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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-09-06



SHOWBIZ 'Queer Eye,' queer films, 'Gen V,' Christian musicians, soap actor
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by Andrew Davis

This article shared 2514 times since Fri Oct 27, 2023
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The original cast of the groundbreaking TV show Queer Eye for the Straight Guy will reunite after 20 years, per a press release. Carson Kressley, Thom Filicia, Ted Allen, Kyan Douglas and Jai Rodriguez are coming together for a special live event on Saturday, Dec. 16, at the Wind Creek Event Center in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Among other things, there will be a Q&A and audience makeovers. Tickets are at

The movie Shoulder Dance will be released Nov. 14 on digital platforms, per a press release. The plot is described thusly: "The slippery lines between friends, lovers, and partners threaten to trip up two couples—one gay, one straight—over a wild weekend of seductive games, all-out indulgence, and unraveling revelations in this witty, swoony summertime romance." The movie stars Matt Dallas, Rick Cosnett, Taylor Frey, Maggie Geha and Samuel Larsen. Shoulder Dance recently won Best LGBTQ Film and Best Supporting Actress for Geha at the Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival. The trailer is at

The Gotham Awards nominations were announced, with the Paul Mescal/Andrew Scott queer movie All of Us Strangers leading all films with four nods, including best international feature, Variety noted. Past winners of the Gothams top prize have included Spotlight (2015), Moonlight (2016) and Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022)—all of which went on to win best picture at the Oscars. This was the first year of the annual ceremony in which the budget cap of $35 million was removed.

Amazon has renewed the LGBTQ+-inclusive show Gen V for a second season, Deadline noted. Set at America's only college exclusively for young-adult superheroes, run by Vought International, Gen V (in the world of another show, The Boys) explores the lives of superpowered teens as they put their physical, sexual and moral boundaries to the test, competing for the school's top ranking.

Flamy Grant—the first drag performer to make her way onto the iTunes Christian music charts—is wondering why she's being shut out of the Grammys' Contemporary Christian category, per a press release. Despite submitting the album to the Grammy's Contemporary Christian category, Grant was surprised to discover it was instead eligible only in the category of Best Pop Vocal Album. Grant's debut record, Bible Belt Baby, stayed at number one for nine days in July after a conservative preacher targeted her online.

Also regarding Christian music, Spotify removed offensive imagery associated with the controversial song "Still 2 Genders," by Christian rapper Tyson James and his 11-year-old son, Toby James—although the transphobic song continues to be available on the platform, per The Advocate. The publication had previously noted that the song was accessible on major music streaming platforms, including Spotify and Apple Music, despite its derogatory lyrics towards trans individuals, including a slur to describe them. Apple Music had not made any changes or responded to inquiries regarding the song's availability on its platform.

Openly gay soap actor Christian LeBlanc (The Young and the Restless) revealed for the first time publicly, on CBS affiliate 4WWL, that he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma—a blood cancer that develops in plasma cells in the bone marrow—in June, per People Magazine. "I'd never spent a day in the hospital in my 65 years until this year," he said. "It's a common cancer but a very fast-moving one." He described signs leading up to his diagnosis, including rapid weight loss, nosebleeds and a drooping eye (which fans noticed). Following immunotherapy, LeBlanc is in remission and working on regaining the weight he lost.

LGBTQ+ Brazilian actress/singer/songwriter Anitta has released the single "Mil Veces" ("A Thousand Times") ahead of her album Funk Generation, per a press release. She said, "I love the attractive pop notes of its lyrics, which talk about a relationship that wasn't meant to last but continues on and on experiencing ups and downs. It is crazy… it's a relationship dynamic that many people have already experienced." The video features her and Maneskin frontman Damiano David, a noted LGBTQ+ ally.

Emmy-winning and Tony-nominated actor, singer, producer, philanthropist and community activist Sheryl Lee Ralph—along with her non-profit charitable organization, The DIVA Foundation—announced a star-studded partial lineup of performers and presenters to take the stage at this year's "DIVAS Simply Singing! Raising Health Awareness," a press release noted. Wayne Brady, Grammy winner Dianne Reeves, American Idol winner Jordin Sparks and Cynthia Erivo are among those taking part. Now in its 33rd year, the event will take place Nov. 19 at the historic Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles.

Dozens of celebrities backed an open letter to President Joe Biden asking him to call for a ceasefire in Israel and Palestine as the Israel-Hamas War rages on, The Hollywood Reporter noted. Kristen Stewart, Hasan Minhaj, Andrew Garfield, Wanda Sykes, Indya Moore, Cate Blanchett, Jeremy Strong, Quinta Brunson, America Ferrera, Diplo, Joaquin Phoenix, Sandra Oh and more signed the letter requesting an end to the "devastating loss of lives and unfolding horrors" in both countries. The letter, released by the Artists 4 Ceasefire organization, urged the United States and other world leaders to honor the lives of the area, put an end to the bombing of Gaza and safely release hostages. See .

Drag personality Trixie Mattel, along with partner/motel co-owner David Silver, are coming to HGTV with a new renovation project in Trixie Motel: Drag Me Home, per a press release. "Pushing the envelope during their first year as motel mavens, the couple will take the leap into home ownership and cohabitation with the purchase of their dream home in Los Angeles, but it will need some revamping to make it fit for a queen," the release noted. The four hour-long episodes are set to debut on HGTV next summer.

Out British actor Ben Whishaw is set to join English actress Keira Knightley in Netflix's upcoming spy series Black Doves, Variety noted. Black Doves, which is set during Christmastime in London, revolves around Helen Webb (Knightley), a politician's wife, doting mother—and professional spy. For years, Helen has been passing on her husband's secrets to the Black Doves, the shadowy organization for whom she works. But when her lover Jason is assassinated, only Helen's old friend and fellow assassin Sam Young (Whishaw) can keep her safe.

Adele announced the final leg of her residency at the Colosseum at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, Pitchfork noted. The "Weekends with Adele" run consists of 32 dates from January through June 2024. On social media, she posted, "This residency, these shows have changed my life. I desperately needed to fall back in love with performing live again, and I have." Tickets are available at .

The Try Guys—Zach Kornfeld, Keith Habersberger and Eugene Lee Yang—took the stage on their IG LIVE once again to tell stories for children of all ages, a press release noted. The donations they raised will support Drag Story Hour and Transgender Law Center to combat anti-LGBTQ+ laws and rhetoric. Kornfeld and Habersberger introduced their readers to Pickle the Drag Queen, while Yang read And Tango Makes Three and Not Quite Narwhal. The Try Guys comedy trio has garnered more than 4 billion video views.

The video game Spider-Man 2 is distinctive because of the amount of LGBTQ+ representation in it, The Gamer noted. For example, there are smaller side quests Peter and Miles can take on to help the local communities. Also, the story development confirms the bisexuality of the thief Black Cat and an entire Manhattan street is papered with various flags representing segments of the LGBTQ+ community.

He Went That Way—a comedic serial-killer movie that stars out actor Zachary Quinto, Jacob Elordi and a chimpanzee—will be released in theaters early next year, Out revealed. The take on a real-life serial killer's exploits stars Elordi as 19-year-old killer Bobby Falls, who goes on a three-day-long road trip with an animal handler named Jim Goodwin (Quinto) and his prized chimp. The film is based on the true story of celebrity animal trainer Dave Pitts' three-day experience with serial killer Larry Lee Ranes in 1964, as the pair drove across Route 66 with Pitts' TV-star chimp Spanky on their way to perform with The Ice Capades.

Also regarding Quinto, NBC has greenlit Dr. Wolf—a show starring him that's inspired by the life and work of the late gay British neurologist Oliver Sacks, per The Hollywood Reporter. Dr. Wolf was NBC's last pilot that was still in contention; it joins the previously ordered mockumentary St. Denis Medical with a slot on the network's schedule.

And speaking of Elordi, during his latest appearance on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, he played a game of "Tonight Show Firsts," Out noted. When asked about who his first celebrity crush was, Elordi answered that it was Brad Pitt without even skipping a beat. He said,

"It was in Troy. That's a beautiful man. There's no denying it." In the past, Elordi revealed in a W Magazine interview that his first movie crush growing up was Orlando Bloom after seeing him play Legolas in The Lord of The Rings.

Taylor Swift, Morgan Wallen, SZA, The Weeknd, Drake and Zach Bryan topped the list of 2023 Billboard Music Awards nominations—with Swift leading the charge as a finalist in 20 categories, the most of any artist this year, Deadline noted. The Billboard Music Awards will be presented on Sunday, Nov. 19. Performers scheduled for the event will be revealed daily on BBMA social channels starting Nov. 6.

Out country-music singer Lily Rose will be a special guest during musician Sam Hunt's Outskirts Tour 2024. Brett Young will be another special guest. Per a press release, the arena-headlining tour will kick off Feb. 22 in Grand Rapids, Michigan; some of the other stops will include Louisville, Nashville, Milwaukee, Green Bay and more. Earlier this year, Rose married longtime partner Daira Eamon Williamson.

Ryan O'Connor's new queer adaptation of Noel Coward's Hay Fever, titled The Cowards, was presented in a benefit reading in Los Angeles, Playbill noted. Alexandra Billings, Marissa Jaret Winokur, Charlie Barnett and O'Connor were some of the participants. Coward's original farce centers on the Bliss family, who each invites a guest to spend the weekend at the family's English country house in the 1920s—only for their narcissism to drive their guests to flee. Proceeds benefited the Los Angeles LGBT Center.

At an invitation-only show at Racket NYC, The Rolling Stones went through a seven-song set that featured a surprise appearance by Lady Gaga, USA Today noted. Gaga performed on the Stones' newest album, Hackney Diamonds, which recently dropped. At the show, she sang alongside Mick Jagger on the gospel-blues tune "Sweet Sounds of Heaven."

Musical artists Charli XCX and Sam Smith have released "In The City," a new standalone track that was recently named BBC Radio 1's Hottest Record, per a press release. Charli said, "The song is about finding the people you truly love and connect with through wild nights out and partying in magical places. It's about feeling accepted, the magnificence of being welcomed into queer spaces and those once-in-a-lifetime people you get to meet when you're there."

Broadway's Sweeney Todd stars Josh Groban and Annaleigh Ashford will play their final performances in the Stephen Sondheim revival on Sunday, Jan. 14, 2024, concluding their 46-week run, Deadline noted. The production is currently on sale through Jan. 14 but will extend its run into next spring; new casting as well as extension dates and ticket information will be announced shortly.

On the TV show The Masked Singer, lesbian tennis icon and Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame member Billie Jean King was revealed to be The Royal Hen, The Advocate noted. King sang "Philadelphia Freedom" in a night of Elton John songs. She was eliminated from the competition, but fans were thrilled when her identity was revealed. King and John are longtime friends, and he wrote "Freedom" for her.

Out Rwandan-Scottish actor Ncuti Gatwa (Sex Education) is part of the cast of the Apple TV+ series Masters of the Air, which will debut Jan. 26, 2024, per a press release. Reuniting the award-winning team of Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman—who also produced Band of Brothers' and The Pacific—Masters of the Air follows the true story of a U.S. bomber group in World War II. Other cast members include Oscar nominees Austin Butler (Elvis) and Barry Keoghan (The Banshees of Inisherin), Callum Turner, Anthony Boyle, Rafferty Law and others.

Tennis icon Serena Williams has a two-book deal with the Random House Publishing Group, starting with an "intimate" memoir, noted. In the memoir, she will open up about everything from her childhood and early tennis training, dramatized in the 2021 film King Richard, to her incredible career as well as the obstacles and setbacks she endured along the way. The book is not yet titled and does not have a release date.

As the actors' strike rages on, actress and SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher said that George Clooney and other A-list actors' offer to pay more into the union treasury was not a legally compatible move, per Deadline. The Clooney offer "does not impact the contract that we're striking over whatsoever," said Drescher. Deadline itself concluded that, even with the top actors' good intentions, the Clooney-led proposal wouldn't really change anything for the vast majority of the 160,000 guild members—many of whom don't even earn enough to qualify for healthcare benefits.

Some of controversial comic Dave Chappelle's fans walked out of his show after he criticized Israel's role in the war during a performance at Boston's TD Garden, Page Six noted, citing The Wall Street Journal. The dramatic moment started when Chappelle referred to Israel's counter-attacks against Hamas as "war crimes" and accused Israel of slaughtering innocent civilians. Although Chappelle had reportedly condemned Hamas' Oct. 7 attack on Israel, the comic further criticized Israeli government officials for cutting off water and "other essentials" to Gaza.

Actress Emily Blunt (The Devil Wears Prada) apologized for referring to a restaurant worker as "enormous" on a talk show more than a decade ago, The Guardian noted. In a resurfaced clip from an episode of The Jonathan Ross Show first broadcast on ITV in September 2012, Blunt said a waitress who served her at a Chili's restaurant in Louisiana was "enormous." An edited clip of the exchange appeared on social media, with several online commentators accusing Blunt of being "fatphobic." Blunt addressed the controversy in a statement to People magazine, saying her "jaw was on the floor" watching the clip.

Meryl Streep has split from Don Gummer, her husband of 45 years, after revealing to Page Six that they had been living apart for six years, The Daily Mail noted. Streep—who recently attended the Princesa de Asturias Awards—was seen last seen with Gummer while attending the 2018 Oscars ceremony. The pair tied the knot in 1978 and have four children and also five grandchildren; the wedding took place six months after her late boyfriend and fellow actor, John Cazale, passed away in March 1978 following a diagnosis of lung cancer.

Marco Vega—the butler hired for the second season of Real Housewives: Ultimate Girls Trip—has sued Bravo, claiming he was sexually abused during a wild party at Dorinda Medley's Massachusetts mansion, Page Six revealed. In court documents obtained by TMZ, Vega claimed that during the September 2021 event, Phaedra Parks slapped his butt and Brandi Glanville ripped his shirt off, exposing his torso. He also claimed the events strained his marriage after his wife got very upset over what had happened.

Musician/composer Danny Elfman has been sued by a second woman for sexual misconduct, according to a Vulture item that cited The Hollywood Reporter. An anonymous accuser filed a lawsuit against Elfman in Los Angeles Superior Court. Elfman and his company, Musica de la Muerta, are facing allegations of sexual assault, gender violence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, sexual harassment and negligence. A spokesperson for Elfman, who's married to retired actress Bridget Fonda, called the allegations "baseless and absurd."

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