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Showbiz news: Aguilera, Robbie Rogers, 'Jane the Virgin,' Gal Gadot
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2017-11-14

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The American Music Awards has a packed performance lineup, including a special tribute to Whitney Houston, ABC13.com noted. Christina Aguilera will commemorate the 25th anniversary of "The Bodyguard." Other big performances include the U.S. television performance premiere of BTS, a mega-popular K-Pop band, and Selena Gomez's television debut of her new song "Wolves." Diana Ross, who is being honored with the American Music Award for Lifetime Achievement, will also perform at the Nov. 19 event.

Professional soccer player Robbie Rogers—the first openly gay male athlete to compete in a major North American professional sports league—has announced his retirement, The Independent reported. The 30-year-old, capped 18 times by the United States and a 2008 Olympian, publicly revealed his sexuality shortly after leaving Leeds in February 2013. Rogers most recently played for the L.A. Galaxy.

Tyler Posey has been accused of gay-baiting before, but now the actor is officially out as bisexual—on the CW dramedy Jane the Virgin, NewNowNext.com noted. The former Teen Wolf star plays Adam, a comic-book artist in his late 20s who is currently wooing Jane. Jane the Virgin star Gina Rodriguez told Variety there were a lot of discussions about the character of Adam before his coming-out episode: "I feel like you see a lot of bisexual women on TV because men think it's sexy when women make out. … We hadn't had a romantic hero who's also bisexual."

Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot is continuing to battle accused Hollywood sexual harasser Brett Ratner by refusing to sign for a super-hero sequel unless the movie-maker is completely killed from the franchise, Page Six noted. Gadot—who, last month, backed out of a dinner honoring Ratner, where she was due to present him with an award—is taking a strong stance on sexual harassment in Hollywood and doesn't want her hit Wonder Woman franchise to benefit a man accused of sexual misconduct. Ratner's production company RatPac-Dune Entertainment helped produce Wonder Woman ( which has grossed more than $400 million in the United States ) as part of its co-financing deal with Warner Bros.

On Facebook, actress Ellen Page said director Brett Ratner outed her on the set of X Men: The Last Stand, and verbally abused her, Deadline reported. She also says working for director Woody Allen ( 2012's To Rome With Love ) is "the biggest regret of my career." After Page's post, actress Anna Paquin tweeted that she witnessed Ratner's comment. "I stand with you," Paquin wrote.

Film students at the University of Southern California are calling on university officials to remove filmmaker Bryan Singer's name from the school's Cinema and Media Studies division, CBS Los Angeles reported. According to a Change.org petition, "It is completely unacceptable that this prestigious department within our school still carries the name of Bryan Singer, a man accused multiple times of sexual harassment, assault and pedophilia." Singer ( who has directed The Usual Suspects and The X-Men, among other films ) was accused in a 2014 lawsuit of sexual abuse by Michael Egan III, a former aspiring model and actor; the lawsuit was later dropped.

Kristin Chenoweth has fired Primary Wave Entertainment, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed. The Tony and Emmy winner had just signed with the management company in July. Earlier this month, actress Jessica Barth accused Primary Wave co-CEO David Guillod of drugging and then sexually assaulting her in 2012. Guillod resigned from the company two days later, on Nov. 4.

Actor Terry Crews has filed a police report after saying he was sexually assaulted by a high-level Hollywood executive, Fox6Now.com reported. Crews confirmed for a TMZ cameraman as he walked out of the LAPD Hollywood station that it was about the groping he described last month, and said he also plans to file a lawsuit. He said he was at a Hollywood function last year with his wife when the male executive, who he has not identified, "groped my privates."

Sordid Lives star Jason Dottley—who says Anthony Rapp's accusations against Kevin Spacey inspired him to come out—has told The Advocate that famed manager Benny Medina tried to rape him in 2008 at his Los Angeles mansion after meeting Dottley ( who was married to Del Shores at the time ) and his friend, fellow actor T. Ashanti Mozelle, at a bar in West Hollywood. "[Dottley] was visibly shook," Mozelle remembered. "I could see that he was shaken … whatever happened, it was enough to make him uncomfortable, and that was my main concern." ( Shores has no memory of Dottley telling him of the incident. ) Medina's attorneys responded, saying their client "categorically denies the allegation of attempted rape."

Marketing consultant Andy Holtzman has become the fifteenth man to accuse actor Kevin Spacey of an unwanted sexual advance, harassment or assault, LGBTQ Nation noted He says that it happened in 1981 when he was 27 and working at the New York Shakespeare Festival's Public Theater. He was gay and out, and Spacey was a 22-year-old actor with a part in Henry IV Part 1.

Speaking of Spacey, a Massachusetts district attorney plans to meet with a teenager who accused the actor of committing sexual assault at a Nantucket restaurant last year, according to a Huffington Post item that cites The Boston Globe. Cape and Islands D.A. Michael O'Keefe told the newspaper that he's interested in "everything that's relevant and material," and that the investigation will "proceed from there." He plans to talk to the 19-year-old college sophomore "soon." Her son, who hasn't been publicly identified, has filed a police report, and a criminal investigation is underway.

Actor Anthony Edwards wrote an explosive essay on alleged sexual molestation by producer Gary Goddard, who has been under the microscope in the past involving similar allegations from an underaged boy who also accused X-Men franchise director Bryan Singer, according to Deadline. In addition, former model Scott R. Brunton has claimed that actor George Takei sexually assaulted him in 1981, The Chicago Tribune noted; in a Facebook post, Takei denied the charge. ( According to BuzzFeed, five of Brunton's friends independently said they have heard Brunton tell the story at various times over the years. )

Daniel Franzese, best known as Cady Heron's best friend in Mean Girls, claims that Bully star Bijou Phillips harassed him on set of their 2001 film, his first movie credit, The New York Daily News reported. "She body shamed me and ridiculed me about my sexuality and physically assaulted me," Franzese wrote on Facebook, saying he was inspired by Ellen Page's story about Brett Ratner. A rep for Phillips did not immediately return a request for comment.

Grammy winners John Legend, Lorde and Keith Urban will perform at the 2018 MusiCares® Person of the Year tribute concert honoring Fleetwood Mac on Jan. 26, a press release noted. Grammy-nominated singer/songwriters Haim and OneRepublic and singer/songwriter Harry Styles will also join the performance lineup, while Fleetwood Mac will close the evening's performances. Past MusiCares Person of the Year honorees include Tony Bennett, Bono, Natalie Cole, Phil Collins, David Crosby, Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan, Gloria Estefan and Aretha Franklin, among others.

Longtime gossip columnist Liz Smith, who started her column at the New York Daily News in 1976, has died at age 94, according to CNN. Known as the "the Grand Dame of Dish," Smith's legendary work included a chronicle of Donald and Ivana Trump's divorce, which made front-page news. She came out as bisexual in her 2000 memoir Natural Blonde—something she dubbed "gender neutrality," according to the Daily News.

Jill Sobule has written and commenced recording a new album called Nostalgia Kills that she describes as "an album of short-story songs; an autobiographical look-back and an acknowledgment of the present," a press release noted. Sobule's 1995 song "I Kissed a Girl" was the first Billboard top 20 hit ever to celebrate a same-sex romance, in spite of being blacklisted by numerous radio stations throughout the Bible Belt. The Kickstarter campaign for the new album has launched; visit http://kck.st/2hnpdUk.

Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o took to social media to accuse the fashion magazine Grazia UK of digitally altering the look of her hair in a cover shot to make it "fit a more Eurocentric notion of what beautiful hair looks like," CNN noted. She posted before and after pictures on Instagram and Twitter to show how her hair had been changed, along with a statement criticizing the magazine. Grazia UK apologized to Nyong'o via a statement on social media but said that "at no point did [it] make any editorial request to the photographer for Lupita Nyong'o's hair to be altered on this week's cover, nor did we alter it ourselves."

A TV star has been fired for transphobic comments against a teenager, PinkNews noted. Derick Dillard—who rose to fame through the reality show 17 Kids and Counting and was starring in Counting On—repeatedly targeted trans teen Jazz Jennings. 'Transgender' is a myth," Dillard tweeted. "Gender is not fluid; it's ordained by God." ( He then followed with other posts. ) "We want to let our viewers know that Derick Dillard has not participated in Counting On for months and the network has no plans to feature him in the future," read a statement from TLC, which airs Counting On as well as Jennings' I Am Jazz.

Page Six noted that Cheyenne Jackson worked up the nerve to star opposite six-time Tony winner Audra McDonald in their new film, Hello Again, by first working with Lady Gaga in FX's American Horror Story. Insiders say the role Jackson plays in Hello Again—based on the 1993 off-Broadway musical by Michael John LaChiusa—was difficult to cast. Apparently, according to the source, "the producers checked interest and/or offered the role to over 20 other actors who turned it down for reasons mostly having to do with the gay sexuality of the role—or for having to sing opposite Audra McDonald, which proved to be a daunting ask." The movie also stars Martha Plimpton, Rumer Willis and T.R. Knight.

RuPaul's Drag Race alum Sharon Needles has released a video for her track "Andy Warhol Is Dead?," Billboard noted. The clip sees several references to the King of Pop Art: Brillo boxes, Campbell soup cans and Warhol muse Candy Darling are all referenced.

Fox has given a script commitment with significant penalty to 8 Count, a drama inspired by the life of famed choreographer and creative director Laurieann Gibson, from multi-Grammy Award winner Mary J. Blige, writer Erika L. Johnson and Gail Berman's The Jackal Group, Deadline reported. 8 Count is a musical drama that follows a young choreographer who must invest in an up-and-coming singer, who also has one last shot at stardom.

Three-time Grammy-winning performer, songwriter and recording artist Gwen Stefani is bringing her first-ever holiday special to NBC, a press release noted. "Gwen Stefani's You Make It Feel Like Christmas" will air Dec. 12. Guest appearances will include Blake Shelton, Chelsea Handler, Ken Jeong, Seth MacFarlane and NE-YO.

Singer Carrie Underwood is recovering after suffering a broken wrist and other injuries, ABC News reported. The accident happened two days after the country-music singer hosted the 51st annual CMA Awards in Nashville. After news of her accident broke, Underwood thanked fans for their support.

For the first time ever, Seinfeld: The Complete Series is now available to download to own on digital from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, a press release noted. Fans now have an all-access pass to all 180 episodes across the series' nine seasons and have the option to purchase individual episodes ( like "The Soup Nazi" ), full seasons or the entire series.

Vanity Fair has made it official, with the magazine's parent company Conde Nast confirming that former Time and current editorial director of The New York Times books department Radhika Jones has been named the fifth editor-in-chief in the magazine's history, Deadline reported. She will begin Dec. 11 in the role vacated by Graydon Carter in September; he had been in the top post since 1992.


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