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SHOWBIZ 'Lightyear,' celebrity event, LGBT runner, Mariah Carey
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by Andrew Davis
2022-06-19

This article shared 663 times since Sun Jun 19, 2022
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Pixar's latest film Lightyear is hitting theaters, and it has a special moment for gay fans—a same-sex kiss between the character Hawthorne (voiced by Uzo Aduba) and her female partner—that almost didn't happen, Out Magazine noted. The kiss was removed but then re-added. Chris Evans (who stars in the movie as the title character) told Variety, "I mean, [re-adding the kiss is] great. As great as it is—and, you know, I've been asked the question a few times—it's nice, and it's wonderful. It makes me happy." Also, in response to 14 countries banning the film because of the same-sex relationship, GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said in a statement, "We're happy to see Disney standing firmly behind their LGBTQ storytelling. The countries banning this family-friendly film are a reminder of the nearly 70 countries where LGBTQ people are criminalized, and a wake-up call for global business with stakeholders in these countries that they must take urgent action to stand with LGBTQ people there."

The event "#SeenOnPixel for PRIDE: A Night With Google Pixel, GLAAD + Out + The Advocate" recently took place at The London West Hollywood at Beverly Hills in West Hollywood, California, per a press release. Guests included Nick Adams, Christine Chiu, Shea Diamond, Braunwyn Windham-Burke, Raquel Willis, Mollee Gray, Jeka Jane, Kent Boyd, Wils, Robinick Fernandez, Howin Wong, Jacob Tobia, Vincint, Billie Lee, Greg Mathis Jr., Elliott Cooper, Bunny Barbie, Kodye Elyse, Anna Shumate, Kelsi Davies, Daniel Franzese, Gregory Zarian and more.

Aleia Hobbs narrowly edged famed LGBT sprinter Sha'Carri Richardson by just 0.02 seconds in the women's 100-meter race at the 2022 NYC Grand Prix, NBC News noted. However, Richardson (sporting a purple singlet with fishnets) prevailed in the 200-meter race. Also, LGBTQ+ Olympic silver medalist Raven Saunders (with appropriately rainbow-colored hair) competed in the women's shot put and finished third. Some of the winners included Devon Allen (setting a record in the 110-meter hurdles), Noah Lyles (200 meters) Christian Coleman (100 meters) and Donald Scott (triple jump).

In other Richardson-related news, a former partner admitted to abusing her, according to The Root. Richardson revealed that she was healing from an abusive relationship she had with another female athlete—and 24-year-old Janeek Brown, a track champion from Jamaica, went live on Instagram for a recent interview where she addressed the situation. "I admit I was abusive once that there is physical evidence of," Brown said. "And we moved on. … I was trying to move on and we still got nowhere."

After a glittering career stuffed with No. 1 hits, Mariah Carey was finally inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame—but not before challenging her new fellow members to do better by women, USA Today noted. "I read that out of the 439 total inductees into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, only 32 have been women, until now," she said to huge applause. Other inductees included producers the Neptunes, the British electro-pop band Eurythmics, psychedelic bluesman Steve Miller and the iconic Isley Brothers. In addition, Lil Nas X was honored with the Hal David Starlight Award, which recognizes "gifted young songwriters who are making a significant impact in the music industry via their original songs." Special guests included Smokey Robinson, Leslie Odom Jr. Questlove, Jon Batiste, St. Vincent and Usher.

Netflix will premiere the comedy special Joel Kim Booster: Psychosexual on Tuesday, June 21, according to a press release. Filmed at Catch One in Los Angeles, the openly gay comic presents a uniquely crafted three-set act. Booster discusses learning the cultural nuances of being Asian as he gets older, shares his preference for threesomes with tips for successful masturbation, his fascination for human sexuality, a visit to a cat cafe and much more. The trailer is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9hnR0EKApw&feature=youtu.be.

The Orchard—conceived, adapted and directed by theater director Igor Golyak—has a limited run through July 3 at NYC's Baryshnikov Arts Center, per a press release. The Orchard—which stars Mikhail Baryshnikov and Jessica Hecht, among others—is an adaptation of The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov as translated by Carol Rocamora, with some additional material developed by Golyak. In-person and online versions will run concurrently for each live performance. See www.TheOrchardOffBroadway.com .

Megan Thee Stallion will guest-star on season two of the Starz series P-Valley, a press release announced. The Grammy winner will play the role of Tina Snow, who will appear later this season. Stallion's character name pays homage to her alter ego, and is also the title of her second EP.

Gay comedian Jerrod Carmichael called out Dave Chappelle over the latter's transphobic jokes, Out Magazine noted. Carmichael told GQ, "Chappelle, do you know what comes up when you Google your name, bro? That's the legacy? Your legacy is a bunch of opinions on trans shit? It's an odd hill to die on." This isn't Carmichael's first foray into being a trans ally; in 2015, when he had a self-titled show on NBC, he used one episode to affirm trans youth.

Out British singer/songwriter Calum Scott has released his second album, Bridges, per a press release. To celebrate the album's arrival, Scott has shared the slice-of-life video for his recent single "Heaven." He is also embarking on a tour of North America that will start July 30 in Seattle and end Sept. 3 in Montreal, with stops at such cities as Chicago, Dallas, San Diego and Toronto.

Oscar winner Lady Gaga, who most recently appeared in Ridley Scott's House of Gucci, is in early talks to star opposite Joaquin Phoenix in Warner Bros.' Joker: Folie a Deux, Deadline noted. While Phoenix's deal for the new Joker film has not yet been signed, he is supposedly in advanced talks. Gaga may play Harley Quinn—the Arkham Asylum shrink who falls in love with her patient Arthur Fleck aka Joker—although her version of the character will be a DC universe apart from Margot Robbie's in the Suicide Squad films.

Just hours after Beyonce announced that her forthcoming sixth solo album, Renaissance, will be arriving on July 29, other facets were unveiled about the project, Variety noted. The album will feature both dance and country-leaning tracks, with contributions from hit songwriter Ryan Tedder, who co-wrote her 2008 hit "Halo" as well as hits for Adele, Taylor Swift, the Jonas Bros. and his own group, OneRepublic; and Raphael Saadiq, who has crafted hits for Mary J. Blige, D'Angelo, Stevie Wonder, John Legend and Andra Day as well as his own albums.

Job site Indeed—in partnership with Emmy winner Lena Waithe and her company, Hillman Grad Productions—celebrated season two of the Rising Voices filmmaker initiative at Tribeca Festival in NYC, a press release noted. The festival hosted the world premiere of the short films created by BIPOC filmmakers about the power and impact a job can have on someone's life. Waithe attended along with Hillman Grad Productions President of Film/ TV Rishi Rajani, actress Cynthia Erivo and others. Indeed and Variety also hosted a panel discussion moderated by Variety Senior Award Editor Clayton Davis with all 10 Rising Voices season-two filmmakers.

Game of Thrones actress Maisie Williams told Teen Vogue she was "surprised" by her character's (Arya's) love scene with Gendry—because she always thought Arya was queer, Deadline noted. "The first time that I was surprised by Arya, I guess, was probably in the final [season] where she whips off her clothes and sleeps with Gendry," Williams said. Williams currently costars as punk Jordan in FX/Hulu's Sex Pistols chronicle Pistol.

In related news, a Game of Thrones spinoff series based around Jon Snow is in early development at HBO, Variety reported. Kit Harington is attached to reprise his role as the fan-favorite hero in the live-action show, which would take place after the events of "Thrones."

From Wondery and Rococo Punch comes the audio-first dating game show Queen of Hearts, hosted by drag queen Jujubee (RuPaul's Drag Race, Dragnificent), a press release noted. She guides singles through a series of wild games and challenges to see if they can find their their next great loves. Jujubee will be featured in this month's NYC Pride March on June 26 with her own Queen of Hearts float.

Tom Hanks told The New York Times Magazine that he wouldn't play his Oscar-winning role in the movie Philadelphia today, Out Magazine noted. "Could a straight man do what I did in Philadelphia now? No, and rightly so," Hanks said. "The whole point of Philadelphia was, 'Don't be afraid.' One of the reasons people weren't afraid of that movie is that I was playing a gay man." Playing gay has long been a popular way for well-respected actors to pick up Academy Awards (or at least nominations); Hanks, William Hurt, Mahershala Ali, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Sean Penn, Christopher Plummer and Rami Malek have all won Oscars after playing gay men.

On the flip side, three-time Emmy winner Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife) said the opportunity to portray an LGBTQ character at the top of her game on The Morning Show was too good to pass up, Deadline reported. In part, she said, "I thought that she was so smartly written, and it was such a privilege to play an LGBTQ character that was so accomplished and confident and had this incredible track history of success, but also had gone through the wringer herself so that she could get to the place where she wanted to be."

Mehcad Brooks (Mortal Kombat; TV's Necessary Roughness and Supergirl) is joining Law & Order in season 22 of the NBC show, per Deadline. He will help fill the void left by Anthony Anderson, who chose not to return after reprising his role in season 21 as Detective Kevin Bernard from the series' original run. Brooks has appeared in an episode of Law & Order: SVU.

The Farrah Fawcett Foundation (FFF) announced that this year's 4th biennial Tex-Mex Fiesta benefit will be held in Dallas at The Rustic on Oct. 20, according to a press release. FFF President and CEO Alana Stewart, who was Fawcett's longtime friend, will co-host along with Farrah's former Charlie's Angels co-star Jaclyn Smith. Honorees include Linda Gray, (of TV's Dallas) and there will be a special acknowledgment to Ryan O'Neal for his continued support of the foundation.

After Whoopi Goldberg presented Tyler Perry with the Impact Award at the Apollo Theater's recent spring benefit, Perry was so "moved and inspired" that he gifted the famous Harlem music hall with a $500,000 donation, per Page Six. The famous theater has helped launch some of music's biggest acts including Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Billie Holiday, Lauryn Hill and Stephanie Mills, who made a special appearance at the gala.

The Wendy Williams Show came to a bittersweet end June 17 and, according to a new report, several set props and keepsakes will simply be tossed in the trash, per Page Six. "The wigs are still there since she didn't come and get them so they're being thrown out," a source close to production told The Sun, adding that Wendy's famous "Big Purple Chair" will meet the same fate. The finale ended the show after 13 seasons. Guest host Sherri Shepherd (who is getting her own show) wished the talk-show host well on-air, as several celebs took over as hosts during the final season due to Williams' health concerns.

In support of Pride Month, Australian LGBTQ+ pop artist RIP YOUTH partnered with Peloton to deliver an exclusive remix of his single, "It's A Vibe," from DJ/producer R3HAB, per a press release. The remix was premiered during Peloton instructor Cody Rigsby and Peloton's DJ John Michael's 'Pride Live DJ Ride' at Peloton New York Studios on June 10.

Netflix has released the first look at Blonde—writer and director Andrew Dominik's NC-17 take on Marilyn Monroe, per The Hollywood Reporter. Starring Ana de Armas as Monroe and based on the fictional novel of the same name by Joyce Carol Oates, the film is a reimagining of the professional and personal life of the enduring Hollywood icon. The film's an active blurring between fact and fiction that explores a growing split between Monroe's public and private self.

On a related note, Kim Kardashian wore a gown first worn by Marilyn Monroe in 1962 to the 2022 Met Gala—but irreparable damage seems to have been done to the dress, Elite Daily noted. However, opinions differ regarding who's to blame. Many are questioning whether Ripley's Believe It Or Not, the company that owns the gown, should have let a celebrity wear it for an evening, even one as big as the Met Gala. Bob Mackey, who designed the gown, said letting Kardashian wear it "was a big mistake," according to Entertainment Weekly, adding, "It was designed for [Monroe]. Nobody else should be seen in that dress."

Samuel L. Jackson will return to Broadway in a new revival of August Wilson's The Piano Lesson, Variety noted. He's joined by a cast that includes Tenet star John David Washington and The Peacemaker's Danielle Brooks. LaTanya Richardson Jackson, the actor's wife, will direct the show; performances are slated to start Monday, Sept. 19, at the St. James Theatre.

Netflix settled a potentially precedent-setting lawsuit from Mo'Nique in a case that could have found that the streamer retaliated against the comedian by refusing to engage in good-faith negotiations after she accused the company of discrimination for opening with a low-ball offer, per The Hollywood Reporter. Netflix in 2017 started to court Mo'Nique for a comedy special during a time it was aggressively ramping up its stand-up content, the complaint says. The negotiations, however, didn't get far because the Oscar-winning actress (Precious) did not agree to what she considered a low opening offer of $500,000 for a one-hour show that Netflix would completely control.

The HBO show Hacks has been renewed for a third season, Deadline noted. At the end of season two, Jean Smart's Deborah Vance, a Las Vegas comedian, leaves Hannah Einbinder's Ava Daniels by firing her as her co-writer—following a successful stand-up special that she backed herself and initially sold via QVC—so that her young protege could strike out on her own. The show also stars Carl Clemons-Hopkins and Jane Adams as well as Christopher McDonald, Kaitlin Olson, Paul W. Downs, Poppy Liu, Rose Abdoo, Mark Indelicato and others. Laurie Metcalf, Martha Kelly, Ming-Na Wen and Susie Essman as well as Margaret Cho and Devon Sawa were also featured in season two.

Justin Bieber—who recently disclosed his diagnosis of Ramsay Hunt syndrome and the facial paralysis it causes—postponed the remaining North American "Justice" tour dates originally set for June and July, Deadline noted. The overseas leg of the world tour begins July 31 in Lucca, Italy, and is set to run through March 25, 2023.

Following in the legal footsteps of pink-slipped General Hospital cast member Ingo Rademacher, two former crew members on the ABC-produced soap (Jim Wahl and Timothy Wahl) are now suing the Disney-owned network over being let go for not getting vaxxed, Deadline noted. Rademacher's case is set to go to trial on Feb. 27, 2023.

Crime novelist James Patterson issued an apology following a prior remark on racism, Page Six noted. Speaking to the UK's Sunday Times, Patterson said"white older male writers" aren't getting hired for "writing gigs in film, theatre, TV or publishing" right now—claiming the phenomenon is "just another form of racism." However, he later stated on Facebook, "I apologize for saying white male writers having trouble finding work is a form of racism. I absolutely do not believe that racism is practiced against white writers. Please know that I strongly support a diversity of voices being heard—in literature, in Hollywood, everywhere."

Simple Minds (who have had hits like "Alive and Kicking" and "All the Things She Said") have released "Vision Thing"—the first track to be taken from the band's 18th studio album, Direction of the Heart, per a press release. Direction of the Heart is Simple Minds' first album of new material since 2018's UK Top 5 album Walk Between Worlds. With music written by Charlie Burchill and lyrics by frontman Jim Kerr, "Vision Thing" is a tribute to Kerr's "best pal"—his late father, who passed away in 2019.

The FBI is investigating the authenticity of more than two dozen paintings displayed in a Jean-Michel Basquiat exhibit in Orlando, The Hill noted, citing The New York Times. A federal subpoena dated July 27, 2021, states that 25 paintings in the Orlando Museum of Art's "Heroes & Monsters: Jean-Michel Basquiat" exhibit are being examined by the F.B.I.'s Art Crime Team. Concerns about the authenticity of the art include a claim that the FedEx typeface featured on a piece of cardboard in the collection was not created until 1994—six years after Basquiat's death.

Deadline reported that Hugh Jackman tested positive for COVID, according to The Music Man producer Kate Horton. As a result, standby Max Clayton will play Professor Harold Hill on Broadway alongside Sutton Foster through June 21. The news came hours after Jackman, who also had COVID late last year, performed live on stage at the Tonys with Foster and a number of other cast members.



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