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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-09-06



SHOWBIZ Janelle Monae, 'The Last of Us,' Christine and the Queens, GALECA, Outfest
by Andrew Davis

This article shared 4197 times since Fri Jun 16, 2023
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Queer singer/actress Janelle Monae released her newest album, The Age of Pleasure, via Wondaland Arts Society/Atlantic Records, per a press release. Executive-produced by Monae, Nate Wonder, Chuck Lightning and Sean "Diddy" Combs, the album includes such new singles as "Champagne Shit" "Phenomenal (feat. Doechii)" and "Waterslide," along with "Lipstick Lover," and lead single "Float (Feat. Seun Kuti + Egypt 80)." An accompanying tour will start Aug. 30 in Seattle, with stops in Kansas City (Sept. 9), Chicago (Sept. 14), Montreal (Sept. 20), Nashville (Oct. 3) and San Francisco (Oct. 17), among other cities. See .

Three-time Oscar-winning director Steven Spielberg was one of the very first Hollywood A-listers to throw his support behind the HBO show The Last of Us' moving gay love story, according to a PinkNews article. Although the show stars Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey, it was episode three—entitled "Long, Long Time" and focused on the love story between Bill (Parks and Recreation's Nick Offerman) and Frank (The White Lotus' Murray Bartlett)—that had viewers in tears. The episode's director, Peter Hoar, revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that Spielberg was a fan of the storyline.

French pansexual, genderqueer artist Christine and the Queens (he/him) recently released the critically acclaimed album Paranoia, Angels, True Love through Because Music, per a press release. According to the release, "The record is a departure not only thematically but also sonically from Chris' prior albums and takes direct inspiration from Tony Kushner's play, Angels in America. Chris embarks on a voyage of self-discovery, paving the way for a captivating and introspective musical experience." His album features guest appearances from Madonna and 070 Shake, and his world tour has just started, with a Chicago visit slated for Oct. 26.

GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics announced its Dorian TV Award nominations for the best in television and streaming, a press release noted. HBO's apocalyptic drama The Last of Us topped the list with eight nominations, starting with Best TV Drama, where it faces Succession, The White Lotus (which received five total nods), Yellowjackets and Interview with the Vampire. Somebody Somewhere notched six nominations, including Best TV Comedy, while Abbott Elementary received four nods. Also, Abbott Elementary's Quinta Brunson is among GALECA's latest nominees for its special Wilde Wit award, along with Joel Kim Booster, Lizzo, Wanda Sykes and previous winner Bowen Yang.

Outfest announced the centerpiece events and special awardees that will headline the 41st Outfest Los Angeles Summer Festival presented by Warner Bros. Discovery and Genesis Motor America, taking place July 13-23 in venues around Los Angeles, per a media release. Among other developments, Outfest will honor actor/producer/musician Amandla Stenberg with its Platinum Maverick Award, to be presented at the festival's opening night celebration on July 13 at the Orpheum Theatre. Additional highlighted events include a Special Centerpiece screening of Passages, starring Franz Rogowski, Ben Whishaw and Adele Exarchopoulos, and directed by Ira Sachs, about a film director who thrusts his marriage into chaos when he enters into a surprising affair. Visit for more info.

Rosie O'Donnell recently received an apology from Ellen DeGeneres, who said years ago on Larry King Live that they "weren't friends" —but O'Donnell isn't necessarily ready to mend fences, per People, which cited The Hollywood Reporter. O'Donnell said, "We've had our weirdness in our relationship. I don't know if it's jealousy, competition or the fact that she said a mean thing about me once that really hurt my feelings." The Rosie O'Donnell Show aired from 1996 to 2002, and DeGeneres appeared on the series to talk about her decision to come out in the entertainment industry.

Garth Brooks plans to sell Bud Light as owner of Friends in Low Places Bar & Honky Tonk in Nashville, per USA Today. "I want it to be a place you feel safe in, I want it to be a place where you feel like there are manners and people like one another," the country-music icon told Billboard during a Country Live panel. Brooks' statement comes as celebrity bar owners John Rich and Kid Rock have pulled Bud Light from their Nashville businesses after the brand's partnership with transr influencer Dylan Mulvaney. Rock told Fox News, "If Garth is serving Bud Light in his bar, that's fine. Garth can do that. Garth might find out not many people are going to order it."

The NFL is unveiling a line of Pride apparel, designing a special Pride football and engaging in other Pride Month events and efforts, according to Outsports. Designer Humberto Leon, a lifelong Raiders fan who grew up in Los Angeles, came up with the line. Also, among other things, the league will be marching in Pride events in Haddon Township, New Jersey; Los Angeles; and New York City. As of early June, only 28% of NFL teams had switched their Twitter avatars to support Pride—well below the average of almost 50% across North American pro sports leagues. Items can be purchased at .

In an emotional ceremony that lasted approximately three hours after the Seattle Storm's 71-65 loss to the Washington Mystics, lesbian WNBA legend Sue Bird saw her No. 10 Storm jersey raised to the Climate Pledge Arena rafters, per ESPN. According to the article, "Bird's speech was more than an hour and a half, as she apologized for during the midst of it. But there was understandably a lot of ground to cover for a player who retired last fall as the WNBA's all-time leader in games, minutes and assists during a career that spanned more than two decades—all of it played in Seattle."

Also regarding the WNBA, the day after Brittney Griner was confronted by a YouTube "provocateur" at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, Phoenix Mercury coach Vanessa Nygaard said the team will be making changes to security, The Guardian reported. The controversy stems from a video posted by right-wing YouTuber Alex Stein, who shouted at Griner during the incident at the airport. He questioned Griner on topics ranging from whether she hated the United States to whether the trade for a Russian prisoner was a fair deal to obtain her release from Russia last year. She did not respond to Stein.

The late actor Rock Hudson is the subject of a new documentary from HBO—Rock Hudson: All That Heaven Allowed, The Advocate noted. The network debuted a trailer for the film, which puts a spotlight on the star's life in the Hollywood closet as well as his death from AIDS-related complications in 1985. Hudson—whose sexuality was an open secret—was one of the top leading men in Hollywood in the '50s and '60s, known especially for his work with director Douglas Sirk on The Magnificent Obsession, All That Heaven Allows and Written on the Wind. Hudson also starred opposite James Dean in the 1956 film Giant, which earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Actor.

Trans Oscar nominee Elliot Page (Juno; the series The Umbrella Academy) is set to star opposite Hillary Baack (Sound of Metal) in Close to You, a new film from BAFTA-winning writer-director Dominic Savage, per Deadline. The film focuses on Sam (Page), who has a chance encounter with an old friend (Baack) on his way home to a dreaded family reunion that forces him to confront long-buried memories.

Michael Arden, winning the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical, reclaimed the "faggot" slur in his acceptance speech—and he got bleeped by CBS, The Advocate noted. "Growing up, I was called the f-word more times than I could remember," Arden said in accepting the award for directing the revival of Parade. "And all I can say now is I'm a faggot with a Tony!" Parade is based on the true story of Jewish factory manager Leo Frank, who was convicted of the 1913 rape and murder of a young woman, Mary Phagan, who worked at the factory in Atlanta. Frank was innocent, but anti-Semitism figured into the accusation, trial, and conviction; after his death sentence was reduced to life in prison, a lynch mob killed Frank.

Music icon/social-media darling Dionne Warwick is canceling an upcoming Illinois show because of medical issues, according to Page Six, citing a message TMZ obtained. "We regret to inform you that the Dionne Warwick performance on June 24, 2023 at Rivers Casino Des Plaines has been cancelled due to a medical incident," read the email. The casino did not disclose what "medical incident" occurred, but the outlet reports that the "Don't Make Me Over" singer began having issues with one of her legs.

Actress Megan Fox shared a post rejecting claims made about her children by director and failed conservative politician Robby Starbuck, The Advocate noted. On June 8, Starbuck posted a tweet accusing Fox (pictured with the three children she shares with ex-husband Brian Austin Green) of forcing her sons to wear dresses. Fox stated, "[Regardless] of how desperate you may become at any given time to acquire wealth, power, success, or fame, never use children as leverage or social currency especially under malevolent and erroneous pretense, adding that Starbuck is "exploiting my child's gender identity to gain attention in [his] political campaign."

After staying out of the limelight in the lead-up to The Flash, controversial nonbinary star Ezra Miller made a rare public appearance at the DC film's premiere, per The Hollywood Reporter. "I love you, maestro. I think you are amazing, and I think your work is monumental," Miller said to director Andy Muschietti in their first public comments since August 2022. Last year, they cited "complex mental-health issues" regarding past behavior, which included trespassing and choking a woman in Iceland in an incident caught on video.

Gay singer VINCINT unveiled his most recent single, "Take Me Home," per a press release. "'Take Me Home' is the fraternal twin sister to [earlier release] 'Romance,'" said VINCINT. "It's the continuation of the best night of your life; it's the moment in the night when you've let go of reality taken the shot you shouldn't have and start dreaming of a life with the person you've been dancing with for 10 minutes; it's blind romanticism smothered in glitter and psychosis!"

"Girls Just Want to Have Fun" is one of Cyndi Lauper's signature songs, but the singer admitted to The Hollywood Reporter (THR) that when she first recorded the track written by Robert Hazard, she thought, "It was, like, yawn and boring." (She later adjusted the song to fit her persona.) The story of "Girls" is one of many the Grammy-, Emmy- and Tony-winning star tells in her new documentary, Let the Canary Sing, which premiered at the Tribeca Festival. She also talked with THR about everything else from business to her LGBTQ+ fans.

Los Angeles' Dance for Life will take place Saturday, June 24 at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, and proceeds will go to fighting HIV/AIDS and other health disparities, per a press release. Conceived by Phill Wilson and Desmond Richardson, and with the enthusiastic blessings and support of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Artists and Activists for Health Equity has launched what it hopes will become an annual event. Among the scheduled performing troupes are the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Blue13 Dance Company, DADA Ensemble by Debbie Allen, Pacífico Dance Company and more. See .

Oprah Winfrey's brand is suing a Nevada and California company for trademark infringement over the use of her name to promote and sell CBD and weight-loss products, according to Bloomberg Law. Harpo Inc.—the production company and OPRAH brand owner founded by the media personality—filed suit against Emblaze One, Limitless X Inc. and others for promoting and selling "Oprah Winfrey Keto Gummies" and "Oprah Winfrey CBD Gummies" online on several websites.

E!, in partnership with NBC News Studios and Unanimous Media, will premiere the two-night special event Black Pop: Celebrating the Power of Black Culture on June 19 at 8 p.m. ET/PT with back-to-back episodes, followed by two episodes the next night, per a press release. Executive-produced by Stephen Curry and narrated by La La Anthony, "Black Pop" will feature celebrities such as Laverne Cox, Billy Porter, Da Brat, Ne-Yo, Laila Ali, Scott Evans, Victor Cruz, Tamron Hall, Misty Copeland, Blair Underwood and many others.

An interview series hosted by Isaac Mizrahi; a workplace improv comedy created by Ron Howard; and a true-crime deep dive into a notorious murder case from L.A.'s early 1980s punk rock scene with Penelope Spheeris are part of the first slate of original podcasts produced by Imagine Entertainment through its joint venture with iHeartMedia, per Variety. The first fruits of that partnership debuted with the launch of Hello Isaac—a weekly interview series featuring fashion icon Mizrahi talking with notable figures such as Carson Kressley and Andy Cohen.

Abbott Elementary star Tyler James Williams confirmed his sexuality as straight but added that he's an ally, according to Instinct, citing The New York Post. In an Instagram Story, Williams said, "Many straight males have to live under that is oftentimes unrealistic, less free and [which] limits individual [expression]. Being straight doesn't look one way. Being gay doesn't look one way. And what may seem like harmless fun and conversation may actually be sending a dangerous message to those struggling with real issues. As an ally, I continue to be committed to assisting in that where I can and helping to cultivate a future where we are all accepted and given permission to be ourselves."

Yvie Oddly, the winner of RuPaul's Drag Race Season 11 and finalist on All Stars Season 7, has a new record, a press release noted. Oddly's YO EP is available via Voss Music. Also, she is part of the RuPaul Drag Race Werq World Tour (which is, fittingly, spanning the globe) as well as her own Strange Love Tour.

Jeremy Bieber, father of pop superstar Justin Bieber, attempted to clarify things after posting a couple of dismissive social-media posts about Pride Month, per Out. Bieber—who has children from three different women—posted, in part, a meme on his Instagram Story saying, "Don't forget to thank a straight person this month for your existence" with two peace signs next to it. Following backlash, Jeremy tweeted again, saying, "Acknowledging the nuclear family is offensive? My apologies to those offended. Was not my intent. Not that my opinion matters."

Actor Treat Williams, the star of the TV series Everwood and the film Hair, died at 71 after being involved in a motorcycle accident in Vermont, People Magazine reported. "He was killed [on June 12]. He was making a left or a right [and] a car cut him off," agent Barry McPherson said. Williams was also part of the Hallmark Channel's Chesapeake Shores, in which his character's son was half of a gay couple—and it was the first network Christmas film to have a same-sex couple. Williams told Smashing Interviews in 2020, "What I really love about that plotline is that they don't make a big deal out of it. My son is gay. He's married, and he's come home for Christmas."

With the movie Last Tango in Paris marking its 50th anniversary, the controversy about its most infamous scene—in which 48-year-old Marlon Brando's character rapes 19-year-old Maria Schneider's character, improvising with butter as lubricant—has re-emerged, The Independent noted. Schneider said in a 2007 interview that the scene "wasn't in the original script", but that Brando had come up with the idea to simulate it and told her right before they had to film that part. In 2016, a clip re-emerged on social media from a 2013 press tour interview with director Bernardo Bertolucci saying he did not tell Schneider "what was going on, because I wanted her reaction as a girl, not as an actress." Several celebrities—including Chris Evans and Ava DuVernay—condemned the now-late director's comments. Schneider passed away in 2011.

A spokesperson for Jamie Foxx shut down an unsubstantiated claim that the actor and comedian was left "paralyzed and blind" by a COVID-19 vaccine, saying it is "completely inaccurate," per Newsweek. Appearing on the Ask Dr. Drew podcast, gossip columnist A.J. Benza said, "Jamie had a blood clot in his brain after he got the shot. He did not want the shot, but the movie he was on, he was pressured to get it." Newsweek fact-checked the claim, which was found to be wholly unverified—but the rumor has still gone viral online, with a number of reputable Twitter users circulating it.

"Lord of the Dance" Michael Flatley, who was born in Chicago, is set to be immortalized on screen with a biographical drama series about his life, per Variety. Produced by StoryFirst and tentatively titled Dancelord, the series is being promoted as a "no-holds-barred biopic" that will chronicle the highs and lows of Flatley's colorful life.

The CW officially renewed Superman & Lois for a 10-episode fourth season and All American: Homecoming for a 13-episode season three, per Deadline. The moves are likely to come with major budget cuts that would include reducing the number of series-regular cast members. Superman & Loi has 12 series regulars while All American: Homecoming has nine. Famously, David E. Kelley's ABC/20th TV legal drama The Practice, in 2003, released some of its most popular cast members after its budget was cut in half, including leads Dylan McDermott and Lara Flynn Boyle.

Deadline noted that former RuPaul's Drag Race Tyra Sanchez—also known as King Tyra—was charged with assault on a Florida law-enforcement officer and resisting without violence, according to an arrest report obtained by TMZ. The incident started with a minor car crash in Starke, outside Jacksonville. When police arrived, Sanchez allegedly began verbally berating them. That confrontation allegedly escalated into a threat to shoot the officer, but then Sanchez supposedly ran away from the scene, with authorities eventually taking Sanchez into custody.

Britney Spears deleted her Instagram ahead of her one-year wedding anniversary with Sam Asghari, per Page Six. The couple tied the knot on June 9, 2022, in the backyard of her home in Thousand Oaks, California. As for Asghari, he hadn't publicly acknowledged his wedding anniversary with the "Toxic" singer—or her social-media disappearancee—even though he promoted his latest series (the Zoe Saldana/Nicole Kidman/Morgan Freeman starrer Special Ops: Lioness) on social media. Spears has been known to take occasional breaks from social media, though.

Paralux Fragrances recently paid more than $7.2 million to Jay-Z's team, per TMZ. That's what the company owed him after losing the lawsuit is filed, back in January 2016, claiming the mogul hadn't lived up to promotional obligations for the cologne Gold Jay-Z.

Former Bachelorette contestant Josh Seiter—who recently came out as bisexual—is engaged to a fellow male exotic dancer, per Queerty. He and the fiancee, David, perform with America's Loverboys, an exotic male dancing troupe in the Midwest; also, Seiter manages his own popular OnlyFans account. Seiter told Queerty that David popped the question, adding, "I can go from a home-schooled kid of born-again Christians who was taught that homosexuality was wrong, to a male stripper that's getting engaged to another male stripper, and my mom is happy for me. That shows the direction we're going, and I like that direction."

Black Panther 2 star Tenoch Huerta denied sexual-assault allegations made against him by activist Elena Rios, Deadline reported. Rios posted allegations against Huerta of emotional and sexual abuse via Instagram. "A false and completely unsubstantiated accusation about me has spread like wildfire—and I cannot let it go unchallenged any longer," Huerta later posted via Instagram Stories.

This article shared 4197 times since Fri Jun 16, 2023
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