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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-02-22



SHOWBIZ Black queer films, Janet Jackson, Paramore, WNBA, GALECA contest
by Andrew Davis

This article shared 2811 times since Sun Feb 19, 2023
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Queerty ran a piece on 10 films that celebrate Black queer love. Some of them include The Skinny (with Jussie Smollett), Dee Rees' movie Pariah, the Oscar-winning Moonlight, the Marlon Riggs classic Tongues Untied, Brother to Brother (with Anthony Mackie) and The Color Purple. About the last one, Queerty stated, "While we have to add a certain caveat here that the erotic scenes here are way too tame, we also have to commend Steven Spielberg's adaptation of the Alice Walker classic novel as one of the most tender, moving films about the love between two women ever made."

The Grammys wanted to honor Janet Jackson in a big way; however, those talks fizzled after discussions on how to address the way CBS treated Jackson after her infamous Super Bowl halftime performance, TMZ revealed. The Grammys wanted to bestow Jackson with a Global Impact Award, but there was a snag. Recording Academy honchos wanted her to attend a pre-Grammy event with the Black Music Collective days before the main event to accept the award, but she couldn't make it. Then, there was a problem honoring her because CBS never properly apologized for making her persona non grata after the wardrobe malfunction.

The band Paramore recently talked with the publication NME—and frontwoman Hayley Williams made her feelings known about her experiences in the music business. While promoting the band's sixth album, This Is Why, Williams said, "Oh, my God—I hope no young female experiences the shit that I experienced. When we were teenagers, the way forward was to be tough all the time. Our entire scene was contributing to shitty treatment of women and anything that wasn't masculine." Embracing the band's role as role models, Williams wrote a letter last year directed at "young girls, queer kids, and anybody of any color," giving them credit for shifting the homogeneous emo scene together.

WNBA superstar Brittney Griner made her second public appearance since her December release from a Russian prison by attending a golf tournament, according to an MSN item. Griner was one of about 200,000 fans at the WM Phoenix Open in Scottsdale, Arizona, which is part of the PGA Tour. The two-time Olympic gold medalist's first public appearance was in January at a Martin Luther King Jr. march in downtown Phoenix.

Gonzaga University women's basketball recently retired the jersey of out WNBA player Courtney Vandersloot, ESPN noted. Vandersloot was present with a sellout crowd at 6,000-seat McCarthey Athletic Center, where her No. 21 jersey was retired before the game—and she became the first Gonzaga women's player to be so honored. Vandersloot recently signed a free agent contract with the New York Liberty after having spent her entire WNBA career with the Chicago Sky, who drafted her with the third overall pick in 2011 and won the title with her in 2021. She is married to current Sky player Allie Quigley; they wed in 2018.

GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics and Rotten Tomatoes have extended the deadline to April 1 (at 11:59 p.m. PT) for The Crimson Honors—a new college film & TV criticism scholarship contest for BIPOC LGBTQ+ women and non-binary students, a press release announced. Initially focused on Southern California, the contest is now open to any eligible student at a public college/university in the United States. GALECA will award the winners more than $6,000 in financial assistance, funded by Rotten Tomatoes. Eligible candidates—including non-binary persons or women of color who identify as LGBTQ+—must be students who have attended a public two-year or four-year college or university in the United States and its territories. See

Former Olympic freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy had to leave the Fox show Special Forces: World's Toughest Test, Out noted. The LGBTQ+ athlete—who took part on the show with other people such as Mel B, Anthony Scaramucci, Jamie Lynn Spears and Kenya Moore—departed after he suffered an allergic reaction that sent him into anaphylactic shock. Talking with Out, Kenworthy said, "I threw up a lot. I threw up everything that was in my stomach basically. But then I was breathing again. I actually wanted to go back into the show and they wouldn't let me."

Chicago will host the world premiere of a new, Broadway-bound musical about the famous cartoon character Betty Boop, The Chicago Tribune noted. The show, officially dubbed "Boop! The Betty Boop Musical," will feature music by David Foster and lyrics by Susan Birkenhead. The book will be by Bob Martin, and directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell. Performances are slated to begin at the CIBC Theater (22 W. Monroe St.) on Nov. 19 and run at least through Dec. 31; a Broadway transfer is expected in the spring of 2024, to a theater to be determined.

Jacob Elordi (TV's Euphoria) and Barry Keoghan (The Killing of a Sacred Deer; Eternals) are starring in an upcoming thriller film, Saltburn, that will center on obsession, Instinct Magazine noted. Keoghan's Scouser character reportedly develops an obsession with his affluent aristocratic classmate, portrayed by Elordi. It is said that Saltburn's tone is similar to the 1999 thriller/drama film The Talented Mr. Ripley, which starred Matt Damon. Saltburn's cast also includes Rosamund Pike, Carey Mulligan, Richard E. Grant, Archie Madekwe and Alison Oliver, among others.

Magic Mike's Last Dance—director Steven Soderbergh's third installment in the Magic Mike franchise, which follows Channing Tatum's stripper with a heart of gold—won the box office for the weekend of Feb. 11-12, Collider noted. "Last Dance" packed theaters with a per-location average of about $5,467, which is more than twice the per-location average of the second film in the franchise, 2015's Magic Mike XXL.

Superstar singer and five-time Grammy winner Mariah Carey made a surprise appearance at Some Like It Hot on Broadway, Playbill noted. The show's composer, Marc Shaiman, introduced Carey (one of the show's producers) at the evening's curtain call, saying, "She's made her presence known backstage with gifts and all sorts of things, and she's finally here tonight ... Some like it hot but she loves it cold, because cold means Christmas and she's the Queen of Christmas. Ladies and gentlemen, Mariah Carey!"

Rachel Weisz is starring in Prime Video's upcoming series adaptation of the classic David Cronenberg film Dead Ringers (debuting April 21), according to Out. Weisz takes on the double role of twin doctors (played by Jeremy Irons in the original film) who share everything from drugs to lovers to "an unapologetic desire to do whatever it takes, including pushing the boundaries on medical ethics in an effort to challenge antiquated practices and bring women's healthcare to the forefront." Part of the main plot is the twins switching places with each other in order to play sexual games with their unknowing partners.

Most Whitney Houston fans know she was deeply rooted in gospel music, and soon they'll get to hear—and see—that side of her in a new project called I Go to the Rock: The Gospel Music of Whitney Houston, N'Digo noted. The documentary TV special, corresponding album, and DVD center on Houston's gospel journey and feature six never-before-released songs from as early as 1981. The documentary will premiere on March 24 on UPtv and Aspire TV. Hosted by CeCe Winans—who is featured on the album and in the film—it explores Houston's musical expressions of her faith, from her first show in front of a live audience to her performances from the American Music Awards, the NAACP Image Awards and Ebony's 50th-anniversary special.

Olivia Newton-John's final recording has been released—and it's "Jolene," a duet with icon Dolly Parton, a press release noted. They became friends after Newton-John won 1974's Country Music Association Female Vocalist of the Year award; to this day, she is the only non-U.S.-born artist to win the award. The original version of the song was ranked No. 63 on Rolling Stone's list of "the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time" in 2021. "Jolene" introduces Just The Two of Us—a 17-track duets album dropping May 5 (on both vinyl and CD) featuring Newton-John with artists including Mariah Carey, Michael McDonald, John Travolta, Barry Gibb, Vanessa Amorossi, Jon Secada, daughter Chloe Lattanzi and more.

Amy Poehler and Tina Fey will take their talents on the road. They are embarking on their first-ever live comedy tour together, "Amy Poehler and Tina Fey: Restless Leg Tour," Variety noted. Produced by Live Nation, the tour will begin in D.C. on April 28 at DAR Constitution Hall and stops at Chicago's The Chicago Theatre on May 20 and Boston's MGM Music Hall at Fenway on June 9 before concluding in Atlantic City at Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena on June 10. "If this tour goes right, we can finally end this friendship," the duo joked in a joint statement.

Australian actress/comedian Rebel Wilson discussed her relationship with her girlfriend, Ramona Agruma, on the Life Uncut podcast, Out noted. "My whole family has just been amazing," she began, "Ramona's family hasn't been as accepting. And so in many respects, it has been a lot harder on her to have to make the news public." Wilson came out last summer after the Sydney Morning Herald contacted her to let her know it was going to publish a story about her relationship with Agruma.

In other Rebel Wilson-related news, she and Carly Steel have launched Fluid—a new dating app designed to help everyone find their perfect match, regardless of their sexual orientation, and reflects Wilson's own journey of discovering love, a press release noted. "You can be on Fluid and be anywhere on the sexuality spectrum," said Wilson. "It's for everyone who is open to looking for love and connections in an inclusive space. Whether you identify as LGBTQIA+, straight or you're just interested in checking out a wider dating pool, we want everyone to feel comfortable using the app and feel like they belong to the Fluid community."

Music Triumphs Homophobia, a new documentary available on Prime Video, follows the Boston Gay Men's Chorus' tours around the world and explores how spiritual LGBTQ+ people contend with the homophobic mistranslations of religious texts, The Washington Blade noted. "Our goal is to share … the joy and inspiration that music can have in overcoming prejudice," Craig Coogan, the former executive director of the chorus and a co-director of the film (with Michael Willer), said in an interview. The official trailer is at

LGBTQ+ actor/singer Joshua Bassett has been baptized into a Christian church famous for its anti-gay and pro-conversion-therapy teachings, according to Out. "My name's Joshua, and long story short, I grew up Christian, and ran the other way as far as I could go in search of truth," Bassett said while onstage at the Bethel megachurch in Redding, California; he added, "And that only ended in addiction, depression, suicidal ideation, eating disorders, etc. And no other teacher gave me anywhere near the peace that Jesus Christ did, and I'm here to publicly declare him as my lord and savior." Bassett, who stars in the Disney+ series High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, came out in 2021 after he made a video saying he's attracted to Harry Styles.

Fashion model Jeremy Ruehlemann's father spoke out about his 27-year-old son's battle with addiction just days after his son's death, The New York Post noted. Adding that he believed the death was accidental, his father, Achim Ruehlemann, told the Daily Mail he suspects his son died from a drug overdose after having an addiction to prescription pills for several years. Jeremy, a New Jersey native, had walked and modeled for designers including Christian Siriano, John Varvatos, Superdry, Perry Ellis and more, and appeared in publications like GQ and Playhouse Magazine. According to Ace Showbiz, Siriano broke the news of Jeremy's passing.

Now-former NFL player Tom Brady is facing backlash for brushing off the wardrobe malfunction that threatened to derail Janet Jackson's career, according to Page Six. "I think in the end, it was probably a good thing for the NFL because everyone got to talk about it," the retired quarterback said on an episode of his "Let's Go!" podcast. "It was just more publicity and more publicity for halftime shows." Brady's remarks were met with criticism from people on social media who believe he was inconsiderate of everything Jackson had to go through after her 2004 Super Bowl scandal.

Elvis ruled at the 10th annual Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists (MUAHS) Guild Awards, leading all films, The Wrap noted. Other film winners included Everything Everywhere All at Once, for contemporary make-up; The Whale, for special make-up effects; and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, for contemporary hairstyling. The only Oscar recipient that had not previously won a MUAHS Award was last year's winner, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, seemingly putting Elvis and The Whale in the best position for the Oscar.

Film star Raquel Welch has died at age 82. According to Deadline, she suffered a brief illness. In the 1960s and '70s, she gained fame in movies including Fantastic Voyage, One Million Years B.C., Myra Breckinridge and many others. More recently, she was in TV projects like Spin City, CSI: Mimi, Central Park West and House of Versace.

Ryan Seacrest is leaving the show Live With Kelly and Ryan. According to EW, he will exit the ABC morning series after joining as a co-host in 2017. Kelly Ripa's husband—and longtime Live fill-in—Mark Consuelos will permanently replace him when the show rebrands as Live With Kelly and Mark. Ripa joined the program in 2001, following Kathie Lee Gifford's departure from the project she helped popularize alongside Regis Philbin in 1988. Seacrest will continue to host American Idol and Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest, Deadline noted.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member, guitarist /singer-songwriter/producer/recovery advocate Ricky Byrd (inducted in 2015 with Joan Jett and The Blackhearts) is releasing a new single, per a press release. Byrd's new digital/7" single "Glamdemic Blues," featuring a b-side cover of the Four Tops' classic "Reach Out (I'll Be There)," will be released on Feb. 24 via Wicked Cool Records. Byrd has also recorded and played with Roger Daltrey, and has shared the stage with Paul McCartney, Mavis Staples and Smokey Robinson, among many others.

Actor Bruce Willis has been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia, Yahoo! Entertainment noted. Wife Emma Heming Willis shared a photo of her husband on Instagram, revealing that the actor's condition has worsened since the family first revealed his aphasia diagnosis last year.

Fashion designer Alexander Wang held his first show back in New York since sexual-assault allegations were brought against him by 10 men—allegations that Wang denied until coming forward and announcing he'd met and talked with his accusers, according to The Cut. Models like Gabriette Bechtel and, notably, Julia Fox, seen as a supporter of survivors of sexual assault, walked the runway. Fox defended her participation in a now-deleted comment: "2b frank i love cancel culture but we do need to leave room for rehabilitation & for those who put in the work & heal & learn from their mistakes."

In NYC, TV newswoman Judy Licht hosted her 43rd annual Valentine's Day lunch—and Martha Stewart made news for reportedly bringing heart-shaped Valentine's boxes for everyone filled with "feel-good" CBD gummies, Page Six noted. (Stewart launched her line of "hemp-derived, cannabidiol-rich" treats in 2020.) Licht launched the Galentine's lunch the year she separated from her first husband.

This article shared 2811 times since Sun Feb 19, 2023
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