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SHOWBIZ: Aguilera, Beyonce, Tribeca Film Festival, Marc Jacobs
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

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The Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) announced the organization will honor six-time Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Christina Aguilera with the HRC Ally for Equality Award at the 2019 HRC Los Angeles Dinner. ( As previously announced, Yeardley Smith will also be honored with the HRC National Leadership Award. ) Set to take place on Saturday, March 30, at the JW Marriott L.A. LIVE, the event brings together more than 1,000 of HRC's most active members and supporters in the greater Los Angeles area to raise crucial funds in the fight for LGBTQ equality.

Continuing with celebrities and awards, GLAAD will honor Beyonce and Jay-Z together with the Vanguard Award for their LGBTQ allyship at the 30th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles at the Beverly Hilton on Thursday, March 28, a press release noted. Previous Vanguard Award honorees include Jennifer Lopez, Kerry Washington, Cher, Janet Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor, Antonio Banderas, Demi Lovato, Whoopi Goldberg, Eric McCormack and Britney Spears. The 30th Annual GLAAD Media Awards honor media for fair, accurate, and inclusive representations of LGBTQ people and issues. Events will be held in Los Angeles on Thursday, March 28 and in New York City on Saturday, May 4.

The 18th annual Tribeca Film Festival has revealed its lineup of 103 feature films, noted. Standout titles include world premieres of a hybrid narrative-documentary movie about John DeLorean ( starring Alec Baldwin ); an Antoine Fuqua-directed documentary about Muhammad Ali; a portrait of Chelsea Manning; and films starring Margot Robbie, Elijah Wood and Billy Crystal. The festival, which this year runs April 24-May 5, also announced its inaugural Critics' Week sidebar, which will feature five picks chosen by New York-based critics.

In December 2018, '90s grunge band Nirvana sued luxury fashion label Marc Jacobs for allegedly violating copyright laws and using the act's trademark smiley-face logo without permission—but lawyers for the designer are now disputing Nirvana's claims, filing a motion for dismissal in California federal court, reported. In the documents, lawyers for Jacobs explained that the designer's relationship with the grunge scene can be traced back as early as the 1990s, saying Kurt Cobain's widow, Courtney Love, has appeared in the brand's ad campaigns and her style was one of the inspirations behind the 1992 collection.

Jason Momoa's traveling plans hit a snag, and the actor had to land at Palm Springs International Airport, a Des Moines Register item noted. The Aquaman star—also known for his role as the imposing Dothraki chieftain Khal Drogo on the HBO series Game of Thrones—was aboard an aircraft that reported an engine fire, according to an Instagram post by the Palm Springs Professional Firefighters Local 3601 union. There were seven people on board the Cessna Citation 560 XL, and the incident didn't disrupt airport service.

Diana Ross will perform a special 75th-birthday concert ( the "Diamond Diana" show ) March 26 at the Hollywood Palladium, noted. Ross will be celebrating all year, with tour stops already set for May 4 at the New Orleans Jazz Fest, June 22 at Radio City Music Hall in NYC and July 22 at Red Rocks in Colorado.

Actress Sara Ramirez has withdrawn her donation to an LGBT center in New York claiming it failed to create a bi+ training program, Gay Star News noted. Ramirez tweeted, "Just got a full refund from the NY LGBT Center because after a year & a half of promising my donation would create #bi+ assessments & training 4 their staff, it never happened." Now, she has decided to donate to BiNet USA.

Silky Nutmeg Ganache—the Chicago contestant on the current season of RuPaul's Drag Race—has been accused of sexual assault by another performer, Instinct Magazine noted. Los Angeles drag queen Vicky Vox started a thread on Twitter when another ( unidentified ) personality said, "AND she sexually assaulted me. Witnesses to prove it." Meanwhile, it seems this has sparked a Twitter feud between Vox and Ganache that has ended in Ganache blocking Vox.

Comedian Kathy Griffin still isn't over her breakup with her former BFF Anderson Cooper, LGBTQ Nation reported. "I was devastated. It still hurts. I mean, I really loved him," she told Variety. "I don't have a punchline for that one." Griffin had hosted CNN's annual New Years Eve special with Cooper for a decade and the popularity of the program was driven by their off-screen friendship. After Griffin posed for a gory photo that showed her holding Donald Trump's decapitated head, CNN dropped her from the lineup and Cooper condemned her. She is getting ready to release her first concert film, Kathy Griffin: A Hell of A Story.

Queen Latifah said on the Yahoo News series Through Her Eyes that she is standing by Jussie Smollett until she sees "definitive proof" he lied, The Washington Blade noted. "Until somebody can show me some proof otherwise, I'm going with him," Latifah said. "'Cause the guy I've seen has always seen has always been someone who cares about people, who cares about others, and who's very kind and who's always been cool and sweet. And that's just the guy I know."

Reports are floating around that Marvel may be breaking another barrier with its first openly gay superhero for The Eternals in 2020, noted. According to That Hashtag Show, a source over at Marvel says the company is looking for an openly gay actor of any ethnicity to bring into the Marvel universe. Despite Marvel having a number of queer characters in their comics, like X-Men's Mystique or Young Avengers' America Chavez, their sexuality has yet to make it to be depicted on the big screen.

The trailer and poster for the lesbian-centered film Tell It To The Bees have been released, noted. Directed by Annabel Jankel and based on Fiona Shaw's novel of the same name, the film stars Oscar-winning bisexual actress Anna Paquin as Dr. Jean Markham, who returns to the town she left as a teen to take over her late father's medical practice. But when she befriends a child patient, a friendship begins with his mother, Lydia ( played by Holliday Grainger ) that intensifies. Tell It To The Bees hits theaters May 3.

Artist Ben Platt ( who's won a Grammy, Tony and Emmy ) has a new track out—"Temporary Love," the fourth song to be released off his debut solo album Sing to Me Instead, a press release noted. The album will be out everywhere Friday, March 29, via Atlantic Records. Platt recently made news by coming out as gay in a previous music video ( "Ease My Mind" ), and this one features mostly same-sex couples.

NBC is putting a pin in its plans for Law & Order: Hate Crimes, the greenlighted new Law & Order spinoff from the franchise's creator Dick Wolf, noted. Back in September, the network gave a 13-episode order to the project. However, Law & Order: SVU has not been renewed yet but likely will be so it can break the record for the longest-running drama series jointly held by Gunsmoke and Law & Order, so the spinoff could be introduced during SVU's 21st and possibly final season.

Disney is moving the Angelina Jolie vehicle Maleficent: Mistress of Evil from its post-Memorial day May 29 release date next year in 2020 to this year, on Oct. 18, 2019, according to . Maleficent: Mistress of Evil will compete against an untitled Blumhouse movie on that date and MGM's animated version of The Addams Family.

MGM has dated its Aretha Franklin biopic, Respect, for Aug. 14, 2020, Page Six noted. The pic, directed by Liesl Tommy and scripted by Oscar winner Callie Khouri, follows the 17-Grammy winner from her childhood days singing in her father's church's choir to mega-stardom and the performer of such hit songs as "Respect," "Think" and "Chain of Fools." Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson will play Franklin.

Taylor Swift's accused stalker, Roger Alvarado, was arrested for allegedly breaking into her Tribeca apartment building—for the second time in less than a year, Page Six noted. Just last month, the 22-year-old fanatic was sentenced to six months in jail as part of a plea deal for breaking into the same home in April. Alvarado's latest bust is in violation of his probation, which he was set to serve in Florida, in addition to completing a mental-health program.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine co-star/America's Got Talent host Terry Crews was criticized on Twitter for a series of tweets in which he argued that children need a mother and a father, saying children of same-sex parents grow up "severely malnourished" when it comes to love, Instinct Magazine noted. The situation erupted when Crews openly criticized a New York Times opinion piece that a woman had written about young Black men. Crews quickly apologized, writing, "I apologize to anyone who was hurt by my 'severely malnourished' tweet. It was in response to someone who said kids wouldn't 'starve.' It was poorly worded so I deleted it."

The FBI is alleging actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin knowingly broke the law trying to get their kids into top-tier colleges—and they were arrested, noted. They are reportedly among a group of 50 who paid millions in bribes to coaches at Ivy League schools like Georgetown University, Stanford University, UCLA, Yale and USC so their children could gain admission as recruited athletes—even if they weren't actually athletes. Officially Huffman and Loughlin are being charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services fraud, according to the unsealed indictment.

Dave Chappelle referred to singer Daniel Caesar, who was in the same room, as "very gay" on John Mayer's Instagram Live show Current Mood, noted. "Huh? Oh, I'm sorry, did I say that out loud? I'm just kidding," Chappelle said after a stunned Mayer uttered "What?" under his breath. Chappelle tried to inject some levity into the room with some humor about how he was jealous that Mayer "had other Black friends." Their disagreement took a turn when Caesar said he was being "sensitive" over Chappelle's remark; the two ended their dispute by embracing each other by locking arms.

A recently released biography of Fred Rogers says that the children's television icon was bisexual, LGBTQ Nation noted. The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers, by Maxwell King, was released this past September and contains a page that discusses how Rogers saw his sexual orientation. In a conversation with his friend William Hirsch, who was gay, Rogers said that if sexuality were a scale from one to 10, "Well, you know, I must right smack in the middle—because I have found women attractive, and I have found men attractive." Rogers is best known for Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, the show he created, wrote, produced and starred in from 1968 to 2001.

Singer, songwriter, performer and human-rights activist Annie Lennox and the NGO she founded, The Circle, have partnered with Apple Music for a Global International Women's Day initiative that started, fittingly, on March 8 ( International Women's Day ), a press release noted. Together with Sammy Andrews and her team at Deviate Digital, they have created a short film in support of global feminism. Lennox has drawn support from celebrities such as Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa, Richard E. Grant, Emeli Sande, Hozier, Richa Chadha, Eddie Izzard, Gwendoline Christie, Beverley Knight and Mary J. Blige. The film is at

Olivia Newton-John—who earlier this year denied reports she was close to dying—is saying the last six months spent battling cancer for the third time has been challenging, but that she's "feeling good," Page Six noted, citing People magazine. She has also been recovering from a fractured pelvis, which hospitalized her in September during her 70th birthday.

Longtime Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek has been diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He shared the news in a video clip released March 6, noted. In part, he said, "Now normally, the prognosis for this is not very encouraging, but I'm going to fight this, and I'm going to keep working."

The Songwriters Hall of Fame announced that Carole Bayer Sager will be the 2019 recipient of the Johnny Mercer Award at its 50th induction and awards dinner on June 13 in New York, noted. Bayer Sager—a Grammy and Academy Award winner—has contributed lyrics to songs including "Nobody Does It Better," "A Groovy Kind of Love," "Don't Cry Out Loud," the Oscar-winning theme from the movie Arthur, "The Best That You Can Do," and "That's What Friends Are For," which raised more than $2 million for AIDS research. Inductees at this year's event include Dallas Austin, Missy Elliott, Tom T. Hall, John Prine, Jack Tempchin and Yusuf/Cat Stevens.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of The Shawshank Redemption, which generations of movie buffs have adored since its 1994 release after being shot in its entirety in and around Mansfield, Ohio. This Aug. 16-18, travelers are encouraged to join cast members and other Shawshank diehards in Mansfield to immerse themselves in the film's iconic characters, sets and history, a press release noted. To date, Bob Gunton ( Warden Norton ), William Sadler ( Heywood ), Mark Rolston ( Bogs ), Frank Medrano ( Fat Ass ), Alfonso Freeman ( Red's Mugshot and a Fresh Fish Guy ), Scott Mann ( Glenn Quentin ), Renee Blaine ( Linda Dufresne ) and Claire Slemmer ( Bank Teller ) will be on hand to meet fans.

At SXSW, producer/writer/director Marti Noxon talked about the HBO adaptation of Gillian Flynn's Sharp Objects, saying, "Maybe there will be a sequel. Maybe we'll get to find out [more about Adora and Camille's sister]," noted. The miniseries focuses on Adams's functioning alcoholic Camille, but it also shines some light on her pristinely controlling, tea-length dress-wearing mother, Adora ( which won Patricia Clarkson a Golden Globe ) and her sister. Noxon later said during the audience Q&A that she initially saw the adaptation of Sharp Objects as an ongoing series that not just focused on Camille, but the people and town of Wind Gap, and then it later became a limited series.

Producers of The Simpsons are pulling from circulation a 1991 episode titled "Stark Raving Dad" that starred Michael Jackson, HuffPost Canada noted. ames L. Brooks, the animated comedy's longtime executive producer, told The Wall Street Journal that "it feels clearly the only choice to make" following allegations of child sexual abuse reprised against the singer in HBO's new documentary"Leaving Neverland.

Black Panther actor Michael B. Jordan is an investor in a New York City rum lounge called Las' Lap, noted. "I used to help my grandmother make rum cakes," Jordan said. "And so rum cakes [are] very big in my family; [they're] big in my childhood." Jordan, who grew up in Newark, New Jersey, vividly remembers helping his grandma carry groceries home to make the cakes, he told, and the haul included two gallons of Bacardi Gold rum—a company with which he now has a partnership.

Lifetime has given a green light for the new feature movie Patsy & Loretta, set to star Megan Hilty ( Smash; The Good Wife ) as music legend Patsy Cline and Grammy winner Jessie Mueller ( Broadway's Waitress; Beautiful: The Carole King Musical ) as country icon Loretta Lynn, a press release noted. The movie, produced by Sony Pictures Television, is executive-produced by Neil Meron in his first solo project since the passing of longtime producing partner Craig Zadan. Debuting later this year, the movie will film on location this month in Nashville, helmed by award-winning director Callie Khouri ( Thelma & Louise; Nashville ).

Pretty Little Liars alumna Lucy Hale is set as the title character in the CW's spinoff pilot Katy Keene, noted. Katy Keene follows the lives and loves of four Archie Comics characters—including fashion legend-to-be Katy Keene ( Hale ) and singer/songwriter Josie McCoy ( Ashleigh Murray )—as they chase their twentysomething dreams in New York City.

The stars of Arrow are reacting to the news that the CW show will be ending after a shortened season eight next year, noted. Colton Haynes said, "Sad to say that #Arrow will be coming to an end after a 10 episode Season 8. Thank you to all the fans who've watched. It's been such a blessing to be a part of this incredible show [heart emoji] What a beautiful journey." The last season will consist of 10 episodes.

Showtime has opted not to proceed with a third season of Frankie Shaw's comedy series SMILF, noted. The current second season of the quirky comedy was overshadowed by allegations of misconduct against creator-showrunner-star Shaw on the set of the series that triggered an investigation ( now concluded ) by SMILF producer ABC Studios/Signature, where Shaw also has had an overall deal. Things apparently started when actor Samara Weaving mentioned to co-star Rosie O'Donnell two incidents from SMILF that made her extremely uncomfortable.

Brooklyn federal Judge Brian Cogan ripped into Harvey Weinstein's new lawyers on March 7 and refused to delay another case that could interfere with the disgraced movie mogul's upcoming sex-assault trial, Page Six reported. Cogan all but accused defense lawyers Jose Baez and Ronald Sullivan of playing for time by double-booking Weinstein's Manhattan Supreme Court trial and another before Cogan involving client Mark Nordlicht, who's charged in a $1-billion hedge-fund fraud. Weinstein's trial was initially set for May 6, but got pushed back after Baez and Sullivan replaced defense lawyer Benjamin Brafman.

Calvin Klein will be closing its Calvin Klein Collection business, the high-fashion offshoot previously known as CALVIN KLEIN 205 W39 NYC, Page Six reported. In light of the closure, Calvin Klein will be eliminating a number of employees who worked in that division as well.

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