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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Showbiz: Black gay director, Oscars, soccer couple, Demi Lovato
by Windy City Times staff
2021-02-21

This article shared 1165 times since Sun Feb 21, 2021
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Paris Barclay, the Emmy-winning TV director and former president of the Directors Guild of America (DGA), will receive the guild's Honorary Life Member Award at the 73rd Annual DGA Awards on April 10, TheWrap reported. Barclay served as guild president from 2014 to 2017, and won two Emmys and a DGA Award for his work on the TV series NYPD Blue. Barclay's other honors include three NAACP Image Awards, three Peabody Awards, two Humanitas Prizes and one Writers Guild of America nomination for the MTV telefilm Pedro, along with six additional Emmy nominations and nine additional DGA Award nominations. Other media outlets have mentioned that Barclay is the first African-American and openly gay president of the DGA.

The shortlists of Oscar music nominees have been revealed, Pitchfork noted. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross are shortlisted twice for their work on Mank and their collaboration with Jon Batiste on Soul. John Legend and Diane Warren both have two entries on the Original Song list; Legend's are from the films Giving Voice and Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey, and Warren's are from The Life Ahead and The One and Only Ivan. The shortlists also include Janelle Monae, Mary J. Blige, H.E.R., Ludwig Goransson, Christina Aguilera, Alexandre Desplat, Robert Glasper, Sacha Baron Cohen and more. The 2021 Oscars are scheduled to take place April 25.

Soccer stars Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris announced that they have adopted a daughter, out.com noted. "Dear Birth Mom," Krieger wrote to Instagram. "Our promise to you: We promise Sloane will be loved every single day by us, our friends, and our family. We promise to give her the tools to live a happy, successful life of inclusivity and support. We promise to share her adoption story with her from the very beginning and celebrate every milestone!"

Two-time Grammy nominee Demi Lovato promised her fans that she'd tell them exactly what happened during the summer of 2018 when she overdosed—and on March 23, they'll get to hear her side of the story in the Michael D. Ratner-directed docuseries Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil, Deadline reported. Lovato overdosed in July 2018 after a reported mix of oxycodone and fentanyl. "I was left with brain damage, and I still deal with that today. I don't drive a car due to blind spots with my vision and I had a really hard time reading," said Lovato adding that the experience left her with "three strokes, a heart attack and my doctors saying I had five to 10 minutes."

Out film director Roland Emmerich commented on making Moonfall—which cost $140 million—during the pandemic, Deadline noted. In part, Emmerich said, "As an independent movie it wasn't easy to overcome $5-6M at least in COVID costs. … We had to find a bank to finance us. We were plain sailing at the start of last year, but then we had to immediately shut down due to the pandemic. There was a lot of back and forth between insurance companies and banks. It was a miracle this movie happened at all. We got it done but it took a lot longer than I thought it would." Halle Berry, Patrick Wilson, Donald Sutherland, Michael Pena, Charlie Plummer and John Bradley are among cast for the big-canvas film, about a space crew which travels to the moon after it is struck by an asteroid and is sent on a collision course with Earth.

The animated kids show Blue's Clues & You—a successor to the popular Blue's Clues on Nick Jr.—garnered attention for its new alphabet song, EW.com noted. In the video, Blue (voiced by Traci Paige Johnson) wants to sing a song about all 26 letters of the alphabet, and viewers at home are paying attention to the entry for letter "P." The song goes, "P is full of Pride." The letter is accompanied not just by a rainbow letter "P," representing the colors of the LGBTQ pride flag, but it's surrounded by multiple other flags representing specific demographics, such as the asexual, genderfluid, pansexual, intersex and trans communities.

Tamron Hall faced backlash after booking Joey Gugliemelli, known popularly as the drag persona Sherry Pie, on her YouTube channel. On out.com, Ben Shimkus—just one victim of Gugliemelli's catfishing schemes when he posed as Allison Mossie, a casting agent—aired his disagreement of the booking (which featured Gugliemelli apologizing), and made that clear on social media. Shimkus also stated, in part, "I question the morality of Tamron Hall's segment on many levels. Tamron Hall's show didn't initially reach out to any victims. This means that whatever narrative was going to be presented was centered around that of our perpetrator — one who has a platform of their own making with a well-followed social media profile and a press team." Before the segment, Hall said that other controversial figures (e.g., Jeffrey Epstein and OJ Simpson) had recently been interviewed and hadn't received as much condemnation.

Three-time Emmy winner Uzo Aduba is set to star in and executive produce Low Country, a new drama from The Good Wife creators Robert and Michelle King, out.com noted, citing Deadline. In the show, Aduba will play a gay deputy sheriff working deep in the South. The show is part of a multi-year producing deal Aduba has signed with CBS Studios.

Alexandra Grey (Empire) is set to begin a recurring role on CBS' hit remake MacGyver, about a man who uses his unconventional brain and problem solving skills to save the world, out.com noted. Grey's character, Parker, is described as a trans engineer at the Phoenix Foundation—the secret, privately funded, fourth arm of the U.S. intelligence network where MacGyver and his crew work.

Australian actor Adelaide Kane, known for her starring roles in Reign and Teen Wolf, came out as bisexual in a TikTok video, out.com noted. Kane posted a video to her TikTok account with the caption, "this has been sitting in my drafts for weeks." In the TikTok, Kane appears anxious, while the words "me super nervous to come out publicly as bisexual to the people in my life & social media" are on the screen as a description. Michael Buble's song "Haven't Met You Yet" plays over the video.

Author/journalist Donovan Russo has released the book Steven's War. According to a press release, the book tells the story of Steven Cahill, a closeted Marine serving in Bagram, Afghanistan in 2009, during the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" period of the military. Steven is sent back home to crime-ridden Salem City. When Steven's world further crumbles, he embarks on a vengeful quest to take down the man responsible for Salem's corruption. Steven's War was recently released by New Degree Press and is available on Amazon and Bookshop.org .

The Writers Guild of America (WGA) unveiled the movie nominations for its 2021 WGA Awards, honoring outstanding achievement in screenwriting of original, adapted and documentary films during 2020, Deadline reported. Some of the film nominees include Palm Springs, Judas and the Black Messiah, The Trial of the Chicago 7, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom and All In: The Fight for Democracy. Winners will be announced March 21 in a virtual ceremony.

Oscar, Golden Globe and four-time Emmy winner Regina King is set to star in and produce Shirley—the feature film biopic about Shirley Chisholm, this country's first Black congresswoman, Variety reported. The film, produced by Participant, will be written and directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker John Ridley, with production expected to begin later this year. The story tracks Chisholm's 1972 presidential campaign, giving what's described as "an intimate, behind-the-scenes portrait of one of the most ground-breaking political leaders of our time."

Paramount Pictures is taking on Rodgers & Hammerstein's The King and I, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The studio has acquired the rights to the musical that hails from famed duo of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, creators of Broadway classics such as Sound of Music and Oklahoma! Temple Hill—the banner run by Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey and behind such recent movies as Happiest Season and Love, Simon—will produce the new version. The musical, which first bowed in 1951, was an instant smash, winning Tonys for best musical; best actress, for Gertrude Lawrence; and best actor, for Yul Brynner.

Rock star and four-time Grammy winner Lenny Kravitz is set to co-star opposite Jennifer Lopez and Josh Duhamel in the Lionsgate action-comedy, Shotgun Wedding, Deadline reported. Kravitz will star as the globetrotting ex of Lopez's character. Kravitz has appeared in such films as The Hunger Games franchise, Precious, and The Butler.

To commemorate the 20th anniversary of Stax Music Academy (SMA), Stax Records owner Concord is pledging $1 million to fund scholarships to attend the Memphis institute, Billboard reported. Over the next five school years, the Concord Stax Scholarships will cover full tuition for at least 20 students each year. Awarded by the Stax Music Academy based on financial need and merit, the scholarships presented to each student will bear the name of a legendary Stax Records artist or executive.

Kerry Washington and Charlize Theron have joined the cast of The School For Good And Evil, the adaptation of the fantasy YA novel from Soman Chainani, Deadline noted. Theron is set to play Lady Lesso and Washington will portray Professor Dovey in the pic. The plot of the bestselling six-book series centers on best friends Sophie and Agatha (played by Sofia Wylie and Sophia Anne Caruso), who discover where fairytale legacies go to school: the School for Good and Evil, where ordinary boys and girls are trained to be fairy tale heroes and villains.

The popular CBS sitcom Mom, starring Emmy winner Allison Janney, will end after the current eighth season, The New York Post noted. The move comes after Anna Faris, who plays Bonnie's daughter Christy, unexpectedly left the series right before production began on season eight in September.

NCIS: New Orleans, the youngest show in the NCIS franchise, will end with its current seventh season, The Hollywood Reporter noted. The series finale of the Scott Bakula-led drama will air May 16 on CBS. Executive producers Christopher Silber and Jan Nash are moving on, however, as they are collaborating on another incarnation of the franchise with NCIS: Hawaii near a series pickup at CBS.

The Real Housewives of Miami is officially gearing up for a return—to Peacock, Page Six noted. The original Real Housewives of Miami ran from 2011 until 2013. "Housewives" boss Andy Cohen will be an executive producer for the show, for which casting is still underway.

Out Tony winner Denis O'Hare is joining Naomi Watts in the survival thriller Infinite Storm, Deadline noted. Others who have joined the cast include Oscar nominee Sophie Okonedo (Hotel Rwanda), rising actor Billy Howle (Outlaw King) and Parker Sawyers (Southside With You). Malgorzata Szumowska's feature is based on the true story of Pam Bales (Watts), a mother, nurse and mountain guide who was on a solitary trek up Mount Washington when she got caught in a blizzard, leading to a rescue of a stranger (Howle) as both nightfall and the storm bear down on them.

Longtime rock musician Suzi Quatro has released a new single and music video from her upcoming studio album, a press release noted. "The Devil In Me" is the title track for Quatro's new LP, which will drop March 26 on Steamhammer. The album will be released as a CD DigiPak (including a fold-out poster), 2-LP gatefold version (with two bonus tracks), and download + streaming: SuziQuatro.lnk.to/TheDevilInMe; some of the other songs on it include "Betty Who?," "Motor City Riders" and "Isolation Blues."

A 70-year-old man was charged after Nicki Minaj's father was killed in a hit-and-run, the BBC reported. Robert Maraj, 64, died in a hospital a day after the crash in New York. Nassau County Police said in a news conference they had tracked Charles Polevich's car, and he turned himself in to police. Polevich has been charged with leaving the scene of an auto accident with a fatality and tampering with evidence.

Cloris Leachman's death certificate revealed that the actress had battled COVID-19, and the virus was a significant condition that contributed to her death, EW.com noted. Leachman died of a stroke; COVID-19 was a significant condition that contributed to her death, but was not the underlying cause. Leachman died Jan. 27 at 94.

Rachel Lindsay is ready to cut ties with the Bachelor franchise after a series of problematic scandals surrounding race on the ABC dating show, according to Page Six. Most recently, racial tensions in the Bachelor franchise came to the forefront when Lindsay interviewed the series' longtime host, Chris Harrison, on Extra. In the segment, he asked viewers to offer contestant Rachael Kirkconnell "a little grace, a little understanding" amid accusations she allegedly "liked" racially insensitive social-media posts and was photographed at a plantation-themed party. After appearing on Nick Viall's season of The Bachelor, Lindsay, a Dallas attorney, was chosen as the first Black Bachelorette in 2017; there, she met husband Bryan Abasolo.

Disgraced country star Morgan Wallen secured the No.1 album in the country for the fifth week running, despite the emergence of a recent video which sees him using a racial slur, NME.com reported. The country star has faced strong consequences since the clip surfaced, with his label Big Loud dropping him and radio stations removing his music from their playlists. Also, he recently apologized—and asked fans not to defend him.

David Boreanaz pledged support for his co-star on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, as fans urged the cast to step up amid accusations that director Joss Whedon was abusive, particularly toward women, on the set, Page Six reported. "I am here for you to listen and support you," Boreanaz posted on social media. "Proud of your strength," he added, apparently referring to former co-star Charisma Carpenter, who played Cordelia in the '90s sci-fi series; she responded, "I know you're there for me, David. I appreciate all you've done to demonstrate that support privately as well."

Singer FKA Twigs detailed the "systematic" abuse she allegedly faced from ex Shia LaBeouf, Page Six reported. In an interview with Elle magazine following her lawsuit against LaBeouf, Twigs claimed his love transformed from romantic to abusive, and that he allegedly knowingly gave her a sexually transmitted disease—allegations also included in her Los Angeles County Superior Court claim. Twigs claimed in the interview LaBeouf would use "calculated, systematic, tricky, and mazelike" tactics to keep her in the relationship, including "love bombing," in which he would allegedly suffocate Twigs with flowers, apologies and more in order to win her back following a fight.

Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West—who started dating in 2012 and tied the knot in May 2014—have officially separated, EW.com noted, citing People. A source said Kardashian has filed for divorce from West and that things are amicable. According to the source, they are in agreement over joint legal and physical custody, neither is contesting the prenup in place, negotiations have progressed and they are nearing a settlement.

Dan Levy, co-creator of and co-star on award-winning sitcom Schitt's Creek, took to social media to tell fans that he and his team have nothing to do with a Chicago bar's pop-up, Eater Chicago noted. Levy wrote that he appreciates the enthusiasm about the Replay Lincoln Park venue, but that "the event isn't sanctioned by Schitt's Creek," warning that "rumors of cast attending are untrue." In the midst of the pandemic, Levy also encouraged "all to keep making choices that do not risk the health & safety of themselves and others." Levy's tweet won over fans, who questioned Replay's motives—and some suggested legal action. In the past, Replay has mined pop-culture properties like Friends, Game of Thrones, and Rick and Morty.

A settlement agreement was reached in a lawsuit that alleged James Franco intimidated students at an acting and film school he founded into gratuitous and exploitative sexual situations, Page Six reported. A status report jointly filed by the two sides in Los Angeles Superior Court said a settlement had been reached in the class-action suit brought by former students at the now-defunct school, Studio 4. The lawsuits said the incidents occurred in a master class on sex scenes that Franco taught at Studio 4, which opened in 2014 and closed in 2017.

Gwyneth Paltrow opened up about her personal experience with the coronavirus, people.com noted. In a post on her Goop website, the actress revealed that she "had COVID-19 early on, and it left me with some long-[term] fatigue and brain fog." According to the star, she has been focusing on what she puts into her body since recovering from the virus, adhering to a flexible keto and plant-based diet, and refraining from sugar and alcohol.

Model Lourdes "Lola" Leon, who has previously been a muse for Stella McCartney, was announced as the new face of the Marc Jacobs brand with the launch of the spring 2021 campaign, PopSugar noted. Jacobs chose Leon to represent the fashion house because of her youthful spirit and the fact that her mother is Madonna, who has a long history of wearing Marc Jacobs and is a close friend.

Domestic maven Martha Stewart has expanded her empire by teaming with PrettyLitter—a health-monitoring cat litter with crystals that trap odor instantly and eliminate moisture, a press release noted. Stewart owns three cats: Empress Tang, Princess Peony and Blackie.


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