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  WINDY CITY TIMES

SHOWBIZ Naya Rivera, Jodie Foster, MTV, Marc Jacobs
by Windy City Times Staff
2020-12-07

This article shared 1422 times since Mon Dec 7, 2020
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Naya Rivera's Glee co-stars are honoring the late actress with a fundraiser launched in her memory, Page Six noted. A GoFundMe account has been established by the crew in her name, with proceeds going toward Alexandria House, a nonprofit that Rivera supported before her untimely death this year. The star's body was found in a California lake after a search in July. See www.gofundme.com/f/snixxmas-charity-drive-in-memory-of-naya-rivera .

Jodie Foster, Shailene Woodley, Tahar Rahim and Benedict Cumberbatch will star in the feature film The Mauritanian, out Feb. 19, 2021, a press release noted. The plot is as follows: Captured by the U.S. Government, Mohamedou Ould Slahi (Rahim) languishes in prison for years without charge or trial. Losing all hope, Slahi finds allies in defense attorney Nancy Hollander (Foster) and her associate, Teri Duncan (Woodley). Together they face countless obstacles in a desperate pursuit for justice.

MTV Entertainment Group said it's committing $250 million over the next three years to "fuel the growth of content led and produced by BIPOC- and women-owned and -operated production companies," according to The Hollywood Reporter. The ViacomCBS division—formerly known as MTV Entertainment & Youth, and which includes MTV and VH1—is touting the endeavor as the "first of its kind" in that it will provide funding, production infrastructure, services and staff as part of the effort to develop new creative, formats and ideas in the unscripted arena. Producers Lashan Browning and Adam Gonzalez, who signed overall deals with MTV Studios last year, were brought in-house to pilot the initiative.

MTV Documentary Films' Gay Chorus Deep South—directed by David Charles Rodrigues and produced by Bud Johnston and Jesse Moss—will make its broadcast premiere Sunday, Dec. 20, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Pop, Logo and Pluto TV, a press release noted. The critically acclaimed film, which marks Rodrigues' feature documentary debut, tells the story of the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus as it embarks on a tour of the U.S. Deep South in response to a wave of discriminatory anti-LGBTQ laws and the divisive 2016 election.

Also connected with MTV, the network held its 2020 MTV Movie & TV Awards: Greatest of All Time (GOAT) event Dec. 6, a press release noted. Some of the GOAT winners included Jamie Lee Curtis (Scream Queen), Chadwick Boseman (Hero for the Ages), Gal Gadot (She-Ro) and Kevin Bacon (Dance Your Ass Off); presenters included Neve Campbell, Don Cheadle, Derek Hough, Lily Collins and Peyton List, among others. Sia and Steve Aoki with Travis Barker performed, while Vanessa Hudgens hosted the ceremony.

Fashion designer Marc Jacobs told Town & Country he's been wearing women's fashion for years, according to Page Six. "I've worn women's Prada for, I don't know, 20 years now, and I've worn dresses from Comme des Garcons' menswear collection" he told the magazine. "I've always felt like clothing and jewelry have no gender. It's been gendered over the years by people who thought differently, right?"

Singer Harry Styles caught wind of Republican pundit Candace Owens' controversial take on his wardrobe for the December issue of Vogue—and posted a clapback, iHeart.com noted. Weeks after Owens shared some eye-rolling comments about Styles promoting "the steady feminization of our men," the former One Direction bandmate took to Instagram to share another stylish shot of him from the shoot in a baby blue ensemble. "Bring back manly men," he captioned the shot of him eating a banana, quoting Owens' own words. However, Owens later tweeted, "I inspire global conversation. #BringBackManlyMen Shots fired," Page Six reported.

Connected with this news, singer Noah Cyrus apologized for using an offensive word in her attempt to defend Harry Styles from conservative commentator Candace Owens' criticism, people.com noted. On her Instagram Story, Cyrus shared a photo from Styles' shoot and wrote, "he wears this dress better than any of u nappy ass heauxz," according to a screen shot TMZ obtained. After social-media users expressed outrage against Cyrus, she said, "i am mortified that i used a term without knowing the context and history, but i know now and i am horrified and truly sorry. i will never use it again."

Viggo Mortensen weighed in on the debate around straight actors playing gay roles, saying critics are "assuming that I'm completely straight," but that it's "frankly none of your business," Attitude Magazine noted. Mortensen—who plays a gay man in his new self-directed film, Falling—said, "How do you know what my life is? You're assuming that I'm completely straight. Maybe I am, maybe I'm not. And it's frankly none of your business. I want my movie to work, and I want the character of John to be effective. So if I didn't think it was a good idea I wouldn't do it."

In an exclusive interview with GLAAD's Anthony Ramos, Real Housewives of Orange County cast member Braunwyn Windham-Burke came out as lesbian, a GLAAD press release announced. In part, she said, "I'm finally comfortable enough to say: I like women. I'm gay. I'm a member of the LGBTQIA+ community. I'm a lesbian. And it has taken me 42 years to say that, but I'm so proud of where I am right now and I'm so happy where I am. To be able to be comfortable in my own skin after so long is just so nice." Her husband, Sean, has shown support for her, according to Page Six; they are still raising their children together and intend to remain married despite the fact that she is dating a woman.

Two-time Oscar-nominee Cynthia Erivo (Harriet) is to star in and produce a film based on the life of Sarah Forbes Bonetta—a 19th-century African princess "gifted" to Queen Victoria after she was orphaned and enslaved by a west African king, Deadline reported. Born Omoba Aina, an Egbado princess of the Yoruba people, Aina was "gifted" to Queen Victoria in 1850, taken to England and renamed Sarah Forbes Bonetta. The queen's patronship was a thorny rose that put Sarah at the center of British aristocracy but did not shield her from public scrutiny.

In the '80s, Vanessa Williams made history as the first Black Miss America—but the beauty queen-turned-entertainer recalled that not everyone wanted her to wear the crown, Page Six noted. "I had death threats because we're talking 37 years ago," she said on The Fat Joe Show. "A lot of people don't like to be confronted with diversity, and I was the symbol of that, so I had to prove that I was smart enough [and] I was talented enough." Williams gave up her crown near the end of her reign, after Penthouse infamously published nude photos of her that had been shot in 1982.

Lady Gaga is partnering with Oreo to release a line of cookies inspired by her dance album Chromatica, CNN.com noted. Taking design cues from the 16-track album, the vanilla-flavored cookies are bright pink with green creme filling and feature various embossments inspired by the album. The limited-edition cookies will be available in six-cookie packs at convenience stores starting next month. Fans can sign up for the "Lady Gaga x Oreo Stan Club" next month to be notified when the full-size packs are officially available.

In a related matter, Mariah Carey has released her own cookie brand, Page Six noted. Mariah's Cookies launched Dec. 4 online, offering boxes of a dozen or a half-dozen cookies in 30 major U.S. markets. For the holiday season, the delivery-only brand is selling a Holiday Hits Box, which includes gingerbread, white chocolate cranberry and pumpkin varieties. Other assortments include the Chocolatey Treats Box, the Pumpkin Box and the Gingerbread Box. See MariahCareysCookies.com .

Jonathan Bennett, who rose to fame with the movie Mean Girls, is now engaged to boyfriend James Vaughan, an actor as well as host of the show Celebrity Page, out.com noted. The two have been together for about three years. They first met while Bennett was promoting Halloween Wars on Celebrity Page in 2016 and Bennett asked for Vaughan's number.

Queer Christmas rom-com Happiest Season—which stars Kristen Stewart, Mackenzie Davis and Aubrey Plaza, and was co-written and directed by out Hollywood veteran Clea DuVall—broke premiere records for Hulu during its opening weekend, NewNowNext.com noted, citing Variety. It also had the highest amount of social interest of any Hulu Original to date in the first five days after its premiere.

WarnerMedia announced that Wonder Woman 1984 will stream on HBO Max in 4K—becoming the first movie to air in that format when it comes out Christmas Day, The Verge noted. The film will also support (depending on what users' set-ups are capable of) Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos and HDR10. The 4K stream will be available on "Apple TV 4K, Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K, Amazon Fire TV Cube / 4K Fire TV Edition smart TVs, Chromecast Ultra, AT&T TV, and supported Android TV devices." Notably missing from the list, of course, is Roku; HBO Max remains unavailable on Roku's platform as the two sides remain unable to reach a deal to put it there.

Also, the Warner Bros. Pictures Group announced that it has committed to releasing its 2021 film slate via a unique, consumer-focused distribution model in which Warner Bros. will continue to exhibit the films theatrically worldwide, while adding an exclusive one-month access period on the HBO Max streaming platform in the U.S. concurrent with the film's domestic release, a press release stated. The hybrid model was created as a strategic response to the impact of the ongoing global pandemic, particularly in the United States. Warner Bros. Pictures Group's 2021 expected release slate currently includes The Little Things, Tom & Jerry, Godzilla vs. Kong, Mortal Kombat, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, In The Heights, Space Jam: A New Legacy, The Suicide Squad, Reminiscence, Malignant, Dune, Matrix 4 and more.

Viola Davis and the late Chadwick Boseman will receive tributes at the 30th-anniversary IFP (Independent Filmmaker Project) Gotham Awards, Deadline reported. The two actors both star in the Netflix film Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, an adaptation of August Wilson's play. This is the first time that the Gotham Awards' actor and actress tributes have gone to two performers from the same movie. Other honorees in recent years have been Laura Dern, Sam Rockwell, Rachel Weisz, Willem Dafoe, Nicole Kidman, Dustin Hoffman and Amy Adams.

A Little Late with Lilly Singh is set to kick off its second season Monday, Jan. 11, at 1:35 a.m. on NBC and across digital platforms, a press release noted. The upcoming season will feature a fresh mix of sketch comedy, interviews and Singh's unique take on current events and pop culture. The show will also go behind the scenes, letting her audiences into the creative process and seeing how Singh and her team brings the show to life.

Black Panther star Letitia Wright—known for her role as Shuri in the Marvel series—faced backlash on social media after posting a transphobic video that appeared to question if people should take the COVID-19 vaccine, according to LGBTQ Nation. Wright shared a video in which Tobi Arayomi, a senior leader with Light London Church, gives commentary on doubts about the coronavirus vaccine—and Arayomi tried to use transgender people to explain why he didn't believe in the science behind the pandemic. After fans started to express disappointment that the actor would spread transphobia and misinformation about a deadly disease, Wright blew them off and started complaining about the so-called cancel culture. Her social-media accounts have since been deleted, Deadline noted.

New CBS drama The Equalizer, starring Queen Latifah, has landed a plum post-Super Bowl slot for its series premiere, according to Deadline. The series will air immediately following CBS Sports' broadcast of Super Bowl LV on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021.

Talking with Russell Brand on his podcast, actor Matthew McConaughey slammed the Hollywood elites who "condescend" and "patronize" conservatives—adding that it's hypocritical of them to expect President Trump's supporters to immediately accept the 2020 election results, Page Six noted. "I'm sure you saw it in our industry when Trump was voted in four years ago, they were in denial that was real. Some of them were in absolute denial," McConaughey said. The Dallas Buyers Club actor said people should reframe political conversations by daring each other to meet in the middle.

Representatives for Joe Exotic reportedly ran up a $10,000 bill at one of Donald Trump's hotels, as part of a campaign to persuade the president to pardon him, PinkNews noted. Exotic was convicted in 2019 on two counts of murder-for-hire for plotting to kill his nemesis and Big Cat Rescue owner Carole Baskin, as well as eight counts of violating the Lacey Act for falsifying wildlife records and nine counts of violating the Endangered Species Act. In 2019, Exotic was sentenced to 22 years in prison.

Singer Billie Eilish responded to those who shamed her for wearing a tank top, Yahoo! Life noted. "People were, like, 'Damn, Billie got fat!'" the singer told Vanity Fair of the photo that circulated in October. "And I'm like, "Nope, this is how I look. You've just never seen it before!'" This was not the first time Eilish defended herself. In a short film titled "Not My Responsibility," which was uploaded to YouTube in May, the singer spoke out against body- and slut-shamers.

Singer/businesswoman Gloria Estefan said she spent much of November in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19, days after dining outdoors at a Miami-area restaurant, according to Page Six. Estefan said she was fortunate, enduring only "a little bit of a cough" and dehydration after losing her sense of smell and taste, and has tested negative twice since recovering.

In a major development regarding the movie Babylon, Emma Stone won't be reuniting after all with La La Land director Damien Chazelle, Deadline reported. However, Margot Robbie is in early talks to have a re-team in this film with Brad Pitt, her Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood co-star. The film is a period R-rated drama, set in the shifting moment in Hollywood when the industry turned from silent film to talkies.

Hulu has landed Candy, a true-crime drama that stars Elisabeth Moss, Deadline noted. The limited event series is set in Texas in 1980 and based on the true story of killer Candy Montgomery (who Moss will play) and her victim, Betty Gore. Montgomery killed Gore—her best friend—with an axe.

Chicago hip-hop artist Chance the Rapper has been sued by former manager Pat Corcoran (aka Pat the Manager), who alleges that the artist ignored his advice and then blamed him for the poor performance of his 2019 studio debut, The Big Day, The Chicago Tribune reported. Corcoran claims that Chance the Rapper (real name: Chancelor Bennett) owes him $3 million in unpaid commissions on revenue from touring, streaming, album sales and merchandise. Negative response to the album led to the artist cancelling a tour to promote the new music. Corcoran accused Bennett of scapegoating him for the "lackluster" album, "rather than accept that his own lack of dedication had doomed the project."

Amanda Kloots and Elaine Welteroth are joining CBS' The Talk as new co-hosts, Deadline noted. Kloots and Welteroth—who recently appeared as guest co-hosts on multiple episodes in October and November—landed permanent spots alongside Sharon Osbourne, Sheryl Underwood and Carrie Ann Inaba. Kloots and Welteroth—who will officially join the panel on Jan. 4—replace Marie Osmond, who left the show last season, and Eve, who announced last month she is departing the series this month after three seasons.

Disgraced megachurch pastor Carl Lentz had multiple affairs—but is still getting a payoff, Hillsong church founder Brian Houston claimed in a bombshell secret recording, Page Six revealed. "We're working on a severance package which we're negotiating with them on," George Aghajanian, a Hillsong director, said on the audio, adding, "They haven't accepted that at this point in time." New York City-based designer Ranin Karim told The New York Post that she had a months-long relationship with the married pastor and father of three that started last summer, claiming he was "like a drug" to her. But in a leaked audio recording of a meeting of church executives and top donors held around Nov. 19, Australian Hillsong founder Houston revealed alleged that Lentz had "more than one affair."

Real Housewives of Atlanta cast member Kandi Burruss and husband Todd Tucker attended a packed, maskless 22nd-birthday bash for Lil Wayne's daughter, Reginae Carter, Page Six noted. (The couple dressed as Lil' Kim and Diddy.) Burruss posted a video from the soiree in which she seemingly acknowledges that the party is a potential superspreader event, saying, "Lord, we ain't supposed to be outside. Only in Atlanta!" Variety reported in November that "Housewives" had to stop filming for two weeks after a member of the production team tested positive for COVID-19.


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