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SHOWBIZ 'Time's Up,' Brad Goreski, 'Hamilton' actor, Kristin Chenoweth
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2018-01-02

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Reese Witherspoon, Meryl Streep, Shonda Rhimes and more than 300 other women are taking a stand against sexual harassment and assault in the entertainment industry by launching Time's Up—a movement that aims to promote equality and safety in the workplace, E! News noted. In addition to Witherspoon, Rhimes and Streep, Jennifer Aniston, Katie McGrath and J.J. Abrams, Kate Capshaw and Steven Spielberg's Wunderkinder Foundation, Creative Artists Agency ( CAA ), ICM Partners ( ICM ), Paradigm Talent Agency, United Talent Agency ( UTA ), and William Morris Endeavor ( WME ) are among the founding donors. Plus, the movement is working with 5050by2020—an initiative in which women, people of color and LGBTQ members in the entertainment world fight for fair hiring practices and equal leadership representation.

Brad Goreski and Gary Janetti have tied the knot—after 16 years, Page Six reported. The celebrity stylist and ex-Fashion Police host, 40, married television producer Janetti, 51, aboard a Caribbean cruise ship. The couple got engaged in August 2014 but didn't reveal the news until that December; they first got together in Greece in 2001.

Out Hamilton actor Javier Munoz is now appearing on the small screen, in a plot on the show Shadowhunters that includes bisexual warlock Magnus ( played by Harry Shum Jr. ), according to NewNowNext.com . "You know I'm a fan of the show—I'm a fan of this genre," Munoz said in a homemade video from New York Comic-Con in October. "I'm already in love with this character and I can't wait for you to meet him." For two seasons now, viewers have seen the evolution of the romantic relationship between the magician and Alex Lightwood ( Matthew Daddario ), a gay demon hunter. Shadowhunters returns to Freeform on April 3.

Tony Award-winning Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth will join operatic tenor Andrea Bocelli for a Valentine's Day concert at the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida, according to Playbill. Chenoweth's Broadway appearances include Tony-nominated performances in Wicked and On the Twentieth Century, and her Tony-winning turn as Sally Brown in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Bocelli is a classical singer and songwriter who has recorded 15 albums that cross over into the pop world.

FX has given a series order to Pose, the dance musical from Ryan Murphy, Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson and Brad Falchuk that stars Evan Peters, Kate Mara and James Van Der Beek, Deadline noted. The network has ordered eight episodes for the season, which is scheduled to begin production in February in New York. The history-making Pose, which received a pilot order in March, will feature the largest transgender series regular cast ( MJ Rodriguez, Indya Moore, Dominique Jackson, Hailie Sahar and Angelica Ross )—as well as the largest LGBTQ cast ever—for a scripted series.

Mariah Carey made it through her performance on Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest cleanly on Dec. 31 after bungling it the previous year, USA Today noted. She sang her 1990s hits Vision of Love and Hero in Times Square, where revelers braved frigid temperatures to usher in 2018. Members of ABC's broadcast team congratulated Carey on making it through her performance the second time.

TV stars Ellen DeGeneres, Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson and Project Runway's Tim Gunn were among the 23,000 write-in candidates in the U.S. Senate race in Alabama that resulted in Democrat Doug Jones edging Republican Roy Moore, Billboard noted. A few of the others receiving votes were Kardashian matriarch Kris Jenner, NBA legend Charles Barkley, Billy Joel, Adam Levine, Condoleezza Rice, SpongeBob SquarePants, Kermit the Frog, Santa Claus—and President Donald Trump and son Donald Jr.

SPOILER ALERT: TheWrap revealed that gay and lesbian characters had a seriously high mortality rate on the small screen in 2017. Among the casualties were Kingdom's Nate ( played by Nick Jonas ), The Handmaid's Tale's Martha ( Laura Wilson ), The Walking Dead's Eric ( Jordan Woods-Robinson ), Power's Jukebox ( Anika Noni Rose ), The Blacklist's Mr. Kaplan ( Susan Blommaert ) and others.

In Equanimity—the first of his two Netflix specials—actor/comedian Dave Chappelle addressed the backlash he got from the LGBT community after jokes about gay and trans people in his specials released in the spring, USA Today noted. Chappelle read a letter from a trans fan who chastised the jokes. Trying to pull the long bit together, Chappelle explained his difficulty empathizing with the "talk of how one feels inside" led by white men, noting that the majority historically hasn't cared about the feelings of minority men and women. Chappelle previously denied that he's transphobic in an interview with LGBT publication The Washington Blade, according to Complex.

Cara Delevingne has been taking things slowly with her reputed new love interest—Paris Jackson, The Mirror reported. The 25-year-old model/actress has been forging a strong friendship with Jackson, 19, over the past few months. Michael Jackson's daughter and the supermodel recently hopped between London, Italy and the Czech Republic, where Delevingne is filming her new Amazon series, Carnival Row.

Singer Aaron Carter was so close with Michael Jackson that honored late King of Pop the same way he did his own father, Page Six stated. "I spent 22 hours making this beat for my dad," Carter, 30, told Us Weekly, adding that he did it the day after his father's May 2017 passing. Carter said he related to Jackson on multiple levels, as they both struggled with the pressures of fame as well as growing up in families that had siblings thrust into the spotlight at young ages. Also like Jackson, who died of a Propofol overdose in June 2009 at 50, Carter struggled with substance abuse and severe weight loss.

RuPaul's Drag Race diva Manila Luzon got married on Christmas Eve in Las Vegas, with an Elvis impersonator as the minister, NewNowNext.com noted. Luzon, aka Karl Westerberg, made it legal with boyfriend Mic J Rez, a.k.a. Michael Alvarez, at Vegas' famed Silver Bell Wedding Chapel. Westerberg wore a tuxedo while Alvarez donned a white wedding gown.

Vin Diesel has beaten his Fast and Furious co-star Dwayne Johnson to be named 2017's top-grossing actor, The Independent reported. The action star's latest addition to the xXx franchise, xXx: The Return of Xander Cage, added to the $1.2 billion that The Fate of the Furious raked in worldwide to see his films make $1.6 billion combined in 2017, according to Forbes. Box-office flop Baywatch was unable to buoy The Rock, whose releases this year have so far pulled in $1.5 billion, with Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle still out in theaters. Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot came in third.

Shakira's doctors have determined that she needs to spend the next few months working toward recovery in order for her vocal cords to be in optimal condition for touring, and as such the U.S. leg of the "El Dorado World Tour," previously scheduled for January, has been postponed, per a press release. Tickets will be valid for the new date in ticket buyers' cities ( the tour is now June through September in the U.S. and Europe ) or can be refunded at point of purchase if needed.

The release of Marvel Comics' publication schedule for March contains many cancellations—and Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada has tweeted that those cancellations reflect sales ( or a lack thereof ) and not an anti-diversity pattern, Polygon noted. The news slowly trickled out from creative teams, rather than an official announcement from Marvel: Generation X, Gwenpool, Luke Cage, Iceman, Hawkeye and America were all confirmed to be canceled. Iceman was the original X-Men character's first solo series since coming out as gay, while America was the first solo series for America "Miss America" Chavez, a long-time fan-favorite and queer Latina superhero.

The family of pop icon Madonna has reunited with the star's brother Anthony Ciccone, according to Gay Star News. Anthony, 61, has given interviews addressing his homelessness in the past. It is believed he has been living on the streets of Michigan for seven years. However, Madonna's oldest sibling is back in touch with his family, reportedly after staying in a revolutionary new rehab center.

Andy Cohen recently described himself as a "gold-star gay," meaning he's never engaged in sexual intercourse with a woman, while chatting with his BFF Anderson Cooper—and, now, Quartzy blogger David Kaufman is taking the Bravo exec to task, according to Queerty. "From Queer Eye for the Straight Guy to RuPaul's Drag Race, there's always been a level of convivial silliness about LGBT pop culture," Kaufman wrote while also accusing Cohen of elitism. "But nothing has ever quite reached the sheer pettiness of the Gold Star phenomena."

Strictly Come Dancing/Dancing with the Stars judge Bruno Tonioli broke down in tears as he recalled losing his mother, as well as friends and relatives, as a young man, according to BBC.com . Speaking on the Christmas edition of BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs, he dedicated Rod Stewart's version of the Beatles' "In My Life" to his loved ones. The star also told how he avoided Italian military service by telling a top official he was gay.

Ben Platt, recently named one of Entertainment Weekly's 15 Entertainers of the Year, spoke with the publication about the most memorable moments during his year on Broadway in the Tony-winning Dear Evan Hansen. Among other things, the actor ( who also snagged a Tony ) says in a video that there were five people he wanted to see his performance in the musical at the Music Box Theatre—and they all came, including Beyonce, Mandy Patinkin, Meryl Streep, Barbra Streisand and Hillary Clinton.

Professional wrestler Mike Parrow is the latest gay athlete to come out publicly, Outsports noted. Talking with Gay Star News, the 6'4", 300-lb. Florida transplant said, "'I've always known I'm gay. That was never a question in my mind. But growing up, I went to Catholic school my whole life. My mom's a Sunday school teacher. I came from a small town in upstate New York. It didn't have a flourishing gay community."

Andrew Bryson, who will appear on the forthcoming 10th season of RuPaul's Drag Race, will not be going to jail for his DUI case, Just Jared noted. The future contestant, whose drag name is Blair St. Clair, pled guilty to one count of DUI after being arrested in Indiana back in March. Bryyson's one-year jail sentence is suspended as long as stays out of trouble, according to TMZ.

Former Dr. Phil guests say they were given drugs and alcohol by show producers and provided with little medical oversight while appearing on the talk show, TheWrap reported. Todd Herzog—a former Survivor contestant who appeared visibly drunk on a 2013 episode of Dr. Phil while there to discuss his alcohol addiction—said he showed up to the set that day completely sober. However, a bottle of vodka appeared in his dressing room and a show staffer gave him Xanax before the taping began, Herzog said in a joint investigative piece that STAT and the Boston Globe conducted. The show has denied the allegations.

Carrie Underwood is still healing from injuries she suffered after falling on the steps of her house in November, People.com reported. Underwood, 34, previously said that she had broken her wrist after falling outside of her home, and, on Dec. 31, she revealed that the incident also caused severe cuts to her face. In a post to her fan club members, the country singer said that in addition to having surgery on her wrist, she required "40 and 50 stitches" to her face. Seven weeks after the accident, Underwood said that she's on the mend but "not quite looking the same."

People.com noted that Solange Knowles was forced to cancel her New Year's Eve performance at Afropunk Fest in South Africa due to an ongoing health struggle, she revealed on Instagram. The singer, 31, shared the news on social media and wrote that she struggled to find the words to explain the disorder she had been "quietly treating" for the past five months. She also posted, "The past five months I have been quietly treating, and working through an autonomic disorder. [It's] been a journey that hasn't been easy on me… Sometimes I feel cool, and other times not so cool at all."

Hoda Kotb has been named the co-anchor of Today, making her official debut Jan. 2 just after an announcement by NBC News Chairman Andy Lack, Today.com announced. Kotb, 53, will join Savannah Guthrie at the anchor desk during the first two hours of the morning news program. She also will continue to co-host Today's fourth hour with Kathie Lee Gifford.

Gretchen Carlson will take over as chair of the Miss America Organization board of directors, Deadline reported. The 1989 Miss America and Fox & Friends co-host previously blasted a request to help find new leadership for the organization, but apparently had a change of heart. Carlson's ascension follows the resignation of several key leaders of the Miss America Organization, including CEO Sam Haskell, former president and COO Josh Randle, and Chairman Lynn Weidner—all of whom had exchanged demeaning emails among board members.

Allegations of a cover-up of sexual assaults at the Motion Picture Country House and Hospital have been leveled on behalf of one of the women who was allegedly assaulted there, Deadline reported. Attorneys for Sylvia Mathes, one of more than a dozen elderly women who were allegedly assaulted by a fellow resident, now claim an unidentified attorney for the Motion Picture Television Fund lied to them and tried to cover up developments. Separate lawsuits filed by Mathes and retired costumer Nancy Renard claim that they and 11 other female residents were sexually assaulted by Rafael Palacios, a former longtime employee of the fund before becoming an Alzheimer's patient there.

Jay-Z teamed with acclaimed director Ava DuVernay for his star-studded music video for "Family Feud," which features a ton of famous cameos, US Magazine reported. The full clip was released on Tidal on Dec. 29, after he shared a short teaser featuring his wife, Beyonce, and daughter Blue Ivy. The rapper enlisted some of Hollywood's biggest names, including Mindy Kaling, Jessica Chastain, Michael B. Jordan, Thandie Newton, Brie Larson, Janet Mock, Constance Wu, Rashida Jones, Rosario Dawson and Niecy Nash.

Sue Grafton—author of the popular Kinsey Millhone alphabet mystery series—died in Santa Barbara, California, at age 77, according to Variety. Grafton's daughter, Jamie Clark, announced her mother's death on her Grafton's Facebook page. She said her mom died after a two-year battle with cancer. The last book Grafton wrote was Y Is for Yesterday, which was released last August.

Real Housewives of New York's "Countess" Luann de Lesseps won't lose her Bravo TV job over her Christmas arrest, Page Six reported. She was cuffed in Palm Beach, Florida, for disorderly conduct and battery against a police officer after she was found in bed with a man in a random hotel room. Real Housewives of Atlanta cast member Porsha Williams was arrested for speeding and driving with a suspended license in 2014, and New Jersey star Teresa Giudice went to prison on fraud charges in 2015.

Aaron Rodgers was missing from his family's Christmas pictures, according to E! News. The Green Bay Packers quarterback seemingly skipped the holiday celebration with his family, according to social media posts from his brothers Jordan Rodgers and Luke Rodgers. On Christmas Day, Jordan posted a photo with Luke and their dad celebrating the holiday together; Aaron wasn't in the picture and didn't post on social media on Christmas, so it's not known where he spent the holiday.

U.S. YouTube star Logan Paul prompted a barrage of criticism after he posted a video which showed the body of an apparent suicide victim in Japan, BBC.com noted. The video showed Paul and friends at the Aokigahara forest at the base of Mount Fuji, known to be a frequent site of suicides. The video was uploaded Dec. 31 and had millions of views on YouTube before it was taken down. Paul, who has more than 15 million subscribers on YouTube, has since posted an apology on Twitter, saying he had been "misguided by shock and awe."

Former Last Comic Standing winner Iliza Shlesinger is reportedly being sued after hosting a comedy show in Los Angeles that didn't allow men to attend, according to Page Six. The Hollywood Reporter obtained legal documents in which a man named George St. George alleges he purchased two tickets to the comedian's Nov. 13 show, titled "Girls Night In WIth Iliza — No Boys Allowed." He was reportedly later told that Shlesinger decided that no men would be admitted to the show ( after he and friend went to get food after picking up their tickets ), and they were offered refunds.

Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh—starring Tony and Oscar winner Denzel Washington—will play New York City's Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre beginning March 22, Broadway World noted. The production's opening night is currently set for April 26. The Iceman Cometh focuses on a group of alcoholics and misfits who endlessly discuss but never act on their dreams, and Hickey, the traveling salesman determined to strip them of their pipe dreams.


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