More than 274,000 people have signed a Change.org petition to prevent the distribution of the indie film Habit, which critics say is "Christianophobic garbage," USA Today noted. "A new blasphemous Hollywood film is predicted to come out soon depicting Jesus as a lesbian woman," reads the petition, which was created one week ago. The 22-year-old daughter of Michael Jackson was tapped to play the role of Jesus, alongside Bella Throne and Gavin Rossdale.
GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics announced the nominees for its first separate Dorian TV Awards, a press release noted. The Pop network comedy Schitt's Creek leads the pack with seven nominations, while the Netflix limited series Hollywood received six nods. HBO's fact-based TV movie Bad Education and miniseries Watchmen have four Dorian nominations each. TV winners will be announced Friday, Aug. 21, when GALECA will also name the recipient of its first "You Deserve an Award!" Award, going to who the group deems "a uniquely talented TV icon ( they ) adore."
Halle Berry apologized on Twitter after revealing in a recent interview she considered playing a transgender man, USA Today noted. "As a cisgender woman, I now understand that I should not have considered this role, and that the transgender community should undeniably have the opportunity to tell their own stories," she wrote. The controversy stemmed from an Instagram interview with hair stylist Christin Brown; when Brown asked if Berry would consider cutting her hair short again, Berry responded that she was considering a role as a transgender man, which would require her to cut her hair short. Berry garnered backlash for her comments on Twitter, with many saying that transgender roles should be played by transgender actors.
Broadway star Jennifer Holliday ( Dreamgirls ) was a guest on The Clay Cane Show on SiriusXM Urban Viewand, among other things, she discussed late singer Luther Vandross' struggles with being "out" and the real issues Black gay men face, especially as it relates to the church, SiriusXM noted. Cane asked Holliday, "Miss Patti [LaBelle] has talked about this, that he struggled really hard with not being able to be exactly who he was. Did you see that in him, that fear?" In part, Holliday responded, "Oh, I knew it. And the problem is I feel too, with black artists more so than white artists, especially not just a black man, but a black female lesbian. You're not going to be coming out to no black people, because they're not even accepted in the church."
Billy Porter has again made historythis time, as the first openly gay cover star of Essence magazine, Out.com noted. The corresponding article traces Porter's own relationship with his identity as a Black gay man, encountering the roadblocks that people put up as a result of it within the music and entertainment industries. Asserting that all Black lives matter, Porter said at one point, "Stop killing us! Our trans women are out here dying at the hands of our own. We can't ask for anything more than what we're ready to give. It starts with us first, and I'm calling it out."
Techno artist DJ Spencer Brown has come out as gay, according to Out.com . Brownwho began his career touring with Avicii and since gone on to headline major music events like the Electric Daisy Carnivalwrote a coming-out essay for Billboard. In the piece, the San Francisco-based DJ said that growing up in a "heteronormative community" in Dallas, he grappled with "unshakable self-hate" and "crippling anxiety." However, he found some comfort in the local dance music scene.
Bright Light Bright Light released his latest song and video, "I Used To Be Cool," a press release noted. It is the third song released from the forthcoming album by Bright Light Bright Light titled Fun City ( out Friday, Sept. 18, on his own label YSKWN!, in partnership with Megaforce Records and The Orchard ). The album boasts a veritable "who's who" of LGBTQ+ major-players and allies who serve as collaborators, including ( in alphabetical order by first name ) Andy Bell ( of Erasure ), Big Dipper, Jake Shears, Justin Vivian Bond, KAYE, Mark Gatiss, Niki Haris and Donna De Lory, and Sam Sparro.
Brian Faldutothe queer country music performer who was "the gay kid from [the movie] School of Rock"has released the single "God Loves Me Too," Out noted. "I waited my whole life for the truth that God loves me just the way that I amand that I don't have to change myself or do anything to earn that love," Falduto told Out. "This song is for that kid sitting in a church pew somewhere that hasn't been told that yet."
Three more snowboarders have spoken about their sexuality in series of exclusive interviews with Torment, Out.com noted. Jill Perkins, Chad Unger, and Kennedi Deck joined filmmaker/snowboarder Tanner Pendleton, who revealed he is gay last week in an interview with the online magazine. "The narrative in action sports tends to be 'it's okay to be queer as long as you rip and present as masculine,'" Pendleton told Out. "The more stories we hear, the closer that moves to 'it's okay to be queer, because it's okay to be queer.' I wanted to share my story to move our community in that direction."
The creator of the long-running adult cartoon Bob's Burgers said that the voice behind a Black, transgender woman character will be recast, LGBTQ Nation noted. Since the first season of Bob's Burgers aired in 2011, the voice behind the recurring character "Marshmallow"a Black, transgender female sex worker who has appeared in 11 episodes over the show's 10 seasonshad been actor David Herman, a white straight, cis man who plays several other characters on the show.
The indie short film Joyrideabout teenage sisters Marina and Karina, who are enlisted by their abuelita ( grandma ) Juana, to break her out of her senior facility for one last joyride to the Grand Canyonwill be a part of PBS' Short Festival running July 13-24, a press release noted. Joyride is written and directed by Edwin Alexis Gomez, a queer Nicaraguan-American multidisciplinary artist who has been an advocate for victims of domestic abuse for many years. The festival features 25 short-form independent films presented in five categories: culture, environment, family, humanity and race.
Artsploitation Films and Kino Lorber announced that The Prince, an explosive prison drama directed by Sebastian Munoz, will be out on DVD and Blu-ray on July 7, a press release noted. The Prince is an explosive prison drama set in a repressive 1970s Chilean prison that looks at the clandestine relationship between a new, 20-year-old inmate and a tough older inmate known as "The Stallion." See KinoLorber.com .
In its third season, Showtime series The Chi has revealed its first transgender character, according to Distractify. One of the most recent additions to the series is Trig's new girlfriend, Imani, who is played by actress Jasmine Davis and is the show's groundbreaking character. Davis is a Chicago native who moved to L.A. to pursue a modeling and acting career.
Athlete/advocate Colin Kaepernick is teaming with Ava DuVernay for a limited series on Netflix, Deadline noted. Longtime friends and campaigners-in-arms for social justice, the When They See Us filmmaker and the former San Francisco 49ers QB will collaborate on the scripted six-parter Colin in Black & White. Focused on Kaepernick's teenage years and early football, basketball and baseball successes in Turlock, California, the limited series will put particular emphasis on the influences and circumstances that developed the social and cultural conscience of the young man adopted by a white family.
Two-time Oscar winner Mahershala Ali ( Moonlight; Green Book ) will star as the late boxer Jack Johnson in HBO's limited series Unruly, Deadline noted. The project hails from Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman's Playtone and will be written by Dominique Morisseau based on the PBS documentary Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson, produced and directed by Ken Burns, and its companion book by Geoffrey C. Ward. Ali previously portrayed the athlete in one of his first professional acting jobsa stage production of The Great White Hope, in 2000.
Jerry Mitchell joined Playbill live on The Broadway Q&A Series, presented by Playbill and The Growing Studio on July 1, the entertainment website stated. The two-time Tony Award—winning performer, choreographer and director answered questions about his careerwhich includes working on Broadway productions of Hairspray, Kinky Boots, Legally Blonde and moreduring the hour-long chat. Mitchell was joined by some of his favorite performersincluding Billy Porter, Annaleigh Ashford and Matthew Morrisonduring the broadcast.
Queer virtual cable TV network Revry has started airing the second season of its reality series Putting On, which stars Israeli-born underwear model, Instagram star and entrepreneur On Mekahel, a press release noted. The first season explored the trials and tribulations Mekahel experienced in starting his own underwear brand ... with his ex-boyfriend. The full-length second season dives deeper inside Mekahel's private and professional lifeand the new love of his life, Dave Cederberg. See Revry.tv .
Fleabag actor Ben Aldridge came out as gay, Queerty noted. Aldridge shared the news with his 113K followers on Instagram, writing: "The journey to pride was a long one for me. I love the LGBTQ+ community and am incredibly proud and thankful to be a part of it. So much won. So much more to fight for. #pride"
RuPaul has seemingly disappeared from social media, leaving fans confused in the process, Cosmopolitan noted. The Drag Race host appears to have fully deleted his Twitter account, which doesn't exist anymore. Similarly, all of RuPaul's Instagram posts have been deleted ( or possibly archived ), with the exception of one IGTV video promoting Season 12 of Drag Race. RuPaul has yet to explain his sudden departure from the internet.
The director and choreographer of Disney's High School Musical said he always saw one of the original trilogy's characters as part of the LGBTQ community, although the topic was never addressed on screen, HuffPost noted. In a Variety interview, Kenny Ortega revealed that the character of Ryan Evans ( played by Lucas Grabeel ) was conceived as a gay teen. Although Ortega praised Disney as "the most progressive group of people I've ever worked with," he said he didn't think the company would've supported the idea of portraying Ryan as openly gay in 2006, when the original High School Musical was produced.
Comedian/rapper Elijah Daniel claimed film director Bryan Singer is targeting young social media influencers as part of an alleged sex ring, NJ.com . Singer has faced a string of allegations of sexual assault. The director is alleged to have participated in a sex ring and parties in which he and other powerful men in Hollywood are alleged to have preyed on teens and young men. Singer has denied the allegations; Variety reported that Singer paid $150,000 in 2019 to Cesar Sanchez-Guzman, who had filed a lawsuit against Singer, alleging that the director raped him in 2003, when he was 17.
Producer Scott Rudin will bring actor Dustin Hoffman to Broadway in a 2021 staging of Our Town, to be directed by Bartlett Sher ( To Kill A Mockingbird ), Deadline noted. Hoffman will reportedly play the role of the stage manager in the classic Thornton Wilder play. The production will be Hoffman's first Broadway role since his Tony-nominated performance of Shylock in 1989's The Merchant of Venice.
Netflix said it will allocate 2 percent of its cash holdingsinitially, up to $100 millionto financial institutions and organizations that directly support Black communities as part of a commitment to racial equity, Deadline reported. "We know great stories can create empathy and understanding. Stories like Ava DuVernay's 13TH and Explained's Racial Wealth Gap show how systemic racism in America has sustained a centuries-long financial gap between Black and White families," the company stated in a blog post.
Acclaimed Hollywood figure Carl Reiner died at age 98, Deadline reported. Reiner was a comedian, writer and director who was the father of actor/director Rob Reiner. Reiner was among the pioneering comedic minds who, in the 1950s, co-wrote and appeared on the Sid Caesar programs Caesar's Hour and Your Show of Showssetting the template for sketch comedy that endures today in Saturday Night Live and late night talk show humor.
Bettina Gilois, an award-winning screenwriter and author, died at age 58, Deadline noted. Among her screen credits are the Disney film McFarland, USA, starring Kevin Costner; and the HBO film, Bessie, starring Queen Latifah. Her awards and nominations for Best Screenplay include an Emmy Nomination for Outstanding Writing for Bessie, which also won an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Writing for Film ( TV ).
Broadway actor Nick Cordero died at 41 after complications with COVID-19, Deadline noted. The actor received a Tony nomination for his role in Bullets Over Broadway and appeared in productions of Waitress, A Bronx Tale and Rock of Ages. He passed away at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where he'd been treated for COVID-19 for 95 days.
Charlie Daniels, a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame best known for "The Devil Went Down to Georgia," died at age 83 after suffering a hemorrhagic stroke, The Tennessean reported. As a session musician, he played on three of Bob Dylan's albums as well as recordings for Ringo Starr and Leonard Cohen. Daniels joined the Grand Ole Opry in 2008, and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2016.
Vanessa Williams and John Stamos co-hosted the 40th anniversary presentation of A Capitol Fourth, which aired on PBS July 4, Playbill noted. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the traditional live concert wasn't held on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol; instead, this year's performances were pre-taped without a live audience. Among the performers were Tony winner Brian Stokes Mitchell, Grammy winner Patti LaBelle, Tony winner Kelli O'Hara, The Temptations and country-music star Trace Adkins.
Justice League co-star Ray Fisher ( who played Cyborg ) spoke out against that film's fill-in director Joss Whedon, Deadline reported. He said, "Joss Whedon's on-set treatment of the cast and crew of Justice League was gross, abusive, unprofessional and completely unacceptable. He was enabled, in many ways, by Geoff Johns and Jon Berg. Accountability>Entertainment." His tweet was preceded by a video of him from 2017 Comic-Con in which he said "Joss is a great guy and Zack picked a good person to come in and finish up for him." Fisher later tweeted, "I'd like to take a moment and forcefully retract every bit of this statement."
Actor Terry Crews was slammed over a tweet about the Black Lives Matter movement, NBC News noted. "If you are a child of God, you are my brother and sister. I have family of every race, creed and ideology," Crews posted. "We must ensure #blacklivesmatter doesn't morph into #blacklivesbetter." The tweet drew a response from Martin Luther King Jr.'s youngest daughter, Bernice King, who said, "Justice is not a competition." Others, such as actress/talk-show co-host Amanda Seales and gay political commentator Keith Boykin, also criticized Crews' tweet.
The New York Attorney General's office announced a nearly $19 million settlement for women who experienced sexual abuse and harassment by imprisoned former movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, CNN.com noted. The settlement stems from a 2018 civil rights lawsuit filed by the New York Attorney General's office against Weinstein, Robert Weinstein and the Weinstein companies at large for "egregious violations of New York's civil rights, human rights, and business laws," the attorney's office said at the time.
Rapper Kanye West has ( again ) said he is running for president, potentially pitting him against a man he says he admiresDonald Trump, BBC.com noted. "We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future," West tweeted. "I am running for president of the United States!" Wife Kim Kardashian West and entrepreneur Elon Musk endorsed himbut it's unclear if West is really running, as he does not appear to have registered his name with the Federal Election Commission for November's election.
Rebecca Black recently revealed she is part of the LGBTQ community, but the singer/YouTube star ( "Friday" ) still feels pressure to define what that means for her. "In our society and in the LGBTQ community as well, it isn't maybe as validated, the idea of being able to be fluid and not have a single preference [of gender to date]," she told Teen Vogue. "I'm not trying to say I do or don't have a preference. I do think there is this pressure; it's something I felt for a long time."
The Tamron Hall Show is undergoing massive changes in preparation for next seasonincluding the firing of at least 18 employees, Madame Noire noted. Earlier this year, the daytime talk show signed on Candi Carter as its new executive producer. According to Page Six, since joining the team, Carter, who previously served as executive producer at The View, brought on several new production staffers who worked on The Oprah Winfrey Show. However, a spokesperson for the daytime talk show told The Daily Mail staffers weren't fired per se, but that leadership simply chose not to renew their contracts.
Warner Bros and Stampede have set up Frosty The Snowmana live action film that will see Aquaman star Jason Momoa voicing the iconic snowman, Deadline noted. David Berenbaum, who worked with Berg on Elf, is writing the script based on the venerable character whom Momoa will embody as a CGI Frosty in the hybrid CG/live action film.
Mad Men is returning to streaming via Amazon and coming back to its original TV home, AMC, as Lionsgate has completed licensing deals for one of the signature series in its TV library, Deadline noted. Amazon/IMDb will have Mad Men exclusively July 15-Oct. 1, when the entire seven-season run of the series also will become available on a variety of AMC platforms.
With the COVID-19 pandemic still taking place, Lady Gaga shared some advice, JustJared.com noted. The "Stupid Love" singer posted a selfie of herself in a cool Chromatica-themed spiked mask on her Instagram. "Be yourself, but wear a mask! I believe in being kind to yourself, the community, and the planet. I challenge my awesome friends to show off their mask game! [heart emoji] @barackobama @michelleobama @oprah @arianagrande @itstonybennett #KindlyMask cc: @momgerm," she captioned the post.
Supermodel Naomi Campbell walked around a New York City train station in the nudeall in the name of fashion, Page Six noted. Campbell shared photos of herself in the buff while exploring a subway station; in one photo, she's seen sitting in a chair while clutching a Valentino handbag. The images shocked fans online, not only because of her state of undress, but because the Making the Cut judge has been particularly cautious when it comes to avoiding the virusincluding wearing a full hazmat suit during a March flight from Los Angeles to New York.
A group going by Black Female Anonymous penned a scathing expose about Essence magazine and demanded that four top execs step downand now all four are out, Page Six reported. The group declared victory; however, Essence denied their allegations and is insisting that the explosive post on Medium did not cause the staff changes.
Sarah Jessica Parker is teaming with Love Island producer ITV America for a dating social experiment in development at Lifetime, Deadline noted. The Sex and the City star will executive-produce Swipe Swap ( working title ) via her Pretty Matches Productions and has partnered with ITV Entertainment. The show will follow two hopeful singles who trade places and adopt each other's lifestylesall in the pursuit of romance in their new cities.
Beavis and Butt-Head are back, moving from MTV to Comedy Central, Deadline noted. An expansive deal Comedy Central has inked with series creator Mike Judge and 3 Arts Entertainment calls for a reimagined version of the animated sitcom, which has received a two-season order, as well as additional spinoffs and specials.
DC's Stargirl is returning for a second season on the CW, Deadline. In addition, the network will become the exclusive in-season home to the series next season, with episodes airing on the CW network and streaming the next day on the CW's free, ad-supported streaming platformsmaking it a CW series, even though it was initially a DC Universe original.
ABC's Strahan, Sara and Keke is getting the ax, Page Six noted. The show hosted by Michael Strahan, Sara Haines and Keke Palmer is being replaced with GMA 3: What You Need to Know. ABC News took the show off the air in March and replaced it with Pandemic: What You Need to Know, a daily coronavirus report anchored by Amy Robach, Dr. Jen Ashton and, occasionally, TJ Holmes. The news came almost one month after Strahan told an ABC/Disney anti-racism symposium he felt he couldn't "speak up or raise his voice" with ABC executives for fear of being seen as threatening as a Black man, the Daily Mail stated.