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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-09-06



SHOWBIZ Sheryl Lee Ralph, 'The Other Two,' Colton Ford, celebrity splits
by Andrew Davis

This article shared 3639 times since Fri Jul 7, 2023
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Emmy-winning actor, author, singer, philanthropist and community activist Sheryl Lee Ralph, along with The DIVA Foundation, unveiled the new documentary short "Unexpected" at the 2023 Essence Film Festival in New Orleans, a press release noted. The documentary short, produced by Ralph and directed by Zeberiah Newman, follows Masonia Traylor and Ciarra "Ci Ci" Coven—two young mothers who have turned their own HIV diagnoses into activism as they travel to rural parts of the country to connect with newly diagnosed women and offer supplies, information and hope.

The Other Two—the cult Max comedy about the inner workings of Hollywood—ended June 29 with its season-three finale, per The Hollywood Reporter. The ending comes following multiple staff complaints about creators/showrunners Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider over the course of the production. The ending of the show—starring Drew Tarver and Helene Yorke, among others—was designed to serve as a series finale.

Openly gay singer/actor Colton Ford dropped the NSFW video for his new song, "Handle It," per a press release. (The video was filmed at The Barracks and Snap Studios in Palm Springs, and co-stars adult film actors Drew Sebastian, Mack Austin and Macho Dog.) The song and video are from Colton Ford's new album, Permission. According to the release, Permission "covers a wide spectrum of narratives, from lustful encounters to falling in love, love lost and dealing with infidelity," adding that "the compilation of contemporary R&B and pop songs also carry messages on aging and coming out of the closet." Ford describes "Handle It" as "the kind of ooey-gooey R&B song that I love." The safe version of the video is at

Billy Porter and husband Adam Smith have separated, per Extra. In a statement to People, Porter rep Simon Hall confirmed that the Pose actor and his husband have decided to end their six-year marriage. "The decision was an amicable and mutual one and was made after much consideration," said Hall. "They continue to love and support each other as they embark on this next chapter." Porter and Smith first began dating in 2009. After a year of dating, they went their separate ways, then got back together five years later. They were married in 2017 after a two-week engagement.

And Ricky Martin and husband Jwan Yosef are divorcing after six years of marriage—but are still committed to the "joint upbringing" of their children, per Page Six. "We have decided to end our marriage with love, respect and dignity for our children and honoring what we have experienced as a couple all these wonderful years," they said in a joint statement to People. Martin and Yosef met in 2015, with the "Livin' La Vida Loca" singer revealing their engagement the following year.

Josh Seiter—a former Bachelorette contestant who recently came out as bisexual—announced on social media that he and new husband David (a fellow exotic dancer) are no longer together. On Instagram, he posted, in part, "It is with a heavy heart that I must break the news that David and I are no longer together. Per David's communications, he was not ready for the publicity and hate that accompanied our union." Answering someone's question, Seiter said, Because we didn't send the marriage certificate into the county yet to finalize the marriage, we do not need either a divorce or an annulment and can just go our separate ways. We aren't considered married in the county's eyes. Silver lining."

Former NBC anchor Jenna Wolfe revealed she and her wife, correspondent Stephanie Gosk, secretly split during the pandemic—and as Wolfe tested positive for the breast=cancer gene, Page Six noted. "There's a lot of beautiful ego that comes with one person being on television," Wolfe joked to People magazine. "But when there's two people on television, plus both kids trying to do Zoom school in a Manhattan apartment, there's just no space anywhere." Now allowed to exercise moderately, Wolfe, who will go for breast implants in August, said she's back to feeling "good."The couple are co-parenting their two kids.

Greta Gerwig's film Barbie has been banned in Vietnam, per Variety. The Warner Bros. film, starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, was set to have been released in the country on July 21. However, the film contains a scene that depicts a map with the "nine dash line"—a representation of China's territorial claims in the South China Sea, which Vietnam says violates its sovereignty. Many of China's neighbors, such as Vietnam, have competing and overlapping territorial claims and strongly dispute China's assertions.

On a related note, lesbian film producer Christine Vachon talked about the dark 1987 movie she made with gay filmmaker Todd Haynes that featured the popular doll, per Deadline. Titled Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story, the 43-minute experimental film used archival material, talking heads and stop-motion animation featuring Barbie dolls to tell singer Karen Carpenter's rapid journey from obscurity to pop stardom and her untimely death due to anorexia-related-complications. The film has been withdrawn from circulation since the early 1990s after Richard Carpenter, Karen's brother and longtime collaborator, filed a lawsuit against Haynes that the director lost. "The fact is, we still can't really show the movie," Vachon said, adding that it pops up on YouTube from time to time—and is later removed.

Gloria Carter—the mother of superstar rapper Jay-Z—recently married partner Roxanne Wilshire, according to TMZ. Robin Roberts, Tyler Perry, Kelly Rowland and Beyonce (of course) were among the A-listers who attended the event. Jay-Z's been extremely supportive of his mother, who came out as a lesbian in his 2017 track, "Smile."

Deadline ran a feature on The Stroll—an HBO documentary in which transgender sex workers bravely walk the streets of New York City and solicit potential customers in their cars. Winner of the Special Jury Award: Clarity of Vision at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, The Stroll is director Kristen Lovell's experience living on the streets in the '90s and making money as a sex worker in the Meatpacking District of lower Manhattan. "I couldn't go on another 10 years of this [sex work]," she said. "I was actively trying to make the changes and gain employment as a trans woman. I wanted to become a filmmaker and set out on that course as my next career path, and I did."

The HBO Original four-part documentary series Last Call: When a Serial Killer Stalked Queer New York will premiere July 9, with a new episode out each following Sunday, per a press release. A description read, "In the early 1990s, with homophobia and hate crimes on the rise as the AIDS crisis worsens, a serial killer preys upon gay men in New York City, infiltrating queer nightlife to find his victims. … [The series] also dives deeply into the prejudices and attitudes of the times, when deep-rooted biases in the criminal justice system and the media's distorted public perception of the victims undermined the investigation and enabled a brutal killer to prey on a marginalized populace."

Bowen Yang—the out star of Saturday Night Live (SNL) and Hulu's Fire Island—announced that he's taking a mental-health break from his podcast Las Culturistas with Matt Rogers, The Advocate noted. In a recent Instagram Story, he posted, "Taking a very short break from [Las Culturistas]. Bad bouts of depersonalization are f*cking me up bad, but I am doing my best to get better! Please take care…"

Square Enix released a new entry in its long-running Final Fantasy video-game series, Final Fantasy XVI—and it contains a queer romance (the first in the series), according to PRIDE. Dion and Terence are a same-sex couple who PRIDE says are main characters who are powerful and central to the story. However, Yahoo! Finance said the romance "disappoints" in that the couple's "relationship has promise, but falls by the wayside."

Actor/screenwriter Michael Imperioli (The Sopranos) took to Instagram to speak out against the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that will allow businesses to refuse certain creative services to LGBTQ+ customers, per The Advocate. Imperioli wrote, "I've decided to forbid bigots and homophobes from watching The Sopranos, The White Lotus, Goodfellas or any movie or [TV] show I've been in. Thank you Supreme Court for allowing me to discriminate and exclude those who I don't agree with and am opposed to. USA! USA!"

Director Stephen Kijak—who explored the late actor's double life in the documentary Rock Hudson: All That Heaven Allowed—has claimed Hudson never came out because he had the "privilege" of being a successful leading man, according to Page Six. However, the filmmaker believes Hudson could have done more with his fame and status to help others in the gay community. "That's the downside of these kinds of privileged, apolitical gays within the system," Sijak added.

The queer Australian TV series Single, Out will come to DVD on Sept. 19, per a press release. Director Lee Galea's (Monster Pies) rom-com TV series is set in Melbourne and centers around the life and loves of Adam (Will Hutchins)—a teen exploring his new gay world with the help of his friends and family. This release comprises the six complete episodes of series one. (Series two will be released later this year and series three is currently in production.)

Rihanna's 2015 collaboration with Paul McCartney and Kanye West, "FourFiveSeconds," recently eclipsed 1 billion streams on Spotify, according to American Songwriter. This marked her 10th song to reach this milestone (joining tunes such as "Umbrella," "Love the Way You Lie" (with Eminem) and "Love on the Brain")—making Rihanna the first female musician to achieve this feat. On social media, she posted a caption boasting how she accomplished this without putting out a new album in more than seven years: "Bad Gal billi… wit no new album… lemme talk my shit."

Taylor Swift has released Speak Now (Taylor's Version), per a press release. The 22[track album of new recordings is the third installment of Taylor's Version albums; all songs on Speak Now (Taylor's Version) were written by Swift. Speak Now (Taylor's Version) includes six never-before-released songs, including "Castles Crumbling" (From The Vault), featuring Hayley Williams; "Electric Touch" (From The Vault), featuring Fall Out Boy; and "I Can See You" (From The Vault).

Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter, rapper, alternative rock artist and LGBTQ+ ally Matisyahu has released his new live album, Live in Brooklyn, per a press release. The nine-song set—with songs such as "Lord Raise" and "Fake Friends" (featuring Laivy)—was recorded at the Brooklyn Bowl New York during Matisyahu's annual Festival of Light.

Tony winner Lillias White (The Life)—currently on Broadway in the Tony-winning Hadestown—will return to the NYC nightspot 54 Below during Thanksgiving week (on NOv. 22, 24 and 25), Playbill noted. Prior to Hadestown, White was last seen on Broadway as Matron "Mama" Morton in the revival of Chicago.

Marvel revealed its panel line-up for the San Diego Comic-Con on July 20-23, per a press release. Some of the panels include "Women of Marvel," "Designing the X-Men: A This Week in Marvel Special Event" and "MARVEL: Next Big Thing." Fans can stop by the Marvel booth (#2329) for the livestream broadcast, giveaways, signings, convention-exclusive merchandise at The Official Marvel Store (#2519), Marvel Unlimited subscription offers and more.

Lil Nas X became the latest star targeted on stage—and the object involved was an adult toy, per Extra. He was performing onstage at Lollapalooza in Sweden when a fan threw what turned out to be a facsimile of female genitalia at him. Nas avoided getting hit—unlike incidents involving Bebe Rexha, Harry Styles and Kelsea Ballerini—but appeared taken aback when he saw what almost got him. Nicolas Malvagna was arrested on assault charges when he struck Rexha with a cellphone, later claiming he did it "because it would be funny."

Cynthia Nixon discussed her one concern ahead of Kim Cattrall's hotly anticipated cameo in season two of the Sex and the City sequel And Just Like That, Page Six noted. "I worry that with all the build-up people are going to wonder what all the fuss was about. It's important to know that it is a very brief, very small cameo," Nixon told Sunday Times Style. Cattrall initially refused to star in the rebooted series after her feud with co-star Sarah Jessica Parker; however, HBO acquiesced to Cattrall's demands, including bringing back costume designer Patricia Field.

Insecure is now officially available to stream on Netflix—the first HBO original to launch on the streamer under a new licensing deal with Warner Bros. Discovery, according to Variety. In addition, the streamer has confirmed that Band of Brothers, The Pacific Six Feet Under and Ballers will be coming to the service at a later date. True Blood, which also currently streams on Hulu, will be available to Netflix subscribers outside the United States.

A temporary harassment order issued against nonbinary actor Ezra Miller (The Flash) in Massachusetts was lifted after a court hearing, Deadline noted. The order had been issued after the mother of a 12-year-old accused Miller of acting inappropriately around her child, although no criminal charges were ever filed. "[I am] encouraged by [the] outcome and very grateful at this moment to everyone who has stood beside me and sought to ensure that this egregious misuse of the protective-order system was halted," Miller said in a statement.

Actors Zane Phillips and Froy Gutierrez (TV's Teen Wolf) debuted as a couple recently, according to Instinct Magazine. On June 25 (Sunday), the two of them attended the Gitano Island Pride Party in New York City, where they revealed their relationship by publicly smooching. Phillips, who is openly gay, is famously known for starring in the 2022 LGBTQ+ film Fire Island; he also has a new queer series, Glamorous—co-starring Kim Cattrall—now available on Netflix.

People in Pittsburgh are not happy, as Beyonce fans were informed that the singer's Aug. 3 concert in that city has been cancelled, WPXI reported. Many fans were confused and thought it was a hoax, but reality quickly sunk in for them. Visit Pittsburgh was asked what impact this will have on tourism, and it responded that other scheduled mega-concerts will offset the loss; fans said the disappointment will linger.

Britney Spears was reportedly assaulted by an NBA player's security team when she tried to get a photo with him at Catch restaurant in Las Vegas' Aria Hotel, according to an iHeart item that cited TMZ. Spears arrived at the restaurant for dinner with her husband, Sam Asghari, and two others when she saw San Antonio Spurs player Victor Wembanyama—a 19-year-old French player of whom she is reportedly a fan. Following the incident, Spears' team filed a police report with the Metropolitan Police Department, alleging battery. However, authorities are reportedly not handling this as a criminal matter, as the guard was only intending to defend Wembanyama and not hurt Spears.

The cast and crew behind Peaky Blinders criticized Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis for using the character Tommy Shelby in a video Deadline noted. In a statement posted on social media, the "partners of Peaky Blinders"—which include Steven Knight, Cillian Murphy, Caryn Mandabach Prods., Tiger Aspect Prods and Banijay Rights—said they did not give DeSantis' campaign permission to use video of the character played by Murphy. The video goes on to show how Donald Trump once said he would support and protect LGBTQ+ citizens, before it moves to DeSantis' anti-trans laws and efforts to shut down drag events.

On an episode of former Trump fixer Michael Cohen's podcast Mea Culpa, former Danity Kane singer and reality-TV star Aubrey O'Day has claimed that she had sex with Donald Trump Jr.—inside a NYC gay club, LGBTQ Nation noted. O'Day has alleged for years that she had an affair with Trump Jr. some time between 2011 and 2012, while he was still married to ex-wife Vanessa; she met him when she was a contestant on The Celebrity Apprentice in 2011.

Bravo fans are questioning Kyle Richards' close relationship with female country singer Morgan Wade following the news of Richards' separation from husband Mauricio Umansky, according to Page Six. The two women have been attached at the hip after meeting last year, with Richards even going as Wade's date to the Americana Music Awards in September 2022. Since then, the pair have traveled the world together. Also, Wade's ex-girlfriend, Temptation Island's Kady Cannon, appeared to be wishing her ex well as fans continue the Richards/Wade dynamic.

Actor Jonathan Majors' alleged abuse reportedly extends far beyond the recent incident that led to his misdemeanor assault charges, according to a Vulture item that cited Rolling Stone. According to an investigation, Majors was abusive in at least two past relationships, including one that got physical. Also, Majors allegedly got physical with peers during drama school and intimidated crews on the sets of multiple recent films. Most notably, friends of one ex claim Majors' abuse escalated to him allegedly strangling her. The allegations come as Majors' misdemeanor case involving Grace Jabbari has a trial set for Aug. 3.

Former Smallville actress Allison Mack was released after serving two years of a three-year sentence for her participation in the notorious NXIVM cult, per Deadline. Mack was convicted on racketeering and racketeering conspiracy charges relating to her role in the cult, which prosecutors had described as recruiting and grooming women to be used as sexual partners by NXIVM leader Keith Raniere.

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