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SHOWBIZ JoJo Siwa, Jeopardy! champ, director dies, Frank Ocean
by Windy City Times staff
2022-01-02

This article shared 530 times since Sun Jan 2, 2022
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TikTok fans of LGBTQ entertainer Jojo Siwa said her new teenage girlfriend, Katie Mills, is a supporter of anti-LGBTQ Republican former President Donald Trump, per LGBTQ Nation. Mills also once questioned if transgender women are "actually" women. "This will be the only time I address this issue," Mills responded on Twitter. "There is stuff that Trump did that I DO support, and there is stuff that I DID NOT support. It's the same way for Biden. There's stuff that he does that I DO support and there's stuff that I DON'T support."

Transgender Jeopardy! champion Amy Schneider made history again, becoming the highest-earning female contestant in the game show's nearly 57-year run, NBC News noted. The engineering manager's 18th consecutive win brought her total earnings to $706,800, bumping her above Larissa Kelly to become the show's top-earning female player. Last month, Schneider became the show's first transgender contestant to qualify for the Tournament of Champions, an annual competition among 15 players who have earned the most money from the prior season.

Director/producer Jean-Marc Vallee—who won an Emmy for directing the hit HBO series Big Little Lies and whose 2013 drama Dallas Buyers Club earned multiple Oscar nominations—died Dec. 26 at age 58 in his cabin outside Quebec City, NBC Washington reported. Dallas Buyers Club—a film about AIDS patient Ron Woodroof that features Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto—earned six Academy Awards nominations, including best picture as well as acting honors for McConaughey and Leto. Other Vallee projects included the HBO miniseries Sharp Objects and the film Wild.

Frank Ocean debuted new music on the Christmas edition of his radio show, Crow River Media noted. The LGBT musician revealed a surprise for fans on his Apple radio program, Blonded Radio, on Christmas Day as he shared a nine-minute untitled track that has been inspired by a conversation he had with Dutch motivational speaker Wim Hof. The radio show also contained excerpts of a conversation with the artist's brother Ryan Breaux, who died in a car crash in 2020.

At the Dec. 25 evening performance of Broadway's Wicked, trans actor Alexandra Billings, who plays the role of Madame Morrible, spoke at the curtain call to pay tribute to the many understudies and swings who allowed the international hit musical to perform as scheduled that night at the Gershwin Theatre, according to Playbill. Billings then asked all of the evening's understudies and swings to step forward to take another bow. This performance happened days after Broadway League President Charlotte St. Martin issued an apology to Broadway swings and understudies. St. Martin had intimated to The Hollywood Reporter that Broadway's recent COVID-related cancellations were partially due to a lack of "experienced" understudies and swings.

Wonder Woman has long been a gay icon, but her queerness can now be found on the pages of a comic book, NewNowNext.com noted. The famed superhero is in a queer romantic relationship in DC Comics' Dark Knights of Steel, a new limited series that reimagines the brand's legendary heroes as medieval warriors. The comics, from writer Tom Taylor and artist Yasmine Putri, center around an alternate universe where Superman and Batman are brothers; after their father is murdered, both heroes must figure out who will assume the throne.

Angela "Angie" Kukawski—a Los Angeles-based business manager whose high-profile clients included the Kardashians—died at age 55 in a suspected homicide, The Hollywood Reporter revealed. Authorities found the body of Kukawski inside her car, which was parked on the street. Kukawski's boyfriend, 49-year-old Jason Baker, was arrested and charged with murder.

Sutton Foster missed the preview performance of the long-awaited Music Man revival, which also stars Hugh Jackman, after testing positive for COVID-19, per Billboard. The Broadway actress and star of the TV series Younger confirmed her absence was due to a positive test in an Instagram story posted Dec. 24. She also celebrated actress and Music Man swing Kathy Voytko, who stepped in for her in the role of Marian Paroo and helped prevent the production from having to cancel the performance. (Jackman also praised Voytko and the other swing actors, the New York Post noted.)

However, Music Man went dark until Jan. 1 after Hugh Jackman himself tested positive for COVID, according to Deadline. Jackman tweeted, "Mild symptoms and as soon as I'm cleared … looking forward to getting back to The Winter Garden! @MusicManBway."

Jaden Smith worked hard to gain pounds after his family held an intervention about his significant weight loss, per Page Six. "I was able to work with the doctors and really get my vitamins and get my supplements and protein shakes," Jaden revealed on a recent episode of Red Table Talk. "That's half of my diet. It's like a password that I have to find to my body. I'm, like, 10 pounds heavier now at this point." He added, "I feel like I'm keeping on my weight. I'm able to put on my muscle," stating he struggles with making sure he eats.

Singer Bebe Rexha shared an emotional video about her struggle with body image around Christmastime, admitting that she doesn't feel comfortable in her own skin, according to Page Six. The "Me, Myself, & I" singer explained that she hasn't wanted to post as much to her Instagram or TikTok because she has been feeling so down about her weight. She frequently blasts body-shamers and even slammed a male executive who told her she was too old to post sexy photos in August 2019.

Dwayne Johnson said there's "no chance" of him rejoining the Fast & Furious family, shutting down all talk of his return to the franchise—despite recent overtures from co-star Vin Diesel for the pair to bury their well-publicized feud and collaborate on Fast 10, per The Hollywood Reporter. "This past June, when Vin and I actually connected not over social media, I told him directly—and privately—that I would not be returning to the franchise," Johnson told CNN. "My little brother Dwayne…the time has come," Diesel wrote in an Instagram post in November, adding, "The world awaits the finale of Fast 10." Johnson said he "was very surprised by Vin's recent post. … Vin's recent public post was an example of his manipulation. I didn't like that he brought up his children in the post, as well as Paul Walker's death. Leave them out of it."

Madonna called out Tory Lanez for allegedly sampling her music illegally, according to People Magazine. She commented under the rapper's Instagram post, accusing him of using her hit 1985 song "Into the Groove" without permission. The song Madonna referred to is "Pluto's Last Comet," from Lanez's latest project.

The second season of the Netflix docuseries Cheer will tackle the child-pornography charges former cast member Jerry Harris is facing, Yahoo! Sports noted. In one scene in the show's trailer, FBI agents appear to be conducting a search of evidence in the case against Harris. Coach Monica Aldama says, "I can't even, like, process it right now," speaking about Harris. His arrest came two days after twin boys alleged that he had sexually exploited and abused them, beginning when they were 13, in a $1 million lawsuit against him. Harris denied it but is still behind bars.

Three members of the K-pop superstar group BTS have been infected with COVID-19 after returning from abroad, according to The Hollywood Reporter. RM, Suga and Jin were diagnosed with the virus; all three took their second jabs in August, Big Hit Music Agency said.

Also, former Flipping Out star Jeff Lewis revealed on his SiriusXM radio show Jeff Lewis Live that he contracted a breakthrough case of the virus during a "superspreader" holiday party he threw for 30 of his employees and friends on Dec. 21, per People Magazine. Many of Lewis' attendees also tested positive following the event, he said, including co-host Megan Weaver, assistant Shane Douglas, actress Monika Casey and Lewis' on-again, off-again boyfriend Scott Anderson.

The fallout from Astroworld continues as Travis Scott's new fashion collaboration with Dior is on hold, according to The Cut. Dior announced the news Dec. 28, saying in a statement it was pausing their planned collaboration "out of respect for everyone affected by the tragic events at Astroworld." The company had planned to release a collaboration with Scott's Cactus Jack line in the summer of 2022. Scott is facing multiple lawsuits from festival attendees and others, as hundreds of lawsuits had been filed against the rapper; also, investigations into what exactly happened at the festival are ongoing.

Comedian George Lopez walked off the stage in the middle of a New Year's Eve show after falling ill during his set at the Muckleshoot Casino Resort in Auburn, Washington, The New York Post noted, citing TMZ. The star visibly struggled, began sweating and asked for a glass of water, witnesses said. After a glass was brought out to him, he apologized to the crowd and walked off the stage. After the incident, the venue subsequently announced that Lopez's 8 p.m. show had been canceled and rescheduled for March 18.

The Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown and his ex-wife settled a lawsuit in which she alleged he led a secret life during their marriage that included several affairs, USA Today noted. "Blythe Brown and Dan Brown have reached an amicable resolution of their disagreements, and will have no further comment," Blythe Brown's attorney, Harvey Wolkoff, said in a statement.


This article shared 530 times since Sun Jan 2, 2022
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