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  WINDY CITY TIMES

SHOWBIZ Tamron Hall, 'Killing Eve,' speedskater, DJ dies, 'Pariah'
by Windy City Times staff
2021-03-21

This article shared 814 times since Sun Mar 21, 2021
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On the March 16 episode of Tamron Hall, Hall highlighted groundbreaking transgender trailblazers in Hollywood, a press release noted. Pose/American Horror Story actress and tech CEO Angelica Ross opened up about her difficult coming-out experience in the military, the gratitude she feels for the opportunity to represent the transgender community on screen and how she's using her tech company, Trans Tech Social Enterprises, to give back to the underrepresented transgender tech community. Also on Hall's show were Nicole Maines, who plays Dreamer on the show Supergirl; TS Madison, who is the first Black trans star to executive-produce her own reality show, The TS Madison Experience, on WE tv; and YouTuber/actor/activist Chella Man, who detailed his experience as a trans, deaf, genderqueer and Jewish person of color.

Killing Eve is coming to an end with its delayed fourth season in 2022—but BBC America is developing a number of potential spinoffs, Deadline reported. The cat-and-mouse thriller, starring Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh, is set to start filming season four in the UK and across Europe early this summer; the eight-episode run will premiere next year. Comer stars as psychopathic assassin Villanelle, who is being chased obsessed by Oh's British intelligence investigator Eve Polastri; Fiona Shaw plays Carolyn Martens, head of the Russia Section at MI6.

Champion long-track speedskater Conor McDermott-Mostowy has come out as gay, according to an out.com item that cites Outsports. "I think I've kind of always had that at the back of my mind," McDermott-Mostowy explained. "I don't want to talk about being gay, because there's a stereotype that gay guys aren't athletic, and I don't want that to be held against me or used to justify a bad result." However, after recent double victories in the men's mass start and men's 100-meter races plus a bronze finish in the 1,500-meter race, the skating star said he's more than proven the fallacy of that stereotype.

DJ, producer and ballroom icon Vjuan Allure has reportedly passed away, according to Paper. No official statement or details surrounding the death have been issued yet, but sources close to the Washington D.C.-based artist, who was in his late 30s, seemed to confirm his passing on social media early March 16. Allure was famous for his 2000 remix of Masters at Work's "The Ha Dance," which helped cement the song as one of the most sampled tracks across the ballroom scene and define the sound of vogue over the next two decades.

Writer/director Dee Rees' first feature film, Pariah, is coming to the Criterion Collection—and is making history while doing so, out.com noted. By becoming part of the collection, Pariah becomes the first film by a queer woman of color to get the Criterion treatment. The 2011 movie tells the story of lesbian high schooler Alike and is loosely based on Rees' own teen years. Alike, played by Adepero Oduye, is masculine; however, her parents (played by Charles Parnell and Kim Wayans) are trying to get her to act like a "normal girl."

Out actor Daniel Franzese said he was fired from an event he was hired to host at Ohio's Walsh University because he's gay, LGBTQ Nation noted. Franzese believed he was fired because of the pope's recent statement about homosexuality being a sin. After establishing a contract with the school, the Mean Girls actor received a letter that read, "The institution has decided to no longer approve the contract for Daniel. I am incredibly disappointed and sincerely apologetic for, this is, I know, unprofessional, and clearly based on personal beliefs of the higher administration." Franzese said that he plans on finding the nearest gay club to Walsh when the pandemic is over and perform a comedy benefit for the Trevor Project, an LGBTQ nonprofit that fights teen suicide.

Multi-platinum-selling, and Grammy-, Brit-, Golden Globe- and Oscar-winning artist/songwriter Sam Smith released Love Goes: Live At Abbey Road Studios, on Capitol Records, a press release announced. The intimate 13-track set was Smith's only live performance of 2020 and marked an exclusive performance of music from their third album, Love Goes. Recorded with a full band at the iconic venue, Love Goes: Live At Abbey Road Studios includes new takes on "Diamonds," "Promises," "Kids Again," global hit "Dancing With A Stranger" and a special performance with collaborator Labrinth for the title track.

Actress/dancer/activist Leyna Bloom is making history as the first Black and Asian-American transgender Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model, ABC News reported. Bloom followed in the footsteps of Brazil's Valentina Sampaio, who, last year, became the first transgender woman to appear in the issue. Bloom said visibility is key to progress: "We need to constantly remind ourselves to protect those people in our society that are destined, that are different, that are beautiful uniquely themselves to go out and do what they're destined to do which is to challenge society to make it better for everyone else."

Lifestyle expert, acclaimed cookbook author and Emmy-winning television personality Martha Stewart is taking over the Chopped kitchen in the new, five-episode "Chopped: Martha Rules," premiering Tuesday, April 13, on Food Network, a press release noted. Set in an outdoor kitchen in Kennebunkport, Maine, Stewart calls the shots and changes all the rules any way she wants, as 16 chefs compete and learn to pivot to stay in the running for the $50,000 grand prize. Joining her at the judges table are Marc Murphy and Marcus Samuelsson, who determine the winners from the preliminary heats that will meet in the finale for a chance to take home the pay day. Ted Allen will continue to host.

On Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop podcast, actress/supermodel Cara Delevingne opened up about the struggles she went through before coming out, out.com noted. "I grew up in an old-fashioned household. I didn't know anyone who was gay," Delevingne said. "I didn't know that was a thing and actually, I think growing up. … I wasn't knowledgeable of the fact I was homophobic." Delevingne—who has been in relationships with actress Ashley Benson and musician Annie Clark (also known as St. Vincent)—came out as pansexual last year in an interview with Variety.

And speaking of St. Vincent, she will be the special musical guest on the April 3 episode of Saturday Night Live (SNL), a press release noted. Actor Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out; Judas and the Black Messiah) will host. Also, former SNL cast member Maya Rudolph will host March 27 (with Jack Harlow as the musical guest), and actress Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman) will host the April 10 episode (with guest Kid Cudi). St. Vincent will make her second appearance as SNL musical guest; the Grammy-winning artist's new album, Daddy's Home, will be released May 14.

Actor BD Wong recently said on the Las Culturistas podcast that he felt Li Shang—the character Wong voiced in the 1998 animated movie Mulan—was sexually fluid, out.com noted. To some, Shang was a "bisexual icon," as there was palpable chemistry between him and Mulan when she presented herself to others as Ping, a male soldier. "When we made the movie, fluidity was not a word," Wong said. "We didn't talk about fluidity. Now we have fluidity. Now we watch Shang and his choices and his actions, and see it through fluidity." When the live-action remake was released in 2020, many criticized the fact that Li was cut from the project.

Call Me By Your Name actor Armie Hammer is under investigation by LA police on rape claims and could soon find the matter being handed over the district attorney's office, Deadline reported. "We can confirm that Armie Hammier is the named suspect in an alleged sexual assault investigation, initiated on Feb. 3, 2021," LAPD Officer Drake Madison said. Hammer could land behind bars for up to eight years if found guilty. In recent weeks, Hammer was axed by WME and cut from various projects after controversial and sexually disturbing social-media posts from the actor were leaked online.

This year, Marvel is celebrating the 80th anniversary of the first Avenger, Captain America, with a new limited series, out.com noted. In the series, Steve Rogers teams with Sam Wilson, Bucky Barnes, and John Walker (who have each been Captain America at some point) to go on a cross-country road trip to find the hero's stolen shield. The first issue of The United States of Captain America has them meeting the Captain America of the Railways, Aaron Fischer, who is gay; he's introduced in a bonus story written by writer Josh Trujillo and illustrated by Jan Bazaldua.

To mark its 15th anniversary, the film Kinky Boots will be out on DVD and Digital on April 14, Paramount Home Entertainment announced. The film's plot is as follows: To save the business from imminent bankruptcy, young Charlie Price (played by Joel Edgerton) turns to an unlikely new creative consultant—a talented drag performer (Lola/Simon, played by Chiwetel Ejiofor) whose outrageous style and wild designs are a breath of fresh air in the factory. Ejiofor earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor, and the Broadway musical inspired by the film won six Tony Awards in 2013.

The 20th anniversary of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider—complete with a newly remastered version and nearly 90 minutes of previously released bonus content—will be available on Blu-ray on June 1, from Paramount Home Entertainment, a press release noted. Originally released June 15, 2001, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider stars Angelina Jolie as the intrepid adventurer whose exploits send her on a quest for a mysterious and powerful artifact. In addition, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (which also stars Jolie) will be available together for the first time in a 4K Ultra HD set that includes access to digital copies of both films.

Demi Lovato announced that her new album, Dancing with the Devil … The Art of Starting Over, will drop April 2, iHeart.com noted. Lovato made the announcement and shared the album's artwork with her fans on Instagram. This album will mark Lovato's seventh studio LP, and her first release in four years following the release of 2017's Tell Me You Love Me. Last year, Lovato unveiled several singles, including "I Love Me," "Anyone" and "I'm Ready," with the last tune featuring Sam Smith.

Also regarding Lovato, the singer claimed she was sexually assaulted and "left for dead" by the dealer who delivered her a mix of heroin and other drugs on the night she suffered a near-fatal overdose three years ago, Page Six reported. The "Give Your Heart a Break" singer recalled how she was forced to face what happened when she woke up in the hospital after the incident and doctors asked her if she had had consensual sex. "I remembered him lying on top of me, so I said, 'Yes,'" Lovato said in her YouTube docuseries Dancing With the Devil. She said she soon realized, however, that because of her highly inebriated state the night of the July 2018 near-tragedy, she had been in no condition to agree to sex. She also admitted that after her overdose, she relapsed once more.

Gay literary icons Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams will be highlighted in a new film coming this year, according to out.com . The documentary Truman and Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation, starring Jim Parsons and Zachary Quinto, has been acquired for North American distribution by Kino Lorber and will be released in June.

Ellen DeGeneres has signed an exclusive multi-year deal with Discovery to produce natural history content across all platforms, Deadline reported. Under the agreement, the comedian/talk-show host will develop and produce specials, series and documentaries in the natural-history space for Discovery Channel and the Discovery+ streaming platform through her A Very Good Production. The first project under the deal is Endangered; DeGeneres will narrate and executive-produce the documentary from Discovery and the BBC Natural History Unit, which will begin streaming Earth Day, April 22, on Discovery+.

Showtime announced that the fourth season of its hit drama series The Chi (9 p.m. ET/PT), the third season of comedy Black Monday (10 p.m.) and freshman comedy series Flatbush Misdemeanors (10:30 p.m.) will debut Sunday, May 23, a press release noted. Created and executive produced by Emmy winner Lena Waithe (Twenties; Boomerang) and executive-produced by Academy Award, Emmy and Golden Globe winner Common (Selma), The Chi is a timely coming-of-age story centering on a group of residents on the South Side of Chicago who become linked by coincidence but bonded by the need for connection and redemption.

Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley celebrated the one-year anniversary of the daily series "Stars in the House" with a show full of stage and screen stars and, for the first time ever, some of their dedicated viewers joined the conversation, including two frontline workers who have been watching since the very beginning, a press release noted. The anniversary episode—which featured appearances from Sebastian Arcelus, Joe Benincasa, Annette Bening, Stephanie J. Block, Brenda Braxton, Andréa Burns, Judy Kuhn, Dr. Jon LaPook, Melissa Manchester, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Bebe Neuwirth, Kelli O'Hara, David Hyde Pierce, Keala Settle, Marc Shaiman, Chandra Wilson and more—broke the single-show fundraising record, raising more than $28,300 (including a $10,000 matching grant from the Frances Lear Foundation). Now, after more 375 episodes, "Stars in the House" has raised more than $750,000 for The Actors Fund, and an additional $200,000 for other charity organizations who have needed support throughout the pandemic.

World of Wonder and Leaf Mobile announced RuPaul's Drag Race: The Mobile Game, a new game out later this year on iOS and Android, according to out.com . The project is the product of a new multi-year partnership between World of Wonder, which produces Drag Race, and East Side Games, a subsidiary of Leaf.

Harry Potter star Ralph Fiennes (who played Lord Voldemort) weighed in on the ongoing conversation around author J.K. Rowling and the debate around her transphobic personal views, Insider noted. In a new profile from UK publication the Telegraph, Fiennes said he can't "understand the vitriol directed at her." He said, "I can understand the heat of an argument, but I find this age of accusation and the need to condemn irrational. I find the level of hatred that people express about views that differ from theirs, and the violence of language towards others, disturbing." Last year, Rowling's pattern of supporting trans-exclusionary radical feminists, or TERFs, culminated with a lengthy essay about her beliefs (many of which were not supported by science) when it came to transgender people.

One Night in Miami co-star Kingsley Ben-Adir (who played Malcolm X) will play a lead opposite Samuel L. Jackson and Ben Mendelsohn in Secret Invasion—an upcoming Marvel series for Disney+, Deadline reported. In Secret Invasion, Jackson and Mendelsohn reprise their MCU characters Nick Fury and the Skrull Talos, respectively, who first met in Captain Marvel.

Showtime has announced that it has placed a series order for the hour-long drama Shaka: King of the Zulu Nation, executive-produced and directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day), a press release noted. An epic drama centered around one man's personal journey from stigmatized childhood to warrior king, the series is produced by CBS Studios, Propagate and Fuqua Films; and created and written by Olu Odebunmi and Tolu Awosika (The Terminal List). Fuqua has extensive credits as a director, including the Showtime documentary American Dream/American Knightmare as well as feature films like The Equalizer franchise, The Magnificent Seven, Southpaw, Shooter, Olympus Has Fallen and King Arthur.

Katie Thurston and Michelle Young have been named the next stars of the 17th and 18th seasons of The Bachelorette, respectively, with both individual cycles set to air in 2021, ABC Press announced. After appearing in the landmark 25th season of The Bachelor, both women apparently emerged as fan favorites among Bachelor Nation. The official announcement was made by The Bachelor: After the Final Rose host Emmanuel Acho during ABC's special following the finale of season involving Matt James, the first Black Bachelor, who handed the final rose to controversial contestant Rachael Kirkconnell. During the After the Rose special, hosted by Emmanuel Acho, James said he broke up with Kirkconnell because of the controversial photos.

Caitlyn Jenner—who performed as the Phoenix on last week episode of The Masked Singer—was unmasked on the hit Fox series, Variety noted. Among the panelists, Jenny McCarthy Wahlberg was the only one to get her guess right, naming Jenner in the end. Jenner sang the Kesha song "Tik Tok"—and the Olympic gold medalist told Variety that her son Brandon assisted in voice training.

Also regarding Jenner, she confirmed that she will be appearing in the final season of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, according to Page Six. Jenner appeared on the E! reality series during 2007-2016. On the show, Jenner has addressed everything from her transgender identity to her 2014 divorce from Kris Jenner.

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is moving from October 2021 to April of 2022, according to Variety. It is expected that the country-music themed Stagecoach festival, which takes place the weekend after Coachella's two weekends, will move as well. The move, if it is officially confirmed, marks the fourth time the dates for Coachella, which takes place over two weekends at the Empire Polo Ground in Indio, California, have been rescheduled.

HBO Max has given a series order to The Hype—a competition series set in the colliding worlds of streetwear, business and culture, a press release announced. Speedy Morman will host the eight-episode season that will feature judges including Grammy-nominated recording artist and designer Offset; creative director and Bephies Beauty Supply founder Beth Birkett; and Emmy-nominated costume designer and stylist Marni Senofonte.

In honor of Stephen Sondheim turning 91, Broadway World revealed its list of the 91 greatest Sondheim songs. The top five (in reverse order) are "Maria" (from West Side Story), "Everything's Coming Up Roses" (from Gypsy), "Losing My Mind" (from Follies), "Send in the Clowns" (from A Little Night Music) and "Being Alive" (Company).

The Michael B Jordan AMC drama series 61rst Street has begun shooting at Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, Reel Chicago noted. The show, which has been ordered as a two-season television event series with eight episodes per season, is a courtroom drama that follows Moses Johnson—a promising, Black high school athlete who is swept up into a corrupt Chicago criminal-justice system. Jordan is executive producer.

NBC terminated World of Dance, the non-scripted competition series featuring and exec-produced by Jennifer Lopez, Deadline reported. The network has no plans to bring the show back for a fifth season. Season four, which featured 12 episodes, aired between May and August 2020. The show featured a group of elite dancers competing in a range of dance styles for a $1-million grand prize. Lopez, Ne-Yo and Derek Hough were judges, with Jenna Dewan hosting the first two seasons and Scott Evans hosting the third and fourth.

Ryan Murphy has unveiled the title for the latest American Horror Story season, Deadline noted. Murphy posted a video on Instagram that added another clue to his trial of hints about the upcoming 10th season of the show. "The title of AHS 10 is Double Feature," the eerie video of waves crashing into a shore read. "Two horrifying stories … one season."

PJ Harvey is reissuing her Uh Huh Her album on vinyl, via UMC/Island, this April, TheVinylFactory.com noted. The follow up album to 2000's Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea, Uh Huh her was produced by Harvey herself and originally released on Island in 2004. The new reissue includes both the full album and an album of previously unreleased demos as well as unseen photos by Maria Mochnacz.

Sharon Osbourne responded after Holly Robinson Peete claimed that Osbourne had her fired from The Talk for reportedly being "too ghetto" for the CBS show, Deadline reported. Osbourne denied playing a part in Peete's firing via a Twitter post Saturday. "In response to Holly Robinson Peete's accusation of me getting her fired from The Talk, I am sharing an e-mail sent to me from Holly one month after she was let go by CBS," she wrote. In the private email from Peete, sent Sept. 19, 2011, she and Osbourne appear to be on good terms. Osbourne did not address Peete's "too ghetto" portion of the claim.

And speaking of Osbourne, The Talk is on hiatus, Page Six noted. CBS announced it was launching a probe following the British co-host's heated exchange with Sheryl Underwood after she defended longtime friend Piers Morgan and his controversial comments about Meghan Markle. Co-host Elaine Welteroth filed a complaint to HR about racial insensitivity on the set after Osbourne's heated exchange. Also, Osbourne allegedly referred to former co-hosts Julie Chen and Sara Gilbert with anti-Asian and -LGBTQ slurs; another former co-host, Leah Remini, mentioned the Chen item to journalist Yashar Ali. Osbourne's publicist Howard Bragman responded, "The only thing worse than a disgruntled former employee is a disgruntled former talk-show host."

Paris Hilton is getting into business with Warner Bros. Unscripted Television, signing an exclusive two-year overall deal with the studio, Deadline noted. Under the agreement, Hilton will develop, executive-produce and star in original unscripted television programming on behalf of the studio.

Less than two years after its launch, Rihanna's Fenty fashion line with LVMH closed down, Page Six noted. The French luxury group confirmed the news to WWD in a statement last month, saying,: "Rihanna and LVMH have jointly made the decision to put on hold the RTW [ready-to-wear] activity, based in Europe, pending better conditions." The upscale label's Instagram account stopped posting on New Year's Day, and Fenty hasn't released new designs on its website since November, when it dropped the second of two footwear collaborations with Amina Muaddi.

The series Sasquatch is debuting on Hulu on Tuesday, April 20, a press release noted. While visiting a pot farm in Northern California in 1993, investigative journalist David Holthouse heard a story that still haunts him: On a nearby farm three men were torn limb from limb in a savage Bigfoot attack. Sasquatch follows Holthouse as he revisits the Redwoods 25 years later, in search of any evidence that might lead to the truth of what happened that night.

After a November 2020 story in Variety exposed the fact that registered sex offender—and noted cinematographer—Adam Kimmel has been a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences since 2007, the organization has removed him. Kimmel also appears no longer to be in the American Society of Cinematographers, an elite organization for directors of photography. Kimmel was arrested in New York City in November 2003—after having a sexual relationship with an underage girl that summer—and pleaded guilty to rape in the third degree in February 2004. In an email to Variety last November, Kimmel acknowledged his guilt, but called the charges "consensual sex with someone under the legal age of consent, as he was 43 when the girl was 15, and then turned 16.

Rapper and reality TV personality Lil Mama claimed she wants to "start a heterosexual-rights movement" so that straight people can express anti-LGBTQ rhetoric more freely, LGBTQ Nation noted. "So children are too young to smoke cigarettes, too young to drink alcohol, too young to get a driver's license, too young to go to a club, too young to gamble, too young to rent a car, but old enough to cut off their genitals and/or 'change' their gender? This is insanity America," she said on Instagram, adding that transgender people are "depopulation at any cost."

Luann de Lesseps has been cast in the new tropical-island spin-off of the Real Housewives franchise, Page Six noted. The show—essentially a Lord of the Flies reboot in which Bravo ships Housewives from various cities off to an tropical island—is reportedly set to begin shooting in Turks and Caicos in April. The Blast said that Housewives such as Melissa Gorga and Teresa Giudice from the Real Housewives of New Jersey; Cynthia Bailey and Kenya Moore, from the Atlanta version; Ramona Singer and Sonja Morgan, from New York; and Kyle Richards and Lisa Rinna, from Beverly Hills, were all being considered for the cast.


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