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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-02-22



SHOWBIZ Netflix, Kal Penn, Dennis Rodman, 'The Voice,' 'Euphoria'
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by Windy City Times staff

This article shared 1881 times since Sun Nov 28, 2021
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Terra Field—one of the Netflix employees who organized the walkout around Dave Chappelle's comedy special The Closer—has resigned from the streamer, Deadline reported. Field, along with B. Pagels-Minor, organized an October demonstration after saying Netflix had allowed the comedian to attack "the trans community, and the very validity of transness" in the show. That came after Netflix suspended Field for what the company said was related to attending a high-level meeting without authorization; Field was later reinstated.

Speaking of Chappelle, he reportedly met with students at his alma mater Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C., and the reactions were mixed, Deadline noted in a separate piece, citing Politico. The comedian spoke to nearly 600 students on the heels of The Closer. The actor and comedian did not apologize for the content of his comedy routine during a Q&A session after students criticized both the content of the special and his perceived lack of maturity in handling the backlash. "My friend, with all due respect, I don't believe you could make one of the decisions I have to make on a given day," he reportedly said to one student.

Actor, talk-show host and former White House staffer Kal Penn is set to star as the male lead of new FX pilot Belated, noted, citing Deadline. The half-hour comedy "follows Owen (Penn), a man who has come out in his 40s, along with his ex-wife Diana, as they attempt to navigate their new normal. The pair continue to co-parent together while entering into new relationships." Recently, Penn came out and announced his engagement to his partner of 11 years, Josh, in his memoir You Can't Be Serious. Penn chronicled how the pair met and fell in love while he was living in Washington D.C.

Former professional basketball star Dennis Rodman has said visiting gay and drag clubs inspired him during his 14-year-long NBA career, according to Metro Weekly. Rodman, who won two titles with the Detroit Pistons early in his career, told GQ in a recently published interview that he hit a low and even considered taking his own life in 1993 after his coach, Chuck Daly, whom he viewed as a father figure, left the team. Rodman—who later won more titles with the Chicago Bulls—moved to Texas after his Detroit stint to play for the San Antonio Spurs, and began going to gay and drag clubs, inspired by the people he met, who he said lived life on their own terms. Rodman also told GQ that he sometimes fantasized about having sex with men, although he said he never acted on those fantasies.

Father-and-son duo Jim and Sasha Allen are winning hearts (and votes) on NBC's The Voice—and Sasha has already made history as the first out transgender singer in 21 seasons to make it into the Top 10, Instinct Magazine noted. Only three trans singers have ever appeared on The Voice. The duo connected with viewers from the very beginning with their blind audition, "Leaving On A Jet Plane."

After an almost three-year wait, HBO officially announced that the teen drama Euphoria will hit the network's streaming service, HBO Max, on Jan. 9, according to . HBO also released a teaser trailer on Twitter. Besides Zendaya returning to the main (and Emmy-winning) role of Rue, the show's beloved ensemble cast—including Hunter Schafer, Nika King, Eric Dane, Angus Cloud, Jacob Elordi and Algee Smith, among others—will return.

Colton Underwood's new series, Coming Out Colton, will debut on Netflix on Friday, Dec. 3, according to . The six-episode unscripted series will follow the former Bachelor star as he comes out as gay to friends and family while navigating his new reality. Although many are excited that Underwood is speaking his truth, the reality star has faced various backlash as a result of his newfound platform. Despite being accused of stalking his ex-girlfriend and former Bachelor co-star Cassie Randolph in 2020, Underwood was given the opportunity to come out on Good Morning America—a privilege many people who aren't conventionally attractive, white, cisgender men and who are from underrepresented communities definitely would not receive.

Embattled former Empire co-star Jussie Smollett attended a screening of his upcoming film B-Boy Blues in Harlem recently, marking the first time he's been photographed on the red carpet since he allegedly staged a racially charged attack on himself in Chicago in 2019, according to Page Six. The movie, based on James Earl Hardy's 1994 novel with the same name, marks Smollett's directorial debut. According to Smollett, the film's future still remains uncertain, as they're still looking for "a home" so that "everyone can see it."

Drag figure Honey Davenport announced an EP, Love Is God, which will be out Jan. 14, 2022, a press release noted. They also shared a new video for the title track, which features Manila Luzon and Electropoint. Other tracks on the EP include "Thrive" (with Kevin Aviance), "Paradise" (featuring LaLa Ri), "Love Still Last" (with Tammie Brown) and "Lady Justice" (featuring Jackie Cox). In addition, Love Is God: The Visual Album will be out next year. The video for "Love Is God" is at

Eddie Redmayne won critical acclaim and an Oscar nomination for his performance as painter Lili Elbe, one of the first recipients of gender reassignment surgery, in 2015's The Danish Girl—but recently told the Sunday Times that he wouldn't take the role if offered it today, Yahoo! Entertainment noted. Redmayne said, "I made that film with the best intentions, but I think it was a mistake." He added, "The bigger discussion about the frustrations around casting is because many people don't have a chair at the table. There must be a leveling; otherwise, we are going to carry on having these debates."

Amy Schneider, a trans woman from Oakland, was on a tear after initially winning three games during Trans Awareness Week, The Los Angeles Blade noted. According to a Nov. 23 item on the show's website, Schneider was most recently a five-day champion, with winnings of $170,400. With her latest victory, Schneider earned a spot in the next Tournament of Champions, stiffening the competition even further amongst the top players from the past two seasons.

Nyle DiMarco is teaming with Revelations Entertainment and Melrose Placed to develop the new drama series Deaf Punk, noted. The show is set to star DiMarco and will be inspired by San Francisco's famed music venue The Deaf Club, which helped catapult the punk scene in the 1970s. The actor/reality-show figure said in a statement that he had been "holding on to this story for five years," but even so, it is now "as timely as ever."

An arbitrator ruled in favor of MRC, the production company behind House of Cards, in its case against Kevin Spacey over his firing from the show as he faced allegations of sexual misconduct, according to Deadline. The ruling, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, awarded MRC $29.5 million in damages and $1.4 million in attorneys fees and costs. MRC had sought damages for lost revenue due to Spacey's exit.

Singer Adele asked Spotify to remove the "shuffle" button from album pages in order to preserve the artist's intention, saying the songs are placed in a certain order to "tell a story"—and the streaming services obliged, at least partially, according to Variety. The shuffle option is no longer a default on the platform, according to a Spotify rep, although it remains a choice.

Warner Bros. will be showing Village Roadshow's The Matrix for the first time in IMAX on Dec. 7-8 in select markets in the country, Deadline noted. This will lead to The Matrix Resurrections, which is opening Dec. 22. The Keanu Reeves-Laurence Fishburne-Carrie-Anne Moss sci-fi action movie from the Wachowskis—a film with groundbreaking special effects—was a surprise hit when it was released in late March 1999, grossing $171.5 million domestically.

Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures' Dune will arrive for Premium Digital Ownership at home on Friday, Dec. 3, a press release noted. The critically acclaimed film, which has garnered more than $350 million at the global box office, was directed by two-time Academy Award nominee Denis Villeneuve and stars (among others) Timothee Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Zendaya, Oscar Isaac, Charlotte Rampling, Jason Momoa and Dave Bautista. On Jan. 11, 2022, Dune will be available on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD. Dune will also continue to be available to own in high definition and standard definition from participating digital retailers.

Andrea McArdle, Broadway's original Annie, is stepping away from her role as Eleanor Roosevelt in NBC's upcoming Annie Live! special due to a family matter, Deadline noted. "I am saddened to announce I will not be participating in Annie Live!," McArdle said in a statement. "My father is currently in the hospital, and I need to put all of my energy into his health and well-being. I wish everyone involved with the production great success. Break a leg everyone." Annie Live! airs Thursday, Dec. 2, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.

HBO has ordered the drama series The Idol, co-created by Sam Levinson (HBO's Euphoria), Abel "The Weeknd" Tesfaye and Reza Fahim, a press release noted. The L.A.-based show, set against the backdrop of the music industry, centers on a self-help guru and leader of a modern-day cult who develops a complicated relationship with an up-and-coming pop idol.

Ingo Rademacher's General Hospital character, Jax, said goodbye Nov. 22, and even said at one point, "I'm kind of on the outs with everyone in Port Charles right now," Deadline reported. The line will no doubt be interpreted by some viewers as a sly reference to recent real-life events, including his anti-COVID vaccine stance and a recent post that was seen by some as transphobic. (He later apologized.)

And joining Rademacher on the sidelines is now-former General Hospital actor Steve Burton (who played Jason Morgan), who confirmed he was fired for refusing to get a COVID vaccination, Variety noted. "I wanted you to hear it from me personally." he posted on Instagram. "Unfortunately, 'General Hospital' has let me go because of the vaccine mandate. I did apply for my medical and religious exemptions, and both of those were denied. Which, you know, hurts. But this is also about personal freedom to me."

A Broadway actor currently playing Judas in a traveling production of Jesus Christ Superstar was arrested on charges related to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, NBC News noted. James Beeks, 49, of Orlando, is charged with obstruction of Congress, which is a felony; and unlawfully entering a restricted building or grounds, which is a misdemeanor. Prosecutors said Beeks is "an affiliate of the Oath Keepers," who joined up with some members of the anti-government organization on Jan. 6 and marched in a "stack" formation that stormed into the Capitol.

Jeremy Renner said that the original six Avengers of the Marvel Cinematic Universe still have a group chat and remain friends, despite half of them being killed off or retired, The Digital Fix noted. As for the other Avengers, Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) is deceased, Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) is presumed deceased, Captain America (Chris Evans) is a retired senior, Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) will next appear in She-Hulk and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) will next be in Thor: Love and Thunder. Renner made the comments while promoting Hawkeye, which is now streaming on Disney+.

Dukes of Hazzard co-star John Schneider is trying to keep the show's legacy alive, The New York Post noted. The show, which ran 1979-85, has faced criticism for its use of the Confederate battle flag stamped on the roof of the '69 Dodge Charger, named General Lee. Schneider, 61, addressed the car's controversy, telling Fox News "it was the older, uneducated generation that wanted to remove it from the series, from the airwaves." He also spoke out against cancel culture, saying it "is very short-sighted, and it's very much against everything I believe in concerning freedom of speech and freedom of expression."

Khloe Kardashian was blasted online for reacting to Kyle Rittenhouse's acquittal even though she kept silent after the Astroworld Festival, Page Six noted. "Speechless and disgusted!!" Kardashian tweeted a day after Rittenhouse was found not guilty in the shooting deaths of Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber and the wounding of Gaige Grosskreutz. She was previously called "tone-deaf" for posting thirst traps to Instagram following the catastrophic Astroworld festival, which left 10 people dead during a performance by Travis Scott, who is dating Kardashian's half-sister, Kylie Jenner.

Singer Tiffany recently performed in Florida—and struck a sour note with fans after she struggled with her signature song and then cursed at them, TMZ noted. Tiffany was onstage in Melbourne with her band, belting out a few tunes including her hugely successful "I Think We're Alone Now." Tiffany struggled with a few notes, but fans helped her out. However, near the end of the song, Tiffany apparently heard or saw something she doesn't like in the crowd ... telling attendees, "F*** You!!!" "I Think We're Alone Now"—a cover of the Tommy James and the Shondells song—was Tiffany's biggest hit, spending two weeks on the top of The Billboard Hot 100 list in the 1980s.

This article shared 1881 times since Sun Nov 28, 2021
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