Brainchild Films has announced that actress, singer and Academy Award nominee Janet Jackson has signed on to executive-produce Truth, a groundbreaking documentary about the lives of transgender people around the world, according to a press release. Jacksona long-term ally of the LGBT community and past recipient of GLAAD Media Vanguard Awardsaid, "Truth is our small chance to ask that you try and understand someone who lives their life in a way that is a little bit different from yours, even though all of our hearts are the same. We want to stop the hate and find understanding."
Openly gay writer/activist/TV personality Dan Savage has signed with the sports/entertainment agency CAA (Creative Artists Agency), according to The Hollywood Reporter. Savage is best known for co-founding the "It Gets Better" project and writing his sex-advice column "Savage Love," which is syndicated throughout North America, Europe and Asia. CAA's clients include Will Smith, Meryl Streep, George Clooney, Sandra Bullock, Oprah Winfrey, LeBron James and Julia Roberts.
The Lifeline Program released behind-the-scenes video footage on YouTube of the company's recent photo shoot with entertainment icon Betty White, according to Business Wire. Openly gay photographer Mike Ruiz took the images, which included White posing with one of her favorite four-legged friends, a golden retriever named Cooper. Founded in 1989, The Lifeline Program offers life settlements as a new financial planning option to baby boomers and retirees.
Tyler Perry has jumped to the defense of Whitney Houston's daughter, saying she did not walk out on his show For Better or Worse, People.com reported. A report surfaced that Bobbi Kristina Brown quit the TBS comedy and left the show because she is dealing with her mother's death. However, on his website, Perry stated, "Yes she was grieving, but grief aside, she managed to finish her obligation and did a great job at the same time."
Showtime has renewed the series Nurse Jackie for a fifth season, according to Deadline.com . The dark comedy centers around the title character, a nurse (played by Emmy winner Edie Falco) who deals with a drug adiction and a now-broken marriage. Co-creators Linda Wallem (who's dating Melissa Etheridge) and Liz Brixius recently departed; former Dexter executive producer Clyde Phillips took their spot. Now, he, Falco, Richie Jackson and Caryn Mandabach are the show's executive producers.
While at the Cannes Film Festival, fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld poked fun at actor John Travolta, according to Out.com . At amfAR's Cinema Against AIDS gala (where he's auctioning off a lead role in a short film he will direct), New York magazine asked Lagerfeld about fellow participant Heidi Klum's decision to give a massage to the highest bidder. When questioned if he would do such a thing, Lagerfeld responded, "No. I'm not John Travolta." Male massage therapists have claimed Travolta sexually assaulted them.
In the world of DC Comics, the original Green Lantern (Alan Scott)who was first introduced in 1940will be re-introduced as gay in the second issue of "Earth Two," hitting stores June 6, according to the New York Daily News. The publisher decided to reboot the entire fictional universe last yeara development that now shows the heroes as younger versions of themselves. DC Comics also has a lesbian superhero: Batwoman.
Singer Corey Hart (best known for his '80s hit "I Wear My Sunglasses At Night") has released a remix of a pro-gay song, according to GlobalTVEdmonton.com . His 1988 album Young Man Running included the song "Truth Will Set You Free," which he intended as an anthem for those struggling with their sexuality. Now Hart is issuing a dance-floor mix of the tuneand it has new lyrics inspired, in part, by the 1998 murder of gay University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard.
Clarice Starlingthe FBI agent brought to life on the big screen by Jodie Foster in Silence of the Lambsis the focal point of a new series in development for Lifetime, according to a New York Daily News item. Going by the title Clarice, the series will focus on Starling's early career just after she receives her FBI qualifications. No actress has been mentioned in connection with the role.
A private service for Bee Gee Robin Gibb will take place June 8, according to the New York Post. The Gibb family requested that mourners offer donations, rather than flowers, to two children's charities on the Isle of Man, where Gibb was born. Gibb, a founder of the Bee Gees with his two late brothers, died May 20 after a battle with cancer at age 62.
Amy Winehouse's family has put her London home up for sale for 2.7 million pounds ($4.2 million), Rolling Stone reported. Spokesman Chris Goodman said in a statement, "It was not practical to keep it empty while paying the costs of its upkeep. It is a wonderful place and will be a happy family home for someone." Winehouse's body was found at the home last July.
Lady Gaga has set yet another record. According to the Daily Mail, she's the first person to have 25 million followers on Twitter. She tweeted, "#25milliontweetymonsters wow! I'm officially feeling like the luckiest girl in the world today." The "You and I" singer was also the first person to reach the milestones of 10 million, 15 million and 20 million followers on the social-networking site.
Lesbian country singer Chely Wright said that the industry has shunned her since she came out, CBS News reported. According to Wright, "As my friend said, 'I don't think [the rejection is] going to be fire and brimstone; I think they're going to freeze her out.'" Wish Me Away, the documentary about her coming-out process, will be in select theaters around the country this month and is available on-demand.
Chicago Filmmakers, the not-for-profit media arts organization that produces Reeling: The Chicago Lesbian & Gay International Film Festival, announced that the festival will go on hiatus in 2012, with plans for the festival to return in 2013. The second oldest LGBT film festival in the world, Reeling marked a milestone with its 30th anniversary festival in 2011.
Comcast's Xfinity TV is recognizing LGBT Pride Month with a special collection of LGBT programming, including award-winning movies, biographical films, documentaries, TV shows, specials and interviews, according to Business Wire. Movie highlights include Milk, My Beautiful Laundrette, Pariah and Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss, among many others. Among the other items that will be shown are the documentary The Brandon Teena Story; the special MTV: It Gets Better; and episodes of RuPaul's Drag U, Modern Family and Will & Grace.
In the upcoming series Hit & Miss, Chloe Sevigny (TV's Big Love) will star as Mia, a transgender contract killer, according to Advocate.com . A press release states, "Mia's life is sent into a tailspin when she receives a letter from an ex-girlfriend dying from cancer revealing that Mia fathered a son eleven years ago. Faced with a difficult decision, Mia becomes the guardian to a new family forcing her to mix her killer instincts with her newly developing maternal instincts." The show will premiere on DirecTV July 11.
Presenters have been announced for the 66th Annual Tony Awards, which will be held June 10 at the Beacon Theatre in New York City, according to Playbill.com . Among those presenting awards will be Mandy Patinkin, Tyler Perry, Bernadette Peters, Angela Lansbury, Christopher Plummer, Ellen Barkin, Jim Parsons and others. CBS will broadcast the event (which Neil Patrick Harris is hosting) live beginning at 8 p.m. ET.
Openly gay Tony winner Denis O'Hare will star as the Baker in the Shakespeare in the Park production of Into the Woods this summer, Playbill.com noted. Original director Timothy Sheader will stage the production July 23-Aug. 25 at the Delacorte Theater and will officially open Aug. 9. Another Tony winner, Donna Murphy, will be in it as well as Oscar nominee Amy Adams (Enchanted).
USA Network's upcoming series Political Animals has tapped Vanessa Redgrave to play Diane Nash, a lesbian Supreme Court justice, IMDB.com reported. Nash first openly gay member of the Court who is friend and mentor to Elaine Barrish (played by Sigourney Weaver). The seriesabout a former first lady and presidential candidate who tries to keep her family together while dealing with crises of the State Department and a journalist (Carla Gugino) bent on destroying herwill debut July 15.
Queen Latifah clarified rumors that she came out recently when she headlined Long Beach Lesbian & Gay Pride event. She told Entertainment Weekly, "That definitely wasn't the case. I've never dealt with the question of my personal life in public. It's just not gonna happen." However, the singer/actress added, "To me, doing a gay-pride show is one of the most fun things. My first show that paid more than $10,000 was in a gay club on New Year's Eve in San Francisco. [The late rapper] Tupac happened to be in town, so he came to kick it with me. ... [W]e had a blast in there."
Kathryn Joosten, a character actress best known for playing the crotchety neighbor Karen McCluskey on the ABC series Desperate Housewives, has died of lung cancer at 72, the L.A. Times reported. Joosten won two Emmy awards for her portrayal of McCluskey; the hit show ended its run last month with a series finale in which Joosten's character passed away.
Media outlets had reported a couple years ago that Mindy Cohn (best known as Natalie on the classic TV show Facts of Life) and formed an unlikely friendship with Hollywood supercouple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. However, Cohn refused to answer on television if she is godmother to the couple's six children, according to The Daily Mail. During a game of Plead the Fifth on Andy Cohen's Watch What Happens Live, Cohn decided not to address that particular issue.
Downton Abbey's Dame Maggie Smith has reportedly demanded that U.S. producer Rebecca Eaton be fired from the show for calling Smith "difficult," The Daily Mail reported. Eaton told The Daily Mirror in April that Smith" is a handful. She's very difficult." The comment allegedly angered Smith, who plays Dowager Countess.
Out 'NSync band member Lance Bass told Entertainment Tonight Canada that he'll "probably cry" at former bandmate Justin Timberlake's wedding to Jessica Biel, People.com reported. He added that he had no details about the ceremony, which is rumored to take place this summer. As for the band reuniting at the wedding, Bass responded, "It would be great. Who knows? We might do a little improv a capella."
The California Court of Appeals has halted the pending retrial of Nicollette Sheridan's Desperate Housewives wrongful-termination case, according to Deadline.com . In a ruling the court said, "It is further ordered that the retrial currently set for Sept. 10 is hereby stayed pending further order of the court." Sheridan's first case against Touchstone, ABC Studios, ABC Entertainment and Desperate Housewives' Executive Producer Marc Cherry (who wouldn't have been a defendant in the retrial) ended in a mistrial March 19 when the jury was deadlocked. Sheridan's lawyer said the trial would proceed, the New York Post noted.
In an episode of Oprah's Next Chapter, Neil Patrick Harris said fiance David Burtka is the more maternal partner, according to On Top Magazine. Winfrey visited the home of the couple and their 18-month-old twins, Harper and Gideon. Harris said, in part, "When they are little and they are just crying, then I didn't know what's wrong. And I try to soothe you and you're still crying and I know that he's more maternal and is much more intuitive with that. So I would pass off and then like fix the crib or like clean the dishes or I'd do my work."
Andrew Rannellsstar of the Broadway smash Book of Mormon and the TV show Girlshas reportedly come out of the closet, according to Wonderwall.MSN.com . The actor/singer, 33, came out while chatting with Vulture about his role as an outed gay man on Girls. Rannells talked about his character coming out to an ex-girlfriend by saying, "I am gay in real life, so I definitely get it. But it's not my storyI wasn't closeted for any amount of time. I never had a girlfriend who I had that experience with."
Musicians Beyonce, Steven Tyler and Pitbull have been tapped to voice an upcoming animated film for 20th Century Fox, according to a Rolling Stone item. The musicians will join others such as Colin Farrell, Amanda Seyfried, Josh Hutcherson, Johnny Knoxville, Aziz Ansari and Jason Sudeikis in Epic, which is described as "a battle deep in the forest between the forces of good and evil" involving a teenage girl who must save a secret magical world in order to save the real world. The film is slated to be released May 24, 2013.
Greco-Roman wrestler and former University of Maryland football player Akil Patterson proposed to partner Louis Billingsvia Facebook, according to Outsports.com . Patterson said while they were in San Diego, "We stopped at a church first, since I had to light a candle because I was so nervous. Afterwards, I said, 'You should check your Facebook.' [He checked and] then looked at me and said 'Yes.'" The couple live in Maryland and plan on marrying in November, after a referendum on same-sex marriage.
After President Obama expressed his support for marriage equality, pro football player Connor Barwin sent a series of tweets applauding the chief executive, Outsports.com reported. Barwinwho plays linebacker for the Houston Texanswrote, "Those of us with gay relatives and friends understand how meaningful and positive this is," among other things.
Actor Jason Alexander (best known as George Costanza on the TV show Seinfeld) has apologized for saying the sport of cricket was "gay," according to Advocate.com . Alexander appeared on Craig Ferguson's Late Late Show; when the discussion veered toward cricket, Alexander said the British sport was "gay" because of the costumes and tea breaks, and stated that the sport was not manly. On his Twitter account, Alexander issued a lengthy apology.
College student Gennevive Sarfoah is claiming that she'll have to drop out of school because singer Mary J. Blige's charity organization has not paid for her scholarship, according to the New York Post. Sarfoah and 24 other seniors who graduated from the all-girls Women's Academy of Excellence in 2010 were promised four-year scholarships to the colleges of their choice. However, Sarfoah said the charity paid late last year and hasn't paid at all this year.
Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe was initially considered to sing lead vocals on Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee anthembut was later ruled out because of his anti-monarchy stance, ContactMusic.com reported. Musician Gary Barlow and theater icon Andrew Lloyd Webber put together a track called "Sing" to mark anniversary of the British monarch's 60-year reign, and they noticed Radcliffe had proven his singing chops on Broadway. However, Radcliff's political stance ruled him out of the royal event.
Whitney Houston's mother, gospel singer Cissy Houston, has inked a deal with HarperCollins to write a memoir that will reportedly reveal the "unabridged and unbelievable story" of Whitney, who died this past February at age 48, according to USA Today. In a statement, Cissy said, "We are still receiving thousands of letters each day from her fans, and I hope reading this book will provide a deeper understanding into my daughter's true story." The book is slated to be out in February 2013.
Former National Football League (NFL) cornerback Wade Davis is talking about now being out, according to a Huffington Post item. Talking with SBNation's Amy Nelson he said, "I think subconsciously, I understood that being gay...the way I was raised...was wrong, and there was no way that my family, at least in my mind, would accept me And also that my football family would [not] accept me, just because of the perception of being gay meant that you're less masculine." Daviswho played with such teams as Tennessee and Seattlecame out last year, seven years after leaving the NFL; he's now with the pro-LGBT organization the Hetrick-Martin Institute.