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SHOWBIZ 'Lovecraft,' Tony nominees, RuPaul, Megan Thee Stallion
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2020-10-19

This article shared 3047 times since Mon Oct 19, 2020
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The HBO show Lovecraft Country recently introduced a new character, Yahima—a Two-Spirit person who was quickly murdered and never mentioned again. But now, showrunner Misha Green has gone on Twitter to apologize for what she calls a "failed" attempt at telling a story about oppressed poeple, Out.com noted. Responding to a fan's question about Yahima's treatment, Green posted, "I wanted to show the uncomfortable truth that oppressed folks can also be oppressors. But I didn't examine or unpack the moment/portrayal of Yahima as thoroughly as I should have. It's a story point worth making, but I failed in the way I chose to make it."

Acknowledgements, thank yous, laments for shuttered theaters, pleas for racial justice and get-out-the-vote plugs ( primarily for Joe Biden ) were offered by this year's crop of Tony Award nominees, Deadline reported. For example, playwright Matthew Lopez, whose The Inheritance was nominated in 11 categories, said, "In [live theater's] absence, I urge everyone in these next three weeks to channel their energies into electing Joe Biden and Kamala Harris." "It is an uncertain time for the theater world and the world at large," added Jake Gyllenhaal, a triple nominee, "so if you are able, I encourage you first to VOTE and then—if you can—to donate to The Actors Fund."

On the PBS show Finding Your Roots, drag superstar RuPaul learned that he's connected to his ancestors in more ways than he thought, Out.com noted. Host Henry Louis Gates Jr. revealed RuPaul documents that show his great-great-grandparents Isaac and Annie got married in 1870—just five years after the end of the Civil War and the beginning of marriage rights for African-Americans in this country. RuPaul and longtime partner Georges LeBar were married just two years after 2015's landmark Supreme Court case Obergefell v. Hodges, which established marriage equality as the law of the land.

In a New York Times op-ed entitled "Why I Speak Up for Black Women," rapper Megan Thee Stallion stated that Black trans lives matter as well, the Human Rights Campaign noted. In part, she wrote, "In 2019, an astronomical 91 percent of the transgender or gender-nonconforming people who were fatally shot were Black, according to the Human Rights Campaign. Beyond threats to our health and lives, [Black women] confront so much judgment and so many conflicting messages on a daily basis."

Greg Berlanti is adding to his list of superhero TV shows with an upcoming Green Lantern series for HBO Max, with Deadline noting that one of the main characters will be Alan Scott—the original Golden Age Green Lantern, and a gay man, according to Out.com . The 10-episode show will be written by Seth Grahame-Smith ( The Lego Batman Movie ) and Marc Guggenheim, who co-created Arrow with Berlanti and was a writer on the maligned 2011 Green Lantern movie starring Ryan Reynolds. DC live action TV is even gayer, with several queer and trans heroes in Legends of Tomorrow, The Flash, Black Lightning, Supergirl, and Arrow. There's also of course Batwoman, the first lesbian hero to star in her own show. Berlanti, who is gay himself, also produces most of those shows.

Paul Bettany, Sophia Lillis, Peter Macdissi, Judy Greer, Steve Zahn, Lois Smith, Margo Martindale and Stephen Root star in the LGBTQ film Uncle Frank, coming out Nov. 25 via Amazon Studios, a press release noted. The plot of the 95-minute film is as follows: In 1973, teenaged Beth Bledsoe ( Lillis ) leaves her rural Southern hometown to study at New York University, where her beloved Uncle Frank ( Bettany ) is a revered literature professor. She soon discovers that Frank is gay, and living with longtime partner Walid "Wally" Nadeem ( Macdissi )—an arrangement he has kept secret for years. After the sudden death of Frank's father—and Beth's grandfather—Frank is forced to reluctantly return home for the funeral with Beth in tow, and to finally face a long-buried trauma that he has spent his entire adult life running away from.

Quentin Lee and comedian Kit DeZolt have premiered their new series, Boy Luck Club, Instinct Magazine noted. The show focuses on six LGBTQ Asian best friends who get together weekly on Friday nights for Zoom cocktails, helping each other navigate their way through quarantine. The unscripted show premiered Oct. 11—National Coming Out Day, The first season will release an episode every Sunday for eight subsequent weeks following the premiere. See BoyLuckClub.com .

Matrix 4 star Jessica Henwick believes trans director Lana Wachowski's vision for the upcoming film is going to blow everyone away—again, Complex.com noted. Henwick told Comic Book, "Lana is doing some really interesting things on a technical level in the same way that you know, she created a style back then. I think she's going to change the industry again with this film. There's some camera rigs that I've never seen before that we're using."

On Thursday, Oct. 22, Chelsea Handler will return to stand-up after a six-year hiatus with Chelsea Handler: Evolution on HBO Max, a press release noted. During the hour-long special, Handler will share experiences about her family, friendships, and her first foray into therapy—where she was able to unearth why everyone on this planet annoyed her so much.

Stevie Wonder used the 36th birthday of his second oldest son, Mumtaz Morris, to announce something he has never done before, Republic Records noted. Wonder released two songs at once: "Can't Put It in the Hands of Fate," feat. Rapsody, Cordae, Chika and Busta Rhymes; and "Where Is Our Love Song," feat. Gary Clark Jr. Released on Wonder's new label, So What The Fuss Music, both songs are written and produced by Wonder and are available now on all digital and streaming platforms.

Lil Nas X took home Billboard Music Awards on Oct. 14, Out.com noted. Among other honors, the musician won for Top Hot 100 Song for "Old Town Road," his collaboration with Billy Ray Cyrus that edged other songs like Lizzo's "Truth Hurts" and Billie Eilish's "Bad Guy." ( Lil Nas X also won for Top Streaming Song, Top Selling Song and Top Rap Song, Variety noted. ) Post Malone led everyone with nine awards, with Eilish, Lizzo, Pink, Jonas Brothers, Kanye West, Elton John and Luke Combs among some of the other winners. Kelly Clarkson hosted the crowdless show—which featured performances from Clarkson, John Legend and En Vogue, among others—from Los Angeles.

The 2020 E! People's Choice Awards—which won't air until Sunday, Nov. 15—announced that Black-ish star Tracee Ellis Ross will receive the Fashion Icon of 2020 Award for her "trailblazing" and "transcendent" personal style, along with her use of fashion to champion the causes close to her heart, Page Six noted. A longtime fixture on best-dressed lists, Ross once worked as a model and contributing fashion editor to Mirabella and New York magazines before her big break on the TV show Girlfriends in 2000.

Adele announced that she will be hosting the NBC sketch comedy series SNL for the first time on Oct. 24, People.com noted. She will be joined by fellow Grammy winner H.E.R as the musical guest. "Bloooooody hellllll I'm so excited about this!!" Adele wrote on Instagram. "And also absolutely terrified! My first ever hosting gig and for SNL of all things!!!!"

The Montclair Film Festival is taking place through Oct. 25, a press release noted. For the first time, the festival is featuring a program of drive-in screenings, virtual screenings, special events and conversations. Some of the LGBTQ film highlights from this year's festival include Ammonite ( with Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan ) and City So Real ( an exploration of the dynamic political landscape of the 2018-19 race for the office of mayor of Chicago ).

Anna Wintour will host Vogue's fourth annual Forces of Fashion event Nov. 16-17. According to the event's website, vogueForcesOfFashion.com, some of the speakers at the virtual event will be Naomi Campbell, Virgil Abloh, Lizzo, Victoria Beckham, fashion journalist Hamish Bowles, actor/DJ Reggie Yates and photographer Ethan James Green.

Out American Idol alum David Hernandez sings about a relationship that he allowed to wreck his whole world in "Kingdom," his new single and music video, a press release noted. Co-written by Hernandez and featuring beat-boxing from his good friend, American Idol alum Blake Lewis, the ballad "is a cautionary tale about the dangers of infatuation." The video is at https://youtu.be/5AQ2d5noKNI.

During a virtual appearance on the Capital Breakfast with Roman Kemp radio show, singer Shawn Mendes tiptoed around a question that he and Justin Bieber may have collaborated on a new song, People.com noted. "I cannot confirm or deny," Mendes said with a smile. The duo—who are both from Canada—first sparked collaboration rumors back in August when they were both seen at the same studio along with Bieber's wife, Hailey Baldwin.

Speaking of Mendes, he has been quietly working on a documentary for years, and fans will be able to see it next month on Netflix, iHeart.com noted. The documentary is called In Wonder, and is set to be released Nov. 23. In Wonder is created by music video director Grant Singer and, according to Variety, "is an intimate look at Mendes' life and journey, filmed over the last few years" and likely to feature the singer while on his 2019 world tour after releasing his self-titled album.

Coming 2 America—the sequel to the movie Coming to America—is reportedly in the process of being sold by distributor Paramount Pictures to Amazon Studios, in a deal worth roughly $125 million, Variety noted. The expected streaming premiere date is Friday, Dec. 18, sources added.

Dexter is back to his blood-splattering ways after Showtime ordered a new limited series reboot of the long-running serial killer drama, Deadline reported.. Michael C. Hall—who played Dexter in the series, which ran between 2006 and 2013—is back alongside showrunner Clyde Phillips. The network has handed the series a ten-part run that is set to go into production in early 2021, with a tentative premiere date of fall 2021.

Netflix has handed a series order to First Kill, a YA vampire series based on the short story by New York Times bestselling author Victoria "V. E." Schwab, with American Horror Story and Scream Queens star Emma Roberts set to produce via her Belletrist Productions, Deadline noted. First Kill examines the link between teenage vampire Juliette and Calliope—a new girl in town who's a vampire hunter.

Showtime is picking up a third season of its comedy series Black Monday, starring Emmy nominee and Golden Globe winner Don Cheadle, who also executive-produces, a press release announced. The comedy about a motley crew of underdogs causing the worst stock market crash in the history of Wall Street also stars two-time Tony nominee and Grammy winner Andrew Rannells ( Girls ) and Regina Hall ( Little, Girls Trip ), who serve as producers, and Paul Scheer ( Veep ).

Spectrum won't order a third season of cop drama L.A.'s Finest, an offshoot from the Bad Boys movie franchise headlined by Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba, Deadline noted. Season two was originally scheduled to premiere on June 8, but was pushed to September amid the George Floyd protests against police brutality. The first season of L.A.'s Finest is currently airing on Fox, which acquired the series for its fall schedule that was impacted by the pandemic-related production shutdown.

Filming on NBC's Days of Our Lives was shut down for two weeks after a production team member tested positive for COVID-19, Deadline reported. The cast, crew and staff of the daytime drama were just notified of the temporary shutdown in an email from Corday Productions, which produces in association with Sony Pictures TV. Taping is slated to resume Oct. 26. The pause will not delay air dates, and the show's run of originals on NBC will not be disrupted. The person who received a positive result as part of the production's stringent testing protocol has been placed in isolation.

Four years after the sudden and tragic death of musical legend Prince, journalist Neal Karlen revealed an alleged personal memory about the singer in a new memoir entitled This Thing Called Life, TheJasmineBrand.com noted. Karlen claimed that Prince once invited him over just to get Karlen's Percocet pills. "Prince gobbled a third of the bottle like they were M&Ms, and my heart sank," Karlen stated. "It was f***ing true. I'd hear rumors for years that he'd been off and on heavy painkillers ever since the 'Purple Rain' tour a dozen years before." In April 2016, Prince died of an accidental fentanyl overdose at his Paisley Park home and recording studio in Chanhassen, Minnesota.

Ice Cube responded to intense backlash in the hip-hop community and beyond after Kartina Pierson, an adviser to President Donald Trump, tweeted that the rapper/actor advised the Trump administration on a plan for Black America, ABC News noted. Ice Cube—who has been a vocal critic of Trump—famously releasing the song "Arrest the President" in 2018, clarified his role and defended his involvement in a series of tweets. In part, he posted, "Facts: I put out the CWBA. Both parties contacted me. Dems said we'll address the CWBA after the election. Trump campaign made some adjustments to their plan after talking to us about the CWBA."

Celebrity cheerleader and Cheer star Jerry Harris will remain behind bars while he awaits trial on a charge of sexual exploitation of children, U.S. District Court Judge Heather McShain ruled, saying Harris lacks control over his urges and poses "a significant danger to the community," USA Today reported. McShain rejected a plan from Harris' defense attorney that the 21-year-old be supervised under house arrest by four mothers he met through the cheerleading community. Prosecutors say Harris has admitted to soliciting nude photos or sex from between five to 10 children; to having sex with a 15-year-old boy in the bathroom at a cheerleading competition; and to paying minors more than $1,000 for explicit photos.

On the heels of claims that some of his designer goods were stolen, beauty mogul Jeffree Star returned to his YouTube channel after a near two-month absence to offer some life updates, E! Online noted. "I was recently hanging out with someone—some would call it dating. Some would call it f—king," he stated. "I was hanging out with someone. We are not hanging out anymore and there was a lot of online activity about it, and long story short is a random person made a fake account of Andre [Marhold] and proceeded to make up a bunch of crazy stuff about me for, like, we're going on like a week plus now."


This article shared 3047 times since Mon Oct 19, 2020
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