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Entertainment news: Gaga; Ian McKellen; Ruby Rose; Matt Damon
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times.
2015-09-29

This article shared 6640 times since Tue Sep 29, 2015
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Lady Gaga has released a hard-hitting music video for her song "'Til It Happens To You," PennLive.com reported. The song and video depicts some of the types of sexual assault that takes place on college campuses across the nation. "'Til It Happens To You" was created for the documentary The Hunting Ground. On a related note, singer/actress Tisha Campbell-Martin ( TV's Martin ) turns the words from her accused rapist's apology letter into art, having them painted on her body in the video for "Steel Here." Campbell-Martin was allegedly raped at age 3.

Sir Ian McKellen will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Tribute at the 38th Mill Valley Film Festival on Oct. 11, Deadline reported. The openly gay actor will appear for the honor, which includes an on-stage conversation and clips from a film career that began in 1969. The 76-year old McKellen has been nominated for an Oscar as Best Supporting Actor as Gandalf in 2003's The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring and as Best Actor in 1998's Gods And Monsters.

A tussle has begun between Orange Is the New Black actress Ruby Rose and Untitled Magazine, according to Gay News Network. Via social media, Rose called for her fans to boycott a recent issue of the magazine, attaching a censored version of an image of her that's at issue. In part, she captioned, "Imagine my shock to find that @theuntitledmagazine decided to publish images of me after we explained we wouldn't be doing the shoot if I wasn't appropriately covered." The publication put on its website, "The Untitled Magazine would like to note that this interview and images were produced in collaboration with the actress and with the approval of her publicist."

Matt Damon has said that his statement about closeted actors needing to stay in the closet was taken out of context, according to Gay Star News. "I was just trying to say actors are more effective when they're a mystery," he insisted to Ellen DeGeneres on her show. "And somebody picked it up and said I said gay actors should get back in the closet." The openly lesbian host then said, "It shocks me that you and Ben [Affleck] are not gay. But if you want to deny it and keep your mystery and your marriage and your daughters…" In an interview with The Guardian, Damon is quoted as saying, "People shouldn't know anything about your sexuality because that's one of the mysteries that you should be able to play."

The CW is developing Weaveworld, Deadline noted. It's a drama series based on the horror/fantasy novel by Clive Barker, the openly gay horrormeister behind such works as Hellraiser. The show gives a contemporary makeover to the premise of the novel, which was published in 1987. In the TV adaptation, an app designer teams up with a young pastry chef who has just discovered that she is destined to be guardian of a mythological realm that can be accessed through a portal in an old Savannah mansion.

Golden Globe nominee Piper Perabo ( TV's Covert Affairs; films such as Coyote Ugly and Imagine Me & You ) is set to star in the New York premiere of John Pollono's Lost Girls ( at MCC Theater ), as she returns to the stage, People noted. The play is about a divorced couple forced to confront the legacy of their past decisions when their 17-year-old daughter goes missing during a winter storm. Previews begin Oct. 22. Perabo also starred in MCC's Reasons to be Pretty, by Neil LaBute—alongside Alison Pill, Thomas Sadoski and Pablo Schreiber—in 2008.

New Ryan Murphy Fox series Scream Queens got off to a lackluster start Sept. 22, attracting only 4 million viewers and a 1.7 rating/5 share in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic, TheWrap noted. On a positive note, Scream Queens lit up social media during its debut, with more than 400,000 tweets being sent about the program during its two-hour premiere. Other new programs on other networks ( Limitless and The Muppets ) fared much better that same night.

On a related note, pop stars Ariana Grande and Nick Jonas are both slated to return to the show, IBTimes.com reported. Grande plays Kappa minion, Chanel No. 2, who died at the first hour of the show, in a funny text battle with the Red Devil. Jonas plays Boone, a gay fraternity member. Jonas told ET Online that he feels honored in supporting the LGBT community for playing his second gay character on TV. In the show, he is harboring a crush on his university golf fraternity brother, Chad Radwell.

Grande has also been in the news for telling V Magazine that homophobia is "dumb as f—k," Gay Times Magazine noted. She said, "When my brother came out of the closet, it wasn't a big deal for my family. Even my grandpa—who is like, super-old- school, was like, 'Good for you!' It's outrageous to me when I see people hate on someone because of their sexuality. I hate the intolerance. I hate the judgement. I hate it so much."

Neil Patrick Harris has a reputation for being multi-talented—but there's one skill he hasn't learned that he wants to master, Playbill noted. "I need to learn how to tap dance," Harris said. "I've never taken a dance class in my life. Most kids, when they're in a big city, will take ballet and jazz and tap, just as rudimentary skills but, in New Mexico, they weren't as available to us." Harris is currently hosting the music-filled variety show Best Time Ever.

Michael Sam told reporters is preparing to return to the NFL next season, SI.com noted. Sam is back at the University of Missouri working on his masters while training at the Tigers' facilities. After preseason stints with the Rams and Cowboys and with the Montreal Alouettes in the Canadian Football League, Sam announced in August that he would take a break from football. "It's been a roller coaster," Sam said. "I've been trying to figure out what's next in my life. I've just come to a conclusion, as I take this break from football, I want to focus on my media training."

Sam Smith has released "Writing's on the Wall," the theme song for the new James Bond movie, Spectre, TheWrap noted. Smith premiered the song on UK radio before it became available on iTunes and Spotify. "I have been dreaming of this moment for a long long time," Smith tweeted. It is the first James Bond theme song recorded by a British male solo artist in 50 years.

Oprah Winfrey will appear in a recurring role on her new OWN Network series Greenleaf, TheWrap reported. Keith David, Lynn Whitfield, Merle Dandridge, Lamman Rucker, Deborah Joy Winans, Tye White, Kim Hawthorne and Desiree Ross star in the drama. The series follows Bishop James Greenleaf ( David ), the charming and charismatic but brilliantly manipulative leader of Greenleaf World Ministries. Winfrey will play Mavis McCready, the sister of Lady Mae Greenleaf ( Whitfield ) and a close confidante of estranged Greenleaf daughter Grace Greenleaf ( Dandridge ).

Danny Pintauro—who starred as the son of Judith Light in the '80s sitcom Who's The Boss, came out publicly in 1997 and married his husband last year in a beachfront wedding—recently appeared on Oprah: Where Are They Now, according to LGBTQ Nation. Pintauro, 39, discussed the epidemic of crystal meth use within the gay community, and tearfully toldthe host that he's been in the scene and revealed that there are websites designed specifically to allow meth users to connect with one another. In another revelation, Pintauro said that he's been HIV-positive since 2003.

Looking actor Raul Castillo has been cast as DC Comic's villain Eduardo Flamingo on Fox's second season of Gotham, according to an Out item that cites Variety. The actor's character is a renowned hit man, and his debut will take place on the ninth episode of the show's sophomore season. Castillo previously played Richie on the two seasons of HBO's gay series Looking. He'll return for the upcoming movie special to wrap up any loose ends.

Actress Evan Rachel Wood ( TV's True Blood ) has spoken with Nylon magazine about her bisexuality. When asked about overcoming her "bi-shame," Wood said, "Years of trying to fit into a box I didn't belong in. I realized I was happier when I just accepted myself. I stopped feeling like I had to prove my 'queerness.' I knew who I was, and that was enough. Also just noting that some people view the word queer as offensive. Some embrace it and identify with it. I always liked the word when it wasn't being used in a derogatory way. So to be clear, I am using it in a non-derogatory sense."

Big Vision Empty Wallet—a company that acts as a film and media incubator—has launched a new incentive program called Kick-Start Diversity, a press release stated. On Oct. 5, submissions will open for feature films and series with diverse teams. In order to qualify for the program, the writer, director or producer must be a woman, person of color or member of the LGBTQ community. See BigVisionEmptyWallet.com .

Oscar winner Sean Penn is suing Empire creator Lee Daniels for $10 million for suggesting the two-time Oscar winner is a wife-beater, Page Six noted. The beef between the two started when Daniels told The Hollywood Reporter that Empire star Terrence Howard, who has a record of violence against women, "[a]in't done nothing different than Marlon Brando or Sean Penn and, all of a sudden, he's some f—-kin' demon." Penn called the statement "egregious on several levels" in his defamation suit.

CBS will broadcast the 2016 Tony Awards ceremony live, according to TheWrap. Nominations for the annual theater awards will be announced on April 29, with the awards ceremony airing on June 5, 2016.

Julie Sondgerath, a Chicago mom, delivered more than 40,000 signatures to General Mills headquarters in Minneapolis from her Change.org petition calling for gay Olympic diver Greg Louganis to be honored on the cover of the Wheaties Box, according to a press release. Louganis recently wrote an op-ed calling for Wheaties to change its stance, and Will Sweeney and Cheryl Furjanic, the creators of the documentary that inspired Sondgerath to start her petition, have also voiced support for her campaign.

The Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) announced that multi-platinum-selling, Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Carly Rae Jepsen and A Great Big World—joined by hip-hop artist Futuristic—will perform at the 19th annual HRC National Dinner on Oct. 3 in Washington, D.C., a press release stated. Jepsen has been an outspoken advocate for LGBT equality. In an interview with Time in 2012, Jepsen said, "You know, acceptance has never even been a question to me. I've grown up knowing it's just the way things should be." More information is available at www.hrcnationaldinner.org .

The members of Antigone Rising announced the launch of their foundation, Girl Bands Rock ( www.GirlBandsRock.org ), according to a press release. The official kickoff, which took place during the band's 2nd Annual Antigone Rising BeachFest in Sea Cliff, New York, on Sept. 19, came on the heels of a two-week-long trip as cultural ambassadors of the United States to Vietnam, as the band took part in outreach programs, master classes and public concerts. The ladies of Antigone Rising have also played a part in LGBTQ advocacy, making news when Kristin Ellis-Henderson appeared on the cover of Time Magazine with wife Sarah Kate Ellis-Henderson, the president/CEO of GLAAD, for a feature on marriage equality.

Pro-LGBT sports organization Athlete Ally issued a statement in the wake of the passing of iconic baseball player Yogi Berra. "We will remember Yogi Berra for his values and his courage. He was a true pioneer for inclusion in sport, and a personal hero of mine. Not only was he one of the best catchers in MLB history, but he was strongly committed to diversity, inclusion and education," said Athlete Ally Founder/Executive Director Hudson Taylor. Berra joined Athlete Ally as a champion for inclusion in sports and as an Athlete Ally Pro Ambassador in 2013.

Rose McGowan is quitting acting and taking up electronica music, NewNowNext.com noted. Her first single is the titled "RM486," complete with an experimental—and, some would say, NSFW—music video. "I woke up one day and realised I hated acting—and that I'd always hated it," she told Nowness. "Imagine: It's predominantly men whose scripts get done, so it was mostly a male voice coming out of my mouth for 15 years." She also recently premiered her feature directorial debut, Dawn, at Sundance.

Hip-hop artist Azealia Banks is in the news for her homophobia again, Advocate.com reported. Banks, who has a history of using hate speech against LGBT people, called a Delta flight attendant a "fucking faggot" after a flight from New York to Los Angeles. Banks allegedly fled the scene after being informed that police had been called. Banks actually identifies as bisexual, but has said she did not feel accepted by white LGBT people.

Viola Davis, who became the first Black actress to win in the Outstanding Lead Actress category at the recent Emmys, told Ellen DeGeneres that she "sort of" prepared her victory speech, according to TheWrap. "I did want to mark the fact that it was the first African-American to win in the Lead Actress category," she said. "I love that Harriet Tubman quote." She started off her speech by quoting the 19th-century abolitionist and humanitarian, continuing by saying, "The only thing that separates women of color from everyone else is opportunity."

In artist/video-game developer Randy Yang's latest project, "Rinse and Repeat," the user is positioned in a communal locker room shower with a number of other bathing men, The Huffington Post noted. One man walks in, addresses the player as "Guy!," and soon asks for help scrubbing his back—and other areas—as he showers. Yang has incorporated sex and sexuality in several video games, including "Stick Shift," which involves giving a car a hand job.

Miley Cyrus has stirred controversy again—this time with her latest MAC Cosmetics billboard and poster ad, which was called "overtly sexual" and unsuitable, specifically concerning children who come across the ad, Music Times reported. The campaign, which is plastered in shopping malls, showcases the singer/actress lying on her back, dressed in a low-cut bodysuit with her legs spread open in front of a mirrored wall. Defending the ad, MAC Cosmetics explained that it raised money for its AIDS fund program, saying that Cyrus was posing confidently, which was designed to reel the viewer into her confidence and "defiant stare."

Shakira recently visited the United Nations, urging world leaders to invest in childhood developmentm The New York Daily News noted. The "Hips Don't Lie" singer pushed diplomats to get behind initiatives aimed at reducing childhood poverty and stress. Shakira was joined by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake.

The ABC series Mistresses will return for a fourth season—but without Jennifer Esposito, EW.com reported. Esposito, who portrayed fashion designer Calista Raines, was only contracted for one year when she joined the show following Alyssa Milano's exit. The drama is based on the U.K. series of the same name.

CBS daytime show The Talk has finished the season ahead of ABC's The View for the first time in the women 25-54 demographic, TheWrap revealed. For the 2014-2015 broadcast year, The Talk averaged a 1.0 rating and 6 share in the demo, while The View averaged 0.9/6. The Talk also tied The View for the first time in women 18-49 demographic with a 0.7/5. The Price Is Right, featuring comedian Drew Carey, remained daytime's top-rated program, averaging 5.6 million viewers per episode.

Kim Zolciak-Biermann, a star of Bravo's Real Housewives of Atlanta, suffered a transient ischemic attack, or mini-stroke, TheWrap noted. Zolciak-Biermann, who is currently competing on ABC's Dancing with the Stars,"announced the news on her official Instagram account. She wrote, "The left side of my body went completely numb and my speech was gone. ... Extremely grateful for @sladeosborne @briellebiermann @nikitpressley @kroybiermann for quick reactions! I have 100% of my feeling back THANK GOD."

Lawyers representing pop star Kesha are urging the judge presiding over her contract dispute with Dr. Luke to make up his mind, so the singer can get on with her career, Philly.com reported. Her legal team has called on the New York judge to approve a preliminary injunction and decide if she has enough evidence to push to end her recording contract with the producer. The lawyers claim that without the preliminary injunction, their client "can't work with music producers, publishers, or record labels to release new music" because she's tied to Sony.

A month after Devious Maids finished airing its third season, the soapy mystery drama has been picked for a fourth season—joining recently renewed freshman Unreal as Lifetime's only current scripted series, Deadline reported. Devious Maids, from ABC Studios as well as executive producers Marc Cherry and Eva Longoria, stars Ana Ortiz, Dania Ramirez, Roselyn Sanchez, Judy Reyes and Susan Lucci.

Former Scandal actor Columbus Short reached a plea deal in a case stemming from an alleged bar brawl in west Los Angeles, TheWrap noted. Short pled no contest to an amended felony count of assault likely to cause great bodily injury, and was sentenced to three years of formal probation and 60 days of community labor.

Former Baywatch star Pamela Anderson has teamed with French designer Amelie Pichard to create a vegan accessory line, IBTimes.com noted. The actress, who has followed a vegan lifestyle for more than 20 years, has teamed with the French designer to create animal-friendly shoes and bags inspired by her love for Malibu and Saint-Tropez. The shoe and bag line will incorporate Anderson's love for the '90s with patchwork denim, plexiglass material for the heels and silver glittered soles.

Batman won't have to worry about Batmobile knockoffs after a federal appeals court ruled the superhero's vehicle is entitled to copyright protection, the Associated Press noted. The Batmobile's bat-like appearance and other distinct attributes, including its high-tech weaponry, make it a character that can't be replicated without permission from DC Comics, the copyright holder, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said.


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