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SHOWBIZ Wentworth Miller, Whitney, lesbian author, Mark Wahlberg
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2020-11-16

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Out actor Wentworth Miller said he doesn't want to be involved in a new season of the TV show Prison Break if it happens, according to Deadline. On Instagram, he thanked fans for his support and spoke out against bullying of the LGBTQ community. Also, he stated, "I'm out. Of PB. Officially—not [because] of static on social media (although that has centered the issue). I just don't want to play straight characters. Their stories have been told (and told)." Prison Break co-star Dominic Purcell responded, "It was fun mate. What a ride it was. Fully support and understand your reasoning."

Billboard's staff revealed its picks for the top 25 Whitney Houston songs. Topping the list were "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)" (#1), "I Have Nothing" (#2) and "It's Not Right But It's Okay" (#3). Among some of the other selections were "My Love Is Your Love," (#8) "I'm Your Baby Tonight" (#12), "Just the Lonely Talking Again" (#16) and "You Give Good Love" (#21).

Mixed-race lesbian author Opa Hysea Wise has released the novel No Place to Hide (through Made for Success Publishing), which is described as a thriller "that blends suspense, spirituality and self-help," a press release stated. The book focuses on the character Smythe Windwalker Daniels, a mixed-race girl who travels to Hawaii to escape the corporate rat race—only to get entangled in a pesticide poisoning cover-up attempt by a mega-corporation. Through a series of misadventures she discovers how all events are all woven together.

Mark Wahlberg's latest film, Joe Bell, is set for a release Feb. 19, 2021, a press release noted. The film follows a small-town Oregon father who embarked on a cross-country walk to raise awareness about bullying after his teen son was bullied for being gay and committed suicide. Wahlberg stars in and produced the film, which is directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green (Monsters and Men), and written by Diana Ossana and Lary McMurty, who won an Oscar for their screenplay to Brokeback Mountain.

Selena Gomez is coming to the big screen in the upcoming biopic In the Shadow of the Mountain, about famous lesbian Peruvian mountaineer and social entrepreneur Silvia Vasquez-Lavado, according to an out.com item that cites The Hollywood Reporter. Vasquez-Lavado was the first Peruvian woman to climb Mt. Everest and the first out lesbian to complete the seven summits, where a mountaineer must climb the tallest mountain on each of the seven continents. Vasquez-Lavado is also a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and an advocate for fellow survivors; her work in survivor circles is widely praised and celebrated, especially her work organizing trips to Everest for women who survived abuse like she did.

HBO Max was criticized on social media after it was reported that the streaming service gave $20,000 to a group with a history of harsh anti-LGBTQ and anti-abortion stances as part of the "20 Days of Kindness" campaign to promote Melissa McCarthy's film Superintelligence, TheWrap reported. The group in question is Exodus Cry, a Sacramento-based Christian organization that describes itself as "committed to abolishing sex trafficking and breaking the cycle of commercial sexual exploitation." However, according to The Daily Beast, the group's CEO Benjamin Nolot—who also wrote and directed the Netflix documentary film Liberated—has a history of inflammatory rhetoric toward abortion and LGBTQ people. McCarthy has apologized for the donation to Exodus Cry, which she says "stands for everything that we do not." She said the donation has also been revoked, and in a separate statement HBO Max confirmed this.

Universal Pictures' Jennifer Lopez music-fueled romantic comedy Marry Me is moving from Presidents Day-Valentine's Day weekend, going from Feb. 12 to May 14, 2021, Deadline noted. Marry Me leaves behind a weekend that has Disney/20th Century Studios' The King's Man prequel and Paramount's untitled Lee Daniels' Billie Holiday movie on Feb. 12, and goes to a weekend where it's facing off against Paramount's animation feature Rumble.

Speaking of Jennifer Lopez, she and Maluma are slated to deliver a premiere performance of "Pa' Ti" and "Lonely" at the 2020 American Music Awards (AMA) on Sunday, Nov. 22, on ABC, a press release noted. Pa' Ti" and "Lonely" are just two of the various songs that the pair co-wrote for the Marry Me motion-picture soundtrack. Shawn Mendes, Megan Thee Stallion, Bad Bunny and rap star Lil Baby are also slated to perform, people.com noted. Taraji P. Henson is hosting the event. AMA nominees were unveiled last month, with The Weeknd and Roddy Ricch receiving the most nods, with eight each.

A teaser trailer for Lil Nas X's Christmas song "Holiday" debuted—with a cameo from Michael J. Fox, CNN.com noted. (The song is now out.) In a nod to Back to the Future, Fox warns a time-traveling Lil Nas to not land in 2020 with his rocket sleigh. "Just don't go to 2020," Fox says. In Back to the Future Part III, Fox's character (Marty McFly) gets stuck in a Wild West 1885.

Out country singer Billy Gilman reflected on the 20th anniversary of the release of his hit song "One Voice," which hit the music charts when he was 11, a press release noted. "I would never have imagined that America, let alone in the world, we would be seeing so many suicides," said Gilman. "If we could be a little nicer to one another and learn that we are all made differently, but we all deserve kindness, love, and respect it would make the world a better place." In 2016, Gilman auditioned and landed a spot on NBC's The Voice—and ultimately became the runner-up during the finale.

Ellen DeGeneres somehow transformed from the beleaguered host to the beloved host once again as she accepted E!'s People's Choice Award on Nov. 15 for best daytime talk show, Page Six noted. DeGeneres apologized to her employees in memos for a toxic work environment and addressed her fans during the show's September season premiere. According to E!, some of the other winners included the films Bad Boys for Life, Hamilton and Mulan; actors Will Smith, Tiffany Haddish and Ellen Pompeo; and TV shows Riverdale, Wynonna Earp, Never Have I Ever and The Voice. RuPaul's Drag Race alum Gigi Goode won the award for The Competition Contestant of 2020.

The first Tampa Bay Transgender Film Festival has been announced, in partnership with St. Pete Pride, a press release noted. At noon on Friday, Nov. 20—the Transgender Day of Remembrance—five films (Out Loud, Pier Kids, Keyboard Fantasies, I was Not Born a Mistake and Transkids) will be launched with full streaming access. Films will be made available to view in any order, or even individually. See https://transfilmfest.eventive.org/films.

Advocate, producer, model and actor Nyle DiMarco will host the 2020 Media Access Awards, which will be held virtually Nov. 19, a press release noted. Honorees will include Lauren Ridloff, Netflix productions Away and Crip Camp, casting director Leah Daniels Butler, Ramy Youssef and Danny J. Gomez. "One out of four American adults has a disability, but they rarely see their lives reflected in the stories told on film and television. The Media Access Awards is an ongoing campaign to change that reality. And it will change. People with disabilities will be seen and heard," said Deborah Calla and Allen Rucker, co-CEOs of the Media Access Awards.

Tori Amos announced a four-song holiday EP, Christmastide, coming out Dec. 4 via Decca Records, Rolling Stone noted. The release will include four original yuletide tracks from Amos, with her vocals and piano playing accompanied by two of her longtime collaborators, drummer Matt Chamberlain and bassist Jon Evans. Christmastide will be available digitally and on limited-edition vinyl.

Viola Davis is on the cover of InStyle's December issue—and provides a candid look at how she demands her worth as a Black actress, according to a people.com item. Davis, who has long advocated for equal pay within the entertainment industry, continued to share her views on the topic by likening her compensation to only getting the "leftovers" when white actresses are getting the full meal. "I want and I expect to get the same filet mignon that white actresses get," she explained. "Cooked at the same temperature. You cannot throw me a bone with a really nice little piece of meat still on it and expect that's good enough for me."

Niecy Nash has joined the cast of the upcoming ABC limited anthology series Women of the Movement, Variety reported. The series will tell the story of key female figures in the Civil Rights Movement. Season one will focus on Mamie Till-Mobley, the mother of Emmett Till.

Ruth Wilson and Andrew Scott are among the cast of Oslo, the HBO original movie that is now rolling cameras in Prague, Deadline reported. The plot is based on a true story of negotiations between implacable enemies—the secret back-channel talks, unlikely friendships and quiet heroics of a small but committed group of Israelis, Palestinians and one Norwegian couple that led to the 1993 Oslo Peace Accords. The movie will air on HBO and stream on HBO Max next year.

On Jan. 22, 2021, Demon Music Group will release Distortion: 1996-2007, the second of four vinyl box sets chronicling the solo career of out musician Bob Mould, a press release noted. It follows the recently released 8LP Distortion: 1989-1995 box set, which took in Mould's early solo outings as well as his records with the much-beloved Sugar, and the 24-CD Distortion: 1989-2019 box, which covers the entirety of his post-Husker Du output.

Broadway's Jagged Little Pill cast will reunite for a one-night-only special concert performance next month, bringing the musical's stars together for the first time since the pandemic shutdown last March, Deadline noted. Jagged Live In NYC: A Broadway Reunion Concert will feature cast members Elizabeth Stanley, Celia Rose Gooding, Sean Allan Krill, Derek Klena, Lauren Patten, Kathryn Gallagher, Antonio Cipriano and others, live from the stage of Shubert Studios in New York's theater district on Sunday, Dec. 13. The full episode is at www.youtube.com/watch. "Stars in the House" airs new episodes Mondays-Saturdays at 8 p.m. ET on its YouTube channel and StarsInTheHouse.com .

Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley held a Family Ties reunion on "Stars in the House," with Meredith Baxter (Elyse Keaton), Michael Gross (Steven Keaton), Michael J. Fox (Alex P. Keaton), Tina Yothers (Jennifer Keaton), Brian Bonsall (Andrew "Andy" Keaton), Marc Price (Irwin "Skippy" Handelman) and Scott Valentine (Nick Moore), a press release noted.

Grammy and three-time SAG ensemble winner Danielle Brooks (Orange Is the New Black) is joining HBO Max's Peacemaker, the spinoff series to James Gunn's upcoming The Suicide Squad movie, Deadline noted. She joins John Cena, who is playing the title character, and Steve Agee, who is reprising his John Economos character from the film. Brooks will play Leota Adebayo in the series.

The country-music event the 54th Annual CMA Awards took place Nov. 11 on ABC, a press release noted. Eric Church, performing "Hell of a View," was awarded the night's top honor of CMA Entertainer of the Year—a first for the artist. Maren Morris, performing "The Bones," was the night's biggest winner, taking home three awards: CMA Single, Song and Female Vocalist of the Year. Luke Combs took home two awards for CMA Album and Male Vocalist of the Year. Old Dominion won CMA Vocal Group of the Year, Dan + Shay accepted trophies for CMA Vocal Duo of the Year and Morgan Wallen, performing "More Than My Hometown," received CMA New Artist of the Year. Charley Pride received a career achievement award.

Megan Thee Stallion announced that her new album, Good News, will be out Nov. 20, a press release noted. The statement said, "The album takes its title from Megan's ethos that in the midst of everything negative going on in the world, we all have the ability to make and become our own good news." The announcement of Good News follows Megan's five BET Awards— including Hip Hop Artist of the Year—as well as an MTV VMA Award for "Savage" and being named part of the TIME100.

Peloton announced a multiyear partnership with singer-songwriter Beyonce to produce exclusive content with her music for its streamed workout classes, CNBC.com reported. "Beyonce and Peloton worked closely to create a series of themed workout experiences ... across multiple fitness categories, including indoor cycling, running, strength, bootcamp, yoga and meditation," Peloton said in a release. Beyonce is the most requested artist by Peloton's global community of more than 3.6 million members, the company said.

Ben Platt revealed he had contracted COVID-19 earlier this year, likening the lethal virus to an "awful flu," Page Six noted. The Broadway star added he's "totally fine now," and urged his followers to "keep distancing and masking!" As of Nov. 15, there have been more than 10 million coronavirus cases and more than 244,000 deaths reported in the United States.

Carly Hughes left the ABC comedy series American Housewife—where she was a series regular for the first four seasons—alleging toxic environment and discrimination as reasons for her exit, Deadline noted. Hughes said in a statement to Deadline, "I made the decision to leave to protect myself from that type of discrimination. As a Black woman in entertainment, I feel the responsibility to stand up for what I deserve, what we all deserve—to be treated equally. I wish the show well, and I am excited for a new chapter and to be able to pursue the opportunities ahead."

Emmy winner Kim Delaney will star in the Lifetime original movie The Long Island Serial Killer: A Mother's Hunt for Justice—the network's latest addition to its winter "Ripped from the Headlines" slate, Deadline noted. The movie is inspired by the emotional story of Mari Gilbert, played by Delaney, a mother whose daughter's disappearance led to the discovery of 19 bodies, many of which are believed to have been murdered by an unidentified Long Island serial killer. Emmy-winning journalist Deborah Norville, who covered Gilbert's story as anchor for Inside Edition, will executive-produce.

Food Network Good Eats and Iron Chef America host Alton Brown apologized for a series of joking Twitter references to concentration camps and the Holocaust, Deadline reported. Brown initially defended his remarks (claiming he is "deeply frightened" for the country, insisting the Holocaust reference was not meant for "humorous effect"), then admitted they were in "poor taste."

Warner Bros is releasing Fantastic Beasts 3 on July 15, 2022, Deadline noted. The studio had indicated following Johnny Depp's dismissal from the project on Friday that the film was headed for a summer 2022 release. The film's previous release date was Nov. 12, 2021. Warner Bros let Depp go from FB3 following a stinging loss on the actor's behalf in the UK courts over allegations of him being a "wife beater" in his relationship with his former wife and Aquaman actress Amber Heard.


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