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SHOWBIZ Todrick Hall, LGBTQIA+ podcast, Pride TV programs, '80s music
by Windy City Times staff
2021-06-06

This article shared 543 times since Sun Jun 6, 2021
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Todrick Hall is celebrating Pride with the release of his new album, Femuline, on June 8, a press release noted. The album's lead single, "Boys In The Ocean," is described as "an irresistible funk jam." Femuline follows Hall's 2020 EP Quarantine Queen and features dance floor-ready tracks. He collaborates with several famous musicians and other celebrities, including Chaka Khan, Nicole Scherzinger, Brandy, Tyra Banks and TS Madison.

Free the Work and GLAAD are debuting a new podcast, "Free the Work Focus: Pride" for Pride 2021 diving into conversations around the state of LGBTQIA+ representation in behind the camera storytelling, a press release noted. The six-episode interview series, which premiered June 3, will spotlight leading LGBTQIA+ TV, film, and documentary creators. The premiere episode was hosted by GLAAD Director of Entertainment Media Jeremy Blacklow and featured out Pakistani-Canadian-American film and TV actor, writer, producer and director Fawzia Mirza; and Andria Wilson Mirza, director of ReFrame, the joint gender equity coalition from Women in Film and the Sundance Institute.

In honor of Pride Month, Showtime will release more than 50 hours of LGBTQ+ programming for free sampling throughout June, according to a press release. Titles including The L Word, The L Word: Generation Q, Queer As Folk, L Word Mississippi: Hate the Sin, Work in Progress, XY Chelsea, Semper Fi, Couples Therapy and selected episodes of Desus & Mero will be available across multiple Showtime partner platforms. Additionally, Showtime and the Human Rights Campaign will expand their collaboration on Queer to stay, an initiative launched last year to support and preserve businesses that serve the LGBTQ+ community, with a focus on LGBTQ+ people of color, women and the transgender community.

In celebration of Pride Month this June, Shout! Factory TV is presenting a curated collection of films, specials and television series that champion the contributions of the LGBTQ+ community and its allies to entertainment and culture, a press release noted. The collection includes an eclectic slate of films and TV appearances featuring LGBTQ+ icons and characters, with turns by Elton John, Cher, David Bowie, Liza Minelli, Rock Hudson, Bette Davis, Cary Grant and many more.

Rotten Tomatoes will be celebrating LGBTQ+ creatives and representation in films and television shows throughout June, with a dedicated Pride Hub featuring editorial, best reviewed lists and an array of recommended at-home viewing options, a Rotten Tomatoes press release announced. Some of the lists include the Best LGBTQ Movies of All Time, Essential LGBTQ TV Shows, LGBTQ Horror, Comedy and Documentaries. Rotten Tomatoes will also be teaming with GLAAD to host a Twitter Spaces conversation about the importance of trans stories—by trans creators—in comedy. See editorial.rottentomatoes.com/rt-hub/pride/.

The Museum of the City of New York announced plans for an exhibit that will feature an extensive look at the city's music scene in the '80s, according to NYS Music. "New York, New Music: 1980-1986" will open on June 11. The exhibit will be previewed at the museum's upcoming Spring Gala on Wed., June 9 during which LL Cool J, Cyndi Lauper and Kevin Liles will be honored with Gotham Icon Awards.

Nickelodeon has made history by casting its first-ever openly trans actor in the live-action superhero show Danger Force, according to PinkNews. Sasha Cohen, 13, has been cast alongside his twin sister, Natalie. "I had never felt comfortable about who I am, and I always thought that I would never play a transgender role," Sasha told Variety.

The Kissing Booth and Euphoria star Jacob Elordi will star with Star Trek and American Horror Story star Zachary Quinto in road-trip crime thriller He Went That Way, Deadline noted. Set in 1964, the movie is based on the strange but true crime story of celebrity animal trainer Dave Pitts and his famous TV chimp, Spanky—centerpiece of the traveling extravaganza The Ice Capades—and his fateful three-day encounter with the serial killer Larry Lee Ranes. Quinto will portray Jim Goodwin, based on Dave Pitts; Elordi will play serial killer Bobby Falls, based on Ranes.

Speaking of Quinto, he and Jim Parsons make voiceover contributions in the film Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation, a Kino Lorber press release announced. This dual-portrait documentary will open in New York (at the Film Forum) and Los Angeles (at The Nuart as well as the Laemmle Playhouse & Town Center 5) June 18. Filmmaker Lisa Immordino Vreeland amasses archival material, including talk-show appearances with Dick Cavett and David Frost, with clips from some of the Truman Capote's and Tennessee Williams' most memorable movie adaptations: A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Glass Menagerie, Breakfast at Tiffany's and In Cold Blood. Parsons does voiceover work as Capote, while Quinto is Williams.

The movie Mapplethorpe: The Director's Cut will be available during Pride Month on Hulu, Amazon, iTunes, GooglePlay, Kanopy, FandangoNow and Vudu, a press release stated. Helmed by queer director Ondi Timoner, the movie—starring Matt Smith, John Benjamin Hickey and Marianne Rendon—offers restored scenes depicting photographer Robert Mapplethorpe's childhood love of photography; his embattled relationship with his father; and his lingering, ambivalent connection to the Catholic faith.

On June 4, the award-winning LGBTQ+ series OUTLOUD: Raising Voices kicked off Pride Month 2021 and a return to live events in downtown Los Angeles with the start of a three-day concert that ended June 6, a press release noted. There were introductory remarks from Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and more than 1 million global views of the premiere day's 8-hour exclusive Twitch live-stream. This year, OUTLOUD joined forces with Pride Live's Stonewall Day, a global campaign that elevates awareness and support for the Stonewall legacy and the continued fight for full LGBTQ+ equality.

Full House actor John Stamos clapped back on Twitter after Republican congressional hopeful Omar Navarro posted a negative comment about the movie Cruella including gay character Artie, PopCulture.com noted. "The new Disney Cruella with Emma Stone just ruined my childhood with an openly flamboyant gay in the movie," Navarro tweeted. "Disney [persists in] shoving the LGBT agenda down our throat." Stamos wrote, "If that ruined your childhood, I hope you didn't watch Full House. Three single men, living under one roof raising kids in San Francisco…." "You clearly did not have a very good childhood if this ruined it," added Mrs. Doubtfire screenwriter Randi Mayem Singer.

Lance Bass and husband Michael Turchin, who have been married since 2014, confirmed in a Q&A with People they expect to welcome twins—a boy and a girl—via surrogacy later this year, according to USA Today. The announcement came the same day Bass teased the news in a horror-movie trailer posted on TikTok, in which the NSYNC alum and Turchin discover two mysterious buns in their oven. Bass also revealed their surrogate miscarried last year while pregnant with twins.

A documentary celebrating the 25th anniversary of Mary J. Blige's influential 1994 LP My Life is debuting on Amazon Prime on June 25, according to The Music Network. Commemorating African American Music Appreciation Month, Mary J. Blige's My Life will see the R&B icon open up on the hardships experienced throughout her career and offer an in-depth look into the record. Blige and the album's original producer Sean "Diddy" Combs both serve as executive producers on the project, and legendary record producer Quincy Jones is also credited as executive music producer in the trailer for the documentary.

Bob Fosse's Dancin'—the hit musical revue originally directed and choreographed by the legendary Fosse that ran on Broadway from 1978 to 1982—will return, Deadline noted. Producer Joey Parnes announced that he'll bring a revival, directed by Wayne Cilento, to Broadway in the 2022-23 season. Fosse's credits included The Pajama Game, Damn Yankees, Little Me, Sweet Charity, Pippin, Dancin' and the film version of Cabaret; interest was revived by the 2019 FX series Fosse/Verdon, starring Sam Rockwell and Michelle Williams.

Tom of Finland Foundation president and co-founder Durk Dehner is the subject of an upcoming documentary, Variety reported. Started in 1984 to promote the art of Tom of Finland (born Touko Valio Laaksonen), the Finnish artist known for his hypersexualized imagery of men with bulging muscles clad in leather and fetish gear, the organization now supports and preserves the full spectrum of LGBTQ erotic art. The film is being developed and directed by Richard Villani, a former Vanity Fair photo editor who is the foundation's director of special events.

The San Francisco Giants will support Pride Month on the field and on their uniforms and caps, USA Today noted. On June 5 against the Chicago Cubs, the Giants featured Pride colors in the SF logo on their game caps along with a Pride patch on the right sleeves of their home uniforms—making them the first major league team to do so. The 11 colors represented in the new Pride logo are: red (life); orange (healing); yellow (sunlight); green (nature); blue (serenity); purple (spirit); and black and brown for LGBTQ+ people of color. Light blue, pink and white represent transgender individuals.

The second season of the International Format Award-winning competition series Full Bloom debuts Thursday, June 10 on HBO Max, a press release noted. Season two will once again spotlight up-and-coming florists from across the country, ready to battle for the botanical crown.

Even in 2021, Susan Saint James thinks famously closeted actor Rock Hudson would have "never ever come out," according to a Page Six item. "He was the sexiest guy alive," the actress said. "I used to say to him, 'Such a waste!' He was lovable and funny. He was hilarious and he had a life that he really, really liked. I don't think he would have ever, ever come out." Saint James says that right before he became ill, she spent a magical night with him reminiscing about old times and is grateful that they could share that time together.

Andy Cohen is appealing for the safe return of a former schoolmate who has been missing for almost two weeks, Page Six noted. The Bravo exec and Sirius XM radio host asked for help on his Facebook page following the May 21 disappearance of actor and playwright Andy Neiman. Neiman, 48, who has bipolar disorder, has not been seen since he walked out of Poughkeepsie's MidHudson Regional Hospital wearing only green scrubs and socks.

B.J. Thomas—the Grammy-winning singer who enjoyed success on the pop, country and gospel charts with hits like "(Hey Won't You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song," "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head" and "Hooked on a Feeling"—died at age 78, USA Today noted. Thomas, who announced in March that he had been diagnosed with stage-four lung cancer, died from complications of the disease at his home in Arlington, Texas. A Hugo, Oklahoma native who grew up in Houston, Billy Joe Thomas broke through in 1966 with a gospel-styled cover of Hank Williams' "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry."

Legacies actress Kaylee Bryant posted on her Instagram, saying, "Hi, my name is Kaylee and I'm queer! Happy Pride Month!," out.com noted. In the pic, she's wearing a t-shirt that says, "Be the bold queer you needed to see in your youth," holding a rainbow flag, and sticking out her tongue. The shirt is designed by queer artist Crash King and is available for purchase online; visit https://www.depop.com/products/crashcantdraw-be-the-bold-queer-you/.

Another prominent member of the Lifetime reality series Dance Moms has come out, according to out.com . Non-binary dancer Zackery Torres announced on TikTok that they are transitioning, and now use both they/them and she/her pronouns. Torres, 22, was the first contestant on Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition to be assigned male at birth, and joined the Candy Apple team on Dance Moms. Torres follows fellow Dance Moms alum JoJo Siwa in coming out recently.

Actress Alexandra Shipp opened up about her sexuality and publicly coming out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, out.com noted. On Instagram, the actress (probably best known for her role in the gay, teen romantic comedy Love, Simon and for playing the young version of iconic mutant superhero Storm in the X-Men film franchise) revealed that she used to be scared of what people would think about her if she ever revealed that part of herself.

Actor Larry Saperstein—who co-stars as Big Red on the Disney+ hit series High School Musical: The Musical: The Series—came out as bisexual, out.com noted. "Is it really that unexpected tho?" Saperstein captioned an Instagram post, which is basically just a selfie video where the words "Plays a character with a girlfriend on TV, is bi irl" show up on screen as the Backyardigans' viral hit "International Super Spy" plays in the background. He also took to Twitter to reveal that, in honor of Pride Month, he's working on a drag look.

Judge Judy Sheindlin is adjourning from her hit daytime show after 25 years, according to Deadline. However, she got a few things off her chest while talking with The Wall Street Journal. Sheindlin said tensions with CBS made her toss in the towel on her long-running daytime courtroom reality show. Most of her anger stems from CBS buying out Sheindlin's ownership of Judge Judy reruns, ostensibly to stop her from shopping the show's library. Sheindlin added that she felt "disrespected" by CBS's work on Hot Bench, another courtroom show she created in 2014; some CBS-owned stations "in major markets" bumped Hot Bench to make room for The Drew Barrymore Show. Sheindlin will be working on a new show, Judy Justice, on the Amazon-owned IMDb TV.

On June 4, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) advocate and Center Without Walls founder Nancy Davis welcomed guests to the Rose Bowl for the 28th Annual Race to Erase MS Gala: Drive-In to Erase MS, a press release stated. Among those who spoke were Lance Bass, Mario Lopez, Kathy Hilton, Dorit Kemsley, Kyle Richards and Sutton Stracke. Earth, Wind & Fire performed their classic hits, and the evening concluded with a group performance of "Lean on Me," led by Earth, Wind & Fire, Siedah Garrett, David Osmond, Greg Phillinganes and others.

Mariah Carey reportedly parted ways with Jay-Z and his management company, Roc Nation, after a heated argument with the rapper during a meeting about the future of her career, according to a Page Six item that cited The Sun. Carey signed with Jay-Z in 2017 years after firing former manager Stella Bulochnikov, prompting lawsuits on both sides. Carey is said to be working on "a heavily R&B-influenced album" and another world tour.

A court dismissed the final two charges in a lawsuit against actress Rosario Dawson where a former family friend and employee alleged that she and her family misgendered, insulted and assaulted him, according to out.com . After most of the allegations were dropped last year voluntarily by Dedrek Finley, the man who filed the lawsuit, the final two allegations have been thrown out by a Los Angeles Court. "My family is pleased that this baseless suit is over," tweeted Dawson, who herself came out as queer last year.

Jeremy Jordan (Broadway production Newsies; TV's Supergirl) will take on the lead role of Seymour when off-Broadway's Little Shop of Horrors returns to the stage Sept. 21, Deadline noted. Jordan will be joining original cast members Tammy Blanchard and Christian Borle, under the direction of Michael Mayer. Jordan had previously been set to join the company on March 17, 2020, before theater industry operations were suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Actress Kate Winslet said she may be done baring it all, The New York Post noted. Reflecting on her "very hot grandma" sex scene in her newest project, Mare of Easttown, the star told The New York Times, "I think my days are getting a little bit numbered of doing nudity." The British actress starred in one of the most famous nude movie scenes of all time when the she, then 21, stripped down to be painted by a young Leonardo DiCaprio in the 1997 film Titanic.

The Critics Choice Association (CCA) and nonfiction producers' organization NPACT unveiled the nominees for the third annual Critics Choice Real TV Awards, which recognize excellence in nonfiction, unscripted and reality programming across broadcast, cable and streaming platforms, a press release noted. Alex Trebek will be honored posthumously with this year's Impact Award; and RuPaul's Drag Race garnered nominations for Best Competition Series, Best Ensemble Cast In An Unscripted Series, Female Star of the Year for Michelle Visage, and two for RuPaul: Best Show Host and Male Star of the Year. All Critics Choice Real TV Awards winners will be celebrated Monday, June 21. Winners in two categories—Female Star of the Year and Male Star of the Year—will be chosen by fan voting, which is now open at CriticsChoice.com .

Tiffany Haddish will produce and star in a biopic about three-time Olympic Gold-winning track and field athlete Florence Griffith Joyner ("Flo-Jo")—who was one of the actress' heroes growing up, Deadline reported. The movie will tell the story of the Olympian's remarkable life and untimely death, showcasing her historic feats, but also her enduring impact on the entire world of sports and in the communities that needed her help and inspiration the most.

Intimate-lifestyle product company LELO is marking Pride Month by collaborating with fashion designer Marco Marco to create a limited-collection of body-inclusive underwear, a press release noted. To amplify this message, LELO and Marco Marco collaborated with models and influencers from diverse backgrounds to further reinforce the inclusivity campaign celebrating love, pleasure, equality and acceptance among the LGBT community. Additionally, the two brands will donate 15% of the sales from this collaboration to the Marsha P. Johnson Institute. See MarcoMarcoUnderwear.com .

Sisters in Crime (SinC) announced that the winner of the inaugural Pride Award for emerging LGBTQIA+ writers is C.J. Prince (she/hers) of West Orange, New Jersey, for her novel-in-progress, The Butcher's Son, according to a press release. Prince will receive a $2,000 grant, which is intended for a crime writer beginning their career and will support activities related to career development including workshops, seminars, conferences, retreats, online courses, and research activities required for completion of their work. Prince will also receive a manuscript critique from Crooked Lane Books editor Terri Bischoff.

Mortal Kombat arrives for Premium Digital Ownership at home on June 11 via Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, a press release noted. The film is directed by award-winning Australian commercial filmmaker Simon McQuoid, marking his feature directorial debut. The film will also be available on 4K, Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD beginning on July 13.

Coming off an 11-season run on Shameless, Shanola Hampton has signed a talent holding deal with NBCU Television and Streaming and Universal Television, Deadline noted. Under the pact, she has been cast as the main lead in the NBC pilot Dangerous Moms. Based on a Spanish series, Dangerous Moms is an off-center dark dramedy about four diverse mothers who accidentally kill the queen bee of their school's PTA.

PETA gifted newlywed couple Ariana Grande and Dalton Gomez with a vegan tandem bicycle, according to an organizational press release. According to PETA, Grande has been outspoken about animal rights since she first rose to stardom, and late last year, she launched Orange Twins Rescue, an effort to spay, neuter, and find homes for dogs and cats in the Los Angeles area.

Kylie Jenner defended herself after a recent set of bullying claims surfaced online, Elite Daily noted.Instagram model Victoria Vanna accused the Keeping Up with the Kardashians star of making shady remarks about her during a 2015 video shoot. On Twitter, Jenner posted, ""This never happened," she said in a comment. "Anyone that knows me personally knows this is a false story. Why would I do this[?] I also love women and would just never intentionally try and put anyone down. Ok[,] moving on."

Paris Hilton was back in the DJ booth to kick off the Bitcoin Convention in Miami, according to Page Six. Hilton spun tunes at E11EVEN—the first major nightclub in the US to accept cryptocurrency—to a crowd of techies who paid up to $25,000 for a table. The Bitcoin conference had more than 20,000 attendees and featured speakers such as Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Ron Paul and skateboarding icon Tony Hawk.

Chris Harrison won't be returning to front ABC's Bachelor in Paradise—and he'll be replaced by actor David Spade, Page Six noted. In February, veteran host Harrison announced that he would be "stepping aside" from the Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise for an unspecified "period of time" after controversy surfaced over comments he made defending contestant Rachael Kirkconnell, who attended a plantation-themed party in 2018. Now Spade, an admitted Bachelor superfan, will be among several guest hosts.

Jared Drake Bell, who played Drake in the Nickelodeon series Drake & Josh, was arrested in Ohio and charged with attempted endangerment of a child and disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, Deadline reported. Bell, 34, pled not guilty to the charges, which allegedly stem from a 2017 internet chat. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for June 23.


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