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  WINDY CITY TIMES

SHOWBIZ Trans record label, Ruby Rose, gay producer dies, Kamala supporters
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2020-08-18

This article shared 3098 times since Tue Aug 18, 2020
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Black trans record label Trans Trenderz announced new signings—and it also held the virtual event The Ghostly Beats Conference Aug. 14-15, a press release noted. Launched in 2016 after a successful mixtape of the same name released by artist/founder Blxck Cxsper, the label has evolved to focus on The Ghostly Beats Project, pairing Black Trans artists with high caliber industry allies, from producers to graphic designers, to release their music into the mainstream. New signees include rapper/singer Jupiter Gray, hip-hop artist Lady Londyn and R&B/pop singer-songwriter Jae. See www.oneinamillionmedia.com/trans-trenderz for more information.

In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Ruby Rose discussed why she left the TV series Batwoman, Out.com noted. "Being the lead of a superhero show is tough," the lesbian actress said. "Being the lead in anything is tough. But I think, in that particular instance, it was a lot more difficult because I was still recovering from my surgery." Rose underwent emergency surgery last year to repair two herniated discs that threatened to paralyze her due to an on set stunt injury. Rose added that she is more than happy with Javicia Leslie taking over her former role on the series.

Ash Christian—an Emmy-winning producer, actor filmmaker and LGBTQ+ activist—died in his sleep at age 35 on Aug. 14 while vacationing in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, a Lon Haber & Co. press release stated. Deadline noted that Christian produced dozens of award-winning films and productions, including Hurricane Bianca ( which stars Bianca Del Rio ), 1985, Hello Again, Social Animals and Coyote Lake. His current projects included As Sick As They Made Us, Mayim Bialik's directorial debut starring Dustin Hoffman, Candice Bergen and Simon Helberg; Nightfall, with Matt Bomer and Sam Worthington; and The Sixth Reel, directed by and starring Charles Busch.

Various celebrities expressed their support for Joe Biden's pick of U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris as a running mate, Billboard noted. On social media, Bette Midler said, "Alright! From a fantastic group of candidates, #JoeBiden picked a great partner to go the distance!" Chrissy Teigen posted, "fuck yes. excited to vote!! still amazed Election Day isn't a national holiday. it needs to be celebrated, with a post vote bar crawl." Toni Braxton stated, "Congratulations to Kamala! Making history!," while Lance Bass posted, "I just remembered @KamalaHarris and #MikePence have to debate!! It's going to be a blood bath. Yikes."

Amandla Stenberg has joined the cast of Universal Pictures' Dear Evan Hansen, based on the original stage musical play with music and lyrics by Oscar-winning duo Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, Deadline reported. Best known for her turn in the adaptation of The Hate U Give, Stenberg's recent credits include Everything, Everything and The Hunger Games. Several media reports have noted in the past that Stenberg identifies as a member of the LGBTQ+ community.

Jared Leto took to Instagram to announce he will play famed artist Andy Warhol in an upcoming film, Out.com noted. "Yes it's true I will be playing Andy Warhol in an upcoming film," Leto wrote, adding he was "grateful and excited about the opportunity." While Leto didn't tell the details of the projects, Page Six pointed to a 2016 report from The Hollywood Reporter where Leto was announced to star in and co-produce a biopic entitled Warhol.

The Ellen DeGeneres Show is shaking up its top producing ranks following allegations of a toxic workplace environment, which triggered an investigation by WarnerMedia, Deadline reported. Gone are Ellen executive producers Ed Glavin and Kevin Leman as well as co-executive producer Jonathan Norman, Deadline has confirmed. Additionally the show's house DJ, Stephen "tWitch" Boss, has been named co-executive producer.

LGBT alt-rock singer/songwriter Kristen Ford is scheduled to release a new EP, No Plans, next month, led by the single "Crooked Youth," a press release announced. Ford found inspiration for the album in Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska, adding, "No Plans is the idea that you can just relax a bit as all your plans dissolve and let life unfold." "Crooked Youth" is now available for purchase and streaming on all digital platforms.

Shia LaBeouf is reportedly being eyed to play Iceman in future Marvel Comics Universe projects—but out actor Colton Haynes is also interested in the role, Out.com noted. Recently, Iceman ( whose civilian name is Robert "Bobby" Drake ) has been portrayed as a gay man, and in a groundbreaking 2017 issue of the All-New X-Men, Bobby finally got to kiss his romantic partner ( and rival inhuman ) Romeo; as a result, many have called for the actor who portrays him to also be queer. Also, Haynes has experience playing a superhero; he was Roy Harper, codenamed Arsenal, on the television series Arrow.

The Hallmark Channel will include a lesbian marriage in its upcoming movie Wedding Every Weekend—the first time the network has featured a same-sex couple tying the knot, NBC News noted. Most comments on social media applauded the move. However, One Million Moms, a division of the socially conservative American Family Association, is among the vocal opponents of Hallmark's LGBTQ-inclusive movie. Last year, the group protested a wedding ad on the network; Hallmark pulled, then reinstated, the ad last year after widespread social-media backlash.

More than two years after ABC shelved a highly political episode of Black-ish over "creative differences," series creator Kenya Barris said "Please Baby Please"—originally slated to air Feb. 22, 2018—will air on Hulu, Deadline noted. The episode is now an addition at the end of the season-four scroll.

In a Broadway first, Diana: A New Musical—the stage production about Princess Diana that went dark with the COVID shutdown just prior to its opening night—will premiere on Netflix next year before its new May 25, 2021, Broadway opening, Deadline reported. Directed by Christopher Ashley and starring Jeanna de Waal as the title character, the musical will be filmed without an audience on the stage of the Longacre Theater for the Netflix debut. No airdate was announced.

Story Center Films, Singer & Deschamps Productions and the Independent Television Service ( ITVS ) will present Cured, the story of the LGBTQ activists who successfully battled the American Psychiatric Association to remove homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses, a press release noted. Directed by Patrick Sammon ( Codebreaker ) and Bennett Singer ( Brother Outsider ), the film will receive its world premiere online Monday, Aug. 24, at the 2020 Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival, which runs Aug. 20-30.

Bianca Del Rio weighed in on the idea of a RuPaul's Drag Race all-winners season, PinkNews noted. To date the American edition and its All Stars spin-off has produced 18 winners—a few of whom have said they'd be eager for a return to the show. However, Del Rio confirmed that producers haven't asked her to return—and she'd have little interest in competing again, anyway. Del Rio explained that the show has evolved since she won season six in 2014, and leans toward a younger, more social-media-driven audience. Raja, Sharon Needles, Violet Chachki and Jinkx Monsoon have all said they would definitely return if asked, while Aquaria recently told PinkNews that she'd "never say never."

Christmas will come early for Dolly Parton fans with the Oct. 2 arrival of A Holly Dolly Christmas, the icon's first holiday album in 30 years, Billboard noted. Out on Parton's own Butterfly Records in partnership with 12Tone Music Group, the collection includes a mix of originals and holiday standards and features Parton duetting with such famous friends as Michael Buble, Billy Ray Cyrus, goddaughter Miley Cyrus, Jimmy Fallon and Willie Nelson, as well as with her brother Randy Parton. Among other things, Parton covers Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You."

Speaking of Parton, she made a rare political statement, coming out in support of the Black Lives Matter movement in a statement to Billboard, Page Six noted. "I understand people having to make themselves known and felt and seen," she said of the protests that erupted across the United States in response to the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. "And of course Black lives matter. Do we think our little white asses are the only ones that matter? No!"

The Sarah Paulson horror movie Run is moving off the theatrical release schedule and heading to Hulu, Deadline noted. The streamer acquired domestic rights from Lionsgate. Last week, the mini-major announced that its Janelle Monae horror movie Antebellum was skipping the big screen stateside for Premium Video on Demand. The movie follows a homeschooled teenager who begins to suspect her mother is keeping a dark secret from her.

R&B singer Stephanie Mills posted her thoughts on Kanye West running for President as well as Nick Cannon's support for the rapper's campaign, TheJasmineBrand.com noted. On Instagram, she said of West, "He's not qualified to be president; neither is the person that's in the White House at this time. ... What we need is for Kanye to get help. To get on medication, to see a therapist, and to get help." About Cannon, Mills added, "Kanye's being paid to do what he's doing. Now are we to believe that you're also being paid to be a distraction? You guys are acting like little boys in a sandbox with toys."

Viola Davis bought herself a meaningful gift for her 55th birthday, Yahoo! noted. "The above is the house where I was born August 11, 1965," the actress captioned a post on Instagram. "It is the birthplace of my story. Today on my 55th year of life....I own it....all of it." In a 2015 interview with Glamour, Davis revealed that the home, located in St. Matthews, South Carolina, was once a slave plantation. The actor spent her early childhood there with her five siblings in extreme poverty—an experience that led her to become an active advocate for ending childhood hunger.

Leslie David Baker—known for his role as the grouchy Stanley Hudson on the hit NBC comedy The Office—found himself on the receiving end of a particularly vicious racist tirade after launching a Kickstarter campaign to fund a pilot for an "Office" spin-off called Uncle Stan, USA Today noted. Instead of ignoring the hateful words, Baker says he found a place where they might make a positive impact: on his Instagram page for the world to see. Since his post, Baker has shared messages of support from fans on his Instagram Stories and says many of his "Office" co-stars—including Rainn Wilson, Jenna Fischer, Angela Kinsey and Kate Flannery—have offered support.

TikTok influencer Cash Baker lost approximately 80 percent of his followers after exhibiting homophobia online, Out.com noted. The younger brother of the musical duo Cash and Maverick had more than 16 million followers—but the 17-year-old spent the last few weeks posting videos explaining his homophobic Christian beliefs, and resulted in declining viewership. Baker has since indicated he is unconcerned about his drastic loss in viewers, saying his beliefs come "not from me but from the Bible itself."

Luke Bryan was on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, and gave his honest opinion on the controversy surrounding Lady Antebellum changing their name to Lady A, Billboard.com noted. "Woo! You know, I don't think they were anticipating the aftermath of being called Lady A," the country singer said. ""I can say that for years, everyone in the community, in the country-music community, has really referred to them as Lady A. ... I think it was a great option for them to choose, it just...now it's tricky." Since removing the reference to the pre-Civil War South from their moniker, Lady A have been locked in a contentious legal dispute with blues singer Anita "Lady A" White over use of the new name.

Grammy-winning singer and Black Lightning and Why Did I Get Married? actor Jill Scott will play the Queen of Gospel, Mahalia Jackson, in Mahalia!, a new big-screen take, Deadline noted. The movie is being executive-produced by Jamie Foxx, Queen Latifah and partner Shakim Compere, and Clark Sisters EP Holly Carter. Mahalia! is based on the novel Mahalia Jackson, by Darlene Donloe.

Multiple Grammy-winning recording artist Alicia Keys is attached to produce a currently untitled Netlfix romantic comedy that explores the bonds of love and family, Deadline noted. Christina Milian, Saturday Night Live alum Jay Pharoah, and Sinqua Walls will star in the film, which will take place in Mauritius.

A Clueless TV series, based on the hit 1995 feature, is in development at Peacock, Deadline noted. The project—from writers Jordan Reddout and Gus Hickey ( Will & Grace ) and CBS TV Studios—has been in development since last October, but no network or streaming service was attached. The series centers around the Dionne character played by Stacey Dash in the movie and the 1996 series adaptation.

Blondie's Debbie Harry and Chris Stein sold their future royalties to a fast-growing investment fund, NME.com reported. Purchased by the Hipgnosis Songs Fund, this means the company will now earn income from 197 Blondie songs, including "Heart of Glass" and "Rapture." Harry and Stein received an undisclosed lump sum for their catalogue and said they were "happy to be working with a progressive company," according to the BBC.

Will Smith is developing a reboot of his classic series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air titled Bel-Air, in which the comedy sitcom becomes a drama, UPI.com noted. The idea for Bel-Air came from Morgan Cooper, who created and directed a viral video in March 2019 that presented The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air as a drama taking place in modern times.

The CW is firming up its fall schedule with premiere dates for the final episodes of Supernatural; its 2020 pickups Devils and Swamp Thing; the season premieres of Pandora and The Outpost; and more, Deadline noted. The first of Supernatural's final seven episodes ( in its 15th season ) will premiere Thursday, Oct. 8. Sunday, Oct. 4, marks the season-two premiere of drama series Pandora, while the former DC Universe series Swamp Thing is slated to start Tuesday, Oct. 6. The international financial conspiracy thriller Devils gets its network premiere at 8 p.m. on Wed., Oct. 7.

A judge ordered TV host Tavis Smiley to pay $2.6 million to the Public Broadcasting Service for having multiple affairs with his subordinates, Page Six noted. A Washington, D.C., jury found in March that Smiley had breached the morals clause in his contract, following a three-week trial. The jurors heard deposition testimony from six women who accused Smiley of misconduct. PBS suspended Smiley's show in December 2017 after hiring an outside firm to look into complaints of sexual misconduct.

William Shatner complained about the word "cisgender" on social media, according to LGBTQ Nation. The 89-year-old actor who played Captain James Kirk on the original Star Trek series and films first made his objection to the term known in a tweet Aug. 3, when a fan sarcastically tweeted that Shatner is an "old white man so you MUST be a hateful bigot." "You forgot CIS as in old white CIS man… need to stay current," Shatner said, even though no one had actually called him an "old white cis man" on Twitter at that point as an insult.

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau discussed the end of Game of Thrones, saying he doesn't miss the story but does long to see his castmates, NME.com noted. The Danish actor, who portrayed Jaime Lannister in the hit HBO series, said on The Kelly Clarkson Show that what he misses most about the show is the friends he made while filming it. He went on to recall in particular his memories of younger cast members, including Sophie Turner ( Sansa Stark ) and Maisie Williams ( Arya Stark ). Coster-Waldau touched on some other topics, including his role in the new movie The Silencing, which sees him play a hunter looking to get justice for his murdered daughter.

Actress Olivia Munn recently visited Whitney Cummings' "Good for You" podcast—where she unloaded several homophobic micro-aggressions on an unnamed ex-boyfriend who people quickly figured out was NFL quarterback Aaron Rogers, Queerty stated. "I have this one boyfriend, in particular, that was just the worst, the worst at just having sex," Munn said. The actress then implied her ex was gay, saying, "He's like, 'Well, I just haven't had a lot of, you know, experience doing it.' And I was like, 'Oh.' And that's when I was also like, 'Um, he may like Benton [Cummings' male podcast producer] instead,' you know? It might be his kind of game and stuff."

Simon Cowell sat out of America's Got Talent due to an injury, but singer/talk-show host Kelly Clarkson—whom Cowell once had a hand in crowning the winner of American Idol—filled in for him, CNN.com noted. Cowell injured his back while riding an electric bike and required surgery.

Three associates of fallen R&B star R. Kelly were arrested and charged by New York federal authorities, NPR noted. The three are accused of attempting to harass, threaten, intimidate and bribe several of Kelly's alleged victims of sexual abuse. The men are 31-year-old Richard Arline Jr., a self-described friend of the singer; Donnell Russell, 45, a self-described "manager, advisor and friend" of Kelly; and Michael Williams, 37, who prosecutors say is a relative of one of Kelly's former publicists.

The movie Most Wanted—starring Antoine Olivier Pilon, Jim Gaffigan and Josh Hartnett—will be out on DVD and Blu-ray on Tuesday, Sept. 22, a Paramount press release noted. Inspired by the gripping true story, an investigative journalist ( Hartnett ) unravels a twisted case of entrapment in which Daniel ( Pilon ), a guy from the wrong side of the tracks, is forced into a dangerous drug deal against his will and is sentenced to 100 years in a Thai prison. As Daniel endures torture and abuse, the journalist must track down the undercover cops benefiting off the conspiracy while also fighting for Daniel's freedom.

CBS' CSI event series has been quietly moving forward, Deadline noted. William Petersen and Jorja Fox are in negotiations to star in CSI: Vegas, which serves as a sequel to the mothership CSI series, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Casting is under way for four new characters who will join Petersen's Gil Grissom and Fox's Sara Sidle—and three are expected to be people of color.

Cara Delevingne and Margaret Qualley are seemingly getting close, Page Six noted. The model/actress posted a series of cozy photos with the daughter of actress Andie MacDowell. Fueling romance rumors, Delevingne captioned the pictures, "I'm not cute, you are @margaretqualley [heart emoji]."

Khloe Kardashian posted a glamorous Instagram shot in May—but it turned out she purposefully digitally altered it herself beyond recognition, a Page Six item stated. Keeping Up With the Kardashians fans called out Kardashian after a clip from the show exposed her actual look the day she posted the pic that had people worried if she'd undergone major reconstructive surgery.


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