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Entertainment: Rosie O' Donnell, Vivica A. Fox, Neil Patrick Harris
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

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Rosie O'Donnell, Debra Messing, Joe Dante and Ed Asner are among the celebrities who have signed on to an anti-Donald Trump effort calling his pending presidency "illegitimate" and for a month of resistance to stop what it sees as a move toward fascism, according to Variety. The group published a full-page ad in the New York Times on Jan. 4 with the headline "No! In the Name of Humanity We Refuse to Accept a Fascist America." Some of the other signatories included Margaret Cho, Eve Ensler, John Landis, Michael Shannon and David Strathairn.

Barry Jenkins ( Moonlight ) said that he didn't plan on revealing that he was the first black person to win the National Board of Review's directing prize, but it felt necessary, Variety noted. He said, "As we 'Make America Great Again,' let us remember some inconsiderable things in our legacy, because there was a time when someone like me was just not considered." Several winners at the dinner revealed their troubles with President-elect Donald Trump, including Manchester by the Sea director Kenneth Lonergan, who said, "We have to stop marginalizing each other."

On each Tuesday through January, Rhino will release new vinyl titles from some of the most celebrated acts in music, including Cheap Trick, Foreigner, Lil' Kim, Madonna, The Cars, The Replacements, The Stooges and Yes—many of them limited editions, a press release stated. They are part of the "Start Your Ear Off Right" campaign. For a full list, visit

The producer of Vivica A. Fox's male-stripper reality show Black Magic has cut ties after her homophobic remarks, Queerty reported. Jean-Claude LaMarre told TMZ, "The comments were out of order, and it does not represent our attitudes toward the LGBT community." LaMarre will continue as executive producer on the reality show, saying he genuinely wants to see Black Magic succeed, but he's absolutely not interested in working with Fox anymore. However, amid the backlash, Fox apologized in an Instagram comment, The Washington Blade noted. "I've been a FRIEND n supporter of the LGBT community for years! My intention was not to offend anyone and I'm woman enough to apologize if you felt that way," Fox wrote.

Neil Patrick Harris challenged James Corden to a Broadway musical riff-off on the The Late Late Show on Jan. 9, and the outcome was epic, US Weekly noted. The How I Met Your Mother alum got so into the battle he ended up splitting his pants. Corden began, by belting out the Guys and Dolls tune "Sit Down, You're Rockin The Boat," which was met with Harris' rendition of "Everything's Coming Up Roses." It then proceeded As well as a vocal battle, they got physical, dramatically pushing each other around and pulling off some Broadway moves. The competition even included some face-licking when performing a duet of "My Shot," from Hamilton.

Cher is set to star in Flint, Lifetime's original movie about the water-contamination crisis in Flint, Michigan, according to Deadline. The Oscar winner also will executive-produce the project, along with Craig Zadan, Neil Meron and Katie Couric. This will be only the second TV movie role for Cher, following the 1996 HBO film If These Walls Could Talk, which earned her a Golden Globe nomination.

Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick's script for Deadpool nabbed a Writers Guild of America ( WGA ) nomination for top adapted screenplay, along with Eric Heisserer's Arrival, August Wilson's Fences, Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi's Hidden Figures, and Tom Ford's Nocturnal Animals, Variety noted. Other films getting nods included Moonlight, La La Land, Manchester by the Sea and Author: The JT LeRoy Story. The WGA will announce the winners of its 69th annual awards on Feb. 19 in simultaneous ceremonies in New York City and Beverly Hills.

A trio of films that debuted at the Venice Film Festival leads the pack of nominees for the 70th BAFTA Film Awards, according to Deadline. La La Land—which scored seven Golden Globe awards—leads with 11 BAFTA nods, while Arrival and Noctural Animals each has nine, Manchester by the Sea has six and the LGBT-themed Moonlight has four. Meryl Streep received her 15th nomination for Florence Foster Jenkins. The BAFTAs take place Feb. 12 at the Royal Albert Hall in London; Stephen Fry will host.

Legendary supermodel Naomi Campbell revealed on The Wendy Williams Show that she, like her famous friend Kim Kardashian, also experienced a life-threatening encounter in Paris when attackers threatened to kill her, Page Six noted. Campbell said from the moment she arrived in Paris for a quick trip to visit her dear fashion-designer "papa" Azzedine Alaia, she sensed something was wrong. Campbell said both her incident and Kardashian's robbery are part of "a whole ring that's been happening for a few years now," and that "the driver was in on it."

Alan Ritchson has joined Brenton Thwaites in the zombie action movie Office Uprising, which has started filming in Alabama, according to Variety. Ritchson's credits include The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, the two recent Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies and TV's Blue Mountain State. Others in the movie include Jane Levy, Zachary Levi and Ian Harding ( TV's Pretty Little Liars ).

Golden Girls episodes will be available to stream on Hulu starting Feb. 13—a date that Hulu Senior VP And Head Of Content Craig Erwich reminded critics was "Galentine's Day," The Hollywood Reporter noted. Hulu also announced that it has landed exclusive streaming rights to ABC's Black-ish, bringing the first two seasons to the platform that is already home to current episodes of the Emmy- and Golden Globe-nominated comedy.

Several stars arrived at the next-door homes of Debbie Reynolds and daughter Carrie Fisher on Jan. 5 amid reports that a private memorial was scheduled at the compound to mourn the late actresses, Page Six noted. Meryl Streep, Meg Ryan, Ellen Barkin and Ed Begley Jr. were among those spotted entering the property in the Coldwater Canyon area of Los Angeles. Streep, who starred in the adaption of Fisher's semi-autobiographical novel Postcards from the Edge, was carrying white flowers as she walked up the driveway.

Speaking of Fisher, a petition has been launched to make Princess Leia an official Disney Princess, according to Movieweb. A petition says, in part, "After the tragic [loss] of Carrie Fisher, we feel that it is only fitting for Disney to do away with the rule that an official Disney princess must be animated and make Leia a full-fledged princess. This would be a wonderful way to remember Carrie and a welcoming to one of Disney's new properties that is beloved by millions."

Loni Anderson stars as Frances—the boozy and inappropriately sexy mother of two middle-aged children—in the new LGBT-themed series My Sister is So Gay, according to a Tello press release. Season one features six episodes, and will premiere Jan. 22 on Tello Films. The series co-stars Debra Wilson ( MADtv ), Terry Ray and Wendy Michaels.

Jennifer Lopez has been granted a temporary restraining order against an alleged stalker who she claims has a history of violence, US Weekly noted. The pop star's lawyers filed documents in the L.A. Superior Court on Jan. 3, seeking a restraining order against Timothy McLanahan, who they allege has sent the singer flowers and was previously arrested for driving onto her property. In 2013, John M. Dubis—who Lopez had a restraining order against at the time—was arrested after breaking into her Hamptons mansion and living in her pool house undetected for six days.

Gospel singer Kim Burrell did not appear on Ellen DeGeneres' show Jan. 5 after Burrell made disparaging remarks about gay people, according to TheWrap. On Jan. 3, DeGeneres tweeted, "For those asking, Kim Burrell will not be appearing on my show." Burrell was slated to perform with Pharrell Williams until she called homosexuals "perverted in spirit."

Also, a day after DeGeneres tweeted that Burrell will not be appearing on the talk-show host's popular daytime show, KTRK reported that Texas Southern University pulled the plug on Burrell's radio show, according to . However, fellow gospel singer Shirley Caesar has defended Burrell, saying, "You should've said something four years ago, when our president made that stuff all right," The New York Daily News noted.

Pharrell Williams, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae spoke out against Kim Burrell, the Hidden Figures gospel singer and pastor whose recent sermon condemning homosexuality as "perverted" and an "embarrassment," noted. Williams posted a message on Twitter that read, "I condemn hate speech of any kind. There is no room in this world for any kind of prejudice. My greatest hope is for inclusion and love for all humanity in 2017 and beyond." Monae, who stars in the '60s-set film about African-American women working for NASA, reposted Williams' message on Instagram, adding her own note. Burrell posted a now-deleted Facebook Live video defending herself.

One year after launching her first collaboration with the MAC brand of cosmetics, Caitlyn Jenner tweeted a photo to introduce an entire line bearing her name, LGBTQ Nation noted. "Who's ready to rock 2017? All sexes. All ages. All races," Jenner tweeted. The transgender reality TV celebrity has kept a relatively low profile since her E! docuseries, I Am Cait, was canceled last year.

Donald Trump's meeting with rival Graydon Carter and editors at Conde Nast, including Anna Wintour, resulted in some of the lesser important fashion scribes in the building wanted to silently protest the president-elect, Page Six reported. An -insider said, "They were super-upset that Anna and Graydon met with him. They organized a silent protest and traded in their black chic looks for white to represent the suffragette movement. They went on -social media signed off with #CNResistance and #MakeAmerica-GraydonAgain in internal -emails."

Singer Rebecca Ferguson has said she will agree to perform at Donald Trump's inauguration under one condition: She wants to sing "Strange Fruit," The Huffington Post noted. Perhaps the best-known song about racism in America, "Strange Fruit" features lyrics that paint a disturbing picture of lynching victims. Ferguson, best known as the season-seven runner-up of the British X Factor in 2010, is mixed-race with a Jamaican father.

Despite what Leslie Jordan said about Will & Grace being revived this coming summer, Debra Messing shot down a rumor that NBC has ordered a 10-episode revival of the popular sitcom, tweeting that there's been "nothing beyond talks," noted. "Sadly, Leslie was wrong," Messing wrote. EW confirmed in October that NBC was in very early talks for a revival of the comedy, which originally aired from 1998 to 2006 and starred Messing, Eric McCormack, Sean Hayes and Megan Mullally.

Janet Jackson has given birth to a baby boy named Eissa, according to a CNN item that cites People. "Janet had a stress-free healthy delivery and is resting comfortably," a rep for the singer, 50, told People. Last April, Jackson announced that she was postponing her tour amid speculation that she was pregnant.

Broadway's abuzz that Sara Bareilles will take over the lead role in her hit musical Waitress when Tony winner Jessie Mueller exits March 26—but that may not be the case, Page Six noted. Bareilles wrote the show's music and lyrics. But a source close to the composer said, "Sara's not taking over for Jessie. ... There is a persistent but totally unconfirmed rumor she will fill in for a week to cover the gap between Jessie's final performance and her official replacement." The show kicks off a national tour in October.

Audra McDonald is to appear in concert at London's Leicester Square Theatre on April 12-15, Playbill noted. She previously appeared there in 2015, prior to a planned West End run for Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill that was subsequently postponed when she became pregnant. She will be joined by host and pianist Seth Rudetsky, who will prompt her to tell behind-the-scenes stories.

iHeartMedia and Turner announced the nominees for the 2017 iHeartRadio Music Awards on Sunday, March 5, at the Forum in Los Angeles, according to a press release. This year, the iHeartRadio Music Awards will feature new awards for Producer of the Year, Label of the Year and Best Music Video, as well as individual awards in music's biggest genres for Artist of the Year, Song of the Year, Album of the Year and Best New Artist. Drake leads nominees with 12 nominations; some other nominated artists include Rihanna, twenty one pilots, Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Beyonce and Sia.

Following the announcement of their forthcoming performance at Coachella, New Order reveals a handful of special U.S. shows, including headline dates in Santa Barbara, Berkeley and New York City, according to a press release. Members include Bernard Sumner, Gillian Gilbert, Stephen Morris, Tom Chapman and Phil Cunningham; the British band formed in 1980, and singles include "Blue Monday" and "World ( The Price of Love )."

Speculation about former pro-football player Kordell Stewart being gay has somehow again been stirred up, this time thanks to a naked video of Stewart circulating around the internet, Outsports reported. Stewart has said the video is of him and was made for a woman he is seeing. He also claims the video was acquired by his ex-wife, reality TV participant Porsha Williams, who distributed the video publicly. Talking with TMZ, Stewart denied the rumors.

The CW has ordered a script for Charmed, a reimagining of the original Aaron Spelling series, Deadline noted. The new show will be set in 1976 and feature a new trio of witches. The reboot hails from the team behind the CW's dramedy Jane the Virgin. The CW sibling network CBS previously took a stab at a Charmed reboot during the 2013-14 development season; however, the project did not go beyond the script stage.

John Travolta is definitely "not interested" in watching Leah Remini's Scientology docuseries, The Huffington Post noted. The actor said Scientology has "been nothing but helpful to me for 40 years, through all my losses of my mother, my girlfriend, my son. They've never left my side, so why would I want buy into something that's not what I feel?" Still, Travolta had nothing bad to say about Remini, but did admit he was "kind of" surprised she decided to make the series. Since leaving the controversial organization in 2013, Remini has also written a confessional memoir and participated in a Reddit AMA.

French police arrested 16 people in connection with the armed robbery of Kim Kardashian West in a luxury Paris apartment, NBC News reported. The arrests occurred in five cities across France. The reality TV star was held at gunpoint by two masked men at the Hotel de Pourtales—a mansion hotel popular with celebrities because of its privacy and exclusivity—and robbed of millions of dollars worth of jewelry on Oct. 2. The culprits escaped with a ring worth about $4.5 million and a jewelry box containing other items worth $5.6 million.

Arnold Schwarzenegger's debut as NBC reality-competition host on Jan. 2 was beaten down by The Bachelor, as it couldn't even keep pace with CBS sitcoms in terms of total viewers, TheWrap noted. Celebrity Apprentice averaged just a 1.3 rating in the key 18-49 demographic and 4.9 million viewers overall. President-elect Donald Trump mocked the ratings on Twitter, posting, "Wow, the ratings are in and Arnold Schwarzenegger got "swamped" ( or destroyed ) by comparison to the ratings machine, DJT. ... But who cares, he supported Kasich & Hillary," TheWrap reported. ( Schwarzenegger tweeted back, "I wish you the best of luck and I hope you'll work for ALL of the American people as aggressively as you worked for your ratings." )

Magician David Blaine is known for his crazy stunts, but he has risked death in his latest trick—which saw him shoot himself in the mouth, according to Page Six. The 43-year-old's show Beyond Magic featured Blaine's famous bullet catch, which he first attempted in 2010. Blaine has revamped the trick by pulling the trigger on himself, in front of 20,000 people at Las Vegas' MGM Grand Garden Arena. However, his gum shield shattered, resulting in a lacerated throat.

During a Q&A session with fans on YouTube, actor Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson was asked about his decision to join the DC Extended Universe as supervillain Black Adam in the forthcoming Shazam! movie, noted. "I've loved the role of Black Adam," said Johnson, who had been rumored to play the character years before it was made official. "I love that he starts off as a slave, that he felt like he was wronged. I've just loved that backstory." The Shazam! movie is still in the early stages of development.

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