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SHOWBIZ Lily Tomlin, 'The Color Purple,' Walter Mercado, Janelle Monae, Loki
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by Andrew Davis
2022-04-24

This article shared 1040 times since Sun Apr 24, 2022
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In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, legendary actress/comedian Lily Tomlin discussed a variety of topics, including comedy and the Oscars. About the Academy Awards, she said, "I sometimes think they shouldn't be able to tread on the nominees, like the reference to Power of the Dog being boring." As for her comedy, Tomlin said, "I try to be more thoughtful or informative or enlightening. I try to be wittier, at least, rather than just taking a cheap shot at someone. Don Rickles came to [the '60s show] Laugh-In one year, and he hurt everybody's feelings so bad." The out performer also said, "People are more conscious about misogynistic jokes or homophobic jokes or racial slurs. Those [jokes] are just expressions of anger and fury and dislike and propaganda to separate groups and individuals."

Grammy winner Jon Batiste—best known as the bandleader and musical director of Stay Human for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert—will make his acting debut in the upcoming film musical The Color Purple, according to a Playbill item that cited Rolling Stone. Batiste has been cast in the role of Grady, a womanizer married to singer Shug Avery, to be played by Taraji P. Henson. Other co-stars include Fantasia Barrino (Celie), Danielle Brooks (Sofia), Corey Hawkins (Harpo), H.E.R. (Squeak), Colman Domingo (Mister), Oscar nominee Aunjanue Ellis (Celie and Nettie's mother), Louis Gossett Jr. (Ol' Mister) and gospel singer Tamela Mann (First Lady).

Walter Mercado, the famed gender nonconforming Puerto Rican astrologer, is getting the TV treatment, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Eugenio Derbez's 3Pas Studios and A Really Good Home Pictures are teaming with the estate of the late entertainer, Shanti LLC, to develop scripted and unscripted programming based on Mercado's cultural influence and status as an icon within the Latinx and LGBTQ+ communities.

In the season-five premiere of Facebook Watch's Red Table Talk series, Grammy-nominated Dirty Computer singer/actor Janelle Monae revealed they now identify as non-binary, per Out Magazine. "I'm non-binary, so I just don't see myself as a woman, solely. I feel all of my energy," they said. "I feel like God is so much bigger than the 'he' or the 'she.' And if I am from God, I am everything. I am everything. But I will always, always stand with women. I will always stand with Black women. But I just see everything that I am. Beyond the binary."

Marvel Comics is celebrating Pride Month with another giant-sized one-shot—this time of the LGBTQ+ character Loki, per a press release. Fans can get their first look at a brand-new variant cover for 2022's Marvel's Voices: Pride that's drawn by creator Amy Reeder. Currently dealing with the impact of Odin's death and changes to Asgard in Donny Cates and Nic Klein's epic run on Thor, Loki will also soon be starring in Al Ewing and Javier Rodríguez's Defenders: Beyond. Launching during Pride Month, this five-issue saga will see the return of the Loki variant from Ewing's Loki: Agent of Asgard series.

Out Magazine listed "12 Gay and Bi Male Superheroes on TV We Love." Some of them include Citizen Cold (played by out actor Wentworth Miller); animated DC heroes Black Condor, Aqualad, El Dorado and Kid Flash; Peacemaker (played by John Cena); Q-Force's Twink and Agent Merryweather; and Loki (played by Tom Hiddleston).

Showtime has formally greenlit the limited series Fellow Travelers, starring Matt Bomer, Variety noted. Based on the novel of the same name by Thomas Mallon, the series is described as an epic love story and political thriller, chronicling the volatile romance of two very different men who meet (and fall in love) in the shadow of McCarthy-era D.C. Over four decades, the men cross paths through the Vietnam War protests of the 1960s, the drug-fueled disco hedonism of the 1970s and the AIDS crisis of the 1980s, while facing obstacles in the world and in themselves.

The Thirteenth Doctor (played by Jodie Whittaker) confessed her love for Yasmin Khan (played by Mandip Gill) on the latest special episode of the British sci-fi series Doctor Who, per Out Magazine. During the "Legend of the Sea Devils" special episode that followed season 13, the Doctor had a scene where she openly revealed her feelings for Yaz. Whittaker was announced as the first-ever female Doctor in season 11 of Doctor Who. While her final season as the lead ended in December 2021, she's appeared in two special episodes this year.

The Broadway League announced that all 41 Broadway theaters in New York City have extended the current mask requirement for audiences through at least May 31, Playbill noted. Many Broadway houses, however, will no longer check vaccination status after April 30. Masking protocols for June and beyond will be announced in May.

GLAAD, in partnership with The Black List announced The 2022 GLAAD List, the third annual curated list of the most promising unmade LGBTQ-inclusive scripts in Hollywood that have been hosted on blcklst.com, a press release noted. The list includes I Love You, Margot Robbie (by San Rodgers and Taylor Gates); The Quiet Kind (by Justin Geldzahler); Blue Boy (by Nik Dodani); Blaze (by Deborah Puette); The Young Punks (by Q. Allan Brocka); and Fraud (by Dana Aliya Levinson), among others.

Killing Eve author Luke Jennings criticized the critically panned series finale of the popular spy drama, per PinkNews. As newly smitten couple Eve (Sandra Oh) and Villanelle (Jodie Comer) celebrated their victory on a boat's deck, a sniper shot and killed Villanelle. Fans were absolutely furious to see the controversial "Bury Your Gays" trope (in which LGBT+ characters are disproportionately killed off compared to their straight counterparts) feature in the final moments of the show. Writing in The Guardian, Jennings stated, "How much more darkly satisfying, and true to Killing Eve's original spirit, for the couple to walk off into the sunset together? … Villanelle lives. And on the page, if not on the screen, she will be back."

One of only four dresses worn by Dorothy in the 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz is going on the auction block, NBC New York noted. The blue and white gingham dress, along with the white blouse, was worn by Judy Garland during the scene where Dorothy faces the Wicked Witch of the West in the witch's castle. The dress was given to Catholic University in Washington, D.C. in 1973, but went missing in the 1980s; it was discovered once again in 2021, and proceeds from the sale will benefit the school's drama department. Bonhams New York estimated the dress (which can be seen at Bonhams on April 23-29) will sell for anywhere between $800,000 and $1.2 million.

Rapper Megan Thee Stallion's Coachella 2022 performance wowed festival fans—but also proved to be a huge headache for censors in China, The Hollywood Reporter noted. Monitoring site What's On Weibo noticed users on Chinese social media and messaging app WeChat had been live-streaming Coachella illegally, with censors trying to catch moments or performances that transgressed China's increasingly moralistic censorship rules. Struggling to keep up with the dancers, a censor had to try to choose what to censor and failed to censor anything, with the black bar whizzing left and right, all over the video. Compounding the censor's nightmare were the lyrics to "WAP," which WeChat typed out and translated in the comments.

During actor Wil Wheaton's appearance on The Talk, co-host Jerry O'Connell apologized to The Big Bang Theory star for not standing by him emotionally at the time, according to USA Today. In a May 2021 interview with Yahoo! Entertainment, Wheaton revealed he channeled the "incredible emotional abuse" and "manipulation" from his parents, who he said forced him into acting as a child, into his performance as Gordie Lachance in the film. Wheaton accepted O'Connell's apology. "I deeply appreciate that," he said, adding, "You were 11. How could you have possibly known?"

The film sequel Grease 2 celebrates its 40th anniversary with a Limited-Edition Blu-ray SteelBook out on June 7 from Paramount Home Entertainment, per a press release. Grease 2—starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Maxwell Caulfield among the new seniors at Rydell High—was originally released on June 11, 1982. The Blu-ray SteelBook includes access to a digital copy of the film.

People still want to keep up with the Kardashians. Variety noted that Hulu said the debut of the show The Kardashians is its biggest series premiere in U.S. history. The streamer did not provide specific viewing numbers, as the platform does not release ratings. The Kardashians is the new series from the Kardashian-Jenners following their groundbreaking show on E!, "Keeping Up With the Kardashians," which ran for 15 years; there were 20 seasons and numerous spinoffs.

Todrick Hall announced his fifth studio album, Algorhythm, which will be released June 1 via Frtyfve, a press release noted. The '80s-influenced album is led by the synth-pop banger "Dance Forever." Hall said,"Algorhythm is an '80s-inspired record that, while still being on brand with my most popular work, reveals a side of my voice I have never accessed in my previous music. I want this album to get back to good traditional music—no gimmicks, no smoke and mirrors, just great music, beats and rhythms. My goal is not to create a replica of '80s music but an evolution of my music infused with '80s nostalgic instrumentation." The video for "Dance Forever" is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8yAjFXV8p8.

Twitter suspended Grand Axis—out country singer Steve Grand's clothing company that sells underwear, swimwear, shorts and T-shirts—for apparently violating the social network's "sensitive media policy," according to Out Magazine. The platform stated, "You may not post media that is excessively gory or share violent or adult content within live video or in profile header, or List banner images." Grand responded, "Whelp. Here we are again. Twitter has again suspended my @grand_axis account. Says my profile image violates their 'sensitive menu' policy… for a guy in a speedo?? Please reach out to @TwitterSupport @TwitterBusiness if you think you can help in any way."

Onetime RuPaul's Drag Race competitor Kornbread "The Snack" Jete is taking a break from drag, according to Out Magazine. After leaving the competition because of an injury, Kornbread has decided to focus on other interests and priorities. Jete told NBC News, in part, "I want to focus 100% on transitioning and 100% on the career I've started, which is musical theater and acting. So, drag just did what it needed to do [and] gave me the outlet that I needed."

Music superstar Reba McEntire has joined forces with Harper Celebrate, a gift book imprint of HarperCollins Focus, for a forthcoming lifestyle book for release in the fall of 2023, per a press release. The full-color book will feature personal stories, food and cocktail recipes, and lifestyle tips. Each chapter will be centered on a theme from her iconic songs, including grit, family legacy, curiosity and priorities.

ABC renewed The Goldbergs, which recently hit the 200-episode mark, for a tenth season, per Deadline. The main cast members closed new deals to return although, in the past 12 months, the comedy lost two core cast members—George Segal, who died in March 2021 of complications from bypass surgery; and Jeff Garlin, who exited last December following misconduct allegations and HR investigations.

Apple TV+ debuted the trailer for its natural history event series Prehistoric Planet, from executive producers Jon Favreau and Mike Gunton, and BBC Studios Natural History Unit (Planet Earth), with Sir David Attenborough narrating, a press release noted. Set to debut globally on Apple TV+ May 23-27, the five-episode series will transport viewers 66 million years in the past, set to an original score by multiple Academy Award winner Hans Zimmer.

The four-part Max Original documentary Menudo: Forever Young, from filmmakers Angel Manuel Soto and Kristofer Ríos, will debut with all episodes on Thursday, June 23 on HBO Max, a press release noted. "Forever Young" chronicles the rise and fall of the most iconic Latin American boy band in history; however, the four-part documentary reveals that behind the glitz and glamour was a web of abuse and exploitation at the hands of the band's manager, Edgardo Diaz. The documentary will have its world premiere at the 2022 Tribeca Festival on June 11.

Non-binary actor Ezra Miller (The Flash) was arrested for the second time in a month for disturbing behavior at a Hawaii bar. According to Deadline, a Hawaii Police Department report read, "Shortly after 1 a.m. on Tuesday, April 19, 2022, a 29-year-old visitor from Vermont was arrested for second-degree assault after an incident at a residence. During the course of their investigation, police determined that the individual, later identified as Ezra Miller, became irate after being asked to leave and reportedly threw a chair, striking a 26-year-old female on the forehead, resulting in an approximate half-inch cut." The Flash doesn't come out in theaters until June 23, 2023; the pic is currently in post at the time, there are no plans to reschedule the film or move it to HBO Max.

Mattea Roach, a self-described "lesbian, Nova Scotian, 12x [Jeopardy!] champ," recently extended her impressive winning streak again, bringing her winning total to more than $320,000 (answering 93% of clues correctly throughout her 14 games), The Advocate and Variety noted. She also became a part of Jeopardy! history, as this win put her in the top 10 for the most consecutive games ever won. She also qualified for a spot on the next Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions, where she'll face record-setting trans former champ Amy Schneider.

Trans comedian Grace Freud said she was physically assaulted by a man who turned out to be actor/writer/director Eamon O'Rourke, Out Magazine noted. Freud—a writer on Rick and Morty and The Eric Andre Show, as well as a host of several other comedy shows like Girl God—was out at Brooklyn bar Clara's when she was allegedly assaulted. According to Freud's Twitter account, she stood up to an "entitled, arrogant man and he didn't like it." Ironically, O'Rourke is the writer/director of a recent movie titled Asking For It, which tells the story of a group of women seeking revenge on men who have abused and assaulted them.

Legendary boxer Mike Tyson repeatedly punched a passenger on a plane that was set to take off from San Francisco to Florida, The New York Daily News noted. Tyson was filmed leaning over the back of his seat and attacking the man, leaving him bloodied, according to video obtained by TMZ. The passenger, seated in a row behind Tyson, asked for a selfie with the 55-year-old fighter, then kept talking, according to TMZ. Tyson, seemingly annoyed at the chatterbox, shut him up with his fists. Sources told TMZ that the passenger was "extremely intoxicated."

Filming of Bill Murray's upcoming movie Being Mortal has been suspended after a complaint was reportedly filed specifically against the actor, alleging "inappropriate behavior," per The New York Post. "After reviewing the circumstances, it has been decided that production cannot continue at this time," Searchlight Pictures wrote in a letter issued to cast and crew. Murray is considered a beloved actor by some; however, the Groundhog Day star has a long history of making enemies on the sets of his TV and film projects, including Lucy Liu and Richard Dreyfuss.

A man was found guilty of distributing fentanyl and sentenced to nearly 11 years in prison in connection to rapper Mac Miller's 2018 death, USA Today noted. Ryan Michael Reavis, 39, was sentenced to 10 years and 11 months after pleading guilty to a single count of distribution of fentanyl. Reavis is one of three men charged by a federal grand jury in 2019 after authorities said they were responsible for giving the 26-year-old rapper several drugs—including fentanyl-laced oxycodone, Xanax and cocaine—almost two days before Miller's overdose.

American Buffalo and Glengarry Glen Ross playwright David Mamet said in a controversial appearance on Fox News that many teachers "are inclined … to pedophilia," Deadline noted. Speaking on the hot-button topic of community and parental control in schools, Mamet said: "We have to take back control. If there's no community control of the schools, what we have is kids being not only indoctrinated but groomed in a very real sense by people who are—whether they know it or not—sexual predators. … Teachers are inclined—particularly men, because men are predators—to pedophilia." The revival of Mamet's American Buffalo—starring Laurence Fishburne, Sam Rockwell and Darren Criss—is at Broadway's Circle in the Square Theatre through Sunday, July 10.



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