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SHOWBIZ Rihanna, 'Riverdale,' Glenn Close, Ezra Miller
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2018-11-13

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Rihanna reportedly sent President Donald Trump a cease-and-desist letter after learning that her music was being used to hype up the crowd at his political rallies, Time.com noted. According to Rolling Stone, the singer's legal team issued the order following reports that her song "Don't Stop the Music" was played at a campaign rally for Republican Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn that Trump attended in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Spoiler about Riverdale: In the Nov. 14 episode of the show, lead character Archie Andrews ( KJ Apa ), who's in a juvenile detention center, finds himself locking lips with none other than Joaquin ( Rob Raco ), according to Gay Star News. Joaquin is a member of the Southside Serpents who dated Kevin Keller ( Casey Cott ) in the show's first season before leaving Riverdale. However, some have said the kiss might be "queerbaiting"—when a same-sex relationship is hinted at or teased, but then never actually depicted.

Actress Glenn Close recently talked about challenges behind six of her most acclaimed films, from Fatal Attraction to Albert Nobbs, the L.A. Times reported. Regarding "Nobbs," she said the biggest challenge was "getting it made. Not one cent came from Hollywood. My definition of an independent film is a movie that almost doesn't get made. I didn't want to let it go." With "Attraction," it was "the physical shooting of all those bathtub scenes. I did all of it except—I have this terror of losing my breath."

In other Close-related news, she will receive the Palm Springs International Film Festival's Icon Award at its annual awards gala, TheWrap noted. The award is the first to be announced for the 2019 gala, which will take place on Thursday, Jan. 3 at the Palm Springs Convention Center and will be hosted by Mary Hart. Close's career has included six Oscar nominations, 14 Emmy nominations ( including three wins ), 13 Golden Globe nominations ( two wins ) and eight SAG Awards nominations ( one win ).

Musician/actor Ezra Miller ( Justice League; Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them ) talked in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter about his gender identity, LGBTQ Nation noted. The publication asked him about his identity as queer, to which Miller said, Yeah, absolutely. Which is to say, I don't identify. Like, fuck that." He added, "Queer just means no, I don't do that. I don't identify as a man. I don't identify as a woman. I barely identify as a human." He also talked about when a director and producer—who he did not name—gave him alcohol, in a possible attempt at sexual assault. Miller also made news recently for wearing dark lipstick and a puffer gown to the "Beasts" premierre in Paris, Page Six revealed.

Jaden Smith has surprised fans by referring to rapper Tyler, The Creator as his "boyfriend," PinkNews noted. The 20-year-old Karate Kid star—and the son of Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith—made the comments Nov. 12 while appearing on stage at Flog Gnaw Carnival music festival in Los Angeles, which Tyler runs. The announcement was celebrated by some Jaden Smith fans on Twitter, while others wondered whether he was being completely serious about the romance with the 27-year-old musician. Tyler has heavily referenced his sexuality through his music, most notably on 2017 album Flower Boy.

Grammy-, Emmy- and Tony-winning icon and advocate Cyndi Lauper announced the lineup for her 8th annual Cyndi Lauper & Friends: Home for the Holidays benefit concert, presented by Marriott International, a press release noted. The concert—which will also celebrate the 10th anniversary of Lauper's True Colors Fund—will take place Dec. 8 at New York City's Beacon Theatre. Taking the stage with Cyndi and her band this year will be a host of guests including Amanda Palmer, Angie Stone, A$AP Rocky, Bebe Rexha, Bishop Briggs, Charlie Musselwhite, Dr. Elmo, Gina Yashere, Natalie Merchant, Regina Spektor, Robert Glasper, Sara Ramirez, Shea Diamond and The Knocks. The evening will be hosted by Carson Kressley.

Speaking of Regina Spektor, her new track "Birdsong" is out via Sire Records/Warner Bros. Records, a press release noted. The track is prominently featured in the episode, "Panorama," of the acclaimed Amazon series The Romanoffs—Matthew Weiner's Mad Men follow-up. "Birdsong" debuts in a week that saw Regina fulfill one of her lifelong dreams: to perform with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

GQ is facing heat for its "Woman of the Year" cover with Serena Williams after the magazine decided to put the word woman in quotation marks, TheWrap.com reported. Critics online said the decision was a swipe at Williams' gender. She was the only woman selected by the magazine, which also chose to honor Michael B. Jordan, Jonah Hill and Henry Golding as their "Man of the Year"—without quotation marks.

The 48th Annual Theater Hall of Fame for Lifetime Achievement in the American Theater Induction Ceremony was held Nov. 12 at the Gershwin Theatre, Playbill noted. The 2018 inductees included actors Rene Auberjonais, Christine Baranski and Cicely Tyson; playwrights David Henry Hwang and Adrienne Kennedy; director Joe Mantello; and, posthumously, producer James Houghton and playwright Maria Irene Fornes. Last year's honorees included actors Audra McDonald, the late Marin Mazzie and Matthew Broderick.

More than 46 years after it was shot, the Aretha Franklin concert film Amazing Grace will finally be released, Time.com reported. The late gospel singer's estate and film producers said that Amazing Grace will premiere Nov. 12 at the DOC NYC film festival with the full support of Franklin's estate. The film, largely shot by Sydney Pollack, captures Franklin's performance at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles' Watts neighborhood in January 1972.

On Nov. 8, the Academy of Motion Pictures announced a full list of 166 titles contending for nods in this year's documentary feature category, including Whitney; trans filmmaker Kimberly Reed's Dark Money; Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami; McQueen; Avicii: True Stories; and Imagine Dragon's Dan Reynolds' exploration of the relationship between the Mormom church and the LGBTQ community, Believer, according to NewNowNext.com . The 166 docs will be narrowed down to 15, with that announcement taking place Dec. 17. The final nomination list will come Jan. 22, 2019, and the award ceremony will broadcast live on ABC on Feb. 24.

Teddy Geiger—who sang the 2006 song "For You I Will ( Confidence )," and has helped pen a majority of Shawn Mendes' tracks, and who announced that she was transitioning—is engaged to Schitt's Creek star Emily Hampshire, NewNowNext.com noted. The two made their relationship public when they posted a picture together on Instagram back in August, and now they took to the social-media platform again to announce their engagement. In addition to getting engaged, Geiger also released her new album, LillyAnna.

John Rogers—the president of Comic-Con International who helped grow the organization to unprecedented heights—has died of brain cancer, Deadline.com noted. Rogers was first elected as president of Comic-Con in 1986 and was re-elected every year since, making him the longest-serving president of the pop culture convention, which started in 1970.

Miley Cyrus, Gerard Butler and Neil Young are among those whose houses in the Malibu area were destroyed by the Woolsey fire, Variety reported. Celebrities including Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian West, Rainn Wilson, and Alyssa Milano fled their houses over the weekend to escape the unprecedented winds. "I am one of the lucky ones," Cyrus tweeted. "My animals and LOVE OF MY LIFE made it out safely & that's all that matters right now. My house no longer stands but the memories shared with family & friends stand strong."

Fans criticized Beyonce for her last-minute endorsement of Senate hopeful Beto O'Rourke on Nov. 6, with some even blaming her for the Texas Democrat's loss to Sen. Ted Cruz, according to Page Six. The Houston-born songstress urged her fans to get out and vote for O'Rourke, posting photos on Instagram of herself dressed in all black and wearing a matching "Beto for Senate" cap. Cruz captured 50.9 percent of the vote, compared to O'Rourke's 48.3 percent.

Soon after Andrew Lincoln made his much-anticipated exit from The Walking Dead, AMC revealed that the actor would reprise the role of Rick Grimes in multiple films based on the hit zombie drama, Rolling Stone noted. Lincoln's closing moments on the series featured a mortally wounded Grimes being loaded onto a helicopter, his fate in question and his destination unknown. According to AMC, the first film in Grimes' new adventure, which could begin production as early as 2019, will "explore the story of where Rick is taken and what he faces in a new corner of the zombie apocalypse."

Eva Longoria, America Ferrera and Constance Wu were among those who attended ACLU's 2018 Bill Of Rights Dinner held at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on Nov. 11 in Beverly Hills, California, JustJared.com noted. Others at the event included Alyssa Milano and her husband Dave Bugliari, Jennifer Hudson, Rita Moreno, Laurence Fishburne, Justina Machado, Diane Warren and Mike Farrell. The ACLU defends the fundamental rights outlined in the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Oscar and Golden Globe Award winner Anna Paquin ( True Blood ) has signed on as a series regular for the fifth and final season of the Showtime drama series The Affair, a press release noted. Paquin will play a pivotal role as Alison and Cole's now adult daughter Joanie Lockhart, who returns some years in the future to a climate-ravaged Montauk to piece together the truth about what happened to her mother, bringing the whole story full circle.

The beds slept in by Oprah Winfrey as well as presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama at Asherwood—the Indiana estate of the late shopping-mall magnate Melvin Simon—will be auctioned off this weekend, Page Six noted. Michael Feinstein's charity, the Great American Songbook Foundation, is having Guernsey's put 1,200 lots of furnishings, including the beds, on the block.

The blockbuster film Crazy Rich Asians—adapted from Kevin Kwan's best-selling book—is already out on digital, and will debut on Blu-ray and DVD on Nov. 20, a press release noted. The movie's cast includes Constance Wu, Henry Golding ( in his feature-film debut ), Michelle Yeoh, Ken Jeong and Awkwafina, among others.

Antoni Porowski, the resident food expert on Netflix's Queer Eye reboot, has joined the cast of the Broadway production Celebrity Autobiography, NewNowNext.com noted, citing Playbill. The long-running off-Broadway comedy series, which will play four performances Monday nights Nov. 26-Dec. 19 at Broadway's Marquis Theatre, invites actors and comedians to read aloud from memoirs of the famous and infamous. The show has featured the tell-all tomes of Britney Spears, Madonna, Burt Reynolds, Loni Anderson, Elizabeth Taylor, Debbie Reynolds and more.

Legendary supermodel Helena Christensen mistakenly entered the wrong room at a luxury Puerto Rican resort—and found former Law & Order star Benjamin Bratt in the buff, Page Six reported. Christensen was among the famous guests at the lush Dorado Beach Ritz-Carlton Reserve resort, which was devastated by hurricane Maria in September 2017 and reopened this past weekend after a long restoration. Bratt was overheard at dinner later that evening approaching Christensen ( with his wife, Talisa Soto ) and saying, "I don't think we've been formally introduced."

Christina Aguilera might have five Grammy awards and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but she said when she attempted to sing at an unnamed bar in New Orleans recently, she was promptly denied, NOLA.com noted. The encounter, posted on a video in Twitter by drMediaPro, shows Aguilera hopping on stage and trying to sing with the band at a bar. The band's singer looks confused and refuses to pass the microphone, prompting Aguilera to step off stage. The person who posted the video on Twitter wrote his wife had recorded it in a New Orleans bar Nov. 8.

The firm that managed Taye Diggs for three years until he fired them in July is suing the actor for unpaid commissions, Deadline noted. Authentic Talent and Literary Management claims he owes for TV shows including All American and Beauty and the Beast and a slew of endorsement deals. The actor's Deep Down Productions also is a defendant in the suit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Max Greenfield ( The Neighborhood; New Girl ) ) is the latest original Veronica Mars cast member set to reprise a role in the upcoming Hulu revival, Deadline noted. Also joining the cast of the eight-episode limited series, scheduled to premiere in 2019, is Patton Oswalt ( Happy!; King of Queens ).

Jenni Lewis, who was on the Bravo show Flipping Out, has spoken publicly for the first time since being let go, People.com revealed. Lewis fired her from his company, Jeff Lewis Design, over an explosive lunch that will air in an upcoming episode. "I had no idea it was coming," said Pulos, who started on the show as Lewis's assistant and then rose to executive producer of Flipping Out. "I didn't decide. ... I always saw myself seeing the show through."

Billboard has named Ariana Grande its 2018 Woman of the Year, the Chicago Sun-Times noted. She will receive the award at Billboard's 13th annual Women in Music event on Dec. 6 in New York City. Previous recipients include Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Madonna and Selena Gomez.


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