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Ryan Reynolds' shirtless flight; Sean Hayes blames NBC
Entertainment news: Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2013-10-30

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Actor Ryan Reynolds gave passengers on a flight an interesting view when he reportedly had to take his shirt off mid-flight after another passenger threw up on him, according to the New York Post. Reynolds was traveling on a Delta airlines flight from New York to New Orleans with his wife, actress Blake Lively. Reynolds was sitting at a window seat in business class when a female passenger sitting in front of him became ill during the flight.

Sean Hayes new NBC comedy Sean Saves the World has suffered dismal ratings—and Hayes is blaming the network, according to TVGuide.com . "To me, [the show] is working," Hayes told TheTVPage.com . "It's just the struggle of the elephant in the room, which is 'How do you get viewers to NBC?' NBC programs great shows—it just doesn't have the eyeballs CBS does." NBC has ordered additional scripts for Sean Saves the World, but if the numbers don't increase, it's unlikely to be renewed for a second season.

Rihanna was asked to leave a mosque in the United Arab Emirates because of an impromptu fashion shoot, the New York Post reported. The pop star, 23, was asked to leave the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre in Abu Dhabi after pictures of her posed around the monument appeared on her Instagram account. Staff took issue with the photos ( even though Rihanna wore a hijab ), claiming they were "inconsistent with the sanctity of this religious place."

There may be a big change on Dancing with the Stars—at the judges' table. According to an Examiner.com item, the show may replace judge ( and elder statesman ) Len Goodman as it heads into its 18th season and attempts to revive its ratings. Julianne Hough, a former pro dancer on the show, may replace Goodman; however, she now has a movie career.

Dolly Parton suffered minor injuries in a traffic crash at a Nashville intersection, CNN.com reported. "I was in a fender bender this morning, here in Nashville," Parton, 67, said in a Twitter posting Oct. 21. "But I am all good. Just a little tired and sore, resting at home." A Nashville police statement blamed Diane Lish, the driver of another vehicle, for failing to yield to the SUV in which Parton was riding as a front-seat passenger.

Singer Kelly Clarkson married Brandon Blackstock Oct. 20 at Blackberry Farm, a luxury resort in the Smoky Mountains in Walland, Tenn., according to Digital Spy. The couple, who announced their engagement in December 2012, obtained a marriage licence Oct. 15. Blackstock is the stepson of singer Reba McEntire.

Glee star Jayma Mays has revealed that her exit from the show was not her own decision, Digital Spy reported. Mays, who plays Emma Pillsbury, explained that her departure from the Fox series this season was the creators' choice. She added, "Some other characters will also be leaving this season. It's very sad to be going but I understand why they do it." Mays, currently on the CBS show The Millers, also spoke about the passing of Glee co-star Cory Monteith, saying, "We just filmed his memorial episode and it was a very difficult thing to do. It's been a very sad and difficult year for everyone."

Madonna recently opened her newest Hard Candy Fitness Club—this time in Berlin, according to KPopStarz.com . Despite being late for more than an hour in the ceremony, the pop queen smiled and signed autographs for excited fans. Hard Candy features innovative fitness equipment, a 25-meter pool, a sauna, a steam room and three spacious terraces to relax. Other Hard Candy fitness centers are in Chile, Mexico City, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Rome, Russia, Santiago, Sydney and Toronto.

The 49th Chicago International Film Festival has announced the winners of its inaugural Q Hugo Film Awards at the Center on Halsted. Eleven films from Belgium, Chile, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Taiwan and the United States were shown as part of OUT-Look, the Festival's recently rebranded LGBTQ program. All 11 films participated in the competition. The Gold Q Hugo Film Award went to Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? ( Taiwan ), and The Silver Q Hugo Film Award went to It's All So Quiet ( Netherlands/Germany ). A Special Jury Prize went to American Vagabond ( Finland/Denmark/USA ), which explores the lives of homeless gay teens. The festival also paid a special tribute to Chinese cult filmmaker Scud.

Nine-time Grammy Award winner Mary J. Blige sang the national anthem before Game 1 of the World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park Oct. 23, according to the Chicago Tribune.Blige also sang the anthem before Game 6 of the 2009 World Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees, with the Bronx native wearing a Yankees jacket.

Gay icon Cher appeared in person to accept UK gay glossy Attitude's Legend Award, according to On Top Magazine. In accepting her award during a ceremony at the Royal Courts of Justice, she explained why she thinks gay men love her. "Gay men especially, they either love you or they don't even notice that you're on the planet," Cher said. "I think what they like, I think what you guys like, is you like a strong woman that's having a breakdown constantly. And that certainly is me."

VH1's movie about the '90s act TLC, entitled CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story, was the highest-rated original movie on cable this year—and the highest-rated VH1 original movie ever, according to a Daily Beast item. The docudrama drew in 4.5 million viewers, scoring particularly well among adults and women ages 18-49. The movie—which also had 1.92 million tweets Oct. 21, when it aired—depicts the R&B's trio rise to fame and the death of Lisa "Left Eye" Lopez.

In an interview with The Daily Beast, actor Morgan Freeman said that he's a big proponent of gay rights and agrees with director Lee Daniels' assessment that it's the "civil-rights movement of our time." Freeman said, "I'm in show business and I'm an ex-dancer. I have an enormous number of gay friends. Marginalizing people for [being gay]? ... That's the height of ignorance." The Last Vegas actor also said that he won't see the acclaimed film 12 Years a Slave because he doesn't "want my anger quotient exacerbated."

Openly gay rapper LastO and out pop singer Solomon issued statements responding to Eminem's latest single, "Rap God," which contains anti-gay lyrics, according to a press release. LastO said of Eminem, "He's a lil' too old to be using gay and fag and shit as an insult; playground shit. ... He'll run the 'fag' word and the 'gay' word ragged but he won't never say [the N-word]." Solomon said, "What type of message does that embed into the minds of young kids, both gay and straight? It's sad. Not so much for the gay community, as it is for a man in his forties who thinks its humorous to use the word faggot."

Out gay country-music fan David Dilsizian has started a petition on Change.org to make Chely Wright the first openly LGBT musician to perform at the Nashville institution the Grand Ole Opry, according to a press release. Dilsizian, who resides in Nashville himself, said, "Chely Wright has worked very hard to establish herself in country music and I feel that just because she came out as a lesbian doesn't mean she can't be part of that community." The petition is at www.change.org/grandoleopry.

Gay figure skater Johnny Weir announced on the Today show this morning that he's retiring from the sport and taking a job for NBC as an Olympic correspondent at the Sochi Games in February, according to Towleroad. Said Weir about going to anti-gay Russia, "While this law is a terrible thing that you can't be gay publicly in Russia, I plan to be there in full support of our brothers and sisters there and not be afraid." NBC has been facing heat since July over the anti-gay laws in Russia and the upcoming Olympics broadcast. Weir will join 1998 Olympic gold medalist Tara Lipinski and 2006 ice-dance silver medalist Tanith Belbin as commentators.

Cloud Atlas star Ben Whishaw ( who recently came out as gay ) is reportedly the band Queen's choice to play Freddie Mercury in the upcoming biopic, according to The Guardian. The revelation came at the same time as Queen guitarist Brian May's expanded on the reasons why Sacha Baron Cohen, the actor originally attached to play Mercury, left the project. Speaking to Classic Rock magazine, May said, "We felt that his presence in the movie would be very distracting." Whishaw also played tech expert Q in the James Bond movie Skyfall.

In Fifty Shades of Grey news, actor and former Calvin Klein model Jamie Dornan has been selected to replace Charlie Hunnam, who dropped out of the movie adaptation of the popular book last week, according to Newser.com . Dornan, 31, stars in a UK television series ( The Fall ), but and as the sheriff/huntsman from ABC's Once Upon a Time.

Writer/director, Angela Robinson—who's written and produced the upcoming Girltrash: All Night Long, as presented by POWER UP—is severing all formal ties with POWER UP, a non-profit film company, "over creative differences and professional, moral and ethical issues," according to a press release. Robinson, one of the executive producers of HBO's True Blood and a co-executive producer of HBO's Hung and Showtime's The L Word, is also known for directing the films D.E.B.S. and Herbie: Fully Loaded. In a statement, Robinson said, "POWER UP is presenting a version of the film that I have not seen, that is unfinished and that has not been creatively approved by me."

Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave led the field with three nominations for the 23rd annual Gotham Independent Film Awards, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Nominees in the best actor and best actress categories, introduced for the fist time this year, included such established performers like Robert Redford ( All Is Lost ), Matthew McConaughey ( Dallas Buyers Club ), Cate Blanchett ( Blue Jasmine ) and Scarlett Johansson ( Don Jon ). The awards will take place Dec. 2 at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City.

Kurt Cobain, the late lead singer of the '90s group Nirvana, said in a 1993 interview that he thought he was gay as a youth, according to The Huffington Post. Talking with music journalist Jon Savage, Cobain said, "Yeah. Yeah. I even thought that I was gay. I thought that might be the solution to my problem [with feeling alienated in high school]. Although I never experimented with it, I had a gay friend, and then my mother wouldn't allow me to be friends with him anymore because ... well, she's homophobic."

Fox TV stations have picked up TMZ Live through 2017, according to Deadline.com . Moreover, the one-hour live daily series is eyeing a nationwide rollout in fall 2014. The series, featuring Harvey Levin and his crew of entertainment-news reporters, is the second TMZ-branded syndicated daily program from Warner Bros, along with six-year-old TMZ on TV.

Actress Mary McCormack reportedly threw straying husband Michael Morris out of their Los Angeles home after he revealed to her that photos of him smooching younger Smash star Katharine McPhee were about to break online, according to PageSix.com . McPhee, 29, and her husband, Nick Cokas, 47, have been married since 2008, but reportedly have been amicably separated for months.

USC's School of Cinematic Arts dedicated the Bryan Singer Division of Critical Studies with an intimate gathering in the Mary Pickford lobby of the George Lucas Building on campus, according to Variety. The division is the first of the school's seven to be named for an alum, whose $5 million gift to name the division will provide a lasting source of funding. The event featured the openly gay director Singer in a Q&A, followed by a screening of his 1995 movie The Usual Suspects.

Actor Stephen Baldwin is set to speak at an Oct. 31-Nov. 2 conference called "Rising from the Ashes," which touts "freedom from homosexuality through Jesus Christ," according to Towleroad. Baldwin, an evangelical Christian who previously found himself embroiled in controversy after expressing support for right-winger actor Kirk Cameron, claimed that his involvement in the conference is not necessarily about gay conversion. Baldwin said, "Literally, some of my best friends in the world are gay, and they know I'm evangelical and I know they're gay, and we love each other and respect each other in that way."

Tom Hardy—known for playing the villain Bane in The Dark Knight Rises—has signed on to play Elton John in Rocket Pictures' biopic Rocketman, which will be released in the United States by Focus Features, according to EW.com . Rocketman will tell John's life story, from his childhood to his rise to fame. John is set to re-record a number of his biggest hits to match the emotional moments in the film, which will be directed by Michael Gracey, the man behind the upcoming film The Greatest Showman on Earth, which stars Hugh Jackman.

The legal wrangling continues between comedian and condo board president Joan Rivers and a former downstairs neighbor in her luxury New York City building, CBS News noted. Elizabeth Hazan was able to get into a $2 million two-bedroom unit she once occupied Wednesday, despite a judge's ruling the same day that she be denied access until she paid $200,000 in common charges. Rivers lives in a $30 million upstairs penthouse; in a statement, Rivers called Hazan a deadbeat owner and said the building would endure the fiasco.

Actress Tori Spelling might now be dubbed the new "poor little rich girl." According to a Huffington Post item, Spelling—whose family was once famous for living in a $150-million mega-mansion—has opened up about her own family's financial setbacks. She and husband Dean McDermott rent a home in the San Fernando Valley, and she says McDermott couldn't even afford to get the vasectomy he wanted. Spelling told People, "We don't have a series on the air right now, so we have to be more restrictive of what we can spend, just like anyone who currently doesn't have a steady job." Her new memoir, Spelling It Like It Is, details her money issues.

UFC ( Ultimate Fighting Championship ) Hall of Fame fighter Forrest Griffin and openly lesbian fighter Liz Carmouche are spokespeople for a new campaign to encourage people to get tested for HIV, Outsports.com reported. The campaign is called "Protect Yourself at All Times" and is a joint effort between the UFC and the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada. As part of the campaign, UFC fighters will visit testing centers and participate in public service announcements.

Italy's Supreme Court has finally cleared legendary actress Sophia Loren of tax-evasion charges that began with her 1974 tax return and landed her in a low-security women's prison for 17 days in 1982, according to People.com . Loren called the ruling "a miracle of justice," and told Italian reporters "[When] it seems there is no longer any hope, it is still possible justice will be done." The dispute began in 1974 when Loren, now 79, declared less income because her compensation from the film Il viaggio was deferred, moving her to a lower tax bracket.

Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer ( The Help ) is set to play the amateur sleuth Angela Lansbury first made famous when Spencer stars in a reboot of the 1980s series Murder, She Wrote, according to Hitfix.com . NBC has made a put-pilot commitment for the hourlong re-imagining from writer Alexandra Cunningham ( Deception ) and producer David Janollari ( Six Feet Under ). Like the original, "Murder" will center on a mystery writer who begins to take part in murder investigations.

Speaking of reboots, a "re-imaging" of the series Charmed is in the works as well, according to The Hollywood Reporter. CBS has handed out a script commitment to a reworking of Aaron Spelling's WB Network series, which initially starred Shannen Doherty, Alyssa Milano and Holly Marie Combs. The show, which later added Rose McGowan, ran during 1998-2006.

Fox News anchor Shepard Smith, 49, is reportedly dating 26-year-old Penn State grad and Fox Business producer Giovanni "Gio" Graziano, according to Gawker.com . Graziano initially worked under Smith on Fox Report with Shepard Smith. Multiple sources with knowledge of their relationship say the couple met sometime after Graziano started working at Fox Report in October 2011 as a production assistant.

J.C. Penney announced it had scaled back its partnership with Martha Stewart's design company in the face of legal pressure from rival Macy's, according to CNN.com . Macy's, J.C. Penney and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia have been locked in a legal battle over Macy's claim that it has exclusive rights to sell certain categories of Martha Stewart products. The dispute started in December 2011 with the announcement that J.C. Penney would sell Martha Stewart-branded goods in "mini-stores" at locations across the country.

Legendary singer Gladys Knight recently revealed that another iconic musician—Tina Turner—was her first make-up artist, according to Hollywood.com . The "Midnight Train to Georgia" hitmaker became famous at a young age, touring with the greats, including Ike and Tina Turner when she was just 16 years old. During their time on the road together, Turner became a role model and make-up artist for the young singer, Knight told Queen Latifah on the latter's talk show.

Lesbian comedian Wanda Sykes has said she doesn't understand the opposition to gay marriage, according to On Top Magazine. Sykes joined actors Dan Bucatinsky and Jesse Tyler Ferguson to discuss being gay in Hollywood with Oprah Winfrey on the Oct. 27 episode of Oprah's Next Chapter. "I don't understand why people really get upset about something that doesn't affect them at all," Sykes said.

Lifetime's comedic drama Drop Dead Diva has been picked up for a sixth season—and its second post-cancellation season—with a 13-episode order, according to Deadline.com . The pickup comes as Drop Dead Diva heads towards its fifth season finale Nov. 3. Another Lifetime show, Devious Maids, has been renewed for a second season.

Fox is cutting American Idol results shows in half, and following with the Christopher Meloni coming-of-age comedy Surviving Jack, according to TheWrap.com . After a few hour-long results episodes into the season, the finalist results shows will be cut to 30 minutes. Idol returns Wed., Jan. 15.

Madonna has sold the huge Beverly Hills estate she bought during her marriage to Guy Ritchie for a whopping $20 million—$8 million more than the Material Girl paid for it in 2003, but far less than the original $28 million asking price, according to The Daily Mail. In another move that showed she was serious about getting rid of the nine-bedroom property, the "Hung Up" singer allowed the home to be listed on the very public Multiple Listing Service. The compound, accessed by a 500-foot tree-lined driveway, includes the nine-bedroom main house, offices on site for assistants and live in staff, and two guesthouses.

Gay writer Clive Barker, who wrote and directed the original Hellraiser movie, took to Facebook to inform the development on the upcoming remake, according to AceShowbiz.com . He wrote, "A few weeks ago I had a very productive meeting with Bob Weinstein of Dimension Pictures, in the course of which I pitched a remake of the first HELLRAISER film. The idea of my coming back to the original film and telling the story with a fresh intensity-honoring the structure and the designs from the first incarnation but hopefully creating an even darker and richer film-was attractive to Dimension." Barker also revealed his plan to bring back Doug Bradley as Pinhead for the remake of the horror classic.

Actresses Meryl Streep, Cameron Diaz and Milla Jovovich are in talks for the movie The ExpendaBelles, an all-female version of Sylvester Stallone's The Expendables, AceShowbiz.com noted. Planning to shoot the action film in Bulgaria, Millennium Films chief Avi Lerner also said he is in search of female director for the film. The script is written by Legally Blonde scribes Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith.

The repertory productions of Harold Pinter's No Man's Land and Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot began previews Oct. 26 at the Cort Theatre in New York City, according to Playbill. The productions, directed by Sean Mathias, star Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Billy Crudup and Shuler Hensley. Opening night is scheduled for Nov. 24. The limited engagement was recently extended by four weeks through March 2, 2014.

Marcia Wallace—whose four-decade television career included playing the secretary on The Bob Newhart Show and Bart's fourth-grade teacher, Edna Krabappel, on The Simpsons—has died at age 70, according to CNN.com . In recent years, Wallace also advocated for awareness of breast cancer, a disease she battled herself; her 2004 book Don't Look Back, We're Not Going That Way, chronicled her fight with breast cancer.

Movie director Antonia Bird has died at age 54, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Bird, who was British, made the crisis-of-faith film Priest ( which, among other things, dealt with celibacy and homosexuality ) her feature debut in 1994. Bird also helmed Mad Love ( 1995 ), a romantic drama starring Drew Barrymore and Chris O'Donnell; and Ravenous ( 1999 ), a tale about cannibalism with Robert Carlyle and Guy Pearce. A statement from her partner said Bird, who had the rare anaplastic thyroid cancer, died peacefully in her sleep, BBC News reported.

Nude photos of Madonna she took when she was 18 will be available for auction Nov. 9, according to The Huffington Post. Penthouse founder Bob Guccione ( who died in 2010 ) acquired the images, taken by photographer Herman Kulkens; they're now owned by Jeremy Frommer, who bought Guccione's entire estate from his creditors last year. The photos will be sold along with some of Guccione's oil paintings. More info is at GuccioneCollection.com .

The influential songwriter/guitarist Lou Reed, who led the 1960s band The Velvet Underground, has died at age 71, according to RollingStone.com . The cause of his death was not immediately released, but Reed underwent a liver transplant in May. Reed and the band's collaborative work with artist Andy Warhol is known as one of the most celebrated partnerings in contemporary pop culture, the New York Daily News noted.

Jenna Dewan-Tatum, the actress married to Channing Tatum, has revealed that she went with Janet Jackson to strip clubs "all over the world," according to Digital Spy. Dewan-Tatum started her career as a background dancer for Jackson and other high-profile artists, and has revealed that the "Rhythm Nation" singer lived a wild life while on the road. Dewan-Tatum added, "The thing is, I was 19 and I was on tour and I was completely naive, hadn't seen the world. … We went to gay strip clubs. It was kind of crazy."

Conrad Murray, Michael Jackson's doctor who was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter, has been released from jail, according to the Detroit Free Press. He was convicted of unintentionally killing Jackson and, after two years inside, walked out Oct. 28. Murray's lawyer said outside the prison: "Believe me, after you've been locked up in this place for two years, it's a shock emotionally and physically."

Cher will be a judge on ABC's Dancing with the Stars Nov. 4, according to Digital Spy. In addition, she will perform her new single, "I Hope You Find It," as well as the classic "Believe." The singer has made several television appearances to promote her new LP, Closer to the Truth, most notably as a mentor on The Voice for Blake Shelton's team. Cher will be touring in support of her 25th studio album next year, beginning March 22 in Phoenix.

Lady Gaga made a surprise appearance at G-A-Y club night, held at Heaven in London, Pink News noted. The star performed her forthcoming promotional single "Venus." The performance stunned club regulars ( some who reported Gaga purposely dropped her dress at the end, revealing a nude body ); one, Paul Karbaron, posted on Facebook, "Just saw Lady Gaga live as a SURPRISE act. The performance was INSANE." "Venus" is on Gaga's upcoming ARTPOP album.

Speaking of Gaga, Kelly Osbourne apparently rejected the singer's gesture of sending her a birthday cake, Digital Spy reported. Gaga presented Sharon Osbourne with a cake for her daughter as a peace offering backstage at the latest X Factor results show in London. Kelly tweeted, "Not to be ungrateful but why would you send me a birthday cake via my MOTHER in a country half the would away? #JustSendItToME #LoveNotWar." Gaga then posted, "Monsters, please just focus on the positive of tonight's performance and do not send any hateful messages. I don't support it. #SpreadLove" Kelly later apologized.

NBC and Ellen DeGeneres are in the works to produce a broadcast comedy with a lesbian lead—almost two decades after Ellen herself made headway as a lesbian lead on ABC, according to SheWired.com . The half-hour sitcom—to be written and executive-produced by openly lesbian writer/comedian Liz Feldman ( 2 Broke Girls )—will center on a lesbian and her straight, male best friend with whom she decides to get pregnant and raise a baby, and just as he meets the love of his life.

The Jonas Brothers have officially called it quits, according to Page Six. Nick, Joe and Kevin announced they're ending their highly successful run. The news came after the brothers abruptly canceled their tour over creative differences earlier this month. The brothers have said the breakup was unanimous, and came after Nick Jonas told his brothers in a meeting earlier this month that he felt "trapped."

Channing Tatum is developing an hourlong reality pilot for A&E that revolves around Saints & Sinners, a Bourbon Street bar/restaurant that Tatum opened with friend and business partner Keith Kurtz last fall, according to CNN.com . The venue's website says, "Styled after the famous red-light district bordellos and burlesque halls of New Orleans' Storyville era, Saints & Sinners is Tatum's tribute to the city's ribald, good-time reputation."


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Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.