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SHOWBIZ Oscars art, Billie Jean King, Billy Eichner, Randy Rainbow
by Windy City Times staff

This article shared 1452 times since Sun Mar 14, 2021
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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed the campaign art for the 93rd Oscars, an ABC press release noted. The 2021 campaign illustrates this year's tagline, "Bring Your Movie Love," celebrating our global appreciation for the power of film to foster connection, to educate and to inspire people to tell their own stories. The Academy invited seven international artists—Temi Coker, Petra Eriksson, Magnus Voll Mathiassen, Michelle Robinson, Karan Singh, Victoria Villasana and Shawna X —to create custom Oscar statuette art inspired by the question, "What do movies mean to you?"

Billie Jean King has a memoir—All In: An Autobiography—coming this summer, noted. The book will cover her celebrated and groundbreaking tennis career as well as her activism on behalf of women in tennis and beyond, and such private struggles as an eating disorder and acknowledging her sexual orientation. She was married to Larry King (no relation to the late broadcaster) for more than a decade before being outed in 1981.

Comedian/actor Billy Eichner is set to star in, executive-produce and co-write Bros, which is set to make history in the romantic-comedy genre, noted. The film is set to open in theaters Aug. 12, 2022, although it was first announced in early 2019. According to Variety, the film "centers on two gay men with commitment issues who attempt a relationship." Eichner tweeted, "In shocking news, BROS will be the first rom com about gay men ever produced by a major studio, and, apparently, I'm the first openly gay man to ever write and star in their own studio film. Only took 100 years! THANKS HOLLYWOOD!!!"

Broadway Records released a new song by Randy Rainbow titled "Mr. Biden (Bring My Vaccine)"—a satire of The Chordettes hit single "Mr. Sandman (Bring Me A Dream)," a press release noted. The parody's digital single is now available on, with iTunes, Spotify and other digital retailers to follow shortly. The single features original cover art by Broadway illustrator Justin "Squigs" Robertson.

Every summer, DC Comics publishes an 80-page anthology celebrating the joys of the season—but this summer, DC Pride will feature different stories about queer DC superheroes and villains from a who's-who lineup of queer comics creators, Polygon noted. In something of a multimedia crossover, Nicole Maines, the trans actress who plays the trans superheroine Dreamer on the CW's Supergirl TV series, will introduce the character to the DC Universe with Supergirl artist Rachel Stott in one of the issue's nine stories. Some of the other creator/character pairings in the anthology include James Tynion IV (Wynd, Batman) and Trung Le Nguyen (The Magic Fish) on Batwoman; Mariko Tamaki (Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me, Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass) and Amy Reeder (Amethyst) on a Poison Ivy/Harley Quinn story; and Danny Lore (Black Panther) and Lisa Sterle (Submerged) teaming up for a story about the Flash of Earth-11 (the non-binary character Jess Chambers).

Kiersey Clemons is officially joining the DC Universe, as she is set to star in The Flash as Iris West, a reporter who is the love interest of the title character, noted. Both Clemons and her co-star Ezra Miller (The Flash) identify as queer—making this the first time a superhero movie had starred two queer actors. The Flash is being directed by Andy Muschietti, who helmed It, and features a screenplay by Christina Hodson (Bumblebee; Birds of Prey).

Black Entertainment Television (BET) announced the launch of the show Twenties The After Show, which will be the new follow-out program after each episode of the returning series Twenties, LGBTQ Nation noted. The new show will be hosted by "the Queen of Tea" B. Scott, making them the first trans non-binary host and producer in the network's history—and marking their return to BET for the first time in eight years. "I am proud to make history as the first trans non-binary person to host and executive produce a show at BET," Scott said in a statement. Scott previously filed a lawsuit against the ViacomCBS-owned network for blocking them from appearing on the BET Awards in 2013 because of their feminine appearance.

HBO Max announced HBO Max Pa'lante!— an audience initiative driving awareness to culturally relevant programming across HBO Max for Latinx audiences, a press release noted. Founded on the vision of empowerment, resilience and hope, Pa'lante! ("Forward") is "a celebration of the ambicultural movement that embraces being both fully Latino and fully American without having to sacrifice any part of one's identity," the release stated. There will be a three-pronged approach to the social launch of Pa'lante! On March 25, Pa'lante! will host a series of virtual events to celebrate its launch, including an exclusive keynote, panels on the future of Latinx storytelling and musical performances.

Film captures of Kinky Boots, War Horse, 42nd Street and more will be available as part of BY Experience's Virtual Event Cinema, which mimics going to the movies but is available to enjoy from home, Playbill noted. The documentary Frida Viva La Vida kicks things off March 17-23, followed by War Horse (March 31-April 6), Kinky Boots (April 14-20), Secret Impressionist (April 28-May 4), 42nd Street (May 12-18) and Hermitage: The Power of Art (May 26-June 1). Additional titles will be announced shortly. For theaters and tickets, visit

The rock bank Queen announced an exclusive series with 50 weekly episodes in honor of the group's 50th anniversary, noted. The first episode of Queen The Greatest, the new project, will be available on Queen's official YouTube channel beginning March 19, and the series continue until March of next year. Queen The Greatest chronologically celebrates key moments in the group's history, from early performances featuring Freddie Mercury to the more recent collaboration with Adam Lambert.

Grammy-award-winning out gay rapper Lil Nas X is dropping a new single this month, Gay City News noted. In a tweet, Lil Nas X announced that his latest single, "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)," will debut March 26. Alongside a tweet of the release date, the rapper is depicted in a photo as a nude angel with a cupid's bow and arrow.

On social media, Lady Gaga shared a photo in winter wear as Patrizia Reggiani in the upcoming biopic House of Gucci, noted. Gaga shared the first official image of her and co-star Adam Driver as Reggiani and Gucci in vintage Italian fashion, standing in front of snow-covered mountains. "Signore e Signora Gucci #HouseOfGucci," she captioned the image. Regianni is the ex-wife of Maurizio Gucci—and who was was convicted of his assassination in 1995. House of Gucci is being directed by Ridley Scott, the director of the classic films Blade Runner, Alien and Gladiator.

Chaka Khan and Idina Menzel collaborated on a new version of Khan's iconic 1978 single, "I'm Every Woman," to celebrate International Women's Day (March 8), noted. The music video, in partnership with CARE, features leaders and activists Dolores Huerta, Sheryl Sandberg, Laverne Cox and more. CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty.

The Dark Star Pictures film Luz will be in select theaters March 19, and on DVD and digital on April 6, a press release noted. The LGBT movie focuses on Ruben (played by Ernesto Reyes), who lands in prison and falls in love with cellmate Carlos (Jesse Tayeh). When the two me are released from prison two years apart, they again meet on the outside and deal with the circumstances that had them incarcerated in the first place.

Nomadland, actress Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman) and the late actor Chadwick Boseman (Ma Rainey's Black Bottom) were among those receiving awards at the 26th annual Critics Choice Awards that Taye Diggs hosted March 7, USA Today noted. Some of the other honorees from the event—which awarded outstanding accomplishments in film and television—included Minari (foreign-language film), The Crown (drama series), Michael K. Williams (supporting actor in a drama series, for Lovecraft Country), Anya Taylor-Joy (actress in a limited series or TV movie, for The Queen's Gambit), and Daniel Levy and Catherine O'Hara (actor and actress in a comedy series, respectively, for Schitt's Creek). Also, Zendaya gave an emotional speech while accepting the 2021 Critics' Choice Awards SeeHer honor, Us Weekly noted.

Unleashed LGBTQ (, an interactive virtual event tailored to the powerful and connected LGBTQ+ professional community, is partnering with iHeartRadio and its LGBTQ+ station, PRIDE Radio, to scale the exposure, outreach and impact of its inaugural event, which will take place March 25-27, a press release noted. iHeartRadio's PRIDE Radio, available exclusively through the iHeartRadio app, will present a series of live interviews with Unleashed LGBTQ headliners ahead of and throughout the event, with confirmed celebrity guests to include comedian Matteo Lane, Pennsylvania state Rep. Brian Sims and sports icon Michael Sam.

Warner Horizon and ABC Entertainment announced that former Bachelorettes Kaitlyn Bristowe and Tayshia Adams will co-host the next season of The Bachelorette, Page Six noted. The statement continued, "As we continue the dialogue around achieving greater equity and inclusion within The Bachelor franchise, we are dedicated to improving the BIPOC representation of our crew, including among the executive producer ranks. These are important steps in effecting fundamental change so that our franchise is a celebration of love that is reflective of our world." Harrison left this season of The Bachelor, which is led by Matt James—the first Black Bachelor—after he was criticized for defending contestant Rachael Kirkconnell's alleged racist actions in an interview with Rachel Lindsay, the first black Bachelorette.

The Netflix series First Kill has cast its two leads, with Sarah Catherine Hook (Monsterland) Imani Lewis (The Get Down) to star as a vampire embarking on her first kill to join in her family's legacy and a teen vampire hunter, respectively, noted. Instead, the pair fall in love. Last October, Netflix ordered eight episodes of the one-hour series based on a short story of the same name by Victoria "V.E." Schwab.

Katie Couric recently began her two-week stint as the first female Jeopardy! host in the show's history, noted. "I love that I'm the first woman!" Couric said. She added that the gig had long been on her bucket list, but it was made all the more special because she's raising awareness and funds for pancreatic cancer research—the disease that took the lives of her sister, Emily, in 2001; and, of course, iconic Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek last November.

Mission: Impossible celebrates its 25th anniversary with a newly remastered Collector's Edition on Blu-ray on May 18, from Paramount Home Entertainment, a press release noted. Originally released May 22, 1996, Mission: Impossible—starring Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt—featured an action-packed story of secret agents and international espionage. The newly remastered Collector's Edition Blu-ray includes an exclusive car decal; a gallery of the original trailers for the first six Mission: Impossible films; and a lot of bonus content, such as "Generation: Cruise," "Mission: Agent Dossiers" and "Mission: Explosive Exploits."

Following his unexpected shutout from this year's nominations, singer The Weeknd announced he will no longer submit his music to the Grammys, despite winning three awards at the ceremony in years past, USA Today noted. "Because of the secret committees," The Weeknd (real name: Abel Tesfaye) said in a statement to the New York Times, "I will no longer allow my label to submit my music to the Grammys." The singer's latest statement follows a string of comments he's made against the awards show after he failed to pick up a single Grammy nod for his critically acclaimed After Hours album, which includes hits "Blinding Lights" and "Heartless."

Queer-run label Get Better Records has teamed with Little Amps Coffee Roasters to announce a limited edition of Super Tasty Instant Coffee in support of the label's forthcoming compilation album, entitled Sunday, Someday (out March 26), a press release noted. Proceeds of this special pre-order album and coffee bundle will go to benefit the LGBT Center of Central PA's Common Roads program by funding acoustic treatment for youth with sensory needs. Visit

Dickinson actress Ella Hunt—who plays the titular character's close friend/eventual sister-in-law Sue Gilbert—said on social media that she is "queer and happy to be out," according to . The tweets came after Hunt was quoted as saying she didn't think the term "queer" was "specifically about sexuality. Apart from Dickinson, Hunt was the star of the zombie musical Anna and The Apocalypse. Dickinson, which also stars Hailee Steinfeld, airs on Apple TV.

Lil Jon and Samantha Ronson will headline the first-ever SKAM Summer Music Summit at the Dream Hotel in Hollywood this August, according to Page Six. The two-day music conference will take over the entire hotel, including the Highlight Room rooftop, and at neighboring venues around LA. Some of the other celebrities confirmed for the summit include DJ Angie Vee and Eric Dlux.

In celebration of International Women's Day (March 8), "W.A.P." rap artist Megan Thee Stallion announced her plan to give away $1 million throughout Women's History Month, in partnership with Fashion Nova, for the "Women on Top" fund, Essence noted. Megan tweeted, "In honor of International Women's Day fashion nova and I will be giving away 1 MILLION DOLLARS IN GRANTS AND SCHOLARSHIPS ALL MONTH to women entrepreneurs, female students, women owned businesses, and women focused charities." She also recently announced her collaboration with U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee to provide relief to Houstonians following the devastating impact from Winter Storm Uri.

The Queen's Gambit—the Walter Tevis novel recently adapted as the hit Netflix miniseries that starred Anya Taylor-Joy—could be headed to Broadway as a musical, Deadline noted. Entertainment company Level Forward has acquired the theatrical stage rights to the story of orphan-turned-chess prodigy Beth Harmon, and plans to develop the property into a stage musical.

Natalie Portman and Lupita Nyong'o will star in a limited series adaptation of Laura Lippman's book Lady in the Lake, for Apple TV+, Deadline noted. The limited series takes place in 1960s Baltimore, where an unsolved murder pushes housewife and mother, Maddie Schwartz, played by Portman, to reinvent her life as an investigative journalist. This sets her on a collision course with Cleo Sherwood, played by Nyong'o—a hard-working woman juggling motherhood, many jobs and a passionate commitment to advancing Baltimore's Black progressive agenda.

Singer/actress Brandy has signed on as a co-lead opposite Eve and Naturi Naughton in the hour-long pilot for the ABC show Queens, according to Deadline. In the show, four estranged and out-of-touch women in their 40s—three of them played by Brandy, Naughton and Eve—reunite for a chance to recapture their fame and regain the swagger they had as the Nasty Bitches, their '90s group that made them legends in the hip-hop world. Like Eve, Brandy will record and perform original songs for the show as her character.

In a guest column on Deadline, Chicago Med actor Brian Tee discussed racism and hate crimes against Asians since the beginning of the pandemic, among other things. In part, he wrote, "There is a growing trend of racist hate against a community you do not see. A community you do not count. A community you think will be fine… because we are Asian. But you need to see us. We must be counted. And we are definitely not fine… and it's EVERYONE'S fault." He added, "Then there's the "model minority" myth depicting Asians as the "good ethnics," using us as scapegoats to contrast the racial inequality that exists in America, pitting us against all other BIPOC in this country. This is highly due to our own cultural passivity of assimilation—to keep our head down and nose to the grindstone to hopefully be accepted—which only created an invisible minority, deemed not important enough to be counted or valued."

Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez have reportedly broken up, according to Page Six. The split came after the superstar couple twice postponed their wedding—and after rumors surfaced that the former Yankees third baseman had been FaceTiming with Southern Charm star Madison LeCroy. LeCroy said she and Rodriguez have "spoken on the phone," but have "never met up." However, reported that Lopez and Rodriguez are sticking together.

Michael B. Jordan will helm the third installment of Creed, per MGM, which has dated the film for Thanksgiving 2022, Deadline reported. Tessa Thompson and Phylicia Rashad are slated to return, as will Jordan, who plays Apollo Creed's son, Adonis Johnson. Not known is if Sylvester Stallone will answer the bell and bring his Rocky Balboa back.

Claire Foy and Paul Bettany have been cast in the lead roles of A Very British Scandal, a followup to A Very English Scandal, Variety reported. The hour-long, three-episode series focuses on the divorce of the Duke (Bettany) and Duchess of Argyll (Foy)—one of the most notorious, extraordinary and brutal legal cases of the 20th Century. It was infamous for featuring accusations of forgery, theft, violence, drug-taking, secret recording, bribery and an explicit Polaroid picture. The series will premiere on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in the United Kingdom, and on Amazon in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Disney+ has removed several movies—including Dumbo, Peter Pan, The Aristocats and Swiss Family Robinson—from children's profiles on its service over negative depictions and stereotypes, noted. The Walt Disney Company had previously placed content warnings on the films for "negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people and cultures" in October. Adults with Disney+ accounts can still access the films with the content warnings, which appear on screen for about 10-12 seconds before the unedited content.

Oprah Winfrey's two-hour sit-down (former) royals Prince Harry and Meghan Markle drew an average audience of 17.1 million same-day viewers, Vulture noted. That's more than double the tune-in for the recent Golden Globes telecast on NBC (6.9 million viewers) and the biggest non-sports broadcast on network TV since last year's Oscars, which drew 23.6 million viewers.

Actress Carol Sutton died at age 76 of COVID-19 complications, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said, according to . The New Orleans native built an extensive list of credits, including Steel Magnolias, Queen Sugar and Lovecraft Country. Cantrell praised Sutton, saying she "was practically the Queen of New Orleans theater, having graced the stages across the city for decades."

The Museum of Wild and Newfangled Art (mowna)—a newly opened online museum specifically designed for the digital age—will host the Avant Premiere special event as part of mowna's opening show, a press release noted. The show will consist of Mud Water, a coming-of-age dance film starring Xavier Days, and written and directed by My-Linh Le; and "Freedom" a music video directed by Lisa Bonet, and featuring Dorothy and Angel Haze. The Avant Premiere event will take place Friday, March 26, at 5:30 p.m. PT/8:30 p.m. ET for VIPs, the press and festival presenters; and Saturday, March 27, at 5:30 p.m. PT/8:30 p.m. ET for museum members. To become a member, visit The Mud Water trailer is at

On April 16, singer/songwriter/actor Josh Radnor—who starred on TV's How I Met Your Mother—will release his debut solo EP One More Then I'll Let You Go via Flower Moon Records, a press release noted. The EP's first single, "The High Road," is now available; other tracks include "You Feel New," "Apocalyptic Love Song," "Hey Ma" and "Kiss the Morning." Radnor is half of the indie-folk duo Radnor and Lee (with Australian singer-songwriter Ben Lee).

Grammy winner Marc Anthony and his Magnus Studios team are joining Sofia Vergara's animated feature comedy, Koati, Deadline noted. Koati follows three unlikely heroes—Nachi, a free-spirited coati; Xochi, a fearless monarch butterfly; and Pako, a hyperactive glass frog—as they embark on an adventure to stop wicked coral snake Zaina (Vergara) from destroying their rainforest homeland and friends.

The downfall of Bon Appetit magazine amid accusations of racial discrimination is being turned—into a comedy on HBO, The New York Post noted, citing The Hollywood Reporter. The forthcoming series will "draw inspiration from the multiple media scandals of summer 2020 and today, focusing on a cohort of young assistants of color who rise up to tear their cookie-cutter corporate culture apart," according to the series' summary. Controversy among the magazine's staffers initially surfaced last summer, when an image of then Editor-in-Chief Adam Rapoport costumed in "brownface" was unearthed and shared across social media.

More than a year since apologizing for old Tumblr posts containing racist and offensive language, Camila Cabello is on a new journey, noted. In her recent interview as part of People's Women Changing the World issue, the former Fifth Harmony bandmate said she joined the National Compadres Network's racial-healing program after her December 2019 apology to educate herself on the matters at hand. Cabello went on to confess that her attendance has since prompted her to take her actions one step further, such as teaming with the Movement Voter Fund to create the Healing Justice Project.

Bethenny Frankel apologized for her Twitter tirade attacking Meghan Markle—after seeing the duchess' "emotional distress" during her TV tell-all with Oprah Winfrey, Page Six noted. The Real Housewives of New York City star—who once dated Markle's ex-husband, Trevor Engelson—initially ripped the duchess as a "fairly unknown actress" who had no right to be whining after earning "hundreds of millions in media deals" thanks to a brief spell as a senior royal. However, on March 8, Frankel issued a mea culpa, tweeting, "Emotional distress & racism must feel suffocating & powerless."

The Miami Heat put center Meyers Leonard was fined $50,000, suspended from the team's facilities and banned from team activities for a week for an anti-Semitic slur he made while playing video games, noted. In a video that surfaced on social media, Leonard can be heard saying, "F—-ing cowards; don't f—-ing snipe me, you f—-ing k—- b——." "The Miami Heat vehemently condemns the use of any form of hate speech,'' the team statement said; Leonard apologized, claiming he "didn't know what the word meant at the time." Leonard will also be required to participate in a cultural diversity program.

Holly Robinson Peete alleged that Sharon Osbourne complained she was "too ghetto" to co-host their show The Talk—snd suggested that she may have lost her job because of it, Page Six stated. Recently, Osbourne got into a fiery on-air exchange with co-host Sheryl Underwood over Osbourne's defense of her longtime pal Piers Morgan, whose critique of Meghan Markle's interview with Oprah Winfrey has been branded racist.

Robert Downey Jr. (Dolittle), Glenn Close (Hillbilly Elegy) and Anne Hathaway (The Last Thing He Wanted; Roald Dahl's The Witches) are among the actors nominated for this year's Razzie Awards, which honor the worst in film, USA Today noted. Tying Doolittle with six nominations is 365 Days, a Polish spin on "Fifty Shades of Grey" that landed on Netflix last summer and drew backlash for its depictions of kidnapping and predatory behavior. A few of the other nominees include Michele Morrone (365 Days), Fantasy Island, Mike Lindell (The "My Pillow" Guy, for Absolute Proof), and Maria Bakalova and Rudy Giuliani (worst screen combo, for Borat Subsequent Movie-Film). This year's "winners" will be revealed April 24, the night before the Academy Awards.

Jen Shah's former clothing designer, Koa Johnson, said he was left "traumatized" after a 10-month stint with the Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star, Page Six noted. After alleged audio leaked of Shah berating the designer, Johnson told Page Six the incident occurred on Nov. 6, 2020, five days before RHOSLC's first-season premiere. While Johnson claimed he doesn't know who leaked the audio, he's happy someone recorded it.

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