and black ankle boots. Additional details about the doll and its distribution will be released at a later date.

Orange Is the New Black co-star Jason Biggs faced backlash after making light of the most recent Malaysia Airlines situation, US Weekly reported. Biggs tweeted, "Anyone wanna buy my Malaysian Airlines frequent flier miles?" and quickly followed with "In all seriousness, tho- HOW DO YOU MISTAKENLY SHOOT DOWN A COMMERCIAL PLANE?! Ugh. It's saddest for the victims and their families, obviously." After the backlash, Biggs wrote, "The idea that I wouldnt have any empathy 4 the victims or their families because I make a joke is absolutely ridiculous." He has since apologized.

The Bridge star Emily Rios, who plays lesbian character Adriana, came out as a lesbian herself during an interview at TCA's FX day, according to a item. Rios, 25, has played roles on TV shows like Friday Night Lights and Breaking Bad. She also starred in the 2006 queer-themed indie Quinceanera.

The 2014 MTV Video Music Awards nominations have been released. Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX ( "Fancy" ), Beyonce ft. Jay-Z ( "Drunk In Love" ), Pharrell Williams ( "Happy" ), Sia ( "Chandelier" ) and Miley Cyrus ( "Wrecking Ball" ) will compete for Video of the Year. Among other artists receiving nods in other categories are out singer Sam Smith, Lorde, Kanye West, Angel Haze, Fitz and the Tantrums, Eminem and Michael Jackson. The VMAs will take place Sunday, Aug. 24, airing live from The Forum in Inglewood, California.

Heartthrob and openly gay superstar Ricky Martin is believed to have been instrumental in swimmer Ian Thorpe's decision to "come out," according to the UK Mirror. Respecting Thorpe's privacy, Martin simply stated his joy for the Olympic gold medallist in finding the courage to tell the world the truth. Martin also tweeted, "Congrats @IanThorpe! Brave man! Happy for you! Millions appreciate what you've done! Proud of you! #SelfLove."

Following having a lesbian housemate on CBS' Two and a Half Men, the show will explore same-sex adoption in its final season, according to The Hollywood Reporter. CBS Entertainment chairman Nina Tassler said the season 12 story will kick off with Walden ( Ashton Kutcher ) experiencing a health scare that will lead him to what she called an "existential crisis." Walden wants to adopt, but discovers it's very difficult to do so as a single, straight man; therefore, he proposes to Alan ( played by Jon Cryer ) with the aim of getting married and adopting a child as a gay couple.

Tail! Spin!—a verbatim re-enactment of political sex scandals—will be presented off-Broadway this fall, according to The Advocate. Gay playwright Mario Correa's comedy is composed of words written and spoken by former Florida Congressman Mark Foley and former Idaho Sen. Larry Craig, as well as former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford and former New York Congressman Anthony Wiener. Tail! Spin!—which will feature Rachel Dratch, among others—will play a limited 10-week engagement beginning Sept. 18 and opening Oct. 1 at the Lynn Redgrave Theater at Culture Project.

Novelist Robert Rodi is bringing back his 1990s gay novels with the help of a Kickstarter campaign—and he's adding in a new book ( Essentially Postmillennial ) showing where all the characters are today. In 1992, Rodi published Fag Hag, a dark comedy about a woman romantically obsessed with a gay man; he followed the book with the works Closet Case, Drag Queen and Kept Boy. Rodi's progress has been slowed by the constant flow of freelance writing assignments that occupy his time—so he's turned to Kickstarter to help fund the completion of the series.

Appearing on Bravo's Watch What Happens Live, out CNN anchor Anderson Cooper said he was surprised to learn that host Andy Cohen is a top, according to On Top Magazine. Cohen then asked, "You think people think I'm a bottom?" Cooper, appearing with Kelly Ripa, then said, "Believe me, there's nothing wrong with that, but I'm just saying I think that would surprise people."

James Garner—an actor best known for the TV shows The Rockford Files and Maverick, as well as movies such as The Notebook—has died at age 86. Born James Scott Bumgarner on April 7, 1928, in Norman, Oklahoma, Garner was also in such movies as Victor/Victoria, Murphy's Romance ( which earned him a Best Actor Oscar nod ), Support Your Local Sheriff! and Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.

BET has chosen LGBT writer Terry E. Hill's Sunday Morning Trilogy as three of this summer's must-read novels, according to a press release. Often compared to the late E. Lynn Harris, whose popular novels chronicled the lives of "down low" African-American men, Hill tackles a subject that is deemed just as taboo: scandals in prominent megachurches. The series consists of three books: Come Sunday Morning, When Sunday Comes Again and The Last Sunday.

A group of scientists has named a water mite in honor of Jennifer Lopez after discovering a new species near Puerto Rico, The New York Daily News reported. Lopez's music was a hit with the group while they wrote about their findings, University of Montenegro biologist Vladimir Pesic said in an email. Pesic and other scientists collected the newly baptized Litarachna lopezae mite from a coral reef in Mona Passage, a body of water that separates Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

Nike has launched its 2014 #BETRUE collection that celebrates the LGBT community, according to Outsports. This year the line ( which kicked off last month to celebrate Pride ) features three different shoes and a couple rainbow-inspired T-shirt designs. The proceeds of the collection's sales—up to $500,000—will go to the LGBT Sports Coalition, a collection of individuals and organizations focused on ending anti-LGBT bias in sports. Visit

Two-time Tony winner Patti LuPone has returned to the Manhattan nightspot 54 Below with her show "The Lady with The Torch" through Aug. 2, according to . LuPone is performing an eclectic collection of torch songs by such composers and lyricists as Arthur Schwartz, Howard Dietz, Jule Styne, Sammy Cahn, Billy Barnes, Harold Arlen, George and Ira Gershwin, and Cole Porter. LuPone is a Tony Award winner for her performances in Evita and Gypsy, and an Olivier winner for her work in Les Miserables and The Cradle Will Rock.

As promised, minor league baseball team the Charleston RiverDogs recreated the "Disco Demolition" of 1979 by blowing up a boom box full of music and merchandise by Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus following a game between the RiverDogs and Augusta GreenJackets in Charleston, South Carolina, noted. "Disco Demolition 2: You Better Belieb It" was a continuation of a Chicago White Sox promotion from 35 years ago, where thousands of disco records were demolished at Comiskey Park in an on-field explosion during a double-header between the White Sox and Detroit Tigers.

Tyler Posey, from the MTV series Teen Wolf, will host the annual Teen Choice Awards on Fox Aug. 10, according to The New York Daily News. Guest stars will include Keegan Allen, Tyler Blackburn, Lucy Hale, MKTO, Cody Simpson, Bella Thorne and Zendaya, with a performance by Jason Derulo.

Vanessa Williams revisited a painful childhood trauma on a recent episode of Oprah's Master Class on OWN: The actress, singer and former Miss America, now 51, was molested at age 10 by an 18-year-old woman. Williams, who wrote about the incident in her 2012 memoir You Have No Idea, explained that the abuse took place during a summer vacation to California before the fifth grade, US Weekly noted. The incident, Williams said, irrevocably changed her for the worse. "It awakens your sexuality at an age where it shouldn't be awakened," she explained.

Marie Claire has added Janet Mock, a New York Times best-selling author and transgender-rights activist, as a contributing editor, according to Media Bistro. Mock will contribute print and online articles, and act as a Marie Claire brand ambassador. In 2011, Mock publicly came out as transgender in a piece she wrote for the magazine.

Russell T. Davies—the gay writer and showrunner behind Queer As Folk and new Doctor Who—wants to hear everyday folks' gay-sex stories for his new project, Gay Star News reported. He is looking for volunteers to take part in the eight-part Web series Tofu, featuring real-life sex stories from members of the public. Tofu will be an online companion to British shows Cucumber and Banana, both from Davies.

HBO has confirmed the debut date of On the Run Tour: Beyonce and Jay-Z, with the exclusive presentation set to debut Saturday, Sept. 20, at 9 p.m. ( ET/PT ), according to a press release. Featuring the superstars in their first collaborative tour—and their first HBO concert event—the special will tape Sept. 12 and 13 at Stade de France in Paris on the only international leg of their current tour, and include performances of more than 40 songs.

NFL coach-turned-NBC analyst Tony Dungy is being criticized for saying he would not have drafted Michael Sam, the league's first openly gay player, The Chicago Tribune reported. In an interview with the Tampa Tribune published Sunday, the former coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts said he would have passed on Sam. "Not because I don't believe Michael Sam should have a chance to play, but I wouldn't want to deal with all of [the media attention]," Dungy said. Sam was drafted in the seventh round by the St. Louis Rams and has the sixth best-selling jersey in the league.

Former Xena: Warrior Princess star Lucy Lawless is joining the cast of Joss Whedon's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. for season two, according to a item. The second season of the Marvel Comics-inspired show about a peacekeeping agency operating in a superhero-filled world returns Sept. 23 on ABC.

The Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) released a video ad featuring actress Susan Sarandon for HRC's Americans for Marriage Equality campaign, according to a press release. In the video, the Oscar winner states, "While marriage might not be my thing, if it's your thing you damn well ought to be able to have it equally and unequivocally." The video can be viewed at Sarandon's acting career has spanned more than four decades, earning her dozens of award nominations and wins, including the 1995 Best Actress Academy Award for Dead Man Walking.

Erasure ( Vince Clarke and Andy Bell ) has unveiled the first track from its upcoming album, The Violet Flame, according to a press release. "Elevation" dropped July 22, preceding the album release on Sept. 23. The Violet Flame is the 16th studio album for Erasure, who have sold 25 million albums and achieved more than 40 hit singles. The Violet Flame Tour begins in Miami Sept. 12, with stops in Atlantic City, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, Belfast and Berlin, among other cities.

This article shared 8341 times since Tue Jul 22, 2014
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