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WINDYCITYMEDIAGROUP

SHOWBIZ #ReadOutProud, Mj Rodriguez, Kate Winslet, Jennifer Lopez
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2020-09-02


Non-profit organization Pride and Less Prejudice ( PLP ) has launched a #ReadOutProud fundraising campaign video with LGBTQ celebrities including Adam Rippon, Nicole Maines, Darryl Stephens, Patrik-Ian Polk, Theo Germaine, Nikki Blonsky and Tig Notaro, a press release noted. Founded in November 2019, PLP provides free age-appropriate LGBTQ-inclusive books to classrooms from pre-K to third grade in order to foster LGBTQ acceptance. See PrideAndLessPrejudice.org.

Mj Rodriguez—best known for heading the House of Evangelista on FX's trans-inclusive, ballroom-themed drama series Pose—is officially joining Pose writer/producer Janet Mock in an upcoming HBO special adapted from author Ta-Nehisi Coates' Between the World and Me, Out.com noted, citing Variety. Rodriguez and Mock are the latest additions to an already star-studded cast that includes When They See Us and Moonlight star Jharrel Jerome, Grown-ish's Yara Shahidi, screen legends Angela Bassett and Phylicia Rashad, Oprah Winfrey and many more.

When director Francis Lee appeared nervous as he prepared to choreograph a scene of sapphic love on the set of Ammonite, The Hollywood Reporter reported star Kate Winslet decided a woman's touch was needed, Out.com noted. "Saoirse and I choreographed the scene ourselves," Winslet said, referring to Ammonite co-star Saoirse Ronan. The result of the stars' combined efforts is that Winslet felt the "least self-conscious" and the "proudest" of any love scene she has done. Ammonite is loosely based on the real-life story of paleontologist Mary Anning, who lived in Victorian England during the early 19th century.

Jennifer Lopez took to Instagram to share a clip from a new short film about her nibling, Brendon, Out.com noted. "Nibling" is the gender-neutral term for a niece or nephew, and the film Draw with Me tells of Brendon's experiences coming to terms with being trans and utilizing art as an outlet. Lopez shared a five-minute clip of Draw with Me, which tells the story of Brendon's experiences through their own words as well as those of their parents and others.

Actress/comedian Niecy Nash ( Reno 911!; Claws ) surprised fans posting a photo of her wedding—to another woman, Out.com noted. "Mrs. Carol Denise Betts," Nash wrote to Twitter. ( Nash's legal name is Carol Denise. ) Nash appears in a wedding gown, having clearly just been wed to Jessica Betts, a musician who also appears in the photo. Nash acknowledged that her wedding comes as a shock to many of her followers, writing on her Instagram Story, "#PlotTwist," E! News noted. In October 2019, Niecy and her husband of eight years, Jay Tucker, announced their divorce in a statement shared to Instagram.

Last co-directing Beyonce's Disney+ visual album feature Black Is King, Ghana-born filmmaker Blitz Bazawule is set to direct Warner Bros. musical feature film The Color Purple, based on the Tony-winning Broadway musical, Deadline noted. Marcus Gardley is writing the screenplay based on The Color Purple Broadway reimagining of Alice Walker's 1982 novel. The original Broadway musical debuted in 2005, scoring 11 Tony Award nominations in 2006 and winning for LaChanze's role as Celie. The 1985 film was nominated for 11 Oscars.

Breaking Glass Pictures released Musical Comedy Whore—a stage production-turned-film starring theater veteran David Pevsner—on Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu and Fandango, a press release noted. Full of raunchy puns, original songs and anecdotes, Musical Comedy Whore is the story of Pevsner's life on the Broadway stage, on the streets of Manhattan—and in the bedroom with strangers.

Ryan Murphy is turning the Broadway musical The Prom into a film—and released a first peek at the cast, Out.com noted. The cast includes Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, Andrew Rannells, James Corden, Ariana DeBose, Kerry Washington, Keegan-Michael Key, Nicole Kidman, Kevin Chamberlin, Awkwafina and Jo Ellen Pellman. According to Playbill, the film will be a musical, and the "entire song list from Matthew Skylar and Chad Beguelin's original score made it into the movie."

Artsploitation Films and Kino Lorber announced that Benjamin—a quirky, anxiety-fueled gay rom-com directed by Simon Amstell and starring Colin Morgan ( Merlin; The Happy Prince )—is now available on DVD and digital platforms including Kino Now, a press release noted. Benjamin was an Official Selection of the BFI London Film Festival, and won the Audience Award and was nominated for the Grand Jury Award for Best Film at the Milan International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.

Stars from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and across Hollywood paid tribute to Chadwick Boseman following news of the Black Panther star's death from colon cancer at the age of 43, EW.com reported. "This is beyond heartbreaking," Chris Evans tweeted. "Chadwick was special. A true original." Brie Larson called Boseman "someone who radiated power and peace. Who stood for so much more than himself ... You will be missed and never forgotten." Others also posted on social media, including Issa Rae, who tweeted, "This broke me." Also, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster ordered flags at the state House to be lowered to half staff Aug. 30 in Boseman's memory, ABC Columbia noted. ( Boseman was born in Anderson, South Carolina. )

In other Boseman-related news, Netflix canceled the Sept. 1 virtual preview for its upcoming drama Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, USA Today noted. Boseman stars in the film which is based on two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner August Wilson's play, alongside Viola Davis and Colman Domingo, among others.

Linda Hamilton's twin sister, Leslie Hamilton Freas, died at 63, People.com noted. Leslie "unexpectedly passed away" in New Jersey on Aug. 22, according to an obituary published by the Burlington County Times. Leslie's sole film credit is for 1991's Terminator 2: Judgement Day, in which she appeared alongside her twin, serving as a double for her sister, who starred in the film as Sarah Connor.

Amy Poehler will make her documentary feature directing debut for Imagine Documentaries and White Horse Pictures on Lucy & Desi—the working title for a film about the personal and professional partnership between comedian Lucille Ball and husband Desi Arnaz, Deadline reported. This will be the biggest documentary to be fully financed by Imagine Documentaries, and the film will have the full cooperation of the estate of Ball and Arnaz and their family.

Joe Exotic, starring Kate McKinnon, has gotten a cross-platform series order by NBCU's NBC, Peacock and USA, Deadline noted. Interest in Joe Exotic, based on the second season of Wondery's Over My Dead Body podcast, skyrocketed this past spring because of the massive popularity of the Netflix docuseries Tiger King, about the real-life characters depicted in the Joe Exotic limited series.

Sara Ramirez, known widely for their role on Grey's Anatomy, updated the world with a note regarding their gender, Out.com noted. "New profile pic," they wrote. The new photo featured Ramirez in a T-shirt, their head shaved on the sides, as the style is a signature for the actor. "In me is the capacity to be Girlish boy, Boyish girl, Boyish boy, Girlish girl, All, Neither." They ended the post with the hashtag nonbinary as well as a series of hearts in the colors of the nonbinary flag.

Oscar-nominated actress Amy Adams has signed on to join the ensemble of the studio's adaptation of Dear Evan Hansen, joining Ben Platt, Kaitlyn Dever, Danny Pino and Amandla Stenberg, Deadline reported. The story follows Hansen, a high schooler with social anxiety. He unintentionally gets caught up in a lie after the family of a classmate who committed suicide mistakes one of Hansen's letters for their son's suicide note.

In an interview with People, Sherri Shepard, former co-host of The View, opens up about her time on the hit morning talk show ( 2007-14 ), Queerty noted. "It was the most painful experience that I've ever gone through," she said, "but it was the best experience," adding, "Barbara [Walters] was so hard on me. I cried for three years in my dressing room because she was so hard on me, but she did it out of love." Shepard also said it was actually the response to her remarks about Christianity and the LGBTQ community that proved to be the hardest thing for her to deal with; she added she has evolved since then and no longer harbors homophobic views or judges LGBTQ people.

Comedian Judy Gold said she had heard ugly rumors about the The Ellen DeGeneres Show for years, Page Six noted. Gold told Page Six that she remembered speaking with "a writer who said the happiest day of their life was when they cleaned up their desk and got to leave." The Emmy winner also noted that the first distressing thing that she heard about working conditions on the hugely successful talk show was that staff were not allowed to look at DeGeneres—something the host claimed she had no idea about.

On a related note, Rosie O'Donnell said she feels compassion for Ellen DeGeneres in the in the wake of DeGeneres' toxic workplace scandal, according to Page Six. O'Donnell, who hosted her self-titled talk show from 1996-2002, said on said on the "Busy Philips is Doing Her Best" podcast that she feels for DeGeneres—whom she's known for years—despite understanding the "stories" she hears as well as the comedians' own personal history. A number of celebrities have spoken out in support of DeGeneres, including Kevin Hart, Katy Perry and Diane Keaton.

Singer Dua Lipa and London-based DJ/producer The Blessed Madonna have released Club Future Nostalgia, a collection of brand-new remixes, a press release noted. Club Future Nostalgia features musical collaborations with Gwen Stefani, Madonna, Missy Elliott and BLACKPINK as well as remixes by the legendary Masters At Work, Larry Heard, Mark Ronson, Horse Meat Disco and many others. The video for "Levitating" ( feat. Madonna and Missy Elliott ) - The Blessed Madonna Remix is at https:// Article Link Here .

Josh Hartnett ( Black Hawk Down ), Frank Grillo ( Captain America ), Melissa Leo ( The Fighter ) and William Forsythe ( The Rock ) lead the cast in the crime action-thriller Ida Red, which has been filming in Oklahoma during the pandemic, Deadline reported. The film follows career criminal Ida 'Red' Walker ( Leo ), who is battling a terminal illness while serving a 25-year prison sentence in Oklahoma. Under Ida's tutelage, her son, Wyatt Walker ( Hartnett ) has sustained the family business alongside his uncle, Dallas Walker ( Grillo )—but a job goes sideways, and authorities become involved.

Lady Gaga's outfits ( and matching face masks ) stole the show at this year's MTV Video Music Awards, USA Today noted. Gaga and The Weeknd took home the biggest awards of the night, with their respective videos for "Rain on Me" and "Blinding Lights." Keke Palmer hosted the event, which featured her in front of CGI crowds.

R&B artists Brandy and Monica faced off in the latest Verzuz battle, and their session shattered records, breaking 1 million concurrent views and peaking at 1.2 million, EW.com noted. The singers also addressed their past tensions, which Monica previously brushed off as "brilliant marketing" thanks to their hit song "This Boy Is Mine" fanning the flames of a rumored feud.

Page Six reported that Dorinda Medley was fired from the The Real Housewives of New York City because she'd become a "mean drunk"on the show. Medley was reportedly "blindsided" by the news that she'd been dropped by the Bravo show after six seasons; she'd been filming an episode of ABC's The $100,000 Pyramid when she got the call. Execs reportedly didn't want another season of Medley's abrasive behavior and decided to look for a new co-star instead.

HBO Max and The West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin announced that ( for the first time in 17 years ) the original cast of the Emmy- and Peabody Award—winning TV drama series will come together with Sorkin and executive producer/director Thomas Schlamme for "A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote," which will debut on the streaming service this fall, an HBO Max press release stated. The creative team and cast organized this production in order to raise awareness for and support the vital mission of When We All Vote—a non-profit, nonpartisan organization co-chaired by Michelle Obama which was founded to increase participation in every election in this country.

Singer Wynonna is releasing the EP Recollections, a press release noted. She ecorded much of the collection while quarantining on her Tennessee farm in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Wynonna performed a series of loose and lively covers with her husband—former Highway 101 drummer, multi-instrumentalist and producer Cactus Moser. There are five songs on the EP, including Nina Simone's "Feeling Good" and Grateful Dead's "Ramble on Rose."

Pansexual, Austin-based musician Bonnie Whitmore is releasing Last Will and Testament on Friday, Oct. 2, a press release noted. For the last two decades, she's played bass and sung with artists such as Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Eliza Gilkyson and Butch Hancock, to name a few. The record is full of topical songs, tackling suicide, rape culture, loss, and the great American divide.

Garcelle Beauvais was named the newest co-host of The Real, Variety reported. Beauvais is joining the syndicated talk show following the departure of Tamera Mowry-Housley, who announced earlier this summer that she had decided to exit the show after six seasons. The panel will feature Beauvais, Loni Love, Jeannie Mai and Adrienne Houghton. Actress/comedian Amanda Seales was a co-host briefly, joining the show earlier this year in January before departing this past June; Tamar Braxton, part of the original panel, left in 2016.

Another person of color has become the subject of hate from the followers of RuPaul's Drag Race—so much so that they have decided to withdraw from the public eye, Out.com reported. "Thank you to the 'fandom' of Drag Race!" season 12 competitor Widow Von Du tweeted. "You did it! You ran another person of color away from what they love! I try to be strong but y'all done made me feel like I should hate myself and guess what you won!" Followers of the show made Von Du the subject of their hate for sending Jan Sport—who she competed against in a Chaka Khan lip sync—home.

Jamie Lynn Spears is set to play a more significant role in her sister Britney Spears' conservatorship, Page Six noted. The former Nickelodeon star has been named the trustee of Britney's "SJB Revocable Trust," which was initially set to protect the pop star and her children's finances, according to The Blast, which obtained the documents. Jamie Lynn has reportedly requested that the court authorize Fidelity Financial Management to serve as a financial advisor and create "blocked accounts" to hold her sister's assets.

Bernadette Zilio—a former TMZ production assistant and on-air contributor—filed a federal discrimination and retaliation complaint against Harvey Levin and Warner Bros Entertainment that could lead to a lawsuit down the line, Deadline reported. "Ms. Zilio, along with her female colleagues, was belittled and abused, held to different and more stringent standards, excluded from business and social interactions in which only male employees participated, denied advancement opportunities, and retaliated against when she resisted the sexist and misogynistic ways," claimed the action. Levin's EHM Productions replied that Zilio is trying to rewrite history.

At Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival, the U.S. Narrative Shorts awarded the Grand Jury Prize to In France Michelle Is a Man's Name, a press release noted. Additionally, Outfest announced a special "Encore Week" on its Outfest Now app, where subscribers had been streaming the movies from this year's lineup. Through Monday, Sept. 7, a selection of this year's films will be available once again, each for a 24-hour period. The cost for access to more than 100 feature films and nearly all of the shorts is $24.99.

Kino Lorber Studio Classics announced the Blu-ray release of the Cary Grant Collection—a three-film salute to one of the greatest stars of Hollywood's Golden Age, a press release noted. Included in the collection are three classic Cary Grant comedies from the 1930s: Ladies Should Listen ( 1934 ), Wedding Present ( 1936 ) and Big Brown Eyes ( 1936 ). The Cary Grant Collection will be released on Blu-ray on Tuesday, Sept. 8, with a SRP of $49.95.

The movie The Vanished will be out on DVD on Tuesday, Oct. 20, via Paramount Home Entertainment, a press release noted. Starring Thomas Jane, Anne Heche, Jason Patric and Peter Facinelli ( with Facinelli directing ), the thriller involves a family vacation that takes a terrifying turn when parents discover their young daughter has vanished without a trace. The ensuing search for the truth leads to a revelation described as "shocking."

The AMC series NOSA42 was not renewed for a third season, Deadline noted. Executive Producer Jami O'Brien tweeted, "We won't be making a 3rd season of #NOS4A2. It's a bummer, but I'm grateful we were at least able to finish adapting the storyline from Joe Hill's terrific novel…" NOSA42 centered on Vic McQueen ( Ashley Cummings ), a gifted young woman who discovered she has a supernatural ability to find lost things; this ability put her on a collision course with Charlie Manx ( Zachary Quinto ), an immortal who feeds off the souls of children.

Despite California Gov. Gavin Newsom laying out a road map, Paramount has opted to reschedule some of its fall releases, and date some new titles, Deadline noted. After moving Top Gun: Maverick out of the Christmas corridor to July 2 next year, and the reported sale of Tom Clancy's Without Remorse to Amazon, these leaves Paramount with only one theatrical release left for 2020: Coming to America 2 on Dec. 18 ... unless the company moves A Quiet Place Part II back into 2020. Also, the studio's Scream co-production with Spyglass—gathering some of the franchise's alums, such as David Arquette and Courteney Cox—is now set to open on Jan. 14, 2022, on MLK weekend. Scream will share the marquee with Warner Bros./MGM's Sesame Street movie, an untitled Universal feature, and 20th's Nimona.

Netflix has given an eight-episode order to a drama series inspired by Capcom's Resident Evil survival horror game franchise, Deadline noted. Written by Supernatural executive producer/co-showrunner Andrew Dabb and produced by Constantin Film, which is behind the Resident Evil movies, the series will feature a brand new story across two timelines. Dabb hinted that characters from the franchise will appear on the show, along with new monsters.

Public Enemy unveiled the track list for the upcoming album What You Gonna Do When The Grid Goes Down?, a press release noted. The lineup of guests on the legendary group's first release for Def Jam Recordings in more than two decades includes Nas, YG, Rapsody, DJ Premier, Black Thought, Questlove, Cypress Hill, Run-DMC, Ice-T, PMD, George Clinton, Daddy-O, Jahi, The Impossebulls, Mark Jenkins, S1Ws Pop Diesel and James Bomb, and Beastie Boys' Mike D and Ad-Rock. There are 17 songs on the album, including "Fight The Power: Remix 2020," "Public Enemy Number Won" and "Grid."

Original INXS member Andrew Farriss is releasing the five-song EP Love Makes the World on Friday, Oct. 2, a press release noted. Across his career with INXS ( originally led by Michael Hutchence ), Farriss has shared 50 million records, Grammy nominations and an induction into the ARIA Hall of Fame. See AndrewFarriss.com.

Five works of Stephen King will be in one collection for the first time, a press release announced. Pet Sematary ( 1989 ), Pet Sematary ( 2019 ), Stephen King's The Stand, The Dead Zone and Stephen King's Silver Bullet will be together in one Blu-ray collection available Tuesday, Sept. 15, courtesy of Paramount Home Entertainment.

Attorneys for R. Kelly said he was attacked in his Illinois jail cell by a fellow inmate, and they called for his release, CNN.com noted. Doug Anton, an attorney for Kelly, told CNN that the singer's legal team had been advised by the U.S. attorney's office that the singer was on his bed in his cell at Chicago's Metropolitan Correctional Center when another inmate came in and started to punch him. Magic City's Twitter account responded with eyeball emojis, citing the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin; and the shooting death of Breonna Taylor in Louisville in March.

Actor/TV host Terry Crews sparked controversy on his Twitter page after sounding off about a popular Atlanta strip club, 11Alice.com noted. Crews became a trending topic when he spoke out against Magic City, one of most talked about adult entertainment experiences in the country. "Boycott Magic City #BLACKLOVEMATTERS," Crews wrote. The context of his tweet has not been revealed—but many speculate his motives are tied to his own documented history of porn addiction and his criticism for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Taylor Swift fan Brandy Baenen made her way to the Exclusive Co. shop in Green Day, Wisconsin—and ended up signing off for the UPS drop-off package, which held 30 autographed copies of the record-breaking LP Folklore, iHeart.com noted. Despite the temptation, Baenen walked into the store with the box and handed it over to store manager Tom Smith. Speaking with the Green Bay Press Gazette, Smith said that the entire box could have easily gone for $9,000 online, but he was pleased that the superfan did the right thing.

Adult film star Ron Jeremy has been charged with 20 additional sexual assault counts involving 13 women, EW.com reported. The ongoing criminal complaint against Jeremy—whose real name is Ronald Jeremy Hyatt—was amended to include the new charges dating back to 2004. The alleged victims' ages range from 15 to 54, and the new charges span 16 years.

Makeup guru Jeffree Star responded to allegations that he is paying a man to be his boyfriend, Out.com noted. "I know it's devastating news for some people, but I don't give money to anyone I'm dating or anyone who is fucking me," the beauty influencer tweeted. "Work on your own insecurities sis, I'm not the problem." Star broke up with his boyfriend Nathan Schwandt earlier this year and later dated Big Brother star Jozea Flores, but pictures showed up recently with Star and a mystery man who is allegedly pro basketball player Andre Marhold; a woman claiming to be the mother of Marhold's son suggested the 6'7" athlete may be looking for money in his relationship with Star.


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