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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01



SHOWBIZ JoJo Siwa, Haring/Ortiz mural, Jamie Lee Curtis, Billy Porter
by Windy City Times staff

This article shared 985 times since Sun Oct 24, 2021
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Dancing the foxtrot alongside partner Jenna Johnson to Olivia Newton John's "Look At Me, I'm Sandra Dee (Reprise)" for Dancing with the Stars' Grease night, 18-year-old social-media star JoJo Siwa received the season's first perfect score, noted. Previously, competitors Amanda Kloots (The Talk) and Alan Bersten held the honor of having this season's highest score (39 out of 40), but they were overthrown thanks to Siwa and Johnson nailing a flawless 40 out of 40.

Speaking of Siwa, she is teaming with her mother, Jessalyn Siwa, for Siwas Dance Pop Revolution, which will premiere on Peacock on Thursday, Nov. 4, per a press release. In the reality-competition series, young talent—who also happen to be major JoJo Siwa fans—will compete for a coveted role in XOMG Pop, a brand-new pop group that Jessalynn will manage. Eleven tweens will participate in a series of performances and challenges, while JoJo will be choreographer and mentor.

For a limited time, a mural by Keith Haring and collaborator Angel Ortiz (LA II)—never before seen in New York City—can be viewed at the New York City Center, a performing arts center in Midtown, according to . In 1983, in the early years of his career, Haring went to Milan at the behest of the fashion designer Elio Fiorucci, who commissioned him to paint the walls of his boutique. Fiorucci took the installation down in 1984 and preserved the panels (which Haring and Ortiz jointly painted) in storage. He restored them in 1991 and they now form part of the collection of Thailand's MACo Museum, which has loaned them to the New York City Center for its 2021-22 season. Public viewing will take place Oct. 29-30 and Nov. 5-6, according to the Center; any additional dates will be announced at a later time.

Jamie Lee Curtis revealed to Deadline that she is reteaming with Scream Queens co-creator Ryan Murphy on a new Netflix limited series tentatively titled Outfielder. (According to sources close to the matter, there are no deals for the project which is yet to progress beyond an early conversation stage.) The series would focus on Los Angeles Dodger Glenn Burke, who, on Oct. 2, 1977, delivered the first recorded high five. Burke, who played for the Dodgers and Oakland Athletics from 1976 to 1979, was the first MLB player to come out as gay to his teammates and team owners during his professional career and the first to publicly acknowledge it.

Speaking of Jamie Lee Curtis, Halloween Kills (in which she stars) had the best three-day U.S./Canada opening for a horror movie during the pandemic with $50 million, beating Paramount's A Quiet Place Part II ($47.5M), according to Deadline. Also, it's the best opening for an R-rated movie during the pandemic, besting Warner Bros/HBO Max's The Suicide Squad ($26.2M). Halloween Kills also had the ninth best opening at the domestic box office for October, the third best for a horror film after Halloween two years ago ($76.2M) and 2011's Paranormal Activity 3 ($52.5M).

Billy Porter shared his thoughts on Vogue's decision to put Harry Styles on the cover of their print magazine in a dress, noted. In a new interview with The Times of London, the Emmy-winning Pose star and theater legend called out the long-running fashion and lifestyle publication for putting Styles, an actor and former member of the boy band One Direction, on the cover of its December 2020 issue last year, where he made history as the magazine's first solo, male cover star. "I changed the whole game," Porter told The Times. "I. Personally. Changed. The. Whole. Game. And that is not ego, that is just fact. I was the first one doing it and now everybody is doing it."

Emmy-winning choreographer Travis Wall will no longer travel with the Break the Floor (BTF) dance company after a Toronto Star investigation raised allegations of sexually inappropriate behavior, noted. A Star investigation found allegations of widespread sexual harassment and predatory behavior by BTF coaches on their younger students, and dancers say their complaints of inappropriate behavior were dismissed by the company owner. Eight former employees and students allege that BTF employees, famous in the world of dance, started sexual conversations, proposed to them, sent them nude photos, sexually harassed them at work or had sexual relations with them.

On Oct. 19, eight women were honored at the 27th annual ELLE Women in Hollywood Celebration for the creative and cultural contributions they have made to the worlds of music, film, television and beyond, a press release noted. Gal Gadot, Jennifer Hudson, Rita Moreno and Halle Berry were feted by the world's largest fashion magazine brand, in partnership with Ralph Lauren and Lexus. Out of an abundance of caution, honorees Gemma Chan, Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek and Lauren Ridloff cancelled their in-person appearances due to potential COVID exposures. Patty Jenkins, Debbie Allen, Kerry Washington, Lena Waithe, Jon M. Chu, Demi Moore and Nyle DiMarco presented to Gadot, Hudson, Moreno, Berry, Chan, Jolie and Ridloff, respectively.

Singer Celine Dion is delaying her Las Vegas show due to "unforeseen medical symptoms," according to Extra. Dion was set to launch her new show at Resorts World Theatre on Nov. 5, but has been forced to reschedule. According to a show announcement "Céline has been experiencing severe and persistent muscle spasms which are preventing her from performing."

Ruby Rose (they/them and she/her) criticized the CW, Warner Bros. TV, Berlanti Productions, now-former co-star Dougray Scott and top executives on the series Batwoman in a blistering tirade, alleging toxic behavior on the set that drove them from the show, Deadline reported. Rose also detailed what they described as unsafe working conditions on-set, including serious injuries to a Batwoman crew member who received "third degree burns over his whole body" during production. Warner Bros. Television, the studio behind Batwoman, released a strongly worded statement calling Rose's words "revisionist history." Former co-star Camrus Johnson also disputed Rose's allegations, calling them "lies," noted.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation revealed an initial list of all-star presenters and performers who will take the stage Oct. 30 at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, a press release noted. The lineup includes Angela Bassett (inducting Tina Turner, with performances by Christina Aguilera, Mickey Guyton, H.E.R. and Bryan Adams), Taylor Swift (inducting Carole King, with performances by Swift and Jennifer Hudson), Drew Barrymore (inducting The Go-Go's), Paul McCartney (inducting Foo Fighters) and Lionel Richie (inducting Clarence Avant for the Ahmet Ertegun Award).

In the latest issue of DC Comics' Nubia & The Amazons, it is shown that trans women can be Amazons, and are welcome on Paradise Island, noted. The new book, which focuses on Nubia's time as queen of the Amazons, begins with a flashback to the day she first came to the island. Readers also meet some other new Amazons who joined the island that day through the Well of Souls—and one of those new warrior women is Bia, a Black trans woman.

Swedish group ABBA has released the "ridiculously happy" single "Just a Notion," a press release noted. The song is the third single from ABBA's new studio album, Voyage, which is out Friday, Nov. 5, on Capitol Records. The ABBA Voyage tour opens May 27, 2022; it will have the digital versions of ABBA perform a set jam-packed with some of their greatest hits, along with the new tracks "I Still Have Faith in You" and "Don't Shut Me Down"—alongside a 10-piece live band put together by musician and former Klaxons keyboardist James Righton. Also, the band will feature BRIT-nominated singer Little Boots.

Gay NHL prospect Luke Prokop was traded from the Nashville Predators organization to a minor league team operated by the same group that owns the Edmonton Oilers, Outsports noted. Officially, Prokop has been traded from the Calgary Hitmen to Edmonton Oil Kings—and Edmonton is Prokop's hometown. Prokop, 19, became the first out gay player signed to an NHL contract when he publicly came out in July.

Actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family) and husband Justin Mikita rebranded their company Tie the Knot as Pronoun, per a public announcement made on International Pronouns Day (Oct. 20). After raising more than $1.5 million in the fight for marriage equality, "other new challenges are here, too," a statement read. "Our trans and non-binary families are being legislated against in states across the country; trans people, especially trans women of color, are being murdered across the country; the [Equality Act] still has not passed in Congress; and so much more." The couple also said Pronoun would donate $125,000 to five companies: TransLatin@ Coalition, Audre Lorde Project, TLDEF, TGI Project and the Human Rights Campaign.

The Gotham Film & Media Institute announced the nominations for the 31st Annual Gotham Awards, naming 29 feature films, 16 series and 32 performances in 12 award categories, a press release noted. Movies nominated for Best Feature include The Green Knight, The Lost Daughter, Passing, Pig and Test Pattern; Best Documentary nods went to Ascension, Faya Dayi, Flee, President and Summer of Soul. The Good Lord Bird, It's a Sin, Small Axe, Squid Game, The Underground Railroad and The White Lotus were nominated for Breakthrough Series (Long Format). Some of the performers receiving nods were Olivia Colman, Frankie Faison, Oscar Isaac, Simon Rex, Colman Domingo, Marlee Matlin, Ruth Negga and Suzanna Son. The Gotham Awards ceremony will take place live and in person Monday, Nov. 29, at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City.

On a related note, Jane Campion—whose latest film, The Power of the Dog, has been playing the fall festival circuit to critical acclaim—will receive the Director's Tribute at this year's Gotham Awards ceremony, Deadline noted. Campion was the first female director to win the Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or, for her lauded 1993 film The Piano, and one of only seven women to be nominated for the Best Director Oscar.

The 10th Annual Key West Film Festival announced its official 2021 lineup, including major fall films from Jane Campion, Sean Baker, Mike Mills, Pedro Almodovar and Paolo Sorrentino, a press release noted. More than 75 films will be shown during the five-day festival, which runs Nov. 17-21 and celebrates its 10th anniversary. Thes potlight films will be joined by the previously announced Red Rocket, whose director, Sean Baker, will be honored with the prestigious Golden Key Award for Excellence in Filmmaking; and Jockey), starring Clifton Collins Jr. and whose director, Clint Bentley, will be honored with the inaugural Golden Key for Breakthrough Florida Filmmaker.

Taylor Swift's re-recorded 30-track version of Red is nearing release, a press release noted. Moved up from its original Nov. 19 date to Nov. 12, Swift's version of the collection will include 30 tracks and feature nine bonus songs, including collaborations with Chris Stapleton, Ed Sheeran and Phoebe Bridgers and other tracks originally meant for Red (the 2012 edition).

Ryan Reynolds announced that he's taking "a little sabbatical from movie making" after wrapping production on his latest project, according to Variety. The actor took to Instagram to share that he had completed work on Spirited, his upcoming holiday movie for Apple TV+. The actor has already starred in two 2021 movies with Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard and Free Guy, and he has another on the way in Netflix's Red Notice—and that one's with Dwayne Johnson and Gal Gadot.

The Wendy Williams Show is back—but without its usual host, noted. The show's new season debuted Oct. 18 with a panel four, including Bevy Smith and Elizabeth Wagmeister; the Oct. 19-22 shows had best friends Leah Remini and Michelle Visage co-hosting. The show's Instagram account stated, "Wendy continues to be under medical supervision and meets with her medical team on a daily basis. She is making progress but is experiencing serious complications as a direct result of Graves' disease and her thyroid condition. It has been determined that more time is needed before she is able to return to her live hosting duties." noted that Williams will be gone into November, as she is experiencing complications from the autoimmune disorder Graves' disease. Additionally, the veteran talk show host experienced a breakthrough case of COVID-19, and received a psychological evaluation at a New York hospital. The show also made news when it offered $75 cash each to non-union, vaccinated people to sit in the studio audience when guest host Whitney Cummings fills in for Williams, Page Six noted.

M. Night Shyamalan will serve as jury president at the 2022 Berlin International Film Festival, according to Deadline. The U.S. filmmaker, who is of South Asian descent, has had a consistent output of regular box office successes since his 1999 breakout The Sixth Sense, which was nominated for six Oscars. His recent credits include Old and Glass, while he is currently serving as showrunner for the Apple TV+ series Servant.

Hulu gave a series order to Searchlight Television & 20th Television's eight-episode variety series History of the World, Part II 40 years after the original release of Mel Brooks' landmark film History of the World, Part I, a press release noted. Mel Brooks, Nick Kroll, Wanda Sykes, Ike Barinholtz, David Stassen and Kevin Salter will serve as executive producers and writers.

Hulu, Amblin Television and Warner Bros. Animation have joined forces once again to bring Animaniacs, a press release noted. The Emmy-winning animated series—and one of Hulu's all-time most talked about shows on social media—returns with 13 brand new episodes on Friday, Nov. 5. Steven Spielberg returns as executive producer of the series.

Swedish House Mafia have teamed with superstar The Weeknd on the new single and video "Moth to a Flame," available now via Republic Records, a press release noted. The new song, initially teased during the trio's performance at the MTV VMAs pre-show, marks the band's first new music since announcing its reunion this past July with a pair of new singles "It Gets Better" and "Lifetime" (feat. Ty Dolla $ign & 070 Shake). In conjunction with the new single, Swedish House Mafia announced an international tour for 2022 produced by Live Nation—the group's first proper run since 2012; the tour includes stops in Miami, Chicago (at the United Center), Las Vegas, London and Amsterdam.

Scott Z. Burns' climate-change anthology drama series Extrapolations has set a star-studded cast, Deadline noted. The Apple TV+ series has cast stars including Meryl Streep, Sienna Miller, Kit Harington, Tahar Rahim, Matthew Rhys, Daveed Diggs, Gemma Chan, David Schwimmer and Adarsh Gourav to lead the series, which tells stories of how the upcoming changes to the planet will affect love, faith, work and family on a personal and human scale.

Gal Gadot described in detail her reaction when, she says, director Joss Whedon "threatened my career" during reshoots for Warner Bros.' Justice League, Deadline noted. "I was shocked by the way that he spoke to me," Gadot told Elle magazine. "You're dizzy because you can't believe this was just said to you." Her Justice League co-star Ray Fisher has made his own allegations about Whedon's behavior, and a number of stars on Whedon-led TV shows, like Angel and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, have alleged toxic on-set behavior by the filmmaker. Whedon has denied any wrongdoing.

In New Mexico, the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office reported that, "Halyna Hutchins, 42, director of photography, and Joel Souza, 48, director, were shot when a prop firearm was discharged by Alec Baldwin, 68, producer and actor," according to Yahoo! Entertainment. The shooting, on the set of the Baldwin movie Rust, left Hutchins dead and another in critical condition. (Souza is now out of the hospital, Deadline noted.) Baldwin, who's also a producer on the film, plays Harland Rust; Jensen Ackles, Frances Fisher and Travis Fimmel are also part of the cast.

Two years after calling it quits, Linda Perry and Sara Gilbert's divorce has been finalized, Extra noted. In court docs obtained by People magazine, the two will have joint legal custody of their son. The doc stated that the two have been "ordered to regularly confer and share information concerning Rhodes's care, well-being, physical and mental health, education and welfare." Neither will pay spousal support.

Broadway actor Chad Kimball is suing the producers of Come From Away, claiming he wasn't rehired for the show's post-pandemic return to the stage after he spoke out against COVID restrictions on religious services, Deadline noted. The actor, who was Tony-nominated in 2010 for his lead performance in Broadway's Memphis, describes himself in the suit (which Deadline has reviewed) as "a devout and practicing Christian," and suggests he was not rehired either for the Broadway production or its live capture for an Apple TV+ special because his outspoken beliefs made producers "uncomfortable."

Colin Kaepernick should have been cut for kneeling during the national anthem, according to additional uncovered email exchange between former Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden and ex-Washington Football Team General Manager Bruce Allen, Deadline noted. "They suspend people for taking amino acids, they should cut this f**k," Gruden wrote in an email to Allen, according to Yahoo Sports. Gruden resigned as Raiders coach after many emails revealed racist, misogynistic and homophobic language.

A Los Angeles judge approved a petition by rapper Kanye West to officially change his name to be known simply as "Ye," with no middle or last name, Deadline noted. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michelle Williams Court gave her nod to the request by the singer, who filed his petition Aug. 24 and stated he was making the change for personal reasons. It's unclear whether (or how) Keeping Up With the Kardashians star Kim Kardashian West will now keep up with Ye in terms of her name.

One celebrity making it clear she didn't support the trans protest against Netflix was actress Rose McGowan, well-known for being one of the main instigators of the #MeToo movement, Queerty noted. McGowan took to Twitter to call the Netflix employees "whiny" and accused them of "fake activism" simply because their feelings had been hurt by some of Chappelle's comments about LGBTQ people.

Petri Hawkins Byrd responded to inquiries as to why he's not in the trailer for Judy Justice, Judge Judy Sheindlin's new series with IMDB, noted. The longtime bailiff on the syndicated court show told EW he wasn't asked to participate. Byrd said his conversation with Sheindlin "ended pleasantly enough" and he said he doesn't "think she understood how confused and dismayed I was after being there for 25 years, from the beginning of her career, and not being at least given the opportunity to say whether or not I wanted to continue that relationship." Byrd said he is now focused on his acting and voiceover work.

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