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SHOWBIZ 'Drag Race' judges, 'Nash Bridges,' Dolly Parton, J.K. Rowling, Britney
by Windy City Times staff
2021-12-19

This article shared 778 times since Sun Dec 19, 2021
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The guest judges for the 14th season of RuPaul's Drag Race have been revealed, according to out.com . Lizzo, Alicia Keys, Taraji P. Henson, Andra Day, Loni Love, Christine Chiu, Ava Max, Nicole Byer, Ts Madison, Alec Mapa, Dove Cameron and Dulce Sloan, with virtual appearances by Jennifer Lopez and Sarah McLachlan, and special guest appearances by Norvina and Leslie Jordan. RuPaul and series vets Michelle Visage, Carson Kressley and Ross Matthews will return as regular judges.

Nash Bridges returned to TV this year with a brand new film, streaming now on USA Network—and the movie includes trans representation in the form of Pose alum Alexia Garcia, who plays bad-ass, no-nonsense detective Chloe Zane, according to out.com . Garcia said being on the revival "was an exhilarating experience! I got to ride with Don [Johnson] and Cheech [Marin] in the 'Cuda—that was such a blast! When I was wrapped that day, I was definitely on a high." Garcia added, "I would like to see stories where trans people are simply just people. I think it's needed to have stories about coming out and transitioning, highlighting the challenges we face in the process because it rings true, and we have seen that as viewers already. But we don't always have to be victimized in the media."

The people at Guinness World Records revealed that country icon Dolly Parton has added three new records to her string of achievements, per Billboard. Parton now holds the mark for most decades on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart by a female artist (seven) and most number-one hits on that chart by a female artist (25) as well as breaking her own existing record for the most hits on that chart by a female artist, with 109 songs. The three new records join Parton's previous record for the most decades with a top 20 hit on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart (six), which she earned in 2018.

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling—who has a long history of transphobia—took to Twitter to paint trans women as rapists and civil rights as nonsensical, according to LGBTQ Nation. "War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength," Rowling tweeted along with a link to an article about transgender prisoners. "The Penised Individual Who Raped You Is a Woman." The article criticizes Scottish police for honoring a prisoner's gender identity.

Speaking of Rowling, original Wonder Woman Lynda Carter refuted the author's anti-trans stance (without specifically mentioning her), defending trans folks and their right to have their identities and lives affirmed and respected, out.com noted. "You don't have to be trans to understand the importance of respecting trans people and affirming their identities," the actress wrote. "Life is just too short. I can't imagine how it makes any sense to use one's fame and resources to put others down."

Pop star Britney Spears tore into reporter Diane Sawyer on Instagram, suggesting she was forced to speak to the longtime ABC journalist against her will 18 years ago, per HuffPost. "Do we dare forget the Diane Sawyer interview in my apartment almost 20 years ago?" Spears wrote in the since-deleted post. "What was with the 'You're in the wrong' approach?? Geeze... and making me cry???" Spears added, "I was a baby. I was almost 22 and didn't understand ... but I fucking know now."

LGBTQ+ streaming network Revry will stream the queer classic Hedwig and the Angry Inch for free until Jan. 31, 2022, a press release noted. Adapted from the critically acclaimed off-Broadway rock theater hit of the same name, Hedwig and the Angry Inch tells the story of rock singer Hedwig and her search for stardom and love. Born a boy named Hansel whose life's dream is to find his other half, Hedwig reluctantly submits to a sex-change operation in order to marry an American G.I. and get over the Berlin Wall to freedom. The operation is botched, leaving her with the aforementioned "angry inch."

In Texas, American Idol alum David Archuleta—who came out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community earlier this year—will perform with the Turtle Creek Chorale (TCC), a predominantly gay male group, on Tuesday, Dec. 21, at the First United Methodist Church Richardson. The evening will feature Archuleta singing many of his solo offerings, as well as a few selections with the men of the choral group. The TCC, which has appeared twice at Carnegie Hall, will also share some holiday favorites of its own.

The gay movie Flee won the prize for Best Animation at the Los Angeles Film Critics Association's recent event, per Deadline. Ryusuke Hamaguchi's Japanese Oscar entry Drive My Car took Best Picture and Best Screenplay, while Jane Campion won for Best Director for the queer movie The Power of the Dog. Also, Red Rocket's Simon Rex won Best Actor and Parallel Mothers' Penélope Cruz claimed Best Actress; the award for Best Documentary went to Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson's Summer of Soul.

Megan Thee Stallion is now a college graduate, crossing the stage at Texas Southern University in cap and gown to receive her diploma, CNN.com noted. The Grammy-winning rapper earned a bachelor of science degree in health administration—a goal she set to honor both her late mother and her late grandmother. Her mother, Holly Thomas, died in March 2019 following a battle with brain cancer; her late grandmother was a teacher.

In other Megan-related news, she struck a deal with Netflix to produce new series and other projects, per The Hollywood Reporter. "I've always had a passion for telling creative and entertaining stories, so I'm thrilled about this partnership with Netflix," she said. "Venturing into production is the next step in my journey as an entrepreneur and I can't wait to bring all my ideas to life and for my Hotties to watch."

SPOILER: In a recent episode of The Wheel of Time—the Amazon Prime Video adaptation of Robert Jordan's groundbreaking fantasy books—the lead character, Moiraine (Rosamund Pike), is revealed to be in a relationship with another woman, out.com revealed. She's in a relationship with Siuan (Sophie Okonedo), the Amyrlin Seat, who is WoT's equivalent to the pope. Moiraine is one of the Aes Sedai (a sorceress/priestess) who falls under her jurisdiction, making their love "the most dangerous" office romance one could imagine, Pike said. So in a trailblazing development of sorts, a queer woman in an interracial relationship is setting out to save the world.

SPOILER: The Masked Singer revealed its latest winner. According to Deadline, it came down to the Bull and Queen of Hearts—who were revealed to be out singer Todrick Hall and Jewel, respectively. Ultimately, Jewel was declared the victor.

Apple announced that, in celebration of Emily Dickinson's legacy, set pieces, costumes and props from the acclaimed and award-winning Apple Original series Dickinson have been donated and added to the Emily Dickinson Museum collection, a press release noted. These items include antique furniture and objects acquired by the show to furnish the Homestead and Evergreens sets as authentically as possible, as well as costumes worn by the principal actors of the series. The Alena Smith-created series stars Hailee Steinfeld, Toby Huss, Ella Hunt and Jane Krakowski in its third and final season, and has included guest appearances from Wiz Khalifa, John Mulaney, Zosia Mamet and Nick Kroll. The museum is currently closed, as it is embarking on a major restoration project, and will reopen in spring 2022.

Reacting to his critics, Colton Underwood addressed backlash to his new series, Coming Out Colton, which debuted on Netflix earlier this month, Us Magazine noted. After news of the docuseries broke in April, some Bachelor Nation fans were quick to point out that the former NFL player had previously been accused of stalking his ex-girlfriend Cassie Randolph. "since coming out, I in no way, shape or form am trying to make people look the other way or forget about anything. I will own my mistakes and I will own who I was at that time in my life," he said on the "Call Her Daddy" podcast.

Singer Mika (real name: Michael Holbrook Penniman Jr.) announced his 2022 North American tour, presented by indeed.com, a press release noted. Taking place throughout April 2022, MIKA's tour will hit six cities across the United States and Canada: Boston; New York City; Quebec City; Montreal; Sageunay, Quebec, Canada; and Toronto. More dates/sites will be announced soon.

Megan Fox and Ruby Rose are teaming for a new thriller, according to an out.com item that cited Deadline. The upcoming film Taurus "tells the story of a rising but troubled musician (played by Colson Baker aka Machine Gun Kelly) as he spends his days and nights searching endlessly for the inspiration to record one last song. His sister-like assistant wants to save him, his collaborators want him in the studio, while his dealer (Ruby Rose) and his ex (Megan Fox—Baker's real-life girlfriend) push him deeper into the void." The movie is said to explore themes about the darkness of fame, addiction, the music industry, and the artistic process.

In a Rolling Stone profile, Doha Cat (real name: Amala Dlamini) stated she no longer plans to work with hitmaker Dr. Luke, while questioning (and later retracting) how much of a hand he had in crafting her hits, Billboard noted. The piece chronicles the rapper/singer's 2020-21 success—including her eight Grammy nods this year—as well as past problematic social media posts and her critics. "I haven't worked with him in a very long time," she told the magazine of Luke, before suggesting that there's more than meets the eye on a "lot" of the songs they collaborated on in the past.

Caitlyn Jenner slammed the Beverly Hills Hotel, calling the staffers "disgusting" after they refused to serve her for not complying with the dress code, Page Six noted. The reality TV star and former Olympian was wearing ripped jeans when she showed up to the hotel's restaurant, Polo Lounge. "At the Polo Lounge, we encourage you to dress for the occasion, so we ask that you refrain from wearing casual hats, ripped denim, crop tops, nightwear, swimwear and men's sleeveless shirts," the hotel's website reads. Jenner also claimed that the staff broke its no-photo policy by allowing fans to take photos with her.

On Red Table Talk: The Estefans, singer Lauren Jauregui said she felt "violated" when Perez Hilton tweeted photos of her kissing her then-girlfriend, outing her to the public, according to a Queerty item. Although most of her family already knew she was bi, she said she wasn't ready to come out to the world. However, Hilton is not apologetic about the picture, writing on YouTube, "I am NOT sorry for that tweet about Lauren Jauregui. That was not 'outing' her." He added, "All I did was send out a tweet talking about the leaked photo. I don't regret that."

After just one season, Netflix canceled its ambitious and inclusive live-action Cowboy Bebop reboot, out.com noted. (Fans have created a Change.org petition for the show to be revived and receive a second season, which has garnered more than 18,000 signatures, CBR.com noted.) Starring John Cho as space bounty hunter Spike Spiegel, along with Mustafa Shakir and Daniella Pineda as Jet Black and Faye Valentine, Cowboy Bebop cast two non-binary actors in trans-coded roles. Non-binary actor Mason Alexander Park stepped into the fashionable shoes of Gren, who, in the original show, was an androgynous war veteran who took an experimental drug that caused them to grow breasts. Also, young non-binary actor Eden Perkins played the gender non-conforming child hacker Radical Ed.

Out Las Vegas Raider Carl Nassib used the NFL's "My Cause, My Cleats" charitable campaign to support the LGBTQ+ community, out.com noted. Nassib chose to represent The Trevor Project, which supports at-risk LGBTQ+ youth; and straight ally Cleveland Browns fullback Johnny Stanton brought visibility to Athlete Ally, which seeks to eliminate homophobia in sports.The "My Cause, My Cleats" program allows NFL players to wear customized cleats during a game to call attention to the charity of their choice; players can later auction their cleats to benefit their selected charities.

The CW is looking to further build on its DC comics-inspired programming slate with Gotham Knights, a drama in the works from Batwoman executive producers Chad Fiveash and James Stoteraux as well as the show's executive story editor Natalie Abrams, Deadline noted. In the wake of Bruce Wayne's murder, his rebellious adopted son forges an unlikely alliance with the children of Batman's enemies when they are all framed for killing the Caped Crusader.

Grammy-nominated multi-hyphenate rapper, singer, songwriter and poet Tierra Whack issued a second EP this month, Pop?, out now on Interscope Records, per a press release. Pop? Came just one week after she released its sister EP, Rap? Amid her double releases, Whack also launched her first collaboration with Vans on Dec. 3. In conjunction with the iconic sneaker and apparel giant, Tierra and her stylist, Shirley Kurata, curated a 1980s-inspired collection.

U.S. District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald ruled Dec. 9 that Taylor Swift must face a jury trial over accusations she stole the lyrics to "Shake It Off" from another song that also references "playas" and "haters," according to Billboard. Fitzgerald refused Swift's request to toss the case, ruling that a jury might eventually find that her 2014 chart-topping hit had infringed a copyright to "Playas Gon' Play," a track released in 2001 by the group 3LW. "Shake It Off" debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in September 2014 and spent four weeks atop the chart.

Several additional Broadway productions have canceled performances due to breakthrough COVID cases, including Hamilton, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and Ain't Too Proud, Deadline noted. Those shows joined Mrs. Doubtfire and Freestyle Love Supreme in missing performances.

In a now-deleted TikTok video, bisexual Moana star Auli'i Cravalho called out fellow queer actress Rowan Blanchard for alleged biphobia, per out.com . Cravalho captioned the TikTok: "She's still biphobic but this movie is going to be so cute and queer!!!" Blanchard, who starred in the Disney Channel series Girl Meets World, and Cravalho recently filmed the Hulu movie Love in Color, a high school coming-of-age story that sees a young artist join her school's track team and unexpectedly fall in love with one of her team members.

And Just Like That actor Mario Cantone recently opened up about the passing of his friend/co-star Willie Garson in an interview with Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast on Sirius XM, according to out.com . (They portrayed a gay couple on the show, and Cantone is out in real life.) "It was a real shock," Cantone said. "None of us knew [Garson was battling cancer], and it was just, it was terrible—very sad." Despite his battle with pancreatic cancer, Garson was "so alive, brilliant, and hilarious," Cantone recalled.

Trans singer Sasha Allen and his father, Tom, were eliminated just before the finals on the NBC show The Voice, Billboard noted. Wendy Moten, sibling trio Girl Named Tom, Paris Winningham and Hailey Mia were launched into the finals—and Jershika Maple received the audience's Instant Save vote after a battle with the Allens, Lana Scott and Joshua Vacanti. Girl Named Tom eventually gave Kelly Clarkson her fourth victory on the show.

A wrestling fan recently yelled "f*ck*ng f*gg*t" to out pro wrestler Anthony Bowens so loudly during a Dec. 8 broadcast of AEW Dynamite that it was heard by viewers at home, out.com noted. "Not phased," Bowens quote-tweeted a Twitter post that contained video and audio of the hateful incident. He also told TMZ he's a much better man than the person who yelled the slur.

Kaylee Bryant, who had portrayed queer character Josie Saltzman on the TV show Legacies since 2018, has left the series, per Deadline. "As a fan of The Vampire Diaries universe myself, thank you to The CW and Warner Bros. TV for giving me this opportunity," Bryant posted on social media. "Josie has helped so many beautiful humans feel comfortable in their sexuality, and I hope her legacy lives on so that one day everyone feels free to love whoever they want regardless of gender." Legacies is an offshoot of the CW's Vampire Diaries and Originals shows.

Stars defended Succession actor Jeremy Strong in the wake of a New Yorker article on him that some called a hit piece, Yahoo! noted. Strong was the subject of a lengthy and revealing profile that dug deep into his biography and career—and also provoked intense, heavily divided reactions from Strong's fans and friends. Actresses Anne Hathaway and Jessica Chastain, actor Vincent D'Onofrio and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin were among those coming to Strong's defense.

Shania Twain announced the final 16 dates for her residency show, Shania Twain: "Let's Go!" The Las Vegas Residency at Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, a press release noted. The shows will be held June 3-18 and Aug. 26-Sept. 10, 2022. Since opening in December 2019, Twain, the creative director of the show, has made several updates to the production, including seasonal surprises for the holidays as well as for her upcoming Valentine's Day weekend performances.

The Radio City Rockettes became the latest casualty of the sweeping COVID-19 surge to disrupt Manhattan's bustling live performance industry, announcing the end of the group's 2021 season, NBC New York noted. "We regret that we are unable to continue the Christmas Spectacular this season due to increasing challenges from the pandemic," a statement read. "We have loved bringing back this cherished tradition that helps usher in the holiday season in New York City and look forward to welcoming fans back to Radio City Music Hall in 2022."

In a new interview with The Sunday Times, the late DJ Avicii's father, Klas Bergling, continues to advocate for the mental health of rising musicians, EDM.com noted. "It's fame and fortune, and that's a very dangerous combination," Bergling explained. "When you have an up-and-coming artist there should be some structure." Today, Avicii's parents are co-founders of The Tim Bergling Foundation (named after the entertainer's real name), an organization advocating for the recognition of suicide as a global health emergency; see www.timberglingfoundation.org/ .

Camryn Manheim has been tapped as a series regular on NBC's revival of Law & Order, Deadline noted. The Emmy-winning Practice alumna will play a new character, Lt. Kate Dixon, in the 21st season of Dick Wolf's venerable crime drama, which premieres Feb. 24 as part of a Law & Order Thursday line-up. Dixon is a successor to Lt. Anita Van Buren, played by S. Epatha Merkerson in seasons four through 20 of the Emmy-winning series. (Merkerson is not available as she is a series regular on another Dick Wolf series, Chicago Med.)

Jeff Garlin has left the ABC show The Goldbergs following multiple misconduct allegations and HR investigations, Deadline noted. Garlin was believed to have one more day of shooting left at the most this season, which consists of 18 episodes, after his schedule had been reduced. No decision has been made yet on a potential tenth season of The Goldbergs, which remains one of ABC's strongest comedy series.

Zoe, now 40, and Lily, now 31, both allege they were sexually assaulted by actor Chris Noth, per The Hollywood Reporter. They said promotions and press reports of HBO Max's Sex and the City sequel series And Just Like That, in which Noth reprises his role as Mr. Big, stirred painful memories of incidents they say occurred in Los Angeles in 2004 and in New York in 2015, respectively. In response, Peloton has pulled an ad featuring Noth, who has vehemently denied both accusations, NBC News noted. In addition, Deadline noted that Law & Order actor Zoe Lister-Jones also accused Both of sexually inappropriate behavior.

Former General Hospital star Ingo Rademacher—fired for not getting a COVID-19 vaccination—subjected Disney-owned network ABC to a civil-rights lawsuit arguing constitutional policies, Deadline noted. "ABC does not have the authority to force a medical treatment to its employees against their will," the filing states. "These actions constitute religious discrimination and violate Mr. Rademacher's rights under state and federal law." Disney made having vaccination mandatory in late July for salaried and non-union hourly U.S. employees who worked at it is studios, networks, theme parks and more.

Leonard "Hub" Hubbard, a former longtime bassist of hip-hop band The Roots, has died at age 62, NBC News noted. "May your transition bring peace to your family to your friends to your fans and all of those who loved you," a statement from the band said, adding, "Rest in Melody Hub." Hubbard, known to fans simply as "Hub," died Dec. 16 after living with blood cancer for years, his wife, Stephanie Hubbard, told The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings will continue to share Jeopardy! hosting duties through the end of the venerable syndicated game show's current season, according to Deadline. Additionally, Michael Davies will remain executive producer. Actress/neuroscientist Bialik and former Jeopardy! champion Jennings had been filling in as guest hosts of the mothership syndicated program following the abrupt exit of Mike Richards as host in August after one day of tapings.

Kim Kardashian West wants to be declared legally single amid her ongoing divorce from Kanye West (whose new legal name is Ye), according to a People item that cited TMZ. Kim filed court documents, asking to separate issues of child custody and property from her marital status, according to the outlet that reported that she additionally asked to have her maiden name restored. Kardashian West and West share four children: North, Saint, Chicago and Psalm.

An actor identified as attending the Jan. 6 insurrection has been reportedly "banned" from voicing a character in the animated TV show Bob's Burgers, according to an Insider item that cited The Daily Beast. Jay Johnston, who is the voice of Jimmy Pesto Sr. in the critically acclaimed FOX show, has been noticeably absent from the series' 12th season. It has not been proven that Johnston, who also appeared in the movie "Anchorman," was present at the Capitol riot.

The sequel series to Tiger King has been on Netflix for almost a month now, and Carole Baskin's lawsuit against the streamer and others over the franchise has ended, per Deadline. Having failed to get a desired injunction to block the November 17 launch of Tiger King 2 and facing a summary judgment motion, Big Cat Rescue founder Baskin and her husband, Howard, dropped their contact lawsuit over the series.

Ahead of American Dad!'s season-17 premiere, TBS renewed the hit animated comedy series for two more seasons, 18 and 19, Deadline noted. The series, which was picked up by TBS following its cancellation by Fox, has been a cornerstone of the TNet's animation strategy, with a slew of new projects in the pipeline. It currently ranks as the #3 comedy on cable.

The long-running daytime syndication series The Dr. Oz Show will come to an end Jan. 14, Deadline noted. The fate of the show, which had been renewed until mid-2023, became uncertain after host Mehmet Oz announced his Republican candidacy for Senate in Pennsylvania, with the Fox stations in New York and Philadelphia pulling the program right away. The Dr. Oz Show spinoff, The Good Dish—hosted by Oz's daughter, Daphne Oz; Gail Simmons; and Jamika Pessoa—has been picked up by station groups across the country that carry The Dr. Oz Show.

Below Deck chief steward Heather Chase apologized for saying the N-word in front of Black co-star Rayna Lindsey on a recent episode of the show, per Page Six. "I am sorry for the hurt my ignorance caused Rayna in tonight's episode," Chase posted. "While I apologized to Rayna throughout the season, I cannot express enough how truly remorseful I am." Lindsey later said she's "very disappointed" in Bravo for the way the network handled the situation and "kept rewarding" Chase throughout the season.


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