Lesbian WNBA player Brittney Griner is on the cover of ESPN magazine's "Taboo Issue," posing with a large snake, according to the Huffington Post. Griner's cover portrait (by Cass Bird) accompanies a profile (by Kate Fagan) entitled "Owning The Middle." In the article, the 6'8" Griner says, "I am 100-percent happy. When I was at Baylor, I wasn't fully happy because I couldn't be all the way out. It feels so good saying it: I am a strong, Black lesbian woman. Every single time I say it, I feel so much better."
Max George, a member of the British band The Wanted, has stirred controversy by suggesting that Louis Tomlinson, of fellow boy band One Direction, is gay, according to Digital Spy. Appearing on Bravo's late night show Watch What Happens Live with his bandmates, George made the comment when host Andy Cohen asked which One Direction member would come out first. This is not the first time the band has suggested that Tomlinson is gay; in an online feud with the singer, The Wanted's Tom Parker previously wrote: "I'll enjoy the press even more when you come clean #narnia #itgetsbetter."
Tony- and Pulitzer-winning actor-playwright Tracy Letts, who was recently tapped for a recurring role on the upcoming third season of the Showtime drama Homeland, has now been upgraded to a series regular, Deadline.com reported. Letts will play Sen. Andrew Lockhartthe powerful, authoritative and commanding committee chairman asking tough questions as the government's investigation begins in the wake of the terror attack that decimated the U.S. intelligence apparatus, and prompted a global manhunt for the world's most wanted terrorist: Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis). Season three of Homeland premieres Sept. 29, followed by the series debut of Masters of Sex.
Justin Timberlake, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Jessie J and Queens of the Stone Age are among the acts performing at Apple's iTunes Festival this year, the Hollywood Reporter noted. The free concert series will include more than 60 acts, and performances will take place every night throughout September at London's Roundhouse venue. Paul McCartney and Amy Winehouse performed at the first iTunes Festival in 2007.
Neil Patrick Harris will be pulling double hosting duties for CBS again this year. The How I Met Your Mother star, who is emceeing the 67th Tony Awards June 9, also has been tapped to host the upcoming 65th Primetime Emmy Awards, which will air on the network Sept. 22, according to Deadline.com . Harris has hosted the Tonys four of the last five times and has now fronted the Primetime Emmys the two most recent times the awards have aired on CBS.
The LGBT-themed movie The New Black is making the film-festival circuit, according to a press release. The film will be featured in several prominent film festivals throughout the summer, including the Los Angeles Film Festival (June 14-16); Human Rights Watch Film Festival of New York (June 19-20); the AFI DOCS Film Festival in Washington, D.C. (June 22-23); and Frameline37: San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival (June 29). The New Black (directed by Yoruba Richen) documents activists, families and clergy on both sides of the campaign to legalize same-sex marriage and examines homophobia in the Black community's institutional pillar: the Black Church.
The Velvet Underground and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts have settled over the iconic cover art for the 1967 album The Velvet Underground & Nico, which features a banana, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The Warhol-created artwork became the subject of legal controversy after reports surfaced that the foundation planned to license the design for iPod and iPad ancillary products. In January 2012, the iconic band sued in New York federal court, claiming the artwork had become "a symbol, truly an icon, of the Velvet Underground" for decades.
Mariah Carey is no longer a judge on TV's American Idol, according to Deadline.com . "W/ global success of '#Beautiful' (#1 in 30+ countries so far) @MariahCarey confirms world tour & says goodbye 2 Idol," stated a tweet Carey retweeted today from her publicists. Mariah also just announced that she will be performing on the Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular, airing on NBC on Thursday, July 4, according to JustJared.com . Another judge, Nicki Minaj, has also confirmed her exit from "Idol," tweeting, "Time to focus on the Music!!! Mmmuuuaahhh!!!"
Here Media has announced that former Village Voice writer Michael Musto, under the direction of Grand Editorial, will be a contributor to both the OUT and Advocate brands, according to a press release. Musto's new weekly column, "Musto! The Musical!," is debuting June 3, exclusively on OUT.com; Musto will also contribute an observational column for The Advocate's print edition. For 28 years Musto wrote the column "La Dolce Musto" in the Village Voice.
Emma Stonewho was previously reported as a contender to play Sally Bowles in a 2014 Broadway revival of Cabaretwill not make her Broadway debut in the Kander and Ebb musical, according to Playbill.com . Stone was reportedly in negotiations to star in a revival of the Tony-winning musical opposite Alan Cumming. However, while Stone will not be involved due to commitments for a film project, Tony and Oscar winners Sam Mendes and Rob Marshall will repeat their work as director and co-director/choreographer, respectively.
Out actor Cheyenne Jackson and has signed on to the Ira Sachs-directed Love Is Strange, joining Michael Gambon, Alfred Molina, Kelly Reilly and Tracy Letts, according to Deadline.com . Gambon and Molina play Ben and Jorge, a couple who, after 38 years together, finally marry at City Hall in Manhattan. Trouble begins when they return from their honeymoonJorge gets fired and the couple is forced to temporarily separate.
John Logan's I'll Eat You Last: A Chat With Sue Mengersthe one-woman play starring award-winning singer and actress Bette Midlerhas recouped its entire original investment, Playbill.com noted. In slightly more than eight weeks at the Booth Theatre, the production recouped its initial investment of $2.4 million. Directed by Tony winner Joe Mantello (Wicked, Assassins, Take Me Out), the production casts Midler as legendary Hollywood agent Sue Mengers (1932-2011).
Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman (Doubt, The Master, Capote) has left a detox center that he entered to get ahead of drug problems that were reportedly spinning out of control, according to the L.A. Times. He revealed to TMZ that he'd started using drugs again about a year ago, starting off with prescription pills and then escalating to snorting heroin. Hoffman will next appear in The Hunger Games sequel Catching Fire in November.
Kelly Osbourne has reignited her feud with Lady Gaga, according to Entertainmentwise.com . It started last fall when Osbourne targeted Gaga on her show Fashion Police, prompting Gaga's fans and the singer herself to hit back. Now, in Cosmopolitan magazine, Osbourne has said, "I loved Lady Gaga. I totally believe in everything she stood for, until I realized she's a great big hypocrite. Don't say, 'When you see bullying, intervene,' while letting your fans send me death threats. If my fans did that I would not stand for it."
David W. Ross, the writer and star of the movie I Do, hopes the film stirs action regarding marriage equality, according to the L.A. Times. Rossa onetime British boy-band sensation as a member of Bad Boys Inc. from 1993 to 1995began working on the script more than eight years ago. I Do, a romantic drama that opened in more than a dozen cities May 31, tackles same-sex marriage, gay rights and the definition of family. Ross said the film came about after his British boyfriend was denied immigration status and had to move back to England.
Amanda Bynes has now hit out at another celebrity: out former boy-bander Lance Bass, according to the UK Mirror. Bass initially said that he hoped Bynes gets help for any problems she may have, prompting her to take to Twitter. "I ignored Lance Bass on Twitter and now he is saying I have a mental illness," she posted. "Sorry you're an ugly ex boyband member w/ no talent or career." She also recently posted to gay blogger Perez Hilton, "No one wants to suck your d**k! Stop living! Kill yourself." She later posted, "You're not ugly! I was lying because we haven't talked in person in a long time. Please stop being mean on Twitter! Thx!"
Jean Stapletonbest known for playing Archie Bunker's long-suffering wife, Edith, in the long-running 1970s TV series All in the Familydied of natural causes at her New York City home at the age of 90, according to the Chicago Tribune. In 1949, she got a break when she was cast in the national touring company of Harvey. She also originated the role of Mrs. Strakosh in Funny Girl, which made a Broadway star of Barbra Streisand.
Former American Idol contestant Nathaniel Marshall, who made it to the final 36 in season eight, has apparently embarked on a career in gay porn under the name Jadyn Daniels, according to Queerty.com . His movie, Men Caught on Video 2, debuted June 2, and he has a scene with another actor named Travis Freeman.
NBA player Roy Hibbert used a gay slur in one answer and a curse to refer to the media in another during his news conference after Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals, putting himself in line for being disciplined by the NBA, according to ESPN.com . Hibbert (who plays for the Indiana Pacers) ended a response to a question about his defense on the Miami Heat's LeBron James with "no homo." Hibbert later apologized for the slur, but was still fined $75,000.
David McFarlanda global philanthropy advisor and former chair and CEO of the Trevor Projecthas launched the new nonprofit organization United for Equality in Sports & Entertainment, according to a press release. The new organization will serve as a national and international advocacy group in achieving equality in sport and entertainment for LGBT athletes and artists. See www.UESE.org .
Heidi Klum got a surprise on the final episode of Germany's Next Top Model when the stage was suddenly ambushed by two topless women throwing their arms in the air with "Heidi Horror Picture Show" written on their bare chests, according to the New York Daily News. There has been no clear explanation as to what the two semi-naked women, who are activists for the Femen feminist group, were exactly attempting to protest. Singers Psy, Robin Thicke and Bruno Mars went on to perform during the season eight finale, and contestant Lovelyn Enebechi was crowned the winner.
Oprah Winfrey has said that same-sex couples "can help" improve the institution of marriage, according to Gay Star News. During an episode of Super Soul Sunday, which airs on her Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), winfrey started a panel conversation by asking if nationwide support for same-sex marriage should be considered a social revolution or a cultural shift. Elizabeth Lesser, one of the guest speakers, said, "The institution of marriage is already in trouble, long before gays were getting married," to which Winfrey replied, "Maybe the gay people can help [the institution of marriage]."
The battle over Anna Nicole Smith's billionaire former husband's money may soon end, according to the New York Daily News. U.S. District Judge David O. Carter ruled this week that the former Playboy model's six-year-old daughter, Dannielyn, is entitled to as much as $49 million from the estate of the family of Smith's deceased former husband, J. Howard Marshall. Incidentally, Lifetime's Anna Nicole, an original movie chronicling the rise and fall of Smith, will premiere June 29; Agnes Bruckner will portray Smith.
Michael Douglas revealed the cause of his throat cancer was not smoking and drinking, as he previously believed, but instead by performing oral sex, according to the New York Post. Douglas, 68, told The Guardian that he learned his cancer was caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). He previously believed stress triggered the cancer, as his son was incarcerated and it was discovered that his wife, actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, has bipolar disorder.
American Idol's summer-concert tour has had several dates canceled after the show suffered low ratings this past season, according to Digital Spy. Idol production company 19 Entertainment announced that nine dates on the tourwhich usually features contestants from the most recent seasonwill be canceled or rescheduled. Affected city stops for the North American tour, which was originally due to launch June 29, include St. Louis, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Detroit, Tulsa, Broomfield, Las Vegas and Oakland. The tour will feature, among others, champion Candice Glover.
Charice Pempengco, the singer who plays Sunshine Corazon on TV's Glee, has come out as a lesbian, according to the New York Post. She made the emotional revelation during an interview with Filipino showbiz show The Buzz. The 21-year-old star broke down in tears during the interview, admitting that she has become estranged from her family; she also apologized to fans who might be "disappointed."
The 69th Theatre World Awards took place June 3 at New York City's Music Box Theatre, according to the event's website. Recipients included Tom Hanks (Lucky Guy), Shalita Grant (Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike), Ruthie Ann Miles (Here Lies Love), Yvonne Strahovski (Golden Boy), Tom Sturridge (Orphans) and Rob McClure (Chaplin), among others. Jonny Orsini (The Nance) received the Dorothy Loudon Award for Excellence in the Theater while iconic actor Alan Alda received the John Willis Award for Lifetime Achievement.
Sir Elton John has been confirmed as the latest major act to headline London's Hyde Park this summer, the Guardian reported. He will close the final night of the Barclaycard Presents British Summer Time Hyde Park festival July 12. The festival, which takes place across two weekends, will include performances from the Rolling Stones and Bon Jovi as well as newer artists such as Kaiser Chiefs, the Vaccines, Palma Violets, Bush and Tribes.
Gucci Creative Director Frida Giannini, actress Salma Hayek and superstar singer Beyonce were the forces behind June 1's "Chime for Change" benefit concert that took place in London's Twickenham Stadium, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Among those speaking and/or singing were Madonna, Mary J. Blige, James Franco, John Legend, Jennifer Lopez, Jessie J, Florence + the Machine, Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Jessica Chastain and Jada Pinkett Smith. Chime For Change is a global campaign for improved education, health and justice for women and girls worldwide.
Three producers have filed a $60-million lawsuit over Oxygen's 2011 reality series sTORIbook Weddings, starring Tori Spelling and husband Dean McDermott, the Hollywood Reporter noted. Producers Denny O'Neil Jr., Jake P. Hall and Charles W. Malcolm are claiming breach of implied in fact contract, breach of fiduciary duty, slander of title, false advertising, unfair business practices and more against Oxygen Media, Bunim-Murray Productions, World of Wonder Productions and Spelling and McDermott's production company, Life in a Bowl Productions.
Singer Lauryn Hill has responded to online chatter that her new single, "Neurotic Society," is anti-gay for lyrics that seemingly criticize drag queens and "social transvestism," according to Out.com . Hill said the song isn't meant to diss gays, but rather anyone who "hides behind neurotic behavior." On Tumblr, she wrote, "I am not targeting any particular group of people, but rather targeting everyone in our society who hides behind neurotic behavior, rather than deal with it."