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Showbiz news: Lady Gaga, Patti LaBelle, 'The L Word,' Louis Tomlinson
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

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In the middle of her first show on her world tour in Vancouver, Lady Gaga called security—to procure a gay-pride flag, USA Today noted. Gaga—who was standing on a stage in the middle of the floor—got her wish, and she was handed that rainbow flag from the audience. Thousands of fans cheered as the singer posed onstage with the flag, which she kept and put on her piano bench. She later accepted a faux Oscar from another fan, but returned it.

Patti LaBelle will be named the BMI Icon at the 2017 BMI R&B/Hip-Hop Awards on Aug. 31 in Atlanta, recognizing her "unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers," Page Six noted. The event honors BMI songwriters, producers, publishers, and administrators of the past year's most-performed R&B/hip-hop songs. Previous recipients of the BMI Icon Award include Nile Rodgers, Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, James Brown, Al Green and Snoop Dogg.

Jennifer Beals recently talked with Entertainment Tonight about her newest series, Amazon's The Last Tycoon, as well as a revival of The L Word. Regarding "Tycoon"—which co-stars Matt Bomer, Kelsey Grammer and Lily Collins—Beals said her character, Margo Taft, is "a master strategist and she uses whatever she has to get what she wants, like Pat Brady [Grammer's character] or Monroe Stahr [Bomer's character], will use whatever they have to get whatever they want." As for The L Word, Beals said, "Showtime is very committed to bringing it back. ... It's monumental; it's epic in the truest sense of the word. I'm so happy."

Former One Direction member Louis Tomlinson has addressed persistent rumors that he and ex-bandmate Harry Styles are secretly in love, noted. "I've never actually been asked about it directly," he told Bizarre. "It's a funny thing. I mean, look, people can believe what they want to believe, but I just think it comes across sometimes a little bit disrespectful to the ones that I love, like [girlfriend Eleanor Calder]. … So I think it's just one of these things that people just love to buy into, but in reality, obviously there's no truth to it, obviously."

Transgender activist and YouTube personality Jazz Jennings has responded to comments from Derick Dillard, the husband of Jill Duggar-Dillard ( of the Duggars ), LGBTQ Nation noted. On Twitter, Dillard made fun of Jennings as she announced a contest related to her own reality show on TLC, saying, "'Transgender' is a myth. Gender is not fluid; it's ordained by God." Jennings replied, "Every day I experience cyber-bullying, but I keep sharing my story. Today was no different."

Transparent creator Jill Soloway called early 1990s Saturday Night Live recurring sketch "It's Pat" an "awful piece of anti-trans propaganda" during a GLAAD panel at the Television Critics Association ( TCA ) press tour, TheWrap reported. Soloway was asked, "In the representation throughout history, do you recall the first time you saw yourself represented in a way that just broke your heart?" Soloway cited the skit ( with a character portrayed by Julia Sweeney ) as a "hateful, hateful, awful thing to do to non-binary people—to create this character that the whole world laughed at openly." Soloway later cited Pidgeon Pagonis as an example of an intersex person who has had a positive impact; Pagonis played Baxter on Transparent.

Also at the TCA event, a GLAAD panel focused on the "bury your gays" trope, which is often seen in television, Deadline noted. In the past two years, 62 gay and bi women characters were killed off in on TV shows. Actor Wilson Cruz, who stars as a gay character in the upcoming Star Trek: Discovery on CBS All Access, said that telling LGBTQ storylines and having these conversations are important to empower the community. Lena Waithe ( Master of None ) added, "I always want to write stories about queer people of color because I'm familiar with stories where queer people of color are the center. I am trying to make that happen, but I need the business to work with me."

Less than a week after the T-shirt that Frank Ocean wore at New York's Panorama Festival became a viral sensation, the shirt and its creator are now at the center of a debate over copyright, intellectual property and the ownership of tweets, Rolling Stone reported. At Ocean's Panorama set, the singer wore a white shirt with black lettering that read, "Why be racist, sexist, homophobic or transphobic when you could just be quiet?" The shirt was traced to the online merchant Green Box Shop, whose 18-year-old owner Kayla Robinson was soon inundated with 5,500 orders for the shirt; however, it was discovered that Robinson took the quote—without permission—from an August 2015 tweet by Syracuse, New York, student Brandon Male.

R&B star Usher is being sued by three people ( two women and one man, other outlets have noted ) who accuse him of not informing them about an alleged herpes infection before they had sexual contact, The Guardian reported. The suit, filed in Los Angeles, contains charges of sexual battery, fraud, negligence and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress. Her accusation follows court documents from 2012, leaked last month, that attest Usher ( full name: Usher Raymond IV ) was diagnosed with the virus in 2009 or 2010, and that he paid $1.1 million in a settlement to a woman he infected.

Roseanne is returning to the airwaves with a reboot set to air on ABC next year, and it looks like the show will incorporate a gender-creative child into the cast, LGBTQ Nation noted. Darlene, played by openly gay actress Sara Gilbert, and David, played by Johnny Galecki, will have two children in the series revival. Their son will be a 9-year-old gender creative child named Mark, according to Showbiz 411. The casting call asks for young actors who are capable of being both "sensitive and effeminate" for a character that "displays qualities of both young female and male traits." Netflix's Degrassi: Next Class also includes a gender-fluid character, named Yael, played by Jamie Bloch.

Out actor Jim Parsons ( Sheldon on TV's The Big Bang Theory ) narrates First in Human, out Aug. 10 on Discovery at 9 p.m. ET, according to . "First" is a three-part, six-hour medical documentary series taking viewers inside the beginning phase of scientific research. The series follows four diverse patients as they participate in a "First in Human" trial—the initial time when a new therapy is tested in humans.

Shoe designer Brian Atwood celebrated his 50th birthday with a rowdy party in Mykonos, Greece, according to Page Six. Balmain creative director Olivier Rousteing, DSquared2's Dean and Dan Caten, and Lindsay Lohan were spotted at the "gold themed" bash, where guests stripped down.

They've just reconciled after a bitter feud kept them apart for a decade since he wrote an explosive bestseller about her—but now Madonna's brother is doing it again, Page Six reported. In a new interview, Christopher Ciccone has accused the pop queen of blacklisting him in Hollywood—and added he could have written another tell-all book about just how "horrific" she is. But in a show of solidarity, Ciccone backed his sister over Lady Gaga, who he called a "court jester."

In the film Call Me By Your Name, Armie Hammer stars as a 24-year-old U.S. scholar who unwittingly falls in love with a 17-year-old boy ( Timothee Chalamet ), Queerty noted. The film was the talk of Sundance, as much for the chemistry between its two male stars as for its explicit sex scenes. Sony Pictures Classics has released a trailer for the film—based on Andre Aciman's 2007 novel of the same name, and with a screenplay by James Ivory—and it opens Nov. 24.

American Airlines is disputing Lena Dunham's claims that she overheard two female airline employees having a "transphobic talk" at the airport, saying the time stamps of her claims don't add up, TheWrap reported. A spokesperson for the airline told TheWrap that the company is unable to substantiate the allegations made by the creator and star of HBO's Girls. Reactions to Dunham's story were mixed: Some praised her actions, while others scolded her for listening to a private conversation and tattling and yet others said everyone is entitled to their opinions.

Caitlyn Jenner was spotted in a "Make America Great Again" hat days after President Trump's tweet advocating a ban on transgender individuals serving in the military, Queerty noted, citing TMZ. Jenner criticized Trump immediately after the tweet was posted, saying, "I believe every American should be outraged by the disrespect shown to those people wearing our country's uniform." Regarding the hat, Jenner later said it was a mistake; after realizing she had worn the hat, Jenner said she was horrified because she now detests Trump after he tweeted about the military transgender ban.

In the wake of the #CBSsowhite and #CBSsomale campaign—as well as the controversy surrounding the exits of Asian actors Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park from Hawaii Five-0—CBS chiefs Kelly Kahl and Thom Sherman defended the network at the Television Critics Association's press tour, reported. This fall's lineup has five shows starring white males … and one starring former Criminal Minds star Shemar Moore. "We can have a debate and discussion about the pace, but it's happening," Kahl said. "Change is happening. We have a midseason lead character who is gay. Over the last number of years, diverse series regulars are up almost 60 percent."

Last month, tello Films received its first Emmy nomination for its original web series secs & EXECS, a press release noted. Mindy Sterling received the nomination for her role in the series—making tello Films the first lesbian network to receive such an honor. Sterling, best known for her role as Frau Farbissina in the Austin Powers movie series, was nominated for Outstanding Actress in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series in the tello original secs & EXECS.

Amazon Studios has acquired the Lucille Ball biopic Lucy and Desi, with Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett attached to star, Variety reported. Aaron Sorkin has written the script. The producers are seeking a star to play Ball's husband Desi Arnaz as well as Vivian Vance and William Frawley, who played Fred and Ethel Mertz in the landmark sitcom I Love Lucy.

Oprah Winfrey recently said that she can't accept herself if she's above a certain weight—for health reasons, Page Six noted. Winfrey said, "I can't accept myself if I'm over 200 pounds, because it's too much work on my heart. It causes high blood pressure for me. It puts me at risk for diabetes, because I have diabetes in my family." Winfrey has had a very public battle with weight over the years and, in 2015, purchased a 10-percent stake in Weight Watchers; she has lost at least 40 pounds.

Sinead O'Connor has been reduced to living out of a motel room in New Jersey—desperately struggling to stay alive as she battles mental illness, she admitted in a Facebook video, Page Six noted. "I'm all by myself, and there's absolutely nobody in my life except my doctor, my psychiatrist, the sweetest man on Earth, who says I'm his hero, and that's about the f--king only thing keeping me alive at the moment, that I'm his bloody hero ... and that's kind of pathetic," the "Nothing Compares 2 U" singer said.

Norman Lear, Gloria Estefan, LL Cool J, Carmen de Lavallade and Lionel Richie will be the honorees at the next Kennedy Center Honors, to be held on Dec. 3 and broadcast on CBS on Dec. 26, Newsmax noted. It will mark the first ceremony of Donald Trump's presidency—and there will be a statement of protest. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump are scheduled to be seated with the honorees during the Kennedy Center ceremony, and they will host a reception with them at the White House earlier in the evening; those will be interesting moments, as Lear and Estefan have been particularly outspoken against Trump and his policies. A spokesperson for Lear said that, while he will attend the ceremony, he will not attend the White House reception.

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is opening an exhibit on the life and career of Hall of Famer Loretta Lynn in Nashville, according to Page Six. "Loretta Lynn: Blue Kentucky Girl" will open Aug. 25 and runs through Aug. 5, 2018. In a press release, the exhibit's highlights will include Lynn's original handwritten manuscript for her 1970 hit "Coal Miner's Daughter," the microphone used at her first recording session, some of her dresses and the sewing machine she used to make her stage clothes early in her career.

Rapper Benjamin Haggerty, better known as Macklemore, was unharmed in a head-on collision on Whidbey Island, Washington, the Seattle Times noted. According to TMZ, Haggerty's Mercedes was struck by another car; the 24-year-old driver, who was not wearing a seat belt, reportedly told police officers he had a drink "a while back."

Kesha will launch her "Rainbow Tour"—a six-week trek across North America named after her most recent CD, Rainbow—on Sunday, Sept. 26, in Birmingham, Alabama, a press release noted. The singer's first solo tour since 2013's "Warrior Tour," the "Rainbow Tour" takes Kesha to 21 markets, wrapping Wed., Nov. 1, at the Hollywood Palladium. A few of the other stops include Atlanta ( Sept. 29 ), Boston ( Oct. 4 ), Toronto ( Oct. 16 ), Chicago ( Oct. 18 ) and San Francisco ( Oct. 31 ).

ABC's Quantico—returning for an abbreviated third season with a new showrunner and without a handful of castmembers—has added a new face to its ranks, The Hollywood Reporter noted. Marlee Matlin ( The L Word ) has joined the procedural as a series regular named Jocelyn Turne. Original stars Priyanka Chopra, Jake McLaughlin, Johanna Braddy and season-two addition Blair Underwood are confirmed to return for season three; however, regulars Yasmine Al Massri and Pearl Thusi are exiting the series.

ABC has delayed its planned live production of Disney's The Little Mermaid that was set to air Oct. 3. ( No new date is set. ) The network said in May that it would stage a live production of the classic underwater tale under the long-dormant Wonderful World of Disney brand. No cast was announced for The Little Mermaid Live! but the net said it planned to feature "celebrity artists" to perform Alan Menken and Howard Ashman's songs from the 1989 film.

Miami Vice is eyeing a return to NBC, according to Deadline. The network has put in development a reboot of its signature 1980s action crime drama, with the Fast & Furious duo of Vin Diesel and Chris Morgan producing. The original series starred Don Johnson as James "Sonny" Crockett and Philip Michael Thomas as Ricardo "Rico" Tubbs—two Metro-Dade Police Department detectives working undercover in Miami.

Former RuPaul's Drag Race judge Lucian Paine has been making headlines over the last year and a half for an ongoing series of bizarre, highly offensive Twitter rants—resulting in his suspension from the social-media network after a user named "Lois" complained, Queerty reported. In 2016, the increasingly unhinged producer and personality went on a series of racist, pro-Trump Twitter tirades.

Bruno Mars just added a few more accolades to his resume, noted. His singles "24K Magic" and "That's What I Like" have been certified 4X multi-platinum by the RIAA. On top of that, his funk-fueled album 24K Magic was also certified double platinum. With these latest accomplishments, Mars became the only artist in the past year to have 4X multi-platinum singles from one album.

More than a year after Joshua Allen, 28, again attacked his ex-girlfriend, the former So You Think You Can Dance winner was sentenced to a year in county jail after pleading no contest to domestic violence, Deadline noted. Escaping a potential decade behind bars he faced when first charged in these matters on July 14, 2016 on a combination of felony and misdemeanor charges for two separate incidents, Allen was taken into custody immediately following the Van Nuys, California, courthouse hearing. Los Angeles Daily News reported that Allen was also sentenced to five years of formal probation and 52 weeks of domestic-violence counseling.

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