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SHOWBIZ Non-binary actor, holiday TV specials, John Waters, Grammys
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by Windy City Times staff

This article shared 1158 times since Sun Oct 31, 2021
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Non-binary actor E.R. Fightmaster (TV's Shrill and Work in Progress) is joining the cast of ABC's long-running medical drama series Grey's Anatomy as a recurring member: Dr. Kai Bartley, the show's first non-binary doctor, . The character made their debut on the episode "Hotter Than Hell" and, in the episode, Bartley meets and instantly bonds with Dr. Amelia Shepherd while the two work together on Parkinson's research in Minnesota. Bartley will return in the Nov. 11 episode when the show comes back and will appear in several more episodes before the midseason finale.

The LGBTQ+ holiday movie Single All the Way arrives via Netflix on Thursday, Dec. 2, a press release noted. The plot is as follows: Desperate to avoid his family's judgment about his perpetual single status, Peter (Michael Urie) convinces his best friend Nick (Philemon Chambers) to join him for the holidays and pretend that they're now in a relationship. But when Peter's mother (Kathy Najimy) sets him up on a blind date with her handsome trainer, James (Luke Macfarlane), the plan goes awry. Jennifer Coolidge co-stars.

Emmy-winning TV icon and Drag Race legend RuPaul is releasing her very own special holiday special for VH1—The Bitch Who Stole Christmas, noted. "In the draggiest Christmas movie ever made, a workaholic big-city fashion journalist is sent to a Christmas-obsessed small town to dig up a story when she finds herself in the middle of cut-throat housewives, a high-stakes "Winter Ball" competition, and a sinister plot that could destroy Christmas fore-evah!" the film's official description states. The movie stars RuPaul, Krysta Rodriguez, Andy Ridings, Michelle Visage, Ginger Minj, Brooke Lynn Hytes, Peppermint, Kim Petras and many others.

Peacock unveiled its holiday lineup. According to a press release, the specials include the one-hour reality special Chrisley Knows Thanksgiving, will be available to stream Thursday, Nov. 18; the competition series Baking It, which Maya Rudolph and Andy Samberg will host (Thursday, Dec. 2); The Housewives of the North Pole with Betsy Brandt and Kyle Richards (Thursday, Dec. 9); and holiday favorites such as How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Monday, Nov. 1) and Mariah Carey's All I Want For Christmas Is You (Sunday, Nov. 14).

The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) dedicated its new all-gender restrooms to renowned filmmaker and Baltimore native John Waters, The Hill noted. The museum's John Waters Restrooms will open to the public Dec. 12. They are intended as a token of gratitude to Waters, who is a BMA trustee and willed the museum 375 pieces of art upon his death. The pieces include works from Andy Warhol, Diane Arbus, Roy Lichtenstein, Cy Twombly and Cindy Sherman as well as from Waters personally, according to The Baltimore Sun.

Recording Academy President/CEO Harvey Mason Jr. recently spoke with the AP about various issues, including R. Kelly, reported. Despite the acts attached to Kelly, Mason said the singer's three Grammys will remain with him, for now. Also, it appears the Grammys won't invite country-music singer Morgan Wallen—who uttered a racial slur in a video that aired earlier this year—to its Jan. 31 ceremony, but he could receive nominations. Mason also said he hopes the Recording Academy can become a place to educate musicians who might be misinformed on certain topics such as diversity, inclusion, race relations and LGBTQ issues.

Madonna was criticized for "gross and inappropriate" photos recreating the scene of Marilyn Monroe's 1962 death for a new photo shoot, Page Six noted. In her new V Magazine cover shoot, the "Borderline" singer channels the iconic blonde bombshell in retouched photos shot by photographer Steven Klein. Klein claimed the shoot is less about Monroe and more about her ability to emote through the lens, which is what he was attempting to capture.

Comedian Kathy Griffin clapped back against a protestor who called vaccine mandates "gay," LGBTQ Nation noted. "MANDATE SOUNDS GAY TO ME," their sign read, a pun on "man" and "date." Some people on Twitter said that they recognized the photo's background as Yucca Valley, California. "In response to this sign I say 'Well then, maybe that's why I love vax mandates,'" Griffin replied.

Brie Larson (Captain Marvel), Anthony Mackie (Captain America, formerly Falcon), Paul Rudd (Ant-Man) and Evangeline Lilly (The Wasp) will all reprise their MCU roles for a new Marvel Studios-themed dining experience coming to the Disney Cruise Line, TheWrap noted. According to the official announcement on the Disney Parks Blog, the actors will "be featured on-screen throughout the restaurant." In addition to Larson, Mackie, Rudd and Lily, Kerry Condon will reprise her role as cheery virtual assistant F.R.I.D.A.Y. and Ross Marquand will provide the voice of Ultron. The experience is set to debut aboard the fleet's newest ship, the Disney Wish (sailing next summer).

Seven-time Grammy winner and three-time ACM Entertainer of the Year Carrie Underwood added two new career milestones with the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA): 9x platinum certification of her 2005 debut album, Some Hearts, and the 7x platinum certification of the hit single from that album, "Before He Cheats," a press release noted. Underwood has sold more than 66 million records worldwide, recorded 28 #1 singles (14 of which she co-wrote), and has seven albums that are certified platinum or multi-platinum by the RIAA.

Justin Bieber is the leading nominee at the 2021 People's Choice Awards, with 10 nods, noted. In the music and pop culture categories, Lil Nas X takes second place with six nods, while Olivia Rodrigo and Doja Cat are tied for third place with five nominations each. The Hollywood Reporter noted that TV and film nominees include Dune, Black Widow, Free Guy, Cruella, Ted Lasso, Grey's Anatomy and This Is Us, among others; actor nods went to Ryan Reynolds, Margot Robbie, Octavia Spencer, Tom Hiddleston and Mariska Hargitay, and others. The People's Choice Awards is slated to air on NBC and E! on Dec. 7 from the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California; Voting is now open for fans at .

The Los Angeles Times is premiering the short documentary The Beauty President on Nov. 2, part of a new initiative that will showcase nonfiction shorts "with a West Coast perspective," Deadline noted. The short centers on one of the most unlikely candidates to ever to run for chief executive: the drag performer Joan Jett Blakk, who aimed to become "the first queer, Black, drag-queen president of the United States." Blakk, the drag persona created by Terence Alan Smith, ran as a write-in candidate on the Queer Nation Party ticket in 1992, hoping to unseat incumbent President George H.W. Bush as well as outpoll Bill Clinton and Ross Perot.

Netflix dropped the official trailer for the upcoming second season of the hit docuseries Tiger King, noted. The trailer picks up in the aftermath of the first season, with many of the Tiger King stars enjoying life in the spotlight after experiencing "overnight" fame and acquiring "more money than God" from the docuseries' success. But Joe Maldonado-Passage ("Joe Exotic") remains behind bars as he is currently waiting to be re-sentenced for charges related to plotting to kill his nemesis, animal rights activist Carole Baskin, among other charges. Tiger King returns Wed., Nov. 17.

Julianna Margulies recently discussed having straight actors play LGBTQ+ characters, noted. Margulies—who is taking on the new role of Laura Peterson, a lesbian news anchor on Apple TV+'s original series The Morning Show—said, ""It could be my age now maybe, but you get to a place in your life, and I think the same thing happened with Laura, where you go: 'This is who I am, take it or leave it, I'm not interested in pretending, I have no skeletons in my closet, I'm not hiding.'" When asked about LGBTQ+ roles going to actors who are actually LGBTQ+, Marguiles said, "I can understand that. My response also would be we're all making assumptions as to who I am and what my past is and what all of our pasts are."

Timothee Chalamet and Armie Hammer's romantic drama Call Me By Your Name would have looked very different if Shia LaBeouf was cast in the lead, as LaBeouf was in the running to play Hammer's character Oliver, who was the older boyfriend of Chalamet's Elio, The New York Post noted. The 2017 film's Oscar-winning writer and producer James Ivory explained in his new memoir, Solid Ivory, that LaBeouf was first contacted to play the role.

Because of issues around the life rights of Joan Rivers, a limited series in which Kathryn Hahn would have played the legendary comedian isn't moving forward, Variety reported. The project, called The Comeback Girl, had been in development at Showtime, and was to be produced by Warner Bros. Television, Atlas Entertainment and Berlanti Productions. However, producers hadn't secured Rivers' life rights, held by her daughter, Melissa Rivers. The project could have proceeded as an unauthorized venture, but The Comeback Girl wouldn't have been able to use any of Rivers' jokes or catchphrases.

Jamie Lee Curtis got candid about supporting her transgender daughter Ruby, according to USA Today. The actress first revealed her 25-year-old child, whom she shares with husband Christopher Guest, was a trans woman in a cover story for the August/September issue of AARP Magazine. "It's speaking a new language. It's learning new terminology and words. I am new at it. I am not someone who is pretending to know much about it," Curtis told People. "If one person reads this, sees a picture of Ruby and me and says, 'I feel free to say this is who I am,' then it's worth it." The article is at

Green Hill Music and Digital Promotions Group announced the release of Lynda Carter's new single "Human and Divine," which came out Oct. 29, per a press release. Carter is best known for her lead role in the 1970s TV show Wonder Woman (and her special appearance in the film Wonder Woman 1984); however, what many don't know, is that since the age of 14, when her career officially began, it was Carter's singing and songwriting talent that shone through. People can listen to the song at

Anderson Cooper said he used a fake online persona to help his mom, Gloria Vanderbilt sell her artworks on Instagram, The New York Post noted. Vanderbilt (who died in 2019 at age 95) was a famed heiress and a prominent painter who held critically acclaimed exhibitions over the span of several decades. Vanderbilt's account quickly amassed thousands of followers, and fans began inquiring about purchasing the paintings.

Art collective MSCHF (pronounced "mischief") recently sold 1,000 versions of an Andy Warhol sketch—but the single original piece was mixed in with 999 forgeries, according to . Each of the (now sold-out) sketches went for $250 while the original "Fairies" piece is currently worth an estimated $20,000. Museum of Forgeries created in its own "Possibly Real Copy of 'Fairies' By Andy Warhol," an exact forgery of the real sketch, and promises that "any record of which piece within the set is the original has been destroyed."

Former boxing champ Floyd Mayweather was caught on camera refusing to pose for a photograph with a teenage boy—seemingly because the teen had painted nails, The New York Post noted. In the clip that TMZ obtained, the male fan approaches Mayweather to ask for a photo. However, the boxing legend brushes him off, responding, "You got painted nails; I don't take pictures with guys with no painted nails." Mayweather's representative strongly denied allegations of homophobia, saying the boxer was simply in a hurry.

Singer/actress Macy Gray hosted MY GOOD's 2nd Annual Virtual Halloween Bingo Bash on Oct. 29, a press release noted. Highlights included a performance from singer Ziggy Marley as well as guests including comedians Maz Jobrani, Sherri Shepherd and Kym Whitley. is a non-profit organization dedicated to support families of victims of police brutality as they face many unfortunate challenges after the death of a loved one.

Universal's latest Wolfman movie, which stars Ryan Gosling, has seemingly found its director—and he's teamed with Gosling before, Deadline noted. Derek Cianfrance, who teamed with Gosling on the dramas Place Beyond the Pines and Blue Valentine, is in talks to direct a new take on the studio's classic monster character. Cianfrance steps in for Leigh Whannell, who parted ways with the project earlier this year due to scheduling.

Pride and Joy Publishing announced the release of its first book, Thriving in Business: Strategies for the LGBTQ+ Entrepreneur, per a press release. Co-authored by 14 LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs, the book (according to the company) launched a dialogue on the lack of official categories for authors in the LGBTQ+ community. The result of the dialogue has been to petition the Library of Congress for additional categories to be established for "LGBTQ+ Business" and "Non-binary" authorship. See .

In the spirit of this time of the year, indie-film distributor Well Go USA Entertainment acquired North American rights to the horror feature Unwelcome, which spins a tale of what happens to people who come in contact with the violent, bloodthirsty goblins known originally in Irish folklore as the fear dearg or "far darrig," now often referred to worldwide as the "Redcaps," a press release noted. Starring Hannah John-Kamen and Douglas Booth, the film will open in U.S. theaters from Well Go USA on March 17, 2022.

A petition to ban real guns on film sets has gathered tens of thousands of signatories following the death of director of photography Halyna Hutchins, Deadline noted. A petition states: "We need to make sure that this avoidable tragedy never happens again. There is no excuse for something like this to happen in the 21st century. Real guns are no longer needed on film production sets. This isn't the early '90s, when Brandon Lee was killed in the same manner. Change needs to happen before additional talented lives are lost."

Brendan Fraser is set to join Leslie Grace in Warner Bros and DC Films' Batgirl, according to Deadline. Although not confirmed, sources believe Fraser would play the supervillain Firefly in the pic. Jacob Scipio also recently joined the cast, with Grace on board to play Barbara Gordon, aka Batgirl. The film will debut on HBO Max, marking one of the first major DC properties to debut exclusively on the streamer.

Pop star Zayn Malik pled no contest to charges of harassment earlier this month following an alleged dispute with Yolanda Hadid, the mother of his supermodel partner Gigi Hadid, noted. Malik was charged in September for four instances of harassment, according to citation records and mail-in plea records the media outlet obtained. In a statement shared on his official Twitter account, the singer wrote that the incident "was and still should be a private matter."

Actor and rapper Ice Cube reportedly dropped out of the Sony comedy Oh Hell No after producers requested that the entire cast get the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a HuffPost item that cited The Hollywood Reporter. By allegedly refusing to get his shots, the Friday star walked away from a $9-million payday and a winter filming in Hawaii with co-star Jack Black. Ice Cube has publicly advocated for mask-wearing during the pandemic.

Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine was belting out the band's 2004 hit "Sunday Morning" at the "We Can Survive" concert at the Hollywood Bowl when an overly eager fan suddenly rushed the stage and grabbed him mid-note, Today noted. A video shows that security quickly grabbed the woman and pulled her away from Levine, who could be seen cursing, shuddering and shaking off the uninvited experience before getting back into the groove. "I just need you guys to know I was really startled, and sometimes when you're startled, you have to shake it off and move on," Levine said in an Instagram Stories video. "Because I'm doing my job up there, and it's what I pride myself on."

Actress Lori Loughlin is covering the tuition for two college students after she was released from prison amid her role in the college admissions scandal, The Hill noted, citing NBC News. According to US Weekly, the former Full House star paid more than $500,000 to help two unidentified students through four years of college. A representative for Loughlin confirmed the payments to the magazine but declined to provide more details.

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