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SHOWBIZ Pro-trans letter, Troye Sivan, Global Citizen, 'Flipping Out'
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2018-08-14

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Nearly 50 LGBTQ organizations, production companies, film studios and talent agencies called on Hollywood Aug. 7 to represent more transgender people on the big and small screens, The Huffington Post reported. The letter, published in Variety, is signed by organizations including the ACLU, Shonda Rhimes' production company Shondaland, the Geena Davis Media Institute, Sony Pictures Classics and the Sundance Institute. "We know that the best storytelling is diverse storytelling, and it's clear that Hollywood is at a tipping point," an open letter written by LGBTQ organization GLAAD and Time's Up initiative 5050by2020 ( the latter co-founded by Jill Soloway ) reads.

This fall, on his Bloom Tour, Troye Sivan is using his platform to empower LGBTQ youth by partnering with The Ally Coalition and volunteers on every tour stop, a Live Nation press release noted. ( The Ally Coalition is a non-profit founded by Jack and Rachel Antonoff in 2013 to advance equality for queer youth. ) Troye and The Ally Coalition have tapped The Trevor Project as the Bloom Tour's national partner. The Ally Coalition will be offering the chance for Troye Sivan fans to volunteer throughout the tour. All fans who take action in support of LGBTQ equality onsite at each show will be entered to win a prize; visit http://bit.ly/Volunteer4Troye.

The 2018 Global Citizen Festival is set to return to New York City's Central Park on Sept. 29—and the free concert has plenty of A-list talent, NewNowNext.com noted. Janet Jackson and The Weeknd are on tap to headline the festival along with Janelle Monae, Cardi B, Shawn Mendes and more. Hugh Jackman and Deborra-lee Furness will host the event with co-hosts including Gus Kenworthy, La La Anthony, Naomi Campbell and Kal Penn. The 2018 Global Citizen Festival—which Coldplay's Chris Martin curates—is a platform that demands world leaders uphold their responsibilities surrounding key policy issues.

Flipping Out star Jeff Lewis is dealing with a lawsuit from his surrogate, Page Six reported. Lewis, life partner Gage Edward and Bravo Media claimed that Alexandra Trent "entered into an agreement permitting the conduct on which her claims rely, and releasing her claims, upon which [they] reasonably relied." Trent first sued Bravo, Lewis and Edward in June, alleging that she never consented to have their daughter Monroe's birth filmed in 2016, and that their comments on the show embarrassed her.

In Vogue Italia, Madonna has given her thoughts on today's music industry, claiming that everything "sounds the same," NME.com reported. "Everything's so formulaic, and every song has 20 guest artists on it, and everyone sounds the same," she said of the music business. Recently, Madonna confirmed that her new album will be released by the end of this year, following 2015's Rebel Heart.

Comedian Jack Whitehall will play Disney's first openly gay character, in the new film Jungle Cruise, Gay Star News noted. The straight British comic will star alongside Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Emily Blunt; Whitehall will reportedly play the brother of Emily Blunt. 'I'm so honoured to be part of this epic adventure," Whitehall wrote in the caption to the video. "Filming is underway and I am having the time of my life with my amazing co stars." The film is slated to be released in October 2019.

In an Instagram video taken by fellow musician Adam Lambert, singer Sam Smith is seen on a yacht, listening to Jackson's 1982 hit "Human Nature"—during which Smith said, "I don't like Michael Jackson but this is a good song," ETCanada.com noted. In response to Smith's perceived diss, Grammy-winning R&B singer Stephanie Mills, who briefly dated Jackson in the '80s, posted, "Don't come for MICHAEL JACKSON when you wish you have sold as many records and you wish you were the King of Pop like he was." In 2015, people accused Smith of "ripping off" Jackson's "Earth Song" for his James Bond theme "Writing's On The Wall."

BroadwayWorld reported the passing of John Glines, a Tony-winning producer and playwright. His husband, Chaowarat Chiewvej, posted on Glines' Facebook page that he passed away Aug. 8 in Bangkok. Glines won a Tony Award and a Drama Desk Award in 1983 as producer of Torch Song Trilogy. He won the Drama Desk Award and received a Tony nomination in 1985 as producer of As Is, and won the Drama Desk Award in 1994 for Whoop-Dee-Doo! Also, Glines was a founding trustee of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, and was a writer for children's TV shows, including Captain Kangaroo and Sesame Street.

Hayley Kiyoko's stops in her first-ever European tour will now be hosted at larger venues to accommodate unprecedented audience demand, Billboard.com noted. A minor uproar had brewed among a subset of Lesbian Jesus devotees after the tour was originally announced, who lamented that ticket sales were bogged down by the usual culprits for hotly-buzzed tours. The Expectations European Tour will start at London's O2 Academy Islington on Oct. 23, and conclude Nov. 7, at the Iceland Airwaves Festival in Reykjavik.

Lady Gaga is hitting the Las Vegas stage Dec. 28, to kick off her residency at the Park Theater, USA Today noted. The 27-show residency will feature two shows: Lady Gaga Enigma as well as Lady Gaga Jazz & Piano. The Enigma show focuses on her upbeat pop hits, while the Jazz & Piano show will feature bare-bones versions of her original songs and covers. Tickets, starting at $77.90 each, are on sale to the general public.

Golden Globe winner Michael C. Hall ( Dexter; Six Feet Under ) is set to star in the Signature Theatre revival of Will Eno's Thom Pain ( based on nothing ) this fall, Playbill.com noted. The Debate Society's Oliver Butler ( The Amateurs ) will direct the monologue play about a man trying to save his own life. Thom Pain ( based on nothing ) will run Oct. 23—Nov.r 25 on The Irene Diamond Stage at New York City's Pershing Square Signature Center.

Jersey Shore's Snooki and actor Nico Tortorella ( TV's Younger ) will host the U.S. version of Just Tattoo of Us, based on the hit MTV international format, Page Six noted. Just Tattoo of Us puts relationships through the ultimate experiment of trust by asking pairs of friends, family members and couples to design tattoos for each other that won't be revealed until after they've been permanently inked.

Former Today host Tamron Hall is developing a daytime talk show after striking a deal with Disney ABC, Deadline noted. Hall, who has been the host of Investigation Discovery's Deadline: Crime with Tamron Hall since 2013, has inked a development holding agreement with the Hollywood studio. She will create the daytime format for the syndication market.

Beyonce recently dedicated her performance with husband Jay-Z to the Queen of Souln, drawing a thunderous roar from Aretha Franklin's hometown of Detroit, Page Six noted. The Detroit Free Press reportrfthe moment came early in the show Aug. 13 at Ford Field, with Beyonce saying, "We love you" and thanking the ailing 76-year-old for her "beautiful music." Fans and friends, including Mariah Carey and Missy Elliott, have offered prayers and well wishes to the iconic soul singer.

Two-time Dancing with the Stars champion Mark Ballas—who made his Broadway debut in Jersey Boys—will step into the Tony-winning musical Kinky Boots beginning Sept. 11 at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre, Playbill noted. Ballas will take over the role of Charlie Price through Nov. 4; he will succeed David Cook, who will play his final performance Sept. 9.

A nude scene long believed lost that features Marilyn Monroe in director John Huston's The Misfits has been rediscovered, Deadline reported. The footage, cut from the film by Huston, was previously believed to have been destroyed. Author Charles Casillo made the discovery during the research for his book, Marilyn Monroe: The Private Life of a Public Icon, now out via St. Martin's Press. Monroe's scene would have been one of the first—if not the first—nude scenes by a U.S. actress in a major production in the sound era of film if it had made it into the final version.

Friends alum David Schwimmer is set to guest star on the new season of Will & Grace, USA Today noted. Schwimmer, who played Ross on Friends, will have a recurring role as the new love interest of Grace ( Debra Messing ). The second season of the Will & Grace revival ( which will have 18 episodes ) also will feature appearances by Chelsea Handler and two returning guest stars: Alec Baldwin and Mary McCormack.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced it will acknowledge the impact of major blockbusters in future broadcasts, USA Today noted. The Academy confirmed that a film could be eligible for an Oscar in the new "popular" category as well as best picture. Details are still being finalized for the category, which will be introduced at the 91st Oscars telecast on Feb. 24, 2019.

The musical adaptation of Tootsie, featuring a score by The Band's Visit Tony winner David Yazbek and book by Robert Horn, is ready to introduce Broadway audiences to Dorothy Michaels, Playbill noted. Performances will begin March 29, 2019, at the Marquis Theatre, where it will officially open April 23. Tony nominee Santino Fontana will star as Michael Dorsey, a struggling actor who lands a job under the female persona of Dorothy Michaels.

Director Roland Emmerich's big-budget epic Midway is ready to hit the high seas, with Aaron Eckhart, Keean Johnson, Tadanobu Asano, Dennis Quaid and Nick Jonas among those joining the project, Deadline noted. Luke Evans, Woody Harrelson, Mandy Moore, Ed Skrein and Patrick Wilson have already been revealed for the ensemble. Based on the true story of the Battle of Midway, a turning point in the Pacific theater of World War II, the $100M+ action-drama will chronicle the exploits of the soldiers and pilots at the heart of the conflict; it's scheduled to start shooting in September in Honolulu.

Facing the potential embarrassment of being the only major league team never to have held a pride night at a game, the New York Yankees are developing a series of events next season tied to the celebration of the Stonewall riots, The Star-Advertiser noted. "The anniversary of Stonewall every year is an emotional and seminal event for LGBT people—not just for those in New York City but around the world," said City Council Speaker Corey Johnson who came out as gay to his high school football teammates nearly 20 years ago. "To have an event in the Bronx at Yankee Stadium is a very special moment and, for me, as a former athlete, I'm going to be really proud to be there."

Kanye West revealed to fans that he had suicidal thoughts in the past—particularly after watching the documentary based on the life of late fashion designer Alexander McQueen, Fox News noted. "I saw the Alexander McQueen documentary and I connected with his journey. I know how it feels to want to take your life back into your own hands even if it means taking your own life," the rapper tweeted. West's tweets about the death of McQueen, who committed suicide in February 2010, and Spade, comes just a month after the "Famous" rapper revealed that he had been "diagnosed with a mental condition" in an interview with Big Boy TV.

A revival of the popular physical-competition show American Gladiators—which pits everyday people against famous athletes through an obstacle course—is being shopped around by MGM, Deadline noted. The original American Gladiator was a hit and ran for almost seven years from 1989 to 1996 in syndication; that was produced and distributed by Samuel Goldwyn Television with Ferraro.

Lindsay Lohan apparently has little sympathy for the victims of alleged sexual misconduct who've come forward in the #MeToo movement without filing police reports, according to Page Six. She said, in part, "I'm going to really hate myself for saying this, but I think by women speaking against all these things, it makes them look weak when they are very strong women," although she added "I can't speak on something I don't live, right? Look, I am very supportive of women."

The blockbuster film Avengers: Infinity War is now available on digital and Blu-Ray—with two hours of bonus material, according to a press release. Featurettes provide behind-the-scenes access to memorable moments when characters first meet; reveals the rationale behind some unexpected on-screen pair-ups; and explores the antagonist Thanos, the struggle on Titan and the massive battle in Wakanda. There are also deleted scenes and filmmaker commentary.

A hacker posted nude photos of actor David DeLuise—who played Jerry Russo, father to a trio of wizards, on the TV show Wizards of Waverly Place—drawing the ire of the internet, SCMagazine.com noted. A New Jersey woman was formally charged in Los Angeles County last month with hacking the email accounts of DeLuise's onscreen daughter, actress/singer Selena Gomez, and her associate.

Bachelorette castoff Leandro "Leo" Dottavio is taking a leave of absence from his job as a stuntman at the "WaterWorld" show at Universal Studios Hollywood amid recent sexual-harassment allegations from Bachelor alum Bekah Martinez, Page Six noted. Martinez took to Instagram recently, posting a series of screenshots collected by fans, including an alleged post from Dottavio from four years ago that read, "you need my big d—k." Dottavio has denied the accusations.


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