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SHOWBIZ RuPaul, LGBTQ athletes, film winners, Charles Busch
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

This article shared 919 times since Mon Nov 2, 2020
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RuPaul has a lot of irons in the fire, according to . Not only is she on the cover of Cosmopolitan UK's January 2021 issue, but the drag icon has also posted her new five-track Hey Sis, It's Christmas EP. Also, RuPaul has a huge holiday campaign with Old Navy.

Speaking of RuPaul, she, Lilly Singh and Hannah Gadsby have joined the cast of the upcoming Aniventure animated movie Hitpig, noted, citing Deadline. Singh (A Little Late With Lilly Singh)—who became the first out bisexual woman of color to host a late night show last year—will star as Pickles, a "niave, ebullient elephant who has escaped the clutches of an evil trillionaire." Hot on her trail is Hitpig, a "grizzled porcine bounty hunter" played by Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones). RuPaul's and Gadsby's roles have yet to be announced.

Sports icons Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird announced their engagement after four years of being together, reported. Bird posted a photo to Instagram of Rapinoe on one knee, putting a ring on Bird's finger in a pool. The pair comprise one of the biggest power couples in sports at the moment and have gotten engagement a little under a year after the marriage of another lesbian sports power couple: Ashlyn Harris and Ali Krieger. The two couples are friends, as Rapinoe was a part of the Harris-Krieger wedding.

When a friend suggested to gymnast Danell Leyva he post a message of support in honor of Coming Out Day recently, the three-time Olympic medalist instead decided to use the occasion to write his own coming out story on Twitter—but he said he "didn't think it was gonna blow up the way it did," noted. Leyva explained that the decision to come out was made more complicated and difficult due to the very same traits of stubbornness and determination that helped him win a bronze medal in the 2012 Olympics and two silver medals in the 2016 summer games. He hated the stereotypes associated with being queer, and he didn't want to give "those people the satisfaction of being right because it doesn't come from a good place." In his posts, he admitted he was still figuring out if he was bisexual or pansexual, so he was pleased by the enlightened and supportive responses he received online.

Champion figure skater Adam Rippon is developing a comedy series about figure skating at NBC, Variety revealed. Set in the world of adult figure skating, the series is said to tackle the oversized ambitions, underwhelming talent and boundless heart as one woman fights her family, failing knees and every other skater on the ice. Rippon formally retired from competition in 2018 after competing in the 2018 Winter Olympics, and subsequently won season 26 of Dancing with the Stars.

Olympic skater and three-time U.S. national champion figure skater Johnny Weir (who is on the current season of Dancing with the Stars) recently talked about his experiences breaking into the sport as a gay teen, noted. "I had just turned 16 and I was competing internationally at the Olympic level," Weir said on the Halloween-themed Villains Night of the competition show. "An agent approached me with my mom and said the world is your oyster and we're the agency that can take you where you want to be. But he then looked at me and my mom and he said if you work with us and we create this future for you, you can't be gay." Luckily for Weir (and the skating community), he had a supportive family that didn't listen to the so-called expert.

Cowboys (Grand Jury Prize for narrative feature) and Welcome to the USA (Grand Jury Prize for international feature) won the top prizes at the 32nd annual NewFest LGBTQ Film Festival, according to NBC News. Also, director Posy Dixon's Keyboard Fantasies: The Beverly Glenn-Copeland Story took home the documentary feature prize and Queenie director Cai Thomas won for New York short. The festival also introduced three new juried cash-prize awards as part of NewFest's new Black Filmmakers Initiative, which was created in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and in recognition of the need to create opportunities for queer Black artists and amplify their voices.

Actor, playwright, writer/director (and drag legend) Charles Busch (Psycho Beach Party; Die, Mommie, Die!) and director/writer, creative partner and collaborator for more than 20 years Carl Andress are currently shooting their latest film project, The Sixth Reel, in which Busch also stars, a press release noted. The comedy centers on a down-on-his-luck movie collector (Busch), who discovers a legendary lost film and becomes entangled in an outrageous adventure to deliver it to the right hands before it is lost forever. The film co-stars Julie Halston, Tim Daly, Margaret Cho, Andre De Shields, Patrick Page, Doug Plaut, Richard Bekins, Heather MacRae, Dee Hoty, Cady Huffman, John Ellison Conlee, T. Oliver Reid and Ashley Austin Morris.

MGM announced that the Aretha Franklin biopic Respect, starring Jennifer Hudson, has been delayed seven months to Aug. 13, 2021, noted. Respect—titled after Franklin's 1967 hit of the same name—was set to be released Dec. 25, with a wide release coming Jan. 15, 2021. Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, Audra McDonald, Marc Maron, Tituss Burgess, Saycon Sengbloh, Hailey Kilgore, Skya Dakota Turner, Tate Donovan and Mary J. Blige also star in the biopic. Franklin died at age 76 in August 2018.

The cult film Hocus Pocus will get a sequel on Disney+, as Bette Midler confirmed she, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy will all return to their spellbinding roles, The New York Post noted. It won't be the first time that the Sanderson Sisters will reunite. Midler recently announced on Instagram that the trio would come together to host a virtual charity event, "In Search of the Sanderson Sisters: A Hocus Pocus Hulaween Takeover," on Oct. 30.

The line-up for The iHeartRadio Jingle Ball—taking place Thursday, Dec. 10—has been revealed. noted that Billie Eilish, Doja Cat, Dua Lipa, Harry Styles, Lewis Capaldi, Sam Smith, Shawn Mendes and more will be performing. Fans can tune in to watch the 2020 iHeartRadio Jingle Ball on Dec. 10 at 8 p.m. CT on The CW App and, as well as listen across 95 iHeartMedia CHR radio stations nationwide and the iHeartRadio App. The CW will also broadcast the event as an exclusive TV special Monday, Dec. 14, at 7 p.m. CT.

Nikki McKibbin—who reached the final three on the first season of American Idol—has died at age 42, Deadline reported. Her fellow contestant and season one runner-up Justin Guarini reported the news on Instagram. Her death was attributed to complications from an aneurysm. McKibbin and Guarini lost to Kelly Clarkson in the first season. McKibbin made a brief appearance in 2014, when her 15-year-old son auditioned.

Boosie Badazz made headlines earlier this year after his transphobic and homophobic comments about Dwyane Wade's transgender child, Zaya Wade—but boxer Mike Tyson recently pressed the rapper about why he takes objection to people living in their truths, Complex noted. "Why do you say things about people who might be a homosexual? Why do you say that about them?" Tyson asks in the video. "Do you feel there's a possibility that you're a homosexual and by disrespecting them it furthers yourself from being a homosexual? I'm thinking you may like homosexuals." The rapper responded that he's "as straight as an arrow," but that he was "offended" by Zaya Wade's transition because she's a child.

Actor Jamie Foxx is mourning the loss of his younger sister DeOndra Dixon, who died at 36, Extra reported. The Oscar winner shared on Instagram, "My heart is shattered into a million pieces... my beautiful loving sister Deondra has transitioned… I say transitioned because she will always be alive... anyone who knew my sis... knew that she was a bright light." People Magazine reported that Dixon passed away Oct. 19. She had competed in more than nine Special Olympics and had served as the ambassador for the Global Down Syndrome Foundation since 2011.

Kanye West took to Twitter to post a screenshot of an article revealing that actress Jennifer Aniston advised not to vote for him for president, Complex noted. On Instagram, Aniston posted a pic of herself putting her sheet in a ballot box, with a caption endorsing the Joe Biden/Kamala Harris ticket; she added, "It's not funny to vote for Kanye. I don't know how else to say it. Please be responsible." Despite this, West has been on a mission to have people write him in on their ballots—with him responding, "Friends wasn't funny either," the Jasmine Brand noted.

The late Whitney Houston has earned her third diamond-certified album, becoming the first Black artist to achieve the feat, the AP noted. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and Legacy Recordings announced that Houston's 1987 sophomore album, Whitney, has reached diamond status, which is equivalent to selling 10 million albums. Her self-titled 1985 debut album and 1992"s The Bodyguard soundtrack were already diamond successes, selling 13 million and 18 million units, respectively. Garth Brooks holds the record for most diamond-certified albums, with nine.

Drag personality Loris—star of The Boulet Brothers' Dragula: Season 1 and Dragula: Resurrection, both on Shudder—has released a single called "Freaky Planet," a press release noted. The song, with Honey Davenport from RuPaul's Drag Race's season 11, dropped just before Halloween, on Oct. 30. Loris said, ""Honey and I wanted to create a bop, something people would immediately start dancing to! We worked with my biological brother Curtis on the beat, so this project was truly all love and all family." The video is at

The CW announced premiere dates for several of its series, Deadline noted. Javicia Leslie will make her debut as Ryan Wilder and become Gotham's new defender in Batwoman when its sophomore season bows Sunday, Jan. 17; Charmed will join the Sunday lineup a week later with its third-season premiere. All American returns for Season 3 on Monday, January 18, and the fourth season of Black Lightning joins the Monday lineup on Feb. 8. The fifth season of Riverdale will debut Wed., Jan. 20, followed by the sophomore return of Nancy Drew. In addition. The CW's Super Tuesday will launch Feb. 23 with the series premiere of Superman & Lois, starring Tyler Hoechlin and Elizabeth Tulloch, followed by the season-seven bow of the network's most-watched series, The Flash.

The fourth and final installment of Greg Berlanti's Chilling Adventures of Sabrina comes to Netflix on Thursday, Dec. 31, noted. According to Deadline, the final season will focus on a series of Eldritch Terrors trying to take over the world, starting in Sabrina's hometown. The young witch, played by Kiernan Shipka (Mad Men) and her friends will have to fight enemies including The Weird, The Returned, The Darkness, and big bad The Void, described as "the End of All Things."

Tony winner Laura Benanti is joining the ensemble cast of HBO Max's upcoming Gossip Girl sequel series, Deadline reported. The new Gossip Girl—a sequel to the CW's 2007-12 series—is written by Joshua Safran, based on the book by Cecily von Ziegesar. The upcoming series features a new generation of New York private school teens introduced to the social surveillance of Gossip Girl.

The third season of American Gods—the series starring Ricky Whittle and Ian McShane, and based on EP Gaiman's award-winning 2001 novel—will debut Jan. 10, 2021, on Starz, Deadline reported. The 10-episode new season will take viewers to one of the chiller parts of the book. Starting in chapter nine of the battling deities novel, Shadow Moon, played by Whittle in the TV series, finds himself hiding out from the New Gods in a sub-zero Badger State town where mystical forces and the body count both seem to be rising.

Filthy Rich and NeXt are both ending after one season on Fox, Deadline reported. The network will not renew either series for a second season, though both shows will see out their current runs. Filthy Rich stars Sex and the City alumna Kim Cattrall as Margaret Monreaux, the matriarch of a mega-rich Southern family famous for creating a wildly successful Christian television network. NeXt is a John Slattery-fronted AI thriller about the emergence of a deadly, rogue artificial intelligence.

Rapper Lil Jon made his political views apparent on Twitter after declining to voice his support for President Donald Trump, Newsweek noted. Trump's campaign has recently received support from Black and Latino performers with both Ice Cube and Lil Wayne praising the Trump administration's Platinum Plan; rapper Lil Pump has also said that he would vote for Trump. When Twitter user @BanRopes asked Lil Jon to add his Trump support to the mix, he responded, "HOW ABOUT F****** NOOOOOO." Lil Jon appeared with Trump on the NBC television program Celebrity Apprentice, which Trump hosted; during the taping of a 2013 episode in which Lil Jon wore an Uncle Sam costume, Trump allegedly referred to Lil Jon as "Uncle Tom."

Andre Leon Talley has put his feud with Vogue editor Anna Wintour aside and rushed to her defense against charges of racism at the fashion mag, Page Six noted. Talley—who was once Wintour's trusted second-in-command—supported her against a New York Times expose that revealed bigotry at Vogue, even though he recently blasted her as a "colonial broad" who is steeped in "white privilege." "Anna made history by making me the first African American male EVER to be named as creative director of Vogue, in 1988. She crashed the glass ceiling," he wrote on Instagram, along with an image of them at the Met Ball in 1999. In the Times piece, Wintour copped to acting poorly when it comes to issues of race.

Kim Kardashian West threw a 40th-birthday party for herself and dozens of friends on a private island that swapped social distancing for dancing, bike-riding and swimming with whales—and is facing backlash, noted. Nightmarish scenes from films including Midsommar, Parasite and The Wicker Man were substituted into Kardashian West's tweet by a number of creative Twitter users. Many questioned the logistics of her event, given that Kardashian West neglected to provide details of what her guests' "multiple health screens" consisted of after she stated, "After 2 weeks of multiple health screens and asking everyone to quarantine, I surprised my closest inner circle with a trip to a private island where we could pretend things were normal just for a brief moment in time."

And on a related note, Kendall Jenner has also invoked anger by hosting 100 people at a bash for her 25th birthday, Page Six noted, citing TMZ. Jenner held the event at Harriet's Rooftop in Los Angeles, with guests warned not to "post on social media of any kind"—although some, including sister Kylie, appeared to have ignored that rule and posted all about it on social media. Justin Bieber, The Weeknd, Winnie Harlow and family members Kim, Kanye and Kylie attended.

Ryan Phillippe posted a still of himself mid-run to his Instagram story, squinting in front of a billboard promoting The Ellen Degeneres Show—and took a dig at the show, Page Six noted. "And remember to be kind …" he captioned the picture in a seemingly mocking flowery script—referencing DeGeneres' catchphrase on the show—before adding "Wait" in a starker font. Phillippe has not been on DeGeneres' show since 2011, Us Weekly reported, adding that the actor's ex-wife, Reese Witherspoon, is one of the talk-show host's close friends and was a guest on the show in March.

Lori Loughlin has officially begun serving her time for paying out big bucks to get her daughters into top colleges under false pretense, Deadline reported. Three weeks ahead of schedule, the former Full House star arrived Oct. 30 at the Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin, California, for a two-month stint. Loughlin has been assigned assigned Bureau of Prisons number 77827-112, according to authorities.

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