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SHOWBIZ Best LGBTQ films, Eddie Murphy, Obama's songs, DJ retires
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2020-01-07

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Advocate released its list of the 30 best LGBTQ films of the 2010s. Some on the list include Appropriate Behavior, Moonlight, The Kids Are All Right, Spa Life, The Handmaiden, Colette, Tangerine, Weekend, Booksmart, Rafiki, Beats Per Minute ( BPM ), Carol and Call Me By Your Name.

In an interview with CBS Sunday Morning, Eddie Murphy seemed to express some regret—or at least shock at his own audacity—when asked if his '80s comedy ( which contained numerous anti-gay jokes ) was still funny to him, The New York Post noted. "Some of it. Some of it, I cringe when I watch," he said. "I'm, like, 'Oh, my God—I can't believe I said that!'" However, the Saturday Night Live alumnus also appeared to chalk it all up both to being "within the context of the times" and being a young performer. ( He was 19 when he joined SNL in 1980. )

President Obama released his list of favorite songs from 2019, CNN.com noted. Openly gay musician Lil Nas X made the list with his mega-hit with Billy Ray Cyrus, "Old Town Road" ( remix ), while out singer Frank Ocean also scored, with "In My Room." A few of the other tunes included Lizzo's "Juice," Mavis Staples' "Change," The Black Keys' "Go," Snoh Aalegra's "I Want You Around, Beyonce's "Mood 4 Eva" and Bruce Springsteen's "Hello Sunshine."

Speaking of Frank Ocean, he was named as one of the two-weekend headliners for this year's Coachella music festival, Entertainment Weekly noted. The music festival tweeted that Weekend 1 ( April 10-12 ) is already sold out, and presale for Weekend 2 ( April 17-19 ) began Jan. 6. Rage Against the Machine and Travis Scott are also headlining both weekends, with other high-profile acts including Megan Thee Stallion, Calvin Harris, Thom Yorke, DaBaby, Lana Del Rey, Calvin Harris and more.

DJ Brett Henrichsen—a fixture in the LGBT nightlife scene for more than two decades—closed his career with sets at the San Diego spot Overdrive and Revival: The Official Closing Party of New Year's LA, San Diego Gay & Lesbian News noted. Henrichsen may be best-known for the MASTERbeat compilation CDs that featured now-classic dance anthems. Eventually, MASTERbeat would grow from CDs to the largest producer of gay events in the United States.

Jill Soloway—a DGA Award winner for their work on Transparent—had their chances of landing one final Directors Guild of America ( DGA ) nomination for the Amazon comedy series hampered by an internal error, Deadline noted. "We regret to inform you that the following entry was inadvertently omitted from the Comedy Series ballot: #165a. Transparent Musicale Finale, Jill Soloway," the DGA emailed members, offering those who wish to recast their vote in this category to do so. The email was sent Dec.31—three days before the end of the four-week voting window.

Indya Moore—the transgender actress who plays sex worker Angel Evangelista in Ryan Murphy's ballroom drama Pose—has been revealed as the voice of Shep, a non-binary character introduced in Steven Universe: Future, LGBTQ Nation noted. "Future" is the newly premiered continuation of Cartoon Network's queer-inclusive sci-fi cartoon series Steven Universe. In addition to "Future" and Pose, Moore has also been cast in the upcoming horror flick Escape Room 2.

Trans actress Josie Totah has been cast as the lead in streamer Peacock's Saved by the Bell sequel, The Hollywood Reporter noted. Totah will also be credited as a producer on the show. Original stars Mario Lopez and Elizabeth Berkley will reprise their roles as A.C. Slater and Jessie Spano, respectively, in the comedy that explores what happens when California Gov. Zack Morris ( Mark-Paul Gosselaar's role ) gets into hot water for closing too many low-income high schools and proposes the affected students be sent to the highest-performing schools in the state—including Bayside High. The role brings Totah back into the NBCUniversal fold after she starred in NBC and Universal TV's short-lived Mindy Kaling-produced comedy Champions.

Despite recent reports, Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige did not intend to confirm that a transgender character will appear in an upcoming film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Variety reported. While Feige's answer in a guest lecture series for the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles appeared to respond to the specific question about a trans character, two sources close to the studio tell Variety that Feige only intended to respond to the first part about LGBT+ characters, and he did not mean to imply that a trans character will be coming to the MCU "very soon."

Mj Rodriguez and Billy Porter have been recognized by the Critics' Choice Awards for their work on Ryan Murphy's critically-acclaimed drama, Pose, securing nominations for Best Actress and Best Actor in a Drama Series, Gay Times Magazine noted. Rodriguez faces tough competition from Christine Baranski ( The Good Fight ), Olivia Colman ( The Crown ), Jodie Comer ( Killing Eve ), Nicole Kidman ( Big Little Lies ), Regina King ( Watchmen ), Sarah Snook ( Succession ) and Zendaya ( Euphoria ). Porter is up against Sterling K. Brown ( This Is Us ), Mike Colter ( Evil ), Paul Giamatti ( Billions ), Kit Harington ( Game of Thrones ), Freddie Highmore ( The Good Doctor ), Tobias Menzies ( The Crown ) and Jeremy Strong ( Succession ). The star-studded gala will once again be hosted by fstar Taye Diggs, and broadcast live on The CW Television Network on Sunday, Jan. 12. ( In addition, Kristen Bell will receive the fourth annual #SeeHer Award. )

Charlie Noxon—the son of TV producer Jenji Kohan ( Orange Is the New Black ) and journalist Christopher Noxon—died at age 20, Extra noted, citing TMZ. The college student was skiing with his father and siblings in Park City, Utah, on New Year's Eve when he crashed. Law enforcement sources believe he came to a fork and failed to maneuver fast enough and hit a direction sign.

Former What Not to Wear host Stacy London is happily in love and has been dating a woman for the past year, People.com revealed. "NOT THAT IT'S ANY OF YOUR BUSINESS BUT… I may as well address all the stuff I hear floating around out there," she began her post, which also featured several photos of the couple. ... So I used to date men. Now I date her. That's it. That's all I have to say." However, she also said, "It's really easy for me, a privileged white woman who is 50, to suddenly say 'I'm dating a woman' with very few repercussions and I am well aware of that. Unlike me, there are countless people in the LGBTQIAP community who have had no choice in who they are, no love from family on which to lean, no support from anyone anywhere."

Compton-born rapper YG took to Twitter to apologize for his old views on the LGBT community, People.com noted. "It's been brought to my attention that my old views on life was ignorant," he wrote. "I apologize to the LGBTQ kommunity for ever komin across like I was anything but respectful and accepting. Live. Love. Ya Life. Gang!" According to some fans on Twitter, his change of heart may have been spurred by his short-lived relationship with the musician Kehlani, who identifies as bisexual.

AM New York released its list of the most anticipated Broadway productions of 2020. A few include MJ the Musical, the controversial show about Michael Jackson that features direction and choreography by Christopher Wheeldon; a new version of Stephen Sondheim's groundbreaking 1970 musical Company, in which the ambivalent and intimacy-scared protagonist, Bobby, is now a woman, Bobbie; and Six, an electro-pop musical ( which has won acclaim in prior international and regional runs ) that reimagines the six wives of Henry VIII as 21st-century pop stars.

The movie The Good Liar—starring Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen—will be out on Digital on Jan. 21, and on Blu-ray and DVD on Feb. 4, a press release noted. Consummate con man Roy Courtnay ( McKellen ) has set his sights on his latest mark: the recently widowed Betty McLeish ( Mirren ), worth millions; however, a cat-and-mouse game develops, with various twists. The main cast also includes Russell Tovey ( The History Boys; TV's Quantico ) and Jim Carter ( TV's Downton Abbey; the film Shakespeare in Love ).

Charley Pride: I'm Just Me—a documentary about the life and career of legendary country—music singer Charley Pride, debuted on CBC's documentary Channel Jan. 1 and will run again Feb. 2, a press release noted. Narrated by country music icon Tanya Tucker, the 78-minute film traces Pride's improbable journey, from his humble beginnings as a sharecropper's son on a cotton farm in segregated Sledge, Mississippi, to his career as a Negro League baseball player and his meteoric rise as a trailblazing country-music superstar. The film includes original revealing interviews with figures such as Garth Brooks, Dolly Parton, Brad Paisley, Whoopi Goldberg, Darius Rucker and Marty Stuart.

Golden Globe-winning actress Sharon Stone revealed she was bumped from the dating site Bumble because other users had reported her profile, thinking it was fake, CNN.com noted. "I went on the @bumble dating sight [sic] and they closed my account," she tweeted. Bumble, which describes itself on Twitter as "bringing good people together," later restored her account, saying it was "so honored that Ms. Stone wants to be a part of the Hive." However, Stone said that Bumble had not restored her account, Page Six reported.

Just hours before the New Year on Tuesday, Kathy Griffin announced that she and longtime boyfriend Randy Bick were engaged, Page Six noted. "Happy New Year! And, surprise! We're getting married! Tonight! After midnight!" the couple, dressed in what would turn out to be their wedding ensembles, announced in a video posted online. Actress Lily Tomlin officiated the wedding ceremony.

Carrie Underwood is stepping aside from hosting the CMA ( Country Music Association ) Awards, the country star announced on her Instagram account, USA Today noted. Underwood had hosted for the past 12 years, most often with Brad Paisley; however, she was most recently paired with Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton as part of the show's celebration of female artists. "We love you, Carrie! You'll always be family to us," the Country Music Association tweeted. "Thanks for 12 amazing years hosting the #CMAawards."

Nick Gordon, the former boyfriend of Bobbi Kristina Brown, has died at age 30—three years after he was found liable for her death, CNN.com reported. Gordon was taken in by Whitney Houston when he was 12 years old and raised alongside the singer's daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown. Gordon and Brown became romantically involved after Houston's death in 2012, and tensions between the Gordon and Houston families over the relationship were part of the storyline on Lifetime's short-lived reality show The Houstons: On Our Own. Brown was found unresponsive in a bathtub in January 2015; she remained in a coma until her death six months later.

Justin Timberlake recently publicly apologized to wife Jessica Biel after he was photographed holding hands with another woman—but Bette Midler wants him to issue another mea culpa, this one to Janet Jackson's breast for the infamous Super Bowl "wardrobe malfunction," Page Six noted. Midler tweeted, "So when is Janet Jackson's boob gonna get an apology? #JusticeForJanet." Jackson took a lot of the fallout from the incident, and at the Grammys a week later, she did not perform as planned while Timberlake did hit the stage. "If you consider it 50-50, then I probably got 10 percent of the blame," Timberlake told MTV in 2006. In a 2018 interview ahead of Timberlake's subsequent Super Bowl halftime performance, he said he and Jackson have "absolutely" made peace since the incident.

Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi called out The New Yorker magazine for mistakenly tagging a photo of her as Priyanka Chopra, Page Six noted. "Thank you to the illustrious '@nydailynews' for the shoutout [wink emoji]," she wrote, purposely misidentifying the outlet. "I know to some we all look alike, but [Brown woman emoji]… #desilife #justindianthings."

Call Me By Your Name star Armie Hammer and Gossip Girl actor Ed Westwick, model Alessandra Ambrosio and others were criticized for their decisions to attend and promote MDL Beast, a three-day music festival that occurred in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the L.A. Times noted. The lineup featured dozens of high-energy acts, such as Steve Aoki, David Guetta and Afrojack, among others. Such a gathering was an anomaly, however, in Saudi Arabia, which has a controversial reputation for enforcing extreme conservative values, particularly on women and members of the LGBTQ community. While some of the celebrity guests seemed to believe they were participating in a movement toward change in the kingdom, others accused the famous influencers of selling out to rehabilitate the country's image. In mid-2019, singer/rapper Nicki Minaj pulled out of a scheduled performance in Saudi Arabia after much backlash and "careful reflection."

Busy Philipps discussed what happened to her short-lived E! talk show, Busy Tonight, which was canceled in May after less than a year on the network, Page Six noted. In part, she posted, "I was blindsided, especially since the last text I had from the head of E! ( who's now gone ) was about marketing for 'Busy Tonight' that he was excited to tell me about." She added, "I sat in the lobby of the hotel in Dallas and ordered three tequilas and called Marc, Caissie, Eric, Tina, Caissie again and I cried. I waited for a call or email from someone at E!, which never came, so I sent a text to the head of the network that truly makes me lol to this day."

Actress Lori Loughlin reportedly hired a prison expert to teach her how to survive behind bars if she ends up doing time, Page Six noted. The Fuller House star, who awaits trial for charges in the massive college admissions scandal, is "learning the ropes" about life and etiquette in jail. Loughlin is also being schooled on slang in the slammer—and has been training to defend herself, according to RadarOnline.com .

Months after wife Julianne Hough said she's "not straight" in a Women's Health interview, Brooks Laich revealed he's gearing up to learn more about his sexuality in 2020, Page Six noted. In a new Instagram post, the 36-year-old hockey player posted a list of his goals, which included traveling to Croatia and Turkey, hoping to be more "open to all things and present in my relationships," and wants to know more "about intimacy and my sexuality." The couple have also talked about working with a sex educator to create "erotic blueprints."

Things got tense on Project Runway when a contestant called out Karlie Kloss' connection to the Kushner family, EW.com noted. ( Kloss is married to Joshua Kushner, the brother of presidential aide and Ivanka Trump's husband, Jared Kushner. ) After judge Brandon Maxwell said of contestant Tyler Neasloney's outfit, "I cannot see Karlie wearing it anywhere, honestly," Neasloney responded, "Not even to dinner with the Kushners?" Kloss didn't really acknowledge his dig about her in-laws, but she did give him some harsh criticisms before he was eliminated. Before leaving, Neasloney apologized to Kloss.

Tootsie actress Teri Garr was hospitalized but is doing "fine," according to her rep, Page Six noted. Her rep told ET Canada, "Teri is fine. She had some confusion which it turns out was caused by dehydration. To be cautious, they are keeping her overnight and she'll be home tomorrow. I spoke to her and she sounds good." According to ET, Garr was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1999; in 2006, she suffered a brain aneurysm and went into a coma for weeks. She retired from acting in 2011.

Sharon Osbourne faced backlash after revealing she forced her former assistant into a burning building before firing him, People.com noted. Even though the ex-assistant helped save her dogs, she fired him after he didn't laugh along with Osbourne and husband Ozzy about the incident. Following the revelation, fans flocked to social media to express their disappointment in Sharon.

Rapper Lil Wayne faced potential charges after federal agents searched his private jet in Miami, and found at least one handgun and drugs, The Miami Herald noted. The gun also qualified as bling—a gold-plated .45 caliber handgun with a pearl grip. As for the drugs, agents found MDMA in pill and crystal form as well as weed, cocaine and heroin in the bag; however, the quantity of each drug was not immediately known.


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