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SHOWBIZ Lady Gaga, 'Pride Castle,' Terrence McNally, LGBTQ film
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2020-06-15

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When Lady Gaga's Chromatica album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart, it not only marked the superstar's sixth chart-topper, but also just the second chart-topping album by a woman in 2020, Billboard noted. Out of the 18 number-one albums this year, the only other album by a woman to lead the list is Selena Gomez's Rare, which debuted at the top in January.

RuPaul's Drag Race queens Jaida Essence Hall and Yvie Oddly will star in Werq the World's Pride Castle, streaming live Saturday, June 27, a press release announced. There will be special performances by RuPaul's Drag Race alums Heidi N Closet, Raja, Naomi Smalls, Kim Chi and Plastique. Net proceeds from Werq the World: Pride Castle ticket sales as well as all viewer tips and donations will be donated to the National Black Justice Coalition.

There will be an online discussion Wed., June 17, at 7 p.m. CT, of the late gay playwright/activsit Terrence McNally as various celebrities talk about the award-winning documentary Terrence Mcnally: Every Act of Life ( which is streaming on PBS.org ), a press release noted. This first of three discussions takes place this Wednesday featuring director Jeff Kaufman as well as Tony-winning actors Andre De Shields, John Glover and John Benjamin Hickey in conversation together as they remember McNally and the influence he had on their lives and the world; Lucy Mukerjee, of the Tribeca Film Festival, will moderate. People can RSVP at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/pride-month-celebration-of-terrence-mcnally-every-act-of-life-tickets-108501773726.

LGBTQ+ organizations GLAAD and PFLAG National teamed with First Run Features as official partners in support of the June 12 release of Daniel Karslake's documentary For They Know Not What They Do, a press release noted. This past weekend, GLAAD and PFLAG National hosted virtual sneak previews of the film, with a portion of the rental proceeds going toward each of their work in promoting LGBTQ+ affirmation. The movie is Karslake's follow-up to the critically acclaimed, 2007 Oscar-shortlisted documentary For the Bible Tells Me So, and is an exploration of the intersection of religion, sexual orientation and gender identity in the United States. See ForTheyKnow.org .

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and its country music counterpart, Stagecoach, are officially canceled, USA Today noted. Riverside County Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser signed an order canceling the popular music festivals, citing concerns over a possible surge of coronavirus cases in the fall. Travis Scott, Frank Ocean and Rage Against the Machine were set to headline Coachella, which was rescheduled for Oct. 9-11 and 16-18 at the Empire Polo Club in Indio. The lineup for Stagecoach ( slated to take place Oct. 23-25 ) included Thomas Rhett, Carrie Underwood, Eric Church, Lil Nas X, Billy Ray Cyrus, ZZ Top and Alan Jackson.

Kaitlyn Dever ( Booksmart; Unbelievable; TV's Last Man Standing ) is in talks for the female lead in the movie musical adaptation of Dear Evan Hansen, Deadline noted. Ben Platt is expected to reprise his stage role as the title character in the film, with Stephen Chbosky ( Wonder ) directing.

An HBO Max spokesperson said Gone With the Wind will eventually return to the platform with a discussion about its historical context and a denouncement of its racist depictions, Variety reported. On June 9, HBO Max removed the 1939 film from its library in the wake of protests over the death of George Floyd. Starring Vivienne Leigh, Clark Gable, Hattie McDaniel and Olivia de Havilland, Gone With the Wind takes place on a plantation outside Atlanta after the American Civil War.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the candidates who have been elected to its board of governors, Deadline noted. Six were voted in for their first terms, including Ava DuVernay ( Selma; When They See Us ), for the directors branch; and Stephen Rivkin, for film editors. Actors branch governor and Oscar winner Whoopi Goldberg is among the 10 governors returning to the board for a new three-year term; she was re-elected by her fellow actors—the branch that had the largest number of contenders this time around, with 19 candidates vying for the position.

Gianna Floyd, the 6-year-old daughter of George Floyd, is now a Disney stockholder, courtesy of a gift package from Barbra Streisand, USA Today noted. Gianna reached out from her fledgling Instagram account to thank Streisand, 78, posting a series of smiling photos. One photo showed Gianna looking through her new Disney stock portfolio in a red folder and another featured two other Streisand gifts: her 1965 album My Name is Barbra and 1966's Color Me Barbra.

Taylor Swift joined calls for the removal of statues honoring racist figures from U.S. history, specifically two in her home state of Tennessee, USA Today noted. Swift posted a Twitter thread urging the state's government not to replace a statue of journalist/politician Edward Carmack that was torn down during Black Lives Matter protests in Nashville, and to remove an infamous statue of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest.

Lady Antebellum—the trio who have topped the country album charts five times—plan to change their name to Lady A due to the slavery connotations held by the word "antebellum," The Guardian noted. The group ( who formed in 2006, and whose biggest hit was 2009's "Need You Know" ) said on Instagram that they were "regretful and embarrassed to say that we did not take into account the associations that weigh down this word referring to the period of history before the civil war, which includes slavery." Meanwhile, the record label One Little Indian—whose most famous signing is Bjork—has changed its name to One Little Independent.

Nick McGlashan, the breakout star of the long-running Discovery Channel reality show The Deadliest Catch, apologized for a homophobic slur he posted on Facebook, LGBTQ Nation noted. The exchange happened between McGlashan, and Christopher Heide, a gay journalist and McGlashan's friend from recovery; aAccording to screenshots of the conversation provided to LGBTQ Nation by Heide, McGlashan called him a "f-g" during the tense exchange. When reached for comment by LGBTQ Nation, McGlashan admitted to the exchange and issued an apology.

One week after former Vanderpump Rules cast member Faith Stowers revealed that two of the show's original cast members, Stassi Schroeder and Kristen Doute, had reported her to the police for a crime she'd had nothing to do with, a Bravo spokesperson confirmed to Variety that Schroeder and Doute won't return to the show, Variety noted. Additionally, new cast members Max Boyens and Brett Caprioni—whose past racist tweets were uncovered after the most recent season premiered in January—also will not return.

Openly gay Emmy and Golden Globe winner Ben Whishaw is set to star in the BBC's adaptation of Adam Kay's humorous medical memoir This Is Going To Hurt, while AMC has also joined the project as a co-producer in the U.S. and Canada, Deadline reported. The drama, which was first announced in July 2018, is made by Chernobyl producer Sister and tells the unvarnished story of life on a hospital ward through the eyes of a junior doctor, charting the heart-lifting highs and the gut-wrenching lows.

Mary Chapin Carpenter's new album, The Dirt and the Stars, will be released Friday, Aug. 7, and is now available for pre-order ( Lambent Light Records via Thirty Tigers ), a press release announced. In advance of the release, the title track, "Between The Dirt And The Stars," has premiered. In celebration of the release, Carpenter will continue her "Songs From Home" virtual concert series throughout the summer.

AMC Entertainment reported a $2.2-billion loss in the first quarter—the result of the global theatrical shutdown caused by COVID-19—but it looks to fully reopen worldwide in July, Variety noted. In an earnings call with analysts shortly after numbers were disclosed, CEO Adam Aron downplayed suggestions that the company might be forced to contend with a cash crunch.

The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing ( NASCAR ) has prohibited the display of Confederate flags at races, whether by spectators or venues, The Daily Beast noted. In a statement, the association's leaders wrote, "The presence of Confederate flags at NASCAR events runs contrary to our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all fans, our competitors, and our industry." The day before, the only Black professional NASCAR driver, Bubba Wallace, called for a ban on the flags.

Beyonce reportedly is in "advanced talks" to sign a $100-million deal with Disney for three projects, one of which is the soundtrack for Black Panther 2, according to an iHeart.com item that cites The Sun. She voiced Nala in the 2019 remake of Disney's The Lion King, and released a 14-track album, The Lion King: The Gift, to accompany the project.

After 25 seasons, ABC has named its first Black Bachelor. Said ABC Entertainment President Karey Burke in a statement, "Matt has been on our radar since February, when producers first approached him to join Bachelor Nation, as part of Clare's season." James, 28, is a real-estate broker, entrepreneur and community-organization founder; the North Carolina native went to Wake Forest University, where he majored in economics and played wide receiver for the football team.

Spike Lee is walking back his support for friend and fellow director Woody Allen, USA Today noted. "I Deeply Apologize. My Words Were WRONG. I Do Not And Will Not Tolerate Sexual Harassment, Assault Or Violence. Such Treatment Causes Real Damage That Can't Be Minimized.-Truly, Spike Lee," Lee tweeted. When asked on a radio show how he feels about Woody Allen being canceled as a result of the #MeToo era, Lee had said, "Well, I'd just like to say Woody Allen is a great, great filmmaker, and this cancel thing is, [it's] not just Woody."

Cops has officially been canceled at Paramount Network, Variety noted. The original decision to hold Cops was spurred by nationwide protests against police brutality following the killing of George Floyd by Minnesota police officers. The show originally launched on Fox in 1989, and has come under fire in recent years for its depictions of law enforcement and questionable behind-the-scenes practices.

Singer Harry Styles' world tour has been rescheduled, iHeart.com noted. The "Watermelon Sugar" singer-songwriter released a statement officially announcing the delay of his "Love On World Tour." Styles' North American jaunt was originally expected to launch June 26 at Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center. It will now launch in August 2021.

The New York Philharmonic canceled its fall season because of the coronavirus pandemic and has moved up the start of Geffen Hall's reconstruction to take advantage of the orchestra's absence, Billboard noted. Philharmonic President Deborah Borda said she hopes to resume performances on Jan. 6.

Dashboard Confessional frontman Chris Carrabba is in a hospital after a motorcycle accident, Extra noted. The band shared a photo of Carrabba in a hospital bed along with a message from the singer. "Hi friends on June 6th I was in a motorcycle accident," he wrote. "My injuries were severe but not life threatening. I owe the amazing doctors, nurses and medical team treating me my endless gratitude." He added, "I am determined to make a full recovery, but I have surgeries and months of rehab to come."

Singer/talk-show host Kelly Clarkson has filed for divorce from husband Brandon Blackstock, citing "irreconcilable differences," CNN.com noted. The "Voice" coach and Blackstock, a music manager, have been married since October 2013 and have two children together. Clarkson, who filed as Kelly Blackstock, the singer is requesting joint legal and physical custody of the children.

According to Black former gay porn star Race Cooper, racism was "a daily constant" when he worked in the industry, PinkNews noted. Cooper said he was paid less than his white co-stars, and regularly had his work ethic and intelligence called into question. Cooper started off as a casting director for major porn studio Raging Stallion and went on to perform in front of the camera, too—but his time working in the industry was cut short.

MTV confirmed to People magazine that Taylor Selfridge's special with boyfriend Cory Wharton, Teen Mom OG At Home: Cory & Taylor's Baby Special, was pulled off the air. MTV also ended its working relationship with the reality star after she faced backlash for past racially insensitive tweets.


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