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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Billy Masters
by Billy Masters
2019-01-09

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"I think she just has really tiny hands!"—Pete Davidson at his New Year's Eve show at Chevalier Auditorium in Medford, Massachusetts, while discussing Ariana Grande's quip about him having a "big dick."

Welcome to 2019—officially. And to kick it off, we're reporting on the Golden Globes, even though I'm not there. I know you count on me to be your eyes and ears everywhere, but I had pressing business elsewhere. I did send my minions to report back to me and, well, even they were bored. Some quick quips: I don't know who looked more annoyed to be there—Billy Porter or Johnny Galecki; every once in a while, you think Sam Neill is dead and then, poof, there he is; much like Keith Urban, I wouldn't let anyone near me with a flu shot; Dick Van Dyke had firmer footing than Michael Douglas; Christian Bale, comedy genius; and is there anyone more breathtaking than my pal Justin Hartley? It's important to note that these awards are less about who won than who was snubbed. That's all.

If the Golden Globes taught us anything, it's that not just anyone can host. The Oscars may be more than a month away, but they are still host-less. So, Ellen DeGeneres decided to flex her considerable power to strong-arm Kevin Hart back into the job—and strong-arm the viewing audience into accepting him. Apparently, Ellen and Kevin are good friends, and she thinks his past homophobic rants should not preclude him from the job. In what was presented as a spontaneous interview on her show, Ellen asked Hart about the controversy and why he stepped down. He then rambled on and on about ... well, really, about nothing. She then allegedly surprised him by saying that she spoke up on his behalf to The Academy. I don't know who she spoke to at The Academy—it may very well have been a receptionist, or even a temp. "We want him to host, whatever we can do, we would be thrilled, and he should host," said whomever answers the phone at The Academy.

This pissed off many people—specifically gay people. Who was Ellen to speak on behalf of the gay community? Don Lemon—whose opinion is germane if for no other reason than he is a Black, gay man—said he doesn't think Hart should be allowed to host. Lemon said Hart's past "jokes" actually do represent the views of many Black fathers of gay children. "That is a joke to Kevin. But the truth is, that is a reality for many little boys in the United States. Somewhere, a Black dad is beating his Black son." Lemon added, "Apologizing and moving on does not make the world a better place for people who are gay or people who are transgender. Being an ally does."

Let me say I don't have a dog in this fight. I really don't have any strong feelings about Kevin Hart—although I stand by my earlier statement that if you aren't tall enough to get on Space Mountain, you can't host the Oscars. Beyond that, I have no idea in the heart of Hart if he is homophobic or not. What I do know is that comics will say anything for a laugh—and I suspect Kevin Hart's core audience would laugh at homophobic comments. The real question is, "Can people evolve?" I suppose they do. Politicians do. People like Obama and Clinton changed their stance on gay marriage as their view "evolved" ( although, like comics, I think politicians play to their audiences ). Ultimately, I believe in the free market. If The Academy wants Kevin Hart to host and he wants to host, he should host. And if people don't like him, believe he is homophobic, or don't buy his apology, they should not watch the Oscars. Kevin solved the problem for us—he ( again ) took himself out of the running to host ... for now.

Madonna made a surprise appearance at NYC's Stonewall Inn on New Year's Eve. Perhaps it wasn't a complete surprise—the day before, the inn posted on Instagram, "We are insanely proud to announce Madonna is a Stonewall Ambassador supporting Stonewall Day + the 50th anniversary of Stonewall!" On the night, Madonna resembled the fun, kicky Material Girl we all grew up loving. She had a crazy bow in her hair and lots of clunky, dangling jewelry. She donned glasses to read her lengthy remarks about how the Stonewall Inn is the birthplace of Pride. And then she sang an acoustic version of "Like a Prayer" with her son David playing guitar, which almost made you long for the days Madonna showed off her guitar skills. You can see the video on BillyMasters.com .

I was terribly sad to hear about Derek Keeling's passing. You may remember this talented ( and gorgeous ) man from the reality show to find stars for the Broadway revival of Grease. In addition to Grease, he also toured in All Shook Up, Million Dollar Quartet and Happy Days: The Musical. Rest in peace.

Our "Ask Billy" question comes from Gary in Detroit: "We know you always watch Lindsay Wagner movies on New Year's Eve. What vintage Wagner works did you watch this year?"

Believe it or not, Lindsay Wagner is ALWAYS working. We started with Samson, a Biblical epic that was actually released in some cinemas in 2018. Lindsay was Samson's mother—lest you forget she was bionic. Her son was played by newcomer Taylor James, who has a body of Biblical proportions. The second flick came courtesy of the Hallmark Channel. Mingle All the Way featured Lindsay alongside the luscious Brant Daugherty, who I know almost nothing about. I vaguely remember him from Dancing with the Stars a while back. Brant is a charming and appealing actor—who perhaps comes off somewhat gay ... not that there's anything wrong with that!

When we're coming off very gay, it's definitely time to end yet another column. We ran long and it's late, so we'll quickly remind you to check out BillyMasters.com—the site that welcomes gays and straights alike. If you have a question, dash it off to Billy@BillyMasters.com and I promise to get back to you before someone from The Academy asks me to host the Oscars! So, until next time, remember: One man's filth is another man's bible.


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