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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-12-13



SHOWBIZ 'Bob's Burgers,' P!nk, sports items, Billy Porter, Ben Platt
by Andrew Davis

This article shared 3202 times since Fri Feb 24, 2023
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Animated sitcom Bob's Burgers marked another major milestone with its 250th episode. Gay actor/comedian/musician John Roberts (who voices Linda Belcher) talked with Queerty and said that one of the most important lessons he's learned from the role is "Life is short so make sure you are having fun." Among other things, he added that doing a scene from Harvey Fierstein's Torch Song Trilogy in high school constituted a major part of his coming-out journey and that the Madonna documentary Truth or Dare "was pivotal because it was the first time I saw two hot guys French kiss."

Singer/songwriter P!nk has released her ninth album, Trustfall (via RCA Records), per a press release. The album features collaborations with Chris Stapleton, The Lumineers and First Aid Kit as well as songwriters and producers Max Martin, Shellback, Greg Kurstin, FRED, Billy Mann and more. To promote the album, she will take over The Drew Barrymore Show on an episode slated to air Feb. 27. Also, P!nk has announced the Trustfall Tour that will take place this fall; it will follow the previously announced 2023 Summer Carnival Stadium Tour, which will mark P!nk's return to touring with special guests Brandi Carlile and 2022 Hall of Fame inductees Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo on select dates.

Out WNBA superstar Diana Taurasi—the league's all-time leading scorer—signed a multi-year contract to return to the Phoenix Mercury for at least a 19th season in 2023, ESPN reported. Taurasi, 40, previously said she hoped to re-sign with the only team she has played for but added that there was a possibility she could end up elsewhere during this round of free agency. Taurasi's return puts her in line to play again with Brittney Griner if Griner re-signs with the Mercury, which she announced was her intention in an Instagram post on Dec. 16. (Griner officially re-signed on Feb. 21 in a one-year deal reportedly worth $165,100.)

Tennis legends Serena and Venus Williams as well as Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith's Westbrook Studios have boarded the feature documentary COPA 71, which is about the soccer event the 1971 Women's World Cup, according to Variety. The Williams sisters will be executive producers on the film. The 1971 event was the last women's World Cup until the official FIFA event 20 years later. In addition to her legendary career in tennis, Serena is also one of the backers for the women majority-owned Los Angeles female professional soccer team, Angel City FC.

Wrestling star Daria Berenato (known in the ring as Sonya Deville) is celebrating a double engagement with her partner, fitness model Toni Cassano, per The Washington Blade. (People Magazine broke the story.) The pair got engaged in a wine-cellar cave in New Jersey the day after Valentine's Day. Berenato popped the question on Feb. 15 at Rails Steakhouse; the out WWE star gave her fiancee a custom-designed ring—and was shocked when Cassano surprised her with an engagement ring of her own.

Billy Porter made his directorial debut in television on the newest episode of Fox's Accused, per Out. The episode focuses on a drag queen and a whirlwind affair that leads to devastating consequences. "It's about the humanization and reminding people that we're all human first. The pain comes in the dehumanizing. I find—as a Black queer man who has gone through the shame and set myself free—[I'm] now a voice and living on my own terms," Porter said.

Ben Platt and the team behind the Broadway revival of Parade—which tells the true story of Jewish factory worker Leo Frank, who was falsely accused of murdering a teen girl and later lynched by an antisemitic mob in Georgia in 1915—responded to the "very ugly and scary" antisemitic protests that took place outside the musical's first preview performance, The Hollywood Reporter noted. "[The protest] was definitely very ugly and scary, but a wonderful reminder of why we're telling this particular story and how special and powerful art, and particularly theater, can be," Platt said on Instagram. "[It] just made me feel extra grateful to be the one that gets to tell this particular story and to carry on this legacy of Leo."

David Fincher's Mindhunter is officially over, Out noted. Fincher—who was executive producer, director and de facto showrunner for most episodes of the Netflix series—announced that the long-awaited third season of Mindhunter, which stars out actor Jonathan Groff, will not be happening. Fincher told French outlet Le Journal du Dimanche, "I don't blame them; they took risks to get the show off the ground, gave me the means to do Mank the way I wanted to do it, and they allowed me to venture down new paths with The Killer [his next film]. It's a blessing to be able to work with people who are capable of boldness. The day our desires are not the same, we have to be honest about parting ways."

The Flash, starring troubled non-binary actor Ezra Miller, is set to debut at CinemaCon 2023, which will take place in Las Vegas on April 23-27, Variety revealed. The Flash is a remnant of a former DC Films regime, but internal reception is apparently so strong that it has the full support of new studio leaders James Gunn and Peter Safran. The film is slated to open in theaters on June 16.

Lesbian fitness trainer Jillian Michaels spoke out about encouraging her loved ones to stop taking Ozempic, according to Yahoo. The former Biggest Loser coach shared that she has convinced several loved ones to stop taking the Type 2 diabetes medication, which has become popular as a weight-loss treatment. While the drug's website states that it's "not for weight loss," it does mention that it "may help you lose some weight," and that adults taking Ozempic lost up to 14 pounds. Michaels believes the drug results in weight gain when someone stops taking it.

Charlie Brown and Kelly Pierce made history on the Feb. 16 episode of Wheel of Fortune when they played as the first same-sex couple in the show's history during the week-long Valentine's Day Special, Out noted. "It's such an honor to be here on Wheel of Fortune's 40th anniversary love week—as we, especially, celebrate our 25th anniversary as a couple," Brown said after host Pat Sajak introduced them. Some fans noted the irony of Charlie Brown being the name of one of the men, as some consider the first gay cartoon couple to be Peppermint Patty and Marcie.

NBC's sci-fi hit Quantum Leap made history recently, Edge Media Network noted. On the episode entitled "Let Them Play," the show celebrated trans youth in school sports. In it, time-tripping protagonist Ben (Raymond Lee) leaps into the body of Carlos, a girls high school basketball coach circa 2012—and ends up picking Gia (Josielyn Aguilera), the transgender daughter of Carlos, to play; in the real-life scenario, the coach did not choose Gia (while obeying transphobic school administrators) and the team lost. Trans actress/writer/director/activist Shakina Nayfack wrote and co-directed the episode.

Legendary LGBTQ+ rapper Da Brat is expecting a baby at age 48 with wife Jesseca "Judy" Harris-Dupart, People revealed. "It's been quite a journey," says Da Brat, who admitted that at 48, "there's a lot of stuff we learned about women over the age of 40." Harris-Dupart is already a mother of three prior to their relationship; for Da Brat, kids weren't ever really a part of the plan—until she met her wife.

TikTok influencer Emira D'Spain said her body is "oversexualized" as a trans woman, Yahoo! noted. After struggling with gender dysphoria and body image issues in the past, the 26-year-old model knows she's not immune to those issues, but she's willing to do something about them. She has shared experiences getting liposuction and a Brazilian butt lift but added, "Everything is so oversexualized when it comes to trans women's bodies. Even if there is not any remotely sexual content happening, people will still somehow find a way to route it back there and then it becomes like a fetish or an oversexualization of women's bodies in general, but specifically trans women, too."

CBS has renewed several shows, including the RuPaul-hosted game show Lingo, Deadline noted. Lingo only premiered in January. Some of the other shows CBS has renewed include The Amazing Race, NCIS, NCIS: Hawai'i, CSI: Vegas, Tough As Nails and Survivor, which is heading into its 45th season.

Out NSYNC member Lance Bass still wants to visit the International Space Station (ISS)—two decades after his chance at space flight disappeared, noted. Bass had spent months in training with Russia in 2002 for a mission to the ISS. His $20-million seat aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft was purchased through Dutch-based space-tourism company MirCorp and bankrolled by a documentary; however, the documentary's insurance company backed out just weeks before launch, and Bass lost his seat on the Soyuz. Bass has a new podcast series, The Last Soviet, that centers on cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev, who was temporarily stranded on the Mir space station on Dec. 26, 1991 as the Soviet Union dissolved underneath him.

The Actors' Equity Association is working on changing its name and brand, Playbill noted. The national union representing more than 51,000 actors and stage managers working on Broadway and professional stages announced that the organization is working toward proposals to stakeholders to select a new name for the union, after which they will work on finalizing the name change and rebranding. The deadline for submissions of proposal requests is March 1.

Beyonce was the big winner at the 54th annual NAACP Image Awards, which was a non-televised virtual experience, Yahoo! noted. The singer-songwriter was named this year's outstanding female artist, while Renaissance won outstanding album and "Cuff It" took home the prize for outstanding soul/R&B song. The presentation, as well as the NAACP Image Awards fashion show luncheon and non-televised awards dinner, all led up to the live telecast on Feb. 25, when many of the top honors were awarded.

The Directors Guild of America (DGA) revealed its winners for the 2023 DGA Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles Saturday night, with Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan (aka The Daniels) taking the top prize for Everything Everywhere All at Once, per The Hollywood Reporter. For the fourth time, Judd Apatow hosted the event, which also honored Charlotte Wells (Aftersun), Sam Levinson (for an episode of TV's Euphoria) and Sara Dosa (the documentary Fire of Love), among others. Notably, female filmmakers were shut out of the theatrical feature film category.

The Batman leads the nominations for the third annual Critics Choice Super Awards, which honor "the most popular, fan-obsessed genres" involving film and TV, per The Hollywood Reporter. The Batman will compete with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, DC League of Super-Pets, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Thor: Love and Thunder for best superhero movie. A few of the other nominated projects and actors include Top Gun: Maverick, Viola Davis (The Woman King), Joey King (two noms, for Bullet Train and The Princess), The Black Phone, House of the Dragon, Nope, Everything Everywhere All at Once, The Boys and Keke Palmer (for the movie Nope). Winners will be revealed on March 16.

Reba McEntire will join The Voice as a mega-mentor for Season 23, according to Variety. McEntire joins coaches Chance the Rapper, Kelly Clarkson, Niall Horan and Blake Shelton for the new season that premieres March 6 on NBC. The upcoming season will be Shelton's last as well as the first for new coaches Horan and Chance the Rapper.

HBO Max has ordered the Max Original drama Welcome to Derry (working title)—a prequel to the horror project It—to series, per a press release. The series is from Warner Bros. Television and developed for television by filmmakers Andy Muschietti and Barbara Muschietti (IT; IT Chapter Two) and Jason Fuchs (IT Chapter Two; Wonder Woman).

The hit HBO drama series Succession will conclude with its fourth season, Deadline noted. The series will return for season four on Sunday March 26. The season picks up after patriarch Logan Roy (Brian Cox) betrayed by most of his adult kids: Siobhan (Sarah Snook), Roman (Kieran Culkin) and Kendall (Jeremy Strong). Guest stars will include Alexander Skarsgard, Cherry Jones, Hope Davis, Justin Kirk and Stephen Root.

The View audience loudly booed after co-host Sunny Hostin said Kim Kardashian is a Raquel Welch-level "sex symbol," EW noted. Co-host Joy Behar said, "You know, they don't make any sex symbols like that. I don't know any present [sex symbols.]"—to which Hostin said, "Well, Kim Kardashian is kind of a sex symbol," generating the boos. Hostin's fellow panelists also rebuked the assertion, with panelist Whoopi Goldberg quickly saying, "No."

In a guest spot on The Howard Stern Show, Oscar-nominated actor Brendan Fraser (The Whale) revealed that when the actors fought in the drama film's pivotal moment in which Matt Damon's Charlie Dillon tells the football team that that their fellow teammate David Greene, played by Fraser, is Jewish, they were both completely naked, Yahoo! noted. "It was scary. It's scary to do that," Fraser said. "And when you're an actor and you're starting off, you're ambitious and game for pretty much anything. They say, 'Jump,' and you say, 'How high?'"

Liam Neeson told Rolling Stone that he felt uncomfortable during his time on the show The View, Yahoo! noted. The Taken actor said that he congratulated them on the conclusions they came to about gun violence. Then, Neeson added, "And then our segment starts and it's just all this BS with Joy [Behar] and Liam Neeson and having a crush, and I've known Whoopi for years and Joy a little bit, but I just wasn't impressed. I'm uncomfortable in those situations, you know?"

Actress/comic/The View co-host Whoopi Goldberg has been cast as a guest star in an upcoming episode of ABC's The Conners, Deadline noted. Goldberg will play Ms. Glen in the Roseanne sequel series; she's Mark's (Ames McNamara) intimidating music teacher, who has a complicated history with another member of the Conner family.

In an Instagram post, Rebel Wilson shared the news with her fans and the world that she and partner Ramona Agruma are going to marry—and that they got engaged at Disneyland, Out noted. "We said YES!" Wilson stated. "Thank you @tiffanyandco for the stunning ring and to Bob Iger and the incredible team at Disneyland @disneyweddings for pulling off this magical surprise!" Media reports previously indicated the couple got engaged last November but this makes it official.

Laurie Metcalf and Tatiana Maslany will co-star in the upcoming Broadway thriller Grey House, Variety reported. Joe Mantello—the Tony-winning director of Wicked, Take Me Out and Assassins—is directing the show, described as the "first-of-its-kind Broadway experience." Grey House begins performances on April 29 and officially opens on May 30 at the Lyceum Theatre on Broadway.

Former daytime talk show host Wendy Williams was at the restaurant Fresco by Scotto to film a new mystery project, Page Six noted. "Dinner with the TEAM!" she captioned a video of herself posing for paparazzi outside the restaurant, sharing the clip on her upcoming podcast's Instagram account.

Judge Mathis and The People's Court will both end after their current seasons, per The Hollywood Reporter. Judge Mathis, an Emmy-winning show that has been on the air for 24 seasons, follows Judge Greg Mathis—considered the longest-running Black male host on television—as he lays down the law and gives sentences to those in his courtroom. The People's Court, which premiered in 1997 and currently stars Judge Marilyn Milian, will wrap after season 26; it has won four Daytime Emmy Awards for outstanding legal/courtroom program—the most wins for a court show in the category. However, Variety noted that Byron Allen's Allen Media Group will host Mathis Court with Judge Mathis, a new first-run one-hour strip, for fall 2023.

Former UFC middleweight contender Nate Marquardt went on a homophobic rant while watching a UFC event, Edge Media Network noted, citing The Daily Mail. He posted, "Wow disgusting commercial watching @ESPNPlus with my kids and have to tell them to look away so they don't see two men kissing!" Marquardt faced a ton of backlash, including one user who posted, "Imagine if either of your kids has to come out to you one day.. Ffs," to which Marquardt responded, "Not possible."

The animal-rights group PETA released a scathing statement claiming the new Joel McHale series Animal Control allegedly exploited animals by featuring live ostriches, dogs and a ferret in its first episode, according to EW. "Animal Control is a sickening soup of animal exploitation that has PETA questioning whether Joel McHale's been living under a rock," said PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Welfare Debbie Metzler.

Jeff Perla and Alex Van Gurp—who made their reality TV debut on Prime Video's dating series The One That Got Away—have gone their separate ways, Out noted. In part, the couple said, "With so much time, energy and money involved with the house, it started to feel more like a job than it did a relationship, and I think after a while we realized it was better to end it before we started to resent each other and at least still had a chance of being friends and staying co-owners in our house and business partners."

The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City's Jen Shah reported to federal prison to begin her six-and-a-half year sentence, Yahoo! noted. The Bravo star pled guilty to running a fraudulent telemarketing scheme. Shah is serving her time at FPC Bryan in Bryan, Texas—the facility her legal team requested. Before reporting, she told Justin Paperny, the co-founder of White Collar Service, she'd be taking two things to prison: her Quran and an 18-page release plan.

This article shared 3202 times since Fri Feb 24, 2023
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