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Entertainment: Justin Bieber, Kristen Stewart, Bradley Cooper, 'Star Trek'
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2016-08-02

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Justin Bieber has been offered the role of a young pop star in the movie Uber Girl—but he wants a major rewrite, Page Six noted. "He won't take the part unless the sex scene with him and one of the male backup dancers is taken out of the final script," co-writer Pete O'Neill said. O'Neill said he also wants to cast Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande and Kiernan Shipka ( Sally Draper in TV's Mad Men ).

Speaking of Bieber, TMZ reported that he turned down $5 million to perform at an event during the recent Republican National Convention in Cleveland—at the urging of his manager and LeBron James, LGBTQ Nation noted. Reportedly, when Bieber's manager Scooter Braun, who has fundraised for Hillary Clinton, asked about displaying a "Black Lives Matter" banner at the 45-minute show, TMZ said they were denied and offered an "All Lives Matter" banner instead. While Bieber, a Canadian, doesn't have any particular stake in the U.S. presidential election, he did show support for victims of the Orlando, Florida, shooting at a recent concert in that city.

Citing the increasingly blurred lines between its interactive, film and music programs, South by Southwest organizers have decided to expand the kind of access attendees will receive with their festival badges, Billboard reported. Beginning in 2017, an attendee in Austin, Texas, for one portion ( say, music ) will also get secondary access to most other events as well. In addition to expanded access, SXSW announced its first wave of keynotes and speakers for the 2017 event, being held March 10-19; Transparent creator Jill Soloway will be among those individuals.

In an interview with Elle magazine, 26-year-old actress Kristen Stewart ( Twilight ) discussed her relationship with film producer Alicia Cargile for the first time, CNN noted. "Right now I'm just really in love with my girlfriend," Stewart said. "We've broken up a couple of times and gotten back together, and this time I was like, 'Finally, I can feel again.'" Stewart said she decided to talk about Cargile so that people don't think she's "ashamed" about being in a relationship with a woman. She added that it's easier to admit dating a woman than a man.

Bradley Cooper's appearance at the Democratic National Convention irked some conservative fans of the actor's portrayal of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle in 2014's American Sniper, Page Six noted. The complaints have been mocked by others who say Cooper was simply acting a role when playing Kyle and conservatives shouldn't be surprised. Cooper earned an Oscar nod for "Sniper," which became a blockbuster thanks in part to an enthusiastic reception among conservative moviegoers.

The recent Tarzan movie wasn't the only one with a gay kiss that was cut. According to Time, a welcome-home kiss between Hikaru Sulu and his partner was cut from Star Trek Beyond, actor John Cho said. In Star Trek Beyond, Cho's character Sulu is revealed to be gay, having a daughter with his male partner. Cho told Vulture, that in the cut scene, the two men share a welcome-home kiss when they are at the airport with their daughter. Simon Pegg, who co-wrote the screenplay and plays Scotty in the film, had the idea to make Sulu gay.

IFC Films has acquired the U.S. rights to Justin Kelly's gay-porn drama King Cobra, which stars James Franco, Christian Slater, Garrett Clayton, Keegan Allen, Alicia Silverstone and Molly Ringwald, Variety reported. Kelly directed from his own screenplay, based on the Andrew E. Stoner-Peter A. Conway book Cobra Killer: Gay Porn, Murder, and the Manhunt to Bring the Killers to Justice, which is about the 2007 murder of a gay-porn producer ( played by Christian Slater ) by two aspiring producers ( Franco and Allen ).

Youree Harris, aka famed psychic Ms. Cleo, has died at age 53 from cancer, according to The Root, citing TMZ. Harris, who was born and raised in Los Angeles, died in Palm Beach County, Florida. A rep for Harris did not state what kind of cancer she suffered from, but did say that she was a "pillar of strength" during her illness. The Advocate, in 2006, reported that Harris—who also did voiceover work for Grand Theft Auto: Vice City—was lesbian.

Troye Sivan's hit song "Wild" has been re-released with new vocals by Alessia Cara and a new video clip, according to Gay News Network. The new video shows Sivan locking eyes with a boy he is interested in with both soon getting intimate in the bedroom. "We shot this music video that basically just profiles love in a couple of young relationships and young love," Sivan told Billboard.

Swedish artist, DJ and producer Petter Wallenberg ( aka House of Wallenberg ) has teamed with Jwl B from queer rappers Yo Majesty as well as drag superstar Lady Bunny on a new song "Keep on Dancing ( Until We're Free )," according to a press release. The track has been recorded specifically for the Pulse Orlando Fund, in support of the families and victims of the mass shooting at took place at Pulse Nightclub on June 12. The video is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SW-7jN7humc.

Teen Wolf actor Tyler Posey is under fire for publicly announcing he's gay, even though he is actually straight, The New York Daily News reported. "This is me. I am this and this is me. I never felt more alive," he proclaims in a Snapchat video, while pointing the camera at the sign for Manhattan's Gay Street. "Although I'm not gay, I fully support the LGBTQ community. This was a moment intended to reflect that," he later wrote on Twitter.

Out actor Wentworth Miller ( Prison Break; Legends of Tomorrow ) is talking about the internet meme that led him to open up for the first time about the depression he'd battled his entire life, People reported. "I was having a really strong emotional experience and I needed to get it out," Miller said. "Articulating how I'm feeling, that's a life-saving practice—and it's part of my self-care." The meme featured two side by side photos of Miller, one from 2006 when he was in peak shape, and one from 2010, when the Prison Break" star, semi-retired from acting, had gained weight. The caption read, "When you break out of prison and find out about the McDonald's Monopoly."

Members of Madonna's Upper West Side co-op want a Manhattan judge to force the Material Girl to play by the rules, Page Six revealed. The "Borderline" singer sued the board of the Harperley Hall co-op at West 64th Street and Central Park West in April for trying to enforce a rule that requires her to be "in residence" at the $7.3-million pad when any members of her family or staff are staying there. Madonna cannot "credibly claim she was treated any differently from every other shareholder," the building's lawyer, Patrick Sweeney, said in court papers asking a judge to toss the suit.

Barbra Streisand enlisted Hugh Jackman for a duet on her new album, Encore: Movie Partners Sing Broadway, out Aug. 26, EW.com noted. The pair tackled "Any Moment Now," from the musical Smile. "'Any Moment Now' was the first song I chose for this album," Streisand said in a behind-the-scenes video. "I heard the song and I thought, this is a way for me to use actors who act and sing with Broadway material. So the first person I thought of was Hugh Jackman." "Any Moment Now," written by Marvin Hamlisch ( A Chorus Line ) and Howard Ashman ( Little Shop of Horrors ), is about a dysfunctional couple trying to mend fences.

The Amy Winehouse Foundation, established in memory of the deceased singer, is opening a facility for women recovering from alcohol and drug addiction, The Huffington Post noted. The women's-only center, called Amy's Place, caters to those who have already completed a rehabilitation program for drug and alcohol abuse. Its goal is to help residents transition from treatment to living independently.

Lifetime is remaking the late director Garry Marshall's classic tearjerker Beaches and has set Idina Menzel to star, TheWrap reported. Menzel is set to play the role of aspiring singer CC, played by Bette Midler in the original film, who forms a lifelong friendship with Hillary, played by Barbara Hershey in the original film. Allison Anders will direct the Lifetime remake, from a script by Bart Barker.

James M. Nederlander—who took over the fledgling Nederlander Organization from his father and built it into one of the largest producers of live entertainment and a dominant national theater chain that includes nine Broadway houses—has died at age 94, U.S. News & World Report noted. Known as Jimmy, the elder Nederlander produced or co-produced more than 100 shows, including Annie, 'Copenhagen, 'The Will Rogers Follies, 'Les Liaisons Dangereuses, 'La Cage aux Folles, 'Nine, 'Noises Off and The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby.

Three-time Oscar winner Meryl Streep is set to reunite with Emily Blunt in the movie Mary Poppins Returns, according to TheWrap. ( They previously co-starred in Into the Woods. ) Disney has slated the follow up to the 1964 classic for a Christmas Day 2018 release.

Khloe Kardashian has revealed her real feelings about Donald Trump and her 2009 appearance Celebrity Apprentice, People noted. "I didn't care to do Celebrity Apprentice," Kardashian, 32, said during an appearance on Chelsea Handler's Netflix talk show Chelsea. "My mom made me do it." Kardashian also made her political views known. "I don't think so, no," she said when Handler asked if momager Kris Jenner thinks Trump is fit for the presidency. "I don't think he would make a good president."

Kesha is dropping the lawsuit accusing her former producer Dr. Luke of sexually, physically and emotionally abusing her, TheWrap reported. "Kesha is focused on getting back to work and has delivered 28 new songs to the record label. We have conveyed to Sony Music and the label Kesha's strong desire to release the single and an album as soon as possible," her attorney, Daniel Petrocelli, said in a statement to the site Mashable.

Debra Messing is apologizing for her social-media outburst, according to Page Six. The outspoken Democrat, 47, came under fire after she urged Gwen Stefani to take boyfriend Blake Shelton to task for his comments about Donald Trump, although he didn't exactly endorse the Republican nominee. Stefani never responded, but Shelton tweeted, "Hey before this gets going like it always does… I haven't [endorsed] ANYBODY for president. ... My comment about 'wish there was another option but there's not' is across the board … period. Now go dig up another story."

Justin Timberlake got slapped at a golf tournament, Page Six noted. The "Can't Stop the Feeling" singer was greeting attendees at the American Century Celebrity Pro-Am in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, when a spectator got a little too hands-on with him. In a video of the incident, Timberlake made his way through the crowd when one spectator slaps him in the back of the neck. Timberlake snapped, "Bro, why would you do that?" The man was later arrested for disorderly conduct, although Timberlake declined to press charges.

Taylor Swift's boyfriend, British actor Tom Hiddleston, has just been hit with the cheeky 2016 "Rear of the Year" Award; an honor that's apparently prestigious enough for Time to spread the good word, Queerty noted. The scene that put Hiddleston's butt on the map was excised from the American version of the hit espionage series, but the scene in which he bears his buttocks was notable enough to earn its own hashtag, #Hiddlesbum. Discussing all the hubbub, Hiddleston quipped, "I'm here to tell you that my butt is not dangerous."

Late painter/sculptor Jean-Michel Basquiat's NoHo home in NYC now has a plaque in his honor, Gothamist reported. The memorial plaque was the joint effort of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation and Two Boots Pizza. It reads, "Jean Michel-Basquiat ( 1960-1988 ) From 1983 to 1988 renowned artist Jean Michel-Basquiat lived and worked here, a former stable owned by friend and mentor Andy Warhol. Baquiat's paintings and other work challenged established notions of high and low art, race and class, while forging a visionary language that defied characterization."

Coming out on top for this year's MTV Video Music Awards ( VMAs ) are Beyonce, who nabbed a career-best 11 nominations, and Adele, who scored eight nominations—seven of which were for the "Hello" music video, TheWrap noted. The late David Bowie also received four nominations for "Lazarus" and "Black Star." Video of the Year nominees are Adele ( "Hello" ), Beyonce ( "Formation" ), Drake ( "Hotline Bling" ), Justin Bieber ( "Sorry" ) and Kanye West ( "Famous" ). The 2016 VMAs will air live Sunday, Aug. 28, in New York City.

Nick Jonas is in talks to join Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart and Jack Black in the Jake Kasdan-directed reimagining of Jumanji that Sony Pictures has set for a July 28, 2017, release, Deadline noted. Jonas is in the frat-hazing drama Goat, which premiered at Sundance in January and which Paramount will release Sept. 24. He also starred in the series Kingdom and the Fox show Scream Queens.

Toni Braxton will be hitting the road this fall on a North American tour, Billboard noted. The singer's 18-date circuit kicks off on Oct. 8 in Oakland, California, and completes its run in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on Nov. 12, with stops in Detroit, Los Angeles, Chicago, Baltimore and Houston among the other scheduled shows. Braxton currently appears in the WE tv reality series Braxton Family Values, now in its fifth season.

After news broke that singer Mary J. Blige has filed for divorce from her husband of 12 years and longtime manager Kendu Isaacs, she released a statement through her rep, according to Essence.com . In part, the statement says, "Ms. Blige is saddened to say [that] it is true that she has filed for divorce, saying sometimes things don't work how we hoped they would ... but, there is a divine plan and a reason for everything. Mary will continue writing and working on her album, which is due out later this year along with her world tour."

KC and The Sunshine Band premiered the audio of the band's new single, "We Belong Together," on PerezHilton.com, a press release stated. Penned by Harry Wayne "KC" Casey, "We Belong Together" captured what the Grammy Award winner was feeling when he first heard the track. The band's hits include "Shake, Shake, Shake, Shake Your Booty," "Get Down Tonight," "That's The Way I Like It," "Boogie Shoes" and more

Gwyneth Paltrow has decided to distance herself from the brand, telling a crowd at Chicago's Sage Summit that she feels her name could hold Goop back, Page Six noted. "My dream is that one day no one would remember that I have anything to do with it." Paltrow said that in order to grow, she has thought, "How can I separate myself from the brand?—and I think it's going to be more its own brand."

Season eight will be the final one for Game of Thrones, TheWrap noted. Casey Bloys, the new programming chief at HBO, told reporters that, as expected, the smash fantasy series based on the novels of George R.R. Martin will be gone after two more seasons. The season-six finale in June drew nearly 9 million total viewers on the night of the premiere, a record for the series.

Mighty Ship at War: The Queen Mary, a new one-hour special timed to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the famed ocean liner's maiden voyage, will premiere Sunday, Aug. 21, on Smithsonian Channel, a press release stated. Bigger and more powerful than the Titanic, and faster than any other ship in her class, the Queen Mary is the last survivor of the golden age of ocean liners. See SmithsonianChannel.com .

Erotic members-only club Snctm is bringing its "Eyes Wide Shut" parties to New York City and the Hamptons, Page Six noted. The private club, which holds monthly erotic parties in the Holmby Hills neighborhood, will start a quarterly party in Manhattan during Fashion Week on Sept. 10. Snctm club owner Damon Lawner is now scouting for locations in New York, and said he is looking for a private townhouse or a loft for his members, who he says include A-list actors, models, top lawyers and CEOs.


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