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Entertainment: Caitlyn memoir; Idris Elba; Christian Bale; Jillian Michaels
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2016-01-26

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Grand Central Publishing announced that it plans a spring 2017 publication for a memoir by Caitlyn Jenner, the transgender activist and reality star and former Olympic athlete, the Associated Press noted. The book, currently untitled, will be co-written by Friday Night Lights author Buzz Bissinger, who wrote a Vanity Fair cover story about Jenner. According to Grand Central, the memoir will follow Jenner's life "from Bruce to Caitlyn, and her brave transition into womanhood."

Actor Idris Elba said that a lack of diversity in films and television is not just a problem in the United States, according to the Associated Press. In a speech, Elba said British broadcasting needed to overhaul the way it worked, asking questions such as: "Are Black people normally playing petty criminals? Are women always the love interest or talking about men? Are gay people always stereotyped? Are disabled people ever seen at all?"

Christian Bale was feeling very affectionate at the Critics Choice Awards, Gay Star News noted. First he kissed his wife of 15 years, Sibi Blazic. He then turned and locked lips with the film's director, Adam McKay, before kissing screenwriter Charles Randolph. Then, when The Big Short won in the category of best comedy film, Bale and McKay once again kissed each other on the lips, with McKay holding Bale's face in his hands.

Telluride Gay Ski Week will take place Feb. 20-27. Among the people slated to appear are gay freeskier Gus Kenworthy, DJ Ryan Kenney, Shawn Colvin, DJ Bimbo Jones, Sandra Bernhard, DJ Soul Atomic and DJ Ruckus. Events include Excursion of the Day, "Tomboy Tavern Nooner," Telluride AIDS Benefit's Sneak Peek Fashion Show, "Feel the Bernhard" and more. See telluridegayski.com/ .

Celebrity trainer Jillian Michaels is open about her long-term relationship with partner Heidi Rhoades today—but there was a time when she was conflicted about her sexuality, accoding to Entertainment Tonight. "I was homophobic, because I obviously didn't know that I was gay," Michaels said. It wasn't until Madonna's "Justify My Love" video, which contains imagery of bisexuality and girls kissing, that she started to be more accepting of homosexuality. Michaels' show Just Jillian recently premiered on the E! network.

Actor Ray Liotta showed a different side recently, TheWrap noted. On his show Shades of Blue ( with Jennifer Lopez ), Liotta's corrupt cop Wozniak shares a kiss with internal affairs chief Donnie Pomp, played by Michael Esper; later, Donnie is seen showering, post-sex, as Liotta places a call to Harlee, one of the cops in his unit, played by Lopez. According to Adi Hasak, the show's creator and executive producer, the decision to make Wozniak—who has a wife—bisexual arose as he was writing the pilot.

Sir Ian McKellen doesn't think Black people are the only group ignored by Hollywood, and said gay people are also being "disregarded," TheWrap noted. "As a representative of the industry they're in, it's receiving complaints which I fully sympathize with," the actor, 76, told Sky News in response to the #OscarsSoWhite backlash. "It's not only Black people who've been disregarded by the film industry; it used to be women, it's certainly gay people to this day. And these are all legitimate complaints and the Oscars are the focus of those complaints, of course."

Miley Cyrus has confirmed she will be starring alongside Woody Allen and Elaine May in the director's first TV series, according to Newsweek. Last year, Allen said he regrets agreeing to taking the leap into small-screen streaming—a term he had never heard of until Amazon made an offer.

Doctor Who alum Matt Smith has been cast to play the late gay photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, Gay Star News reported. The project, simple titled Mapplethorpe, is from writer-director Ondi Timoner. Girls actress Zosia Mamet has been cast to play singer Patti Smith, who was Mapplethorpe's onetime lover and longtime best friend.

A photography project is bringing celebrities together to pose as same-sex couples and families as a way to combat homophobia and provide positive images of recognizable figures engaging in queer relationships, The Huffington Post reported. The series, called "IMAGINARY COUPLES," is the brainchild of French artist and photographer Olivier Ciappa and has been displayed in galleries and cities around the world from Paris to Lima. Featuring Eva Longoria posing with singer Lara Fabian as well as Sicario director Denis Villenueve posing with Dallas Buyers Club director Jean-Marc Vallee, Ciappa found inspiration for the project from anti-LGBT attitudes he encountered globally. "IMAGINARY COUPLES" is tentatively scheduled to hit the United States this summer, possibly in Los Angeles.

In what is considered one of the hottest development titles coming out of the UK film biz, 45 Years director Andrew Haigh has signed on to direct the Alexander McQueen biopic for producer Damian Jones and Pathe, Deadline reported. Jones had previously optioned Andrew Wilson's McQueen biography Blood Beneath The Skin, but the film will not be exclusively based on the book; instead, it will be a part of the research materials available to Urch.

On an episode of Larry King Now, Teen Wolf star Tyler Posey commented on co-star Charlie Carver coming out, according to NewNowNext.com . Posey said that, at first, he was surprised by the news—adding he knew about Carver's sexuality—but did not realize he had officially come out of the closet. Posey said he had nothing but love for his former co-star, and said he is thrilled that it is getting easier for people to come out.

Fox stations have renewed The Wendy Williams Show through the 2019-20 season, Deadline reported. Fueled by strong demo numbers, Debmar-Mercury's show hosted by radio personality Wendy Williams was cleared for a nationwide launch in fall 2009. In addition, Debmar-Mercury's parent, Lionsgate, recently extended Williams' personal contract through 2022.

Out actor Jussie Smollett ( TV's Empire ) will be presented with the prestigious chairman's award at the 2016 NAACP Image Awards, Gay Star News noted. The actor, as well as four other individuals and three organizations, will be honored for using "their distinct platforms to be agents of change." Smollett volunteers with the Black AIDS Institute, Artists for a New South Africa and United Negro College Fund, and has been an outspoken advocate for LGBTI issues since coming out last year.

Sam Smith has hit back after comments he made about racism were mocked on Twitter, The Mirror reported. The out singer was ridiculed after he took to Twitter to reveal his deep shock that a friend had been racially abused on a night out and said the incident left him very "upset." Clarifying what he'd meant, Smith insisted he hadn't tried to make it "about him" and that he was merely "sharing" his own experience. In an Instagram post he claimed, "For the record, I was merely sharing an experience I had in the hope it would draw attention to how ridiculous it is to be racist in 2016."

After Jada Pinkett Smith declared that she will be boycotting the Oscars after her husband was snubbed, Alexis Arquette took a major swing at the Smith and husband Will Smith for what she alleges is hypocrisy, The New York Daily News noted. The transgender actress and gender-rights activist "outed" the married couple with a now-deleted Facebook post that argued that the Smiths' comments on race and the Oscars were invalid because they won't acknowledge their alleged homosexuality. "When Jada comes out as Gay and her beard husband admits his first marriage ended when she walked in on [him and] his Sugar Daddy [name omitted] ... then I will listen to them," Arquette stated.

The network Logo has announced two new series and a renewal. In a press release, Logo noted the greenlighting of two brand-new shows—Gay For Play Game Show Starring RuPaul and Gay Skit Happens—plus a third season of Cocktails & Classics, Michael Urie's love letter to classic films. Logo will also air the 27th Annual GLAAD Media Awards this spring.

The Buffalo Bills made history by hiring the NFL's first female full-time coach, naming Kathryn Smith as a special teams quality control coach, ESPN.com reported . Smith served as the administrative assistant to head coach Rex Ryan this season after working for 12 years for the New York Jets, including the final six with Ryan as Jets head coach.

Adele, Kendrick Lamar and Little Big Town have been booked to perform at next month's 58th annual Grammy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles, UPI.com reported . The event honoring excellence in music is to take place Feb. 15 at the Staples Center, and will air live on CBS. LL Cool J will host the event for the fifth consecutive year.

Actress Gillian Anderson recently revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that her initial salary offer for the upcoming revival of The X-Files, which premiered Jan. 24, was half of co-star David Duchovny's, Page Six reported. Anderson said, "It was shocking to me, given all the work that I had done in the past to get us to be paid fairly. I worked really hard toward that and finally got somewhere with it." When the Fox series debuted in 1993, Duchovny had more on-camera experience than relative newbie Anderson and was paid more.

The war of words has heated up between Chelsea Handler and former Chelsea Lately co-star Heather McDonald, according to Page Six. McDonald, who worked on the E! series as a writer during 2007-2009, revealed that she discovered Handler's show was coming to a close via social media—although she was too terrified to confirm the news with her employer. Handler has fired back, "She would never say anything to my face. She would only say that on the radio. She would never, 'cause she's f——g scared and she should be. Now she should be really scared."

In a highly competitive situation, WME has signed fast-rising star Ruby Rose, Deadline noted. Her breakout role came as Stella Carlin in the third season of Netflix dramedy Orange is the New Black; her character managed to romance and swindle Taylor Schilling's long-suffering Piper Chapman. Rose recently wrapped Resident Evil: The Final Chapter opposite Milla Jovovich, and is currently in production on the Chad Stahelski-directed John Wick 2, alongside Keanu Reeves and Common.

Academy Award-nominated actress Charlotte Rampling said her comments that an Oscars' boycott is "racist to white people" were misinterpreted, the Associated Press noted. In a statement to CBS News' Sunday Morning, Rampling said she wished every performance was given equal opportunity for consideration. Rampling, 69, previously told France's Europe 1 radio Friday that, while it's impossible to know for sure, "maybe the Black actors didn't deserve to be in the final stretch."

Film Independent, a non-profit arts organization for independent film and diversity, announced Focus Features as a major new studio in support of the program, Project Involve. Film Independent and Focus Features today announced the Lili Elbe Fellowship, which will be awarded to a transgender filmmaker in the 2016-2017 program, and will provide the filmmaker with a $10,000 grant. ( The Lili Elbe Fellowship is named after trans pioneer, Lili Elbe, the inspiration behind Focus Features' Academy Award nominated film, The Danish Girl. ) Also, The Walt Disney Studios will support a female director in the current class with a $10,000 grant through The Walt Disney Studios Fellowship.

Arrow stars Stephen Amell and John Barrowman didn't let a blizzard ruin their weekend in Secaucus, New Jersey—site of the Heroes & Villains convention, Gay Star News noted. To the delight of those in attendance, Amell and out actor Barrowman teamed for a duet of "Music of the Night," from the musical The Phantom of the Opera—and they shared a peck when they finished the song.

Lea DeLaria is the latest name announced to perform at the lesbian event The Dinah, which will be March 30-April 3 in Palm Springs, California, a press release stated. DeLaria is known for her role on the TV show Orange Is the New Black and released her latest jazz album, House of David: delaria+bowie=jazz, last year. See TheDinah.com .

Kevin Spacey has been set to star with Nicholas Hoult in Rebel in the Rye, the Black Label Media drama about the formative years of The Catcher In The Rye author J.D. Salinger, according to Deadline. Empire exec producer Danny Strong is directing the script he adapted based on the Kenneth Slawenski biography JD Salinger: A Life.

Zac Efron has apologized for paying tribute to Martin Luther King on a national holiday dedicated to the civil rights leader with a tweet that also celebrated his 10 million strong Instagram following, The Independent reported. "I'm grateful for a couple things today: Martin Luther King Jr & 10 million followers on IG #MLKDay," he initially posted. However, after some blowback, Efron posted, "I have nothing but the greatest admiration and respect for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I realize that last night's post was completely insensitive and I apologize to anyone who I may have offended."

The daytime show FABLife, once helmed by Tyra Banks, has been officially cancelled, according to Page Six. Although the show will not return for a second season, the cast will continue to produce original episodes until the end of the season. Banks left the show in November; however, the show still has co-hosts Chrissy Teigen, Joe Zee, Leah Ashley and Lauren Makk.

Norman Lear ( the producer who brought groundbreaking, socially conscious shows like All in the Family and the Jeffersons to TV in the 1970s ) and Shonda Rhimes ( the hugely successful producer of shows including Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder—and 2016 recipient of the Norman Lear Achievement Award from the Producers Guild of America ) are teaming to executive-produce a documentary series for Epix called America Divided, TV Guide noted. The series will examine social issues, with documentaries on topics like New York City's affordable housing crisis hosted by people like Zach Galifianakis and America Ferrera.


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