"It was a little thing I did in London and Joe Fiennes played Michael Jackson and there was a lot of to-do about the fact that he was a white guy. And I always thought about Fred Armisen on Saturday Night Live playing Obama and nobody seemed to give a ... about that." Stockard Channing talks about people portraying characters of other races. It's worth noting that toward the end, Michael Jackson was paler than me. Also, SNL previously featured Armisen as Prince, Darrell Hammond as Jesse Jackson, Billy Crystal as Sammy Davis Jr. and Maya Rudolph as Donatella Versace.
The big story last week was about Megyn Kelly and blackfacetwo things I never thought would go together. Megyn Kelly and a lobotomy, yes. Megyn Kelly and peroxide poisoning, yes. Megyn Kelly and a Botox mishap, yes. But blackface? If you don't know, Meg tackled the issue of using blackface for Halloween by saying it was OK.
And that leads us, inevitably, to Designing Women. Now, I know my audienceyou all saw this coming a mile away. In the famous episode, the ladies were in a talent show lip-synching to The Supremes. There were many problems with this scenario. First off, there were only three Supremes, while there were four "DW." Second, they performed "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," which was a hit for Diana after she left The Supremes ( although here's a fun factThe Supremes and Temptations recorded a cover of the Tammi Terrell/Marvin Gaye version of this song in 1968 ). Third, and the issue germane to this situation, The Supremes were Black women, while the ladies on "DW" were white. Suzanne had her beautician whip up skin bronzing makeup. Julia balked, saying it was insulting to Black women. Come showtime, the three girls are onstage au natural when Suzanne walks out with tinted skin.
And that brings us to the questionif you are dressing up as someone famous of a different color, how far do you go? And before you answer, I'm not talking about minstrel makeup with exaggerated lips; I'm talking natural coloring. In theater, this is commonplace. When an opera singer plays "Aida,"she must look Ethiopian. When someone sings or acts Othello, he must look like a Moor ( although the Met recently stopped doing this ). When Whoopi Goldberg hosted the 1999 Academy Awards, she came out as Queen Elizabeth Icomplete with the Virgin Queen's heavily powdered white face. For all those reasonsand believe me, I am no fanI think NBC was just looking for an excuse to dump her.
I've previously expressed my admiration for Max Ehrich, an actor who previously appeared on Under the Dome and The Young and the Restless, and is rumored to have played an active role in the private life of Chris Colferspeculation, of course, but circumstantial evidence points in that direction. Young Max recently posted the following on Twitter: "I am currently being stalked. I am putting this out there so that this person ( ppl involved ) are aware that the police are now involved. Please leave me alone. I wish I could say that this is all over, but I'm continuing to get my safety threatened even with a security team. I have to step away from social media at this time. Love you guys."
He then posted a photo of a burly gent sitting on his hotel bed with the word "SECURITY" printed on the back of his T-shirt ( note to selfnever hire a security guard who wears a T-shirt that says "SECURITY" ). Max then said, "Just wanted to update you guys that I am safe & secure. I appreciate the messages. Don't take your safety for granted. There really are some sick people out there. Stay safe x." He later told TMZ that a realtor became infatuated with him, sexually aggressive and, at one point, brandished a gun! That fills in some of the blanks, but not all of them. Sources say that this wasn't so much a business relationship that went south as an online hookup that went wrong. Not to victim-blame, of course, but let this be a cautionary tale ( or tail ).
I recently reported that opera singer David Daniels and his husband, William Scott Walters, were accused of drugging and raping a 23-year-old student singer back in 2010. Now two more men have come forward with similar accusations against the singer ( but not his husband ). Andrew Lipian says that he was drugged and assaulted by Daniels while he was a student at University of Michigan in March of 2017. He claims Daniels invited him to his apartment and gave him several drinks of bourbon. Later, Daniels gave Lipian what he thought was Tylenol PM, but turned out to be Ambien! Lipian says Daniels then removed his clothes, groped him and, throughout the encounter, told Lipian that he'd probably get a full scholarship for the rest of his studies. Lipian also says Daniels sent him a video of the famed singer masturbating and referencing "our bourbon-and-Ambien night."
As if that wasn't bad enough, a third singer who studied with Daniels at UM claims that he, too, was solicited for sex. The 19-year-old claims that he received the solicitation on Grindr, which I really don't think counts. I mean, when you're on a hookup app, you've gotta expect solicitations.
Austin Wolf made headlines for his mile-high encounter with a Delta flight attendant. ( The video can be found on BillyMasters.com . ) Wolf continues to make the rounds of people in the transportation industry. Last week, he posted a video of an Uber driver servicing himpresumably it was part of his tip. As always, we'll post the video.
Our "Ask Billy" question comes from Gary in San Francisco: "I don't know if you watch The Good Place, but the guy who plays Chidi just was shirtless, and WOWfor a bookworm, he sure is jacked!"
That revelation was the twist nobody saw coming on The Good Placea ripped Chidi! I admit that the sight of his body really distracted me. Apparently Chidi isn't just a dorky nerd into heavy readinghe's also into heavy lifting! Whatever he's doing, keep it up. Once you see the pics on BillyMasters.com, I predict you'll do the same.
When brains also have brawn, it's time for me to end yet another column. Before I show you my sheepskin, let me remind you to check outBillyMasters.comthe site with nothing to hide. If you have a question, send it along to Billy@BillyMasters.com and I promise to get back to you before Megyn gets a job on the Hallmark Channel! Until next time, remember: One man's filth is another man's bible.