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WINDYCITYMEDIAGROUP

SHOWBIZ Diversity report, Zachary Quinto, 'Schitt's Creek,' Mariah Carey
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2020-10-12


In a new report from the UCLA-based Center for Scholars and Storytellers titled "Beyond Checking A Box: A Lack of Authentically Inclusive Representation Has Costs at the Box Office," researchers found that bringing authentic diversity to film improves financial performance at the box office while a lack of diversity can result in losses for studios, Deadline reported. Films like the Latino-fronted Pixar animated pic Coco, Marvel Studios' Black Panther and Warner Bros' Crazy Rich Asians proved that racially diverse casts can bring in highly profitable grosses at the box office, the report stated—but when it comes to writing and directing jobs, underrepresented voices still have quite a way to go.

Actor Zachary Quinto revealed why he came out in 2011, according to Out.com. "There was a huge spate of teen suicides that were happening," Quinto told Variety. "I just felt like I had an obligation at this point." Back when he first gained international fame for his portrayal of the mixed race half-Vulcan, half-human Spock in the 2009 Star Trek reboot, Quinto feared "coming out would have potentially had an impact on my career—and it wouldn't have been a good one."

Dan Levy and Schitt's Creek acquired more accolades as the People's Choice Award nominations were announced, Out.com reported. Other queer nominees this year include bisexual Riverdale star Lili Reinhart's nomination for Female TV Star, and Kate McKinnon ( SNL ) and Jameela Jamil ( The Good Place ) for Outstanding Comedy TV Star. Syfy's Wynonna Earp and The CW's Supergirl, which both have queer actors in queer roles, were nominated for Sci-Fi/Fantasy Show. Netflix's docuseries Tiger King also picked up two nominations; RuPaul's Drag Race and Queer Eye each picked up three nominations. Other queer nominees include Hannah Gadsby's Douglas for Comedy Act, as well as Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen for Nighttime Talk Show and The Ellen Degeneres Show for Daytime Talk Show. The ceremony will air Sunday, Nov. 15.

During a recent appearance on Watch What Happens Live, singer Mariah Carey admitted that she's been reading her new book to her children to help them understand the world—and said that her son "just got bullied the other day by a white supremacist person that he thought was his friend," iHeart.com noted. As a biracial woman, Carey went on to emphasize that racism and prejudice has "been a struggle for [her] since [she] was aware that there was such a thing as race."

Also on Watch What Happens Live, one of Saturday Night Live's newest stars, Bowen Yang, discussed a variety of topics, Instinct Magazine noted. The Australian native spilled the tea on items such as who his first ever crush was when he was growing up. "Oh I was really basic in the '90s and it was Leo [DiCaprio]," he admitted, and he also said that Bethenny Frankel is his all-time favorite Real Housewife. Yang made television history last year when he was promoted to the on-air cast for SNL's 45th season, making him the first Chinese-American cast member and only the third openly gay male to be part of the long-running late night program.

Although there is no word yet on when Broadway performances will resume, the Broadway League has confirmed it won't be until at least June 2021—more than a full year since the curtain came down on the Theatre District, Playbill reported. The trade association has announced that all Broadway productions will remain closed through May 30, officially extending the hiatus that was previously scheduled through Jan. 3. Broadway productions and most New York City performing arts institutions shuttered March 12 in response to the coronavirus pandemic, and have all remained dark since.

Washington D.C.'s international LGBTQ film festival, Reel Affirmations, returns for its 27th year on Wed., Oct. 21, a press statement noted. Virtual screenings, drive in screenings ( tba ) and virtual director talkbacks will continue throughout the weekend, ending Sunday, Oct. 25. General Virtual Admission tickets are $10 and Film Lover passes for the festival start at $25; visit reelaffirmations.eventive.org.

A pretty famous piece of Britney Spears trivia is that one of her biggest hits, "Toxic," was originally offered to Kylie Minogue—but the song was also written for Janet Jackson, Uproxx.com noted. Songwriter Cathy Dennis told the story of how she and the song's co-writers penned the track for Jackson: "Because I couldn't quite finish it, I said, 'Look, let's start on something else.' So we wrote another three songs that week and in my spare time while I was in my hotel room I was very busy editing my lyrics on 'Toxic.'"

The co-founders of RuPaul's Drag Race claimed the VH1 reality competition of drag performers "does not exclude anyone" and teased that upcoming casts may represent a greater diversity of drag, according to Out.com. In a new interview the outlet Digital Spy asked executive producers Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, "have you considered including drag kings and trans talent in future iterations of Drag Race?" Bailey replied, "Yeah; our constant mantra is 'Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent,' and that does not exclude anyone."

Tik Tok collaborated with Cyndi Lauper and True Colors United on the #ShowYourTrueColors campaign for "National Coming Out Day" ( Oct. 11 ), a press release noted. In addition, Sony Music's Legacy Recordings commissioned a new lyric video for "Time After Time," by Malikah Holder, in time for National Coming Out Day. See https:// Article Link Here .

Jessica Simpson's friends thought that John Mayer betrayed her when he made out with Perez Hilton—but she glossed over it because she was "head-over-heels" in love with the singer. According to Page Six, Hilton wrote about the 2007 incident in his new memoir, claiming that he ran into Mayer and Simpson at a New York club—when Mayer almost immediately stuck his tongue down his throat. However, one of Simpson's friends said what made the incident so shocking to insiders was that Simpson's camp was locked in a war with Hilton at the time because he wouldn't stop calling her "Jessica Simpleton" on his blog.

Demi Lovato knew she was queer when she watched Selma Blair and Sarah Michelle Gellar make out in Cruel Intentions at 17, Page Six noted. Lovato made the revelation to Tan France Friday as part of Facebook's Coming Out 2020 event. Lovato recently ended their engagement to actor Max Ehrlich in late September after fans resurfaced old tweets from Ehrich in which he thirsted after other female pop stars.

Dolly Parton has teamed with Williams Sonoma on a holiday-themed kitchen collection, Apartment Therapy noted. In 2019, the music legend announced plans for a new homeware collection alongside licensing deals for other lifestyle goodies. For $10.95, people can enjoy ( or gift ) two guitar-shaped iced cookies, and for just six bucks more, they can bake an entire batch of them using "Holly's Dolly Cookie Mix." Also, there's the "Holly Dolly Cookie Baking Kit."

Selena: The Series, the Netflix biographical drama about Tejano music legend Selena Quintanilla, will premiere Friday, Dec. 4, Deadline noted. The premiere date announcement was made via Netflix's Latinx social-media arm, Con Todo. In a tweet with the message "Every Legend Begins With a Dream," the premiere date was announced and a teaser trailer and poster art released. Christian Serratos stars as Selena, with Julio Macias, Jesse Posey, Hunter Reese Pena and Carlos Alfredo Jr. set as series regulars.

On the Oct. 5 episode of Dancing with the Stars, then-competitor Anne Heche opened up to her dance partner, Keo Motsepe, about how she was fired from a film contract simply because she was queer, Out.com noted. At the time, Heche was dating Ellen DeGeneres and claimed that studio executives threatened to fire her if she brought DeGeneres to the premiere of Heche's 1997 film Volcano. "The stigma attached to that relationship was so bad that I was fired from my multi-million dollar picture deal and I did not work in a studio picture for 10 years," Heche told Motsepe. DeGeneres went on to marry Portia de Rossi in 2008, while Heche, who identifies as bisexual, went on to marry Coleman Laffoon and date James Tupper.

Catwalk icons Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford and Linda Evangelista will be part of an Apple TV+ show, Page Six noted. Recently, the group unveiled an upcoming docuseries, The Supermodels, that will detail their rise in the '80s, reign in the '90s and lives in the present. Campbell said in a statement they're all "thrilled to share our story with the world, and there could be no better partners than Brian Grazer [and] Ron Howard … to bring it to life, as we knew they would respect and honor our story."

Rihanna apologized after using a controversial song at her latest Savage X Fenty fashion show, the BBC noted. She received a backlash online for using the song "Doom," by artist Coucou Chloe, and which includes a Muslim text known as a Hadith. Rihanna said the use of the song was "irresponsible" and an "honest, yet careless mistake."

Broadway Records announced the release of the original concept recording of Night of the Living Dead! The Musical! The album will be available everywhere digital music is sold Friday, Oct. 23, a press release noted. Based on the classic cult film, Night of the Living Dead! The Musical! ( book music and lyrics by Jordan Wolfe ), had an acclaimed hit off-Broadway premiere in 2019 at Theatre Row, starring Smash alum Jaime Cepero. The album is produced by Wolfe and James Morgan, and features the entire cast from the world premiere production.

Eddie Van Halen, the self-taught guitarist for Van Halen who influenced a generation of players with his legendary licks, died of cancer, Deadline noted. He was 65 and had been having health problems for a number of years. His son and bandmate, Wolfgang Van Halen, announced the news on social media.

Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins will helm Cleopatra, a period biographical drama scripted by Laeta Kalogridis that will re-team Jenkins with Gal Gadot, who has played Wonder Woman, Deadline noted. Cleopatra was mostly played as a seductress by Elizabeth Taylor in the 1963 Joseph Mankiewicz-directed Cleopatra.

Walt Disney Television has renewed the nationally syndicated daytime talk show Tamron Hall for a third season, an ABC Entertainment press release announced. Since its second season premiere on Sept. 14, the show's audience is averaging 1.2 million Total Viewers season to date, up 9% versus the same week a year ago. During premiere week, Tamron Hall ranked among the top five syndicated talk shows with total viewership.

Nearly a year ago, Supergirl star Melissa Benoist took to Instagram to share a very personal story about her experience with domestic violence and intimate partner violence ( IPV ), but did not name her attacker; however, ex-husband Blake Jenner ( of Glee ) recently took responsibility, Deadline reported. In part, Jenner said, "I reflected on a period in my life that I had previously kept in the darkness out of shame and fear, but I know this is something that needs to be addressed." He went on to say, "without absolving" himself of responsibility, that there was "mental, emotional and physical abuse inflicted from both ends."

Couple Milk and James Whiteside have split after 12 years of being together, Out.com noted. "My love James Whiteside and I have amicably come to the decision to end our relationship," Milk, who came to fame on RuPaul's Drag Race, wrote in a post. "I will love and continue loving the man I fell in love with at 20 years old. James will always remain a constant source of joy, laughter, inspiration, and love for me."

In honor of all the young women out there who "don't stop" working hard to get their education, as well as in celebration of her latest single—"Don't Stop," ft. Young Thug—Megan Thee Stallion has announced her "Don't Stop" Scholarship Fund, a press release noted. For the second consecutive year, Megan is partnering with Rap Rotation—Amazon Music's flagship global hip-hop brand and playlist that spotlights the best in hip-hop—to award two scholarships to female students pursuing an associates, bachelors or postgraduate degree in any field. For more information, visit https://theedontstopscholarship.com/.

The Pennsylvania home featured in the award-winning 1991 film The Silence of the Lambs is on sale for just under $300,000, Deadline reported. The three-story Princess Anne Victorian served as the home of insane serial killer Buffalo Bill in the film. The Silence of the Lambs won seven Academy Awards in 1992, including Best Picture, Best Actor for Anthony Hopkins, Best Actress for Jodie Foster, and Best Director for Jonathan Demme.

For the first time ever, all five of the Gambler films starring Kenny Rogers are being released in one DVD collection—Kenny Rogers: The Gambler, a Shout Factory press release noted. This six-film box set includes The Gambler, The Gambler: The Adventure Continues, The Gambler Part III: The Legend Continues, The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw, Gambler V: Playing For Keeps and Coward of the County.

Actor Nico Tortorella ( Younger ) discussed their queer polyamorous marriage as well as their relationships with others with Attitude, according to Out.com. They explained how their life is not defined by gender normative concepts but by love, loyalty and exploration. Tortorella is married to non-binary and gender fluid activist and entrepreneur Bethany C. Meyers. While the pair are openly exploring their sexuality with others separate from the marriage, Tortorella was adamant that "it's not the case" that they have a swinging lifestyle with plenty of indiscriminate partners, with Tortorella saying they are "a serial monogamist in my polyamory."

Perez Hilton said he's being blackballed by The Howard Stern Show and has no idea why, Page Six noted. The gossip maven said he was a regular guest on the show and even devotef an entire chapter in his new book, TMI: My Life in Scandal, to an NSFW segment involving one of Stern's staffers. Even though Hilton had been on the show in the past, he said things changed in 2018 and every time he's attempted to appear on the show, the same excuse of being booked up is used. Stern's camp has reportedly not responded.

At least two members of the original Beverly Hills, 90210 cast addressed Jessica Alba's claim that, when she guest-starred on the show more than 20 years ago, she wasn't allowed to make eye contact with the regular actors, People.com noted. Jason Priestley, who played Brandon, said on The Rox & Mocha Show, ""I don't know what Jessica Alba's experience was coming on our show as a guest star. I know that certainly I never would have made her feel that way." Ian Ziering, who played Steve, told People, "I'm not doubting her but I doubt that it came from any cast member," adding that the order to Alba "is the stupidest thing I've ever heard."

New iterations of entertainment shows Access Hollywood and E! News, once fierce competitors, are being forced to share a studio in LA because of a massive restructuring of their parent company, NBCUniversal—with reportedly awkward consequences, according to Page Six. Other E! entities Daily Pop and Nightly Pop remain on the air, with much of the E! News team contributing—and sharing that LA studio space with Access.


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