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Entertainment: Eli Lieb, Steve Grand, Robin Roberts, Harvey Feinstein, Cyndi Lauper
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2016-04-12

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Eli Lieb and Steve Grand have teamed to create the song and video "Look Away," which has racked up hundreds of thousands of YouTube hits and Facebook views since it premiered on Towleroad, according to a press release. Lieb said, "We filmed this the day after my boyfriend and I broke up, and the footage is so real and raw, that I struggled if I even felt comfortable putting it out. I wasn't sure I wanted everyone to see the pain I was in. But then I realized that this pain came from love and is a part of life most people experience at some point; we've all been there. I hope it helps remind people that pain and love are so closely related to not forget how powerful love is. I was really happy to have Steve's kind and fun energy on set that day. He obviously knew that I was upset, so it was nice to get hugs from a goofball."

The Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) praised the news that Bruce Springsteen cancelled a concert in North Carolina due to the state's new anti-LGBT law, HB 2. In a statement, HRC President Chad Griffin said, "Bruce Springsteen is a hero and an icon because he gives voice, both through his music and his advocacy, to those who struggle against injustice and equality. It means so much that he has spoken out against this hateful bill on behalf of thousands of citizens whose rights and fundamental dignity are being trampled by the leadership of North Carolina." Springsteen said, in part, "Some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry—which is happening as I write—is one of them. It is the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backward instead of forward."

GLAAD released an open letter by entertainment leaders in Variety calling for an end to anti-LGBT bills popping up across the country, a press release stated. Art Director's Guild, CAA, National Association of Latino Independent Producers ( NALIP ), Netflix, SAG-AFTRA, Univision and Viacom undersigned the letter, sending a message to governors and state legislatures alike that anti-LGBT legislation are not congruent with their values. Sarah Kate Ellis, president/CEO of GLAAD, said, "The leaders undersigning this letter are sending a clear and powerful message to governors and state legislatures that these anti-LGBT bills are unacceptable."

Robin Roberts—the co-host of ABC's popular Good Morning America, and a Mississippi native—has added her name to those opposed to the state's new law permitting discrimination against LGBTI residents based on religious convictions, Gay Star News noted. "My longtime partner, Amber, and I have always felt welcomed in my home state, and it hurts my soul to think of anyone not feeling welcome," the statement said, according to the Associated Press. "It's always been a deeply held belief of mine that everyone, everywhere should be treated equally." Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed the proposal, known as the "Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act," into law after it passed the state Senate 31-17. Ellen DeGeneres and Lance Bass are among those who have also spoken out against the law.

On a similar line, Canadian rocker Bryan Adams announced he would cancel his April 14 concert in Mississippi at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi in protest of a law supporters call a "religious liberty" measure but opponents label "anti-LGBT," USA Today reported. Adams called out Mississippi's recently enacted law that allows religious groups and some private businesses to refuse service to gay couples on religious grounds. "I find it incomprehensible that LGBT citizens are being discriminated against in the state of Mississippi," Adams said in the statement.

Harvey Fierstein and Cyndi Lauper received their stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in front of the Pantages Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard, Gay Star News noted. That's where Kinky Boots, the Broadway musical that won both stars Tony Awards, is opening. The openly gay Fierstein wrote the book for Kinky Boots and Lauper, a staunch LGBTI ally and activist, wrote the score. The show earned 13 Tony nominations and had six wins including Best Musical and Best Score.

In an interview about her experience under the powerful psychedelic drug Ayahuasca, Fast and Furious actress Michelle Rodriguez shared how she coped with co-star Paul Walker's 2013 death, Page Six noted. I did everything I could possibly do to hide from myself," she said, according to a clip obtained by TMZ. "I'll tell you that my Ayahuasca trip made me sad that he left me here. It wasn't a sadness that he's gone, it was more like a jealousy that he's there first." The interview is part of Michael Zapolin's The Reality of Truth—a documentary that explores the relationship between spirituality, religion and psychedelics. According to US Weekly, Rodriguez has apologized for the remark and said the filmmakers took advantage of a vulnerable moment.

In a related note, U.S. District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez ruled that there was not enough evidence to prove that Porsche was responsible for the death of Paul Walker and his friend Roger Rodas, US Weekly noted. In May 2014, Rodas' widow, Kristine Rodas, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the luxury car company, claiming the car lacked crucial safety features that would have prevented the men's deaths.

Actor Sean Maher ( Firefly; The Playboy Club ) casually announced that he had married his partner of more than a decade, On Top Magazine noted. "I sit here and Tweet," he tweeted. "Check my profile. Still pretty much the same. Oh... but I changed 'Partner' to 'Husband'. Cus that happened." Maher came out as gay in 2011. Shortly after his public coming-out, Maher told The Advocate that his father suggested therapy for him to "cure" his sexuality."

Recently, Sir Ian McKellen returned his reported $1.4-million memoir advance to Hodder & Stoughton, according to Vanity Fair. Speaking at the Oxford Literary Festival, McKellen said, "It was a bit painful. I didn't want to go back into my life and imagine things that I hadn't understood so far." In a 2012 interview with Vanity Fair, the openly gay actor revealed his regret that he did not come out until he was 49.

Game of Thrones' Emilia Clarke revealed in an interview from Glamour's May issue that starring opposite Jason Momoa in season one had its share of perks, according to US Weekly. "I saw his member, but it was covered in a pink fluffy sock," Clarke said of Momoa, 36, who who has a small role in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. "Showing it would make people feel bad. It's too fabulous." Clarke added that she hoped there's more male nudity in the series, but that the show is taking "baby steps."

Cartoon series The Powerpuff Girls has featured a plot in which a transgender horse is convinced to transition to a unicorn—but becomes a monster instead, according to PinkNews. In the episode, main character Bubbles encounters Donny, a talking horse who runs around with a fake horn on his head. Bubbles convinces him to undergo a risky "transmogrifying" procedure to become a unicorn. The horse agrees to the procedure without looking through the consequences—but it goes wrong and he turns into a giant monster. The episode ends with a heart in the shape of the trans pride flag, although some transgender people were left confused by the apparent anti-surgery slant of the cartoon.

Janet Jackson announced that she's postponing part of her tour to start a family, USA Today noted. "We're in the second leg of the tour and there actually has been a sudden change," she said in the video. "I thought it was important that you would be the first to know my husband and I are planning our family, so I'm going to have to delay the tour. Please, if you can try to understand that it's important that I do this now. I have to rest up, doctor's orders. But I have not forgotten about you. I will continue to tour as soon as I possibly can."

Heather Headley—the theater-fan favorite who hasn't had an ongoing Broadway role since she won a 2000 Tony Award for Aida—will take over for Jennifer Hudson in The Color Purple when Hudson departs in May, Page Six noted. Hudson's six-month contract in The Color Purple is up May 8, which may throw a wrench into any potential Tony Awards campaign for her, as many out-of-town voters may not see the show until later in the month.

Real Housewives of New Jersey's Teresa Giudice's former New Jersey home has been sold back to its mortgage lender for just $100, according to a Page Six item that cites NJ.com . The couple, who pled guilty to financial fraud in 2014, bought the three-bedroom, one-bathroom residence in Lincoln Park, New Jersey, for $170,000 in 2005, according to realtor.com; the house has an estimated value of $219,234.

Kesha has definitively lost her case against Sony and Dr. Luke, with a New York judge tossing the entire case out, according to an Elle item that cited TMZ. The judge did not believe Dr. Luke—the producer who Kesha says sexually and emotionally abused her—committed a hate crime, as she accused him. Nita Chaudhary, co-founder of women's group UltraViolet, said in a statement, "Survivors of sexual abuse, like Kesha, should never be forced to choose between denying the truth of their assault and earning a living. For a Judge to suggest otherwise is deeply disturbing and suggests that they are unqualified to hear cases related to rape and sexual abuse." The singer has a similar lawsuit filed in Los Angeles.

Music producer and Reality television star David Gest has died in London's Four Seasons Hotel at the age of 62, BBC News reported. The music producer was best known for being the estranged husband of singer Liza Minnelli. Police have said there appear to be no suspicious circumstances.

Openly gay musical artist, social-media star and former Lady Gaga dancer MiKE MUNiCH has released the music video for the title track of his debut EP Lights Out, which is available on iTunes. "Lights Out" is MUNiCH's fifth single and the follow-up to his cover of Kylie Minogue's "Sexercise."

FYI has canceled Kocktails with Khloe fewer than two months after ordering additional episodes, TheWrap reported. "After 14 episodes, 'Kocktails with Khloe' will end its run on Wednesday, April 20, with an episode featuring Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, John Legend and Chrissy Teigen," FYI and Pilgrim Media said in a joint statement. The show's Jan. 20 debut was the highest-rated series premiere in network history across key demos. On Feb. 10, FYI announced that they had ordered 15 additional episodes of the Khloe Kardashian-hosted talk show.

On Ellen DeGeneres' talk show, actress Melissa McCarthy ( Spy; Bridesmaids ) confirmed that will return as Sookie in Netflix's upcoming Gilmore Girls revival, EW.com noted. McCarthy told DeGeneres, "There was a whole thing, and then I was going to be out of the country, and literally about an hour and a half ago, we figured out that I'm going to go back and do it, and I am so excited! They're going to be amazing."

No charges will be brought against TV "Dog Whisperer" Cesar Millan following an investigation of animal-cruelty complaints involving an episode in which a dog nipped a pig's ear, the Associated Press noted. Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney David Jacobs noted that the investigation showed the dog accidentally escaped Millan's control, and people present instantly captured the dog, attended to the pig and called in a veterinarian, who found there was no need for treatment.

Gabrielle Carteris ( who played Andrea on the original Beverly Hills, 90210 TV series ) has been elected president of SAG-AFTRA by the union's national board of directors, Deadline reported. She had been serving as the union's acting president since actor Ken Howard's death on March 23. She has been elected to serve the balance of Howard's unexpired term, which expires in 2017. Rebecca Damon was elected to replace Carteris as executive vice president.

After being told she needed to lose weight, a model decided to walk away from her deal with Victoria's Secret, Page Six reported. In an interview with Time magazine, Erin Heatherton said, "My last two Victoria's Secret shows, I was told I had to lose weight. I look back like, 'Really?'" Since deciding to give up her Victoria's Secret contract, Heatherton has said she finally been able to accept herself.

Britney Spears is swapping her estates in Thousand Oaks, California, Page Six noted. Just months after purchasing a $7.4 million Italian-style villa in the mountainside California community, the chanteuse listed her former five-bedroom home for $9 million. Built in 2010, the estate mixes modern and Spanish styles.

Diane Lane will headline Roundabout Theatre Company's revival of Anton Chekhov's masterpiece this fall, according to Page Six. That's the same play where, in 1977 at age 12, Lane was in the ensemble at Lincoln Center with co-stars Raul Julia and Meryl Streep. Previews begin Sept. 15 at the American Airlines Theatre; opening night is Oct. 16.

The Soul Train Cruise is celebrating its fifth anniversary and will feature R&B icons as it sails through the Caribbean on March 4-11, 2017, a press release stated. Cruise host Tony Cornelius will be joined by Kool & The Gang, Chaka Khan, Commodores, Chic featuring Nile Rodgers, Peabo Bryson, The S.O.S Band, Midnight Star, Alexander O'Neal and Cherrelle, Thelma Houston and Sounds of Blackness, among others. See SoulTrainCruise.com .

Nine years after MadTV ended its 14-season run on Fox, the Emmy-winning sketch comedy series is coming back, as the CW has ordered eight hourlong episodes for a primetime run, Deadline noted. Like the original series, which aired in late night on Saturdays, the revival will feature MadTV's signature pop-culture parodies and politically incorrect humor, and star up-and-coming comedy voices.


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