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Entertainment news: Sir Ian McKellen, 'Sense8,' Ryan Murphy, Halsey
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2017-07-05

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Actor Sir Ian McKellen said he'd fully support the idea of James Bond being portrayed as a gay man—and he thinks author Ian Fleming, who created the fictional Secret Service agent, would also fully support the thought, The Huffington Post noted, citing Variety. "If you play James Bond as an outwardly camp, silly gay man that no one took seriously," McKellen, who came out as gay in 1988, said, "and then he turned out as many gay men are underneath their clothes—buff and strong and as hetero as any hetero—we might have a more truthful story than the one that has been told."

Sense8 has a gift for its fans: A two-hour finale episode is in the works for the canceled Netflix series, the show announced on Twitter, The Hollywood Reporter noted. The news came in the form of a letter from co-creator Lana Wachowski, who helmed the most recent second season of the sci-fi series after sister Lilly Wachowski took a step back. Netflix shared the letter on its official account, along with a video tribute to the sci-fi series. "After seeing that the cancellation was a total cluster, we decided to give Sense8 fans the ending they totally deserve," said a Netflix spokesperson.

Ryan Murphy may make a run at Broadway, NewNowNext.com noted. Murphy, the creator of Glee and Feud, has optioned The Boys in the Band, Mart Crowley's pre-Stonewall play about a group of gay men who gather for a birthday party and some deliciously bitchy banter. The play debuted in 1968, and sources say Murphy would like to stage a 50th-anniversary revival on Broadway next spring. Jim Parsons has been rumored as a possibility for the role of Emory, the interior decorator.

Speaking of Murphy, he has a legal "feud" of his own. Olivia de Havilland is suing the network and Ryan Murphy Productions over her portrayal by Catherine Zeta Jones in Feud: Bette and Joan. In a complaint filed in L.A. County Superior Court, de Havilland ( who turned 101 on July 1 ) claims she has built a reputation for integrity and dignity by refraining from gossip and other unkind, ill-mannered behavior—but the series opens with Zeta Jones doing an interview as de Havilland, and creates the impression that she was a hypocrite who sold gossip to promote herself. The star says Feud was designed to look like reality, but no one consulted her—and she is: the only person alive who experienced the events depicted.

Bisexual singer Halsey has opened up about the problematic way bisexuality is often portrayed in pop music, suggesting that singers like Demi Lovato and Katy Perry exploit it to sell records, NewNowNext.com noted. "There's bi-phobia from the straight community and from the LGBT community. There's a lack of acceptance," the 22-year-old singer told Paper. Halsey has penned the song "Strangers," an explicitly same-sex love song featuring fellow bi pop star Lauren Jauregui ( formerly of Fifth Harmony ).

For Gay Pride Month, Billboard asked numerous pop culture luminaries to write "love letters" to the LGBTQ community. Demi Lovato wrote, in part, "This is a community who are so incredibly close to my heart. Every single interaction I've ever had with the LGBTQ community has always been filled with pure love, enthusiasm, and passion for life. I know there are millions of people out there who feel exactly the same way as I do." Some of the ohers who wrote letters included Sia, Selena Gomez, Betty Who, Jennifer Lopez, Barbra Streisand, Deborah Cox, Andy Bell, Kelly Clarkson, RuPaul, Brendon Urie, Theo Rossi, Cece Peniston, Javier Munoz, Vanessa Williams and Celine Dion.

Actor Donal Logue—best known for his role in the TV show Gotham—has penned an emotional plea for information on the whereabouts of his trans daughter, who went missing in New York, PinkNews noted. Jade Logue, 16, went missing June 26. Logue also thanked other big stars, including Mark Ruffalo and Olivia Wilde, for appealing for information about Jade's whereabouts. Anyone with information in regards to this missing person is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-8477 or, for Spanish, 888-577-4782.

A top masseuse—who gets paid to bite clients—has become the latest Hollywood insider to go on the record about Mariah Carey's diva antics, Page Six noted. In an interview with Architectural Digest's Juliet Izon, Dot Stein, aka Dr. Dot, said of Carey, "It's a huge production to massage her. She doesn't want anyone touching her bedsheets. She refuses to lie on a massage table." Will Ferrell recently revealed on Late Night With Seth Meyers that Carey's cameo in his movie The House was cut—reportedly because of her diva ways.

Actress Natalie Morales ( not to be confused with the Access Hollywood Live co-host and former Today reporter ) opened up about her sexuality in a new essay for Amy Poehler's "Smart Girls" site, The Huffington Post noted. The essay details Morales' childhood and teenage years, including her first queer relationship in high school with "Katy," an "openly bi" girl who was "confident and proud." The 32-year-old actress noted in the piece that she is "not attracted specifically to any type of gender," but instead is "attracted to people."

Gloria Carter, Jay-Z's mother, came out as lesbian in a new track featured on the rapper's just-released "4:44" album, The Huffington Post noted. The song, "Smile," features both Jay-Z and his mother discussing her sexuality. It is the first time that either of them has publicly addressed her sexual identity. "Mama had four kids, but she's a lesbian / Had to pretend so long that she's a thespian," Jay-Z raps in the song, which contains a sample of Stevie Wonder's "Love's In Need Of Love Today." In 2012, Jay-Z said he supported same-sex marriage in an interview with CNN.

Ben Platt responded to angry fans who criticized him for not greeting Dear Evan Hansen attendees after each show, Page Six noted. "Performing 'Dear Evan Hansen' every night is wonderful but also hugely tough — as much as I would like to be out there every night, very often I cannot come to the stage door after the performance," Platt tweeted. "My priority must always be self-care so I can recreate the same quality show each night. That's my job, and what each and every audience member is paying for and deserves." Platt took home this year's Tony Award for best leading actor in a musical for his work in the hit.

One MusicFest organizers announced that Janelle Monae will be the recipient of the OMF Lighthouse Recipient award, AJC.com noted. Monae, who launched her career in Atlanta and performed at the festival in 2015, has recently been lighting up Hollywood with her well-received turns in Moonlight and Hidden Figures. The fest also announced that Jill Scott, Sean Paul and rap trio Migos ( the latter in the news for anti-gay views ) will be part of the Sept. 9 event.

For the fourth consecutive year, Jenn-Air is hosting HOT!, the annual fundraiser in support of PFLAG National—and musician/actor Adrien Grenier ( Entourage ) is the featured guest at the July 27 event in New York City, according to PR Newswire. The event will feature an auction, gourmet hors d'oeuvres, summer cocktails courtesy of Tito's Handmade Vodka, and chocolate creations from chocolatier Chef Jacques Torres.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced its new Board of Governors—and 10 of them are first-timers, including Oscar winner and The View mainstay Whoopi Goldberg in the Actors branch and Kimberly Peirce ( Boys Don't Cry; Stop-Loss ) in the Directors branch, Deadline reported. The Academy's 17 branches are each represented by three governors, who can serve as many as three consecutive three-year terms.

Kelly Osbourne was enjoying the Pride Parade in New York City with her friend Sam Smith when she got the urge to tinkle. Osbourne attempted to use the restroom at a Starbucks on the corner of 6th Ave. and 27th St., only to be directed elsewhere—and she subsequently peed her pants, E! Online noted. The Project Runway Juniors judge vented about the experience on Twitter, where she has more than 4 million followers: "SHAME on U @Starbucks #PissedMyOwnPants in this location because UR shameful employees refused to let me use the [toilet]," she wrote. "I have piss in my shoe." Osbourne included a picture of the location rather than of her soiled pants.

Fox has put in development Mason Dixon, an hourlong drama from Lee Daniels and writer Julian Breece, Deadline reported. Mason Dixon revolves around a black politician's wife and a blunt-talking good-ol' boy who, in the wake of their spouses' cheating scandal, form an unlikely alliance that blends their families and shakes up a community divided by race and class.

Actress Gillian Anderson has made her thoughts known about the lack of female writers for her X-Files show, E! News noted. The X-Files writers room for the next batch of 10 episodes will consist of veterans of the series, some newcomers—but all of them men. On Twitter, Anderson retweeted a Washington Post item that read, "And 2 out of 207 eps directed by women. I too look forward to the day when the numbers are different. #TheFutureisFemale."

Kendall Jenner apologized for selling T-shirts featuring the faces of Tupac and Notorious B.I.G. ( along with hers and sister Kylie's ), US Weekly noted. Jenner—who was slammed on social media by fans and Biggie's mother, Voletta Wallace—stated, "These designs were not well thought out and we deeply apologize to anyone that has been upset and/or offended, especially to the families of the artists." Wallace had posted, "I am not sure who told @kyliejenner and @kendalljenner that they had the right to do this. The disrespect of these girls to not even reach out to me or anyone connected to the estate baffles me."

Citing irreconcilable differences, Dixie Chicks musician Natalie Maines has filed for divorce from her husband of 17 years, actor Adrian Pasdar, according to a People.com item that cites TMZ. Maines, 42, and the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. star, 52, are parents to two teenaged sons. The Chicks—which include Maines as well as sisters Strayer and Martie Maguire—reunited in 2016 for a North American tour, capping off their return with a performance featuring Beyonce at the CMA Awards 50th anniversary in November.

The critically acclaimed series Insecure returns for its eight-episode second season on Sunday, July 23 on HBO, a press release noted. Starring Golden Globe nominee Issa Rae as Issa, Yvonne Orji as Molly, Jay Ellis as Lawrence and Lisa Joyce as Frieda, the series follows the friendship of two Black women as they deal with their own real-life flaws while attempting to navigate different worlds and cope with an endless series of uncomfortable everyday experiences.

Just hours before Abby Lee Miller was set to surrender to begin her stint behind bars for fraud, the former Dance Moms host was handed a reprieve, Deadline noted. Sentenced to one year and one day in prison by a federal judge in Pittsburgh on May 9 ( for committing fraud ), Miller is now scheduled to report to a Southern California facility around July 12. Likely to serve no more than eight months if she is found to exhibit good behavior, she was supposed to be headed to jail on June 30.

Actress Stevie Ryan, 33, committed suicide via hanging a few days after her grandfather died, People.com noted. The actress first rose to fame through her YouTube series called Little Loca, and later transitioned to doing celebrity parodies on the video platform. Ryan parlayed her impersonations into a pop culture sketch series on VH1 called Stevie TV from 2012-2013, and was later a co-host of Brody Jenner's E! series Sex with Brody.


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