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Showbiz news: Ryan Murphy, Mariah Carey, MIssy Elliott, Armie Hammer
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2017-12-05

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The Producers Guild of America ( PGA ) has selected Ryan Murphy as the recipient of its 2018 Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television, Variety noted. Murphy will receive the award at the 29th Annual Producers Guild Awards on Jan. 20 at The Beverly Hilton Hotel. He has won four Emmys and two PGA Awards; also, he was the recipient of the PGA's 2014 Stanley Kramer Award for his work on the Emmy-winning television movie The Normal Heart.

Mariah Carey performed at Los Angeles' Shrine Auditorium on Nov. 30 to perform at a free concert to commemorate World AIDS Day ( Dec. 1 ) and celebrate the 30th anniversary of AIDS Healthcare Foundation ( AHF ), a press release noted. Among the others who performed were Debbie Allen and the Debbie Allen Dance Academy; DJ Khaled, with Ne-Yo: former American Idol finalist Vonzell Solomon; and singer/songwriter Verlla Vee, grand prize winner of AHF's National Jingle song contest. Mario Lopez and Laverne Cox co-hosted the event.

It turned out that hip-hop icon Missy Elliott nearly couldn't perform at Katy Perry's Super Bowl halftime show performance in 2015, according to Page Six. Elliott revealed that the night before she surprised the audience with a performance of "Get Ya Freak On" after Perry performed, she was hospitalized. Elliott didn't share the cause of her health issues but has opened up in the past about her battle with Graves' Disease, an autoimmune illness that affects the thyroid.

In a bombshell Hollywood Reporter interview, Armie Hammer—who starred in last year's front-runner turned awards-poison The Birth of a Nation—accuses an unnamed industry player of sinking that movie by leaking details to the media about director Nate Parker being accused of rape, Page Six noted. The actor predicted he'll be hammered again this year for his latest film, Call Me by Your Name, a gay romance set in 1980s Italy. Hammer declined to name the culprit, but speculation has swirled that the competing leaker was uberproducer Scott Rudin, another awards mastermind, who had Fences up for the 2017 Oscars—although others say Rudin had nothing to do with it.

Mary J. Blige received a special jury award for best ensemble for the movie Mudbound, in which she plays the matriarch of a poor farming family in the 1940s, Page Six noted. Blige thanked director Dee Rees ( who also helmed the lesbian-themed film Pariah ), saying, "She offered me the role. And when someone offers you a role and you don't have to read [or audition], and don't have to worry about anything but getting your acting coach and getting prepared, it just makes you go harder and love that person more."

Boy George has revealed that he is currently planning a residency in Las Vegas next year, as he sat down with fellow musician and friend, Adam Lambert, for the new relaunched issue of Gay Times to speak about heading to Sin City for a glitzy new show. The pop icon wants the show to launch "summer or September next year" and divulged just a few of the names he'd love to join him on stage, including Cyndi Lauper, kd lang and Madonna.

Fox fired Bryan Singer from the helm of Bohemian Rhapsody, after he went AWOL for three days when production was to resume after Thanksgiving, Deadline reported. This followed a series of rumors of erratic behavior by Singer on the film. Last week, sources said that Fox was discreetly canvassing directors to replace Singer, even before production shuttered. The film about the British rock band Queen and its frontman Freddie Mercury had Mr. Robot's Rami Malek playing the singing legend. Also, Singer's production company, Bad Hat Harry, will depart the Twentieth Century Fox lot.

Netflix has formally ordered a second season of Mindhunter, its crime drama series executive-produced by David Fincher and Charlize Theron, Deadline noted. The renewal for Mindhunter ( starring Jonathan Groff ( Looking; Glee ) and Holt McCallany ) had been fully expected, with preparations for a second season already underway ahead of the series' debut last month. Co-starring opposite Groff and McCallany are Anna Torv, Hannah Gross and newcomer Cameron Britton, who portrays serial killer Ed Kemper on the series.

Desperate Housewives alumna Nicollette Sheridan is joining the cast of the CW's Dynasty reboot, Deadline reported. Sheridan will play Alexis Carrington, the first wife of Blake Carrington and mother to Fallon and Steven—the role Joan Collins played in the original series. She will return unexpectedly to their world, challenging Blake's marriage to Cristal, seeking to reunite with her children and fighting to claim what is hers.

Pink has opened up about how she's raising her kids as gender neutral, and shared what she really thinks of Donald Trump, according to Page Six. Among other things, she has said that she does not want to impose traditional gender roles on her two children, 6-year-old daughter Willow and 11-month-old son Jameson. She also told The Sun, "What's my reaction to Trump? Simply f-cking unbelievable. There is no good stuff with him, no good stuff at all. There's zero there. I just want this part over so we can get to the clean-up operation."

Million Dollar Listing New York star Fredrik Eklund announced that he and husband Derek Kaplan welcomed twins via surrogate, according to Page Six. "Happiest moment of my life. Welcome Fredrick and Milla to the world," Eklund, 40, captioned the Instagram announcement, along with a picture of the couple smooching while holding the baby boy and girl. Kaplan, an artist, has one child from a previous relationship.

Broadway's casting directors and the Broadway League apparently are headed to court, Deadline noted. The casting directors are demanding recognition as a bargaining unit for medical and retirement benefits comparable to those provided other union-represented groups, including actors, musicians, ushers and stagehands. However, the League contends that the casting directors are independent contractors and that the National Labor Relations Board should adjudicate the matter.

A new chapter of ancient Egyptian history will be unearthed to the world with the debut of "KING TUT: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh," an exclusive exhibition celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the discovery of his tomb, a press release noted. Presented by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities, Exhibitions International, IMG and the California Science Center, the new immersive exhibition will display more than 150 real artifacts from Tutankhamun's ( King Tut's ) tomb. The 10-city international exhibition tour will debut in Los Angeles on March 24, 2018 and be on view through early January 2019 at the California Science Center.

Enigmatic R&B star Frank Ocean hinted he has new music out when he posted a 13-word statement overnight on his Tumblr page: "I made the album before 30. I just aint put that bitch out!," Billboard noted. Ocean turned 30 last month, so his comment suggests he's got a new record ready to go. Ocean has shared a string of new works this year, including "Chanel," "Biking," "Provider" and "Lens," and he guested on the Calvin Harris track "Slide."

Variety published an article about the seven biggest snubs and surprises connected to the Grammy Award nominations that came out Nov. 28. Among them were Childish Gambino's five nods, Harry Styles being shut out, no nominations for Taylor Swift's songs from the album Reputation and a Best Spoken-Word Album nomination for Bernie Sanders ( and actor Mark Ruffalo ), among other things. The 60th Grammy Awards will air live from New York's Madison Square Garden Jan. 28 on CBS.

Bette Midler recently spoke out on her claim from more than 20 years ago that Geraldo Rivera groped her, EW.com reported. On Nov. 29, Rivera tweeted in support of former Today anchor Matt Lauer after he was accused of sexual misconduct, calling news a "flirty" business. ( Rivera has since apologized. ) Following those tweets, reporter Yashar Ali resurfaced a clip of Midler speaking with Barbara Walters from decades ago; in it, she claimed Rivera and an unnamed producer assaulted her when she was set to do an interview with him in the '70s. On Nov. 29, Midler tweeted, "Geraldo may have apologized for his tweets supporting Matt Lauer, but he has yet to apologize for this. #MeToo."

Director Ridley Scott said he has no regrets about recasting Kevin Spacey following a string of sexual-assault allegations against the actor, according to Page Six. Spacey, 58, had completed filming his role as J. Paul Getty in Scott's upcoming film All the Money in the World when he was replaced by Oscar winner Christopher Plummer. Scott told Entertainment Weekly, "You can't tolerate any kind of behavior like that—and it will affect the film. We cannot let one person's action affect the good work of all these other people. It's that simple."

Pamela Anderson said Harvey Weinstein's victims should have known better —and even after a backlash against her comments, she's still not apologizing, according to Page Six. The former Baywatch actress appeared on Megyn Kelly's NBC show, telling her story of sexual abuse as a child and saying women shouldn't blame themselves for being victimized. She then seemed to contradict herself when asked about disgraced movie mogul Weinstein, stating, "I think it was common knowledge that certain producers or certain people in Hollywood [were] people to avoid, privately. You know what you're getting into if you're going into a hotel room alone."

Singer Melanie Martinez has been accused of sex assault by a former friend, who claims to have "repeatedly said no" to her sexual advances, Page Six revealed. Female singer Timothy Heller came forward with the allegations, sharing her story on Twitter about how she said Martinez, an artist who shot to stardom after appearing on NBC's The Voice, sexually assaulted her. Martinez responded to the allegations, writing on social media that although she's "horrified" by the allegations, Heller "never said no to what we chose to do together."

During a Facebook Live with his Shadowhunters co-star Matthew Daddario, Dominic Sherwood used a homophobic slur, according to NewNowNext.com . Sherwood called in to Daddario, saying "sup, f-g" before Daddario quickly shouted "Dude!" and ended the livestream prematurely. Later that same day, Sherwood apologized in a series of Instagram videos, acknowledging his behavior was completely inappropriate.

Vulture has described the upcoming movie Love, Simon ( slated to be out next March ) as a "John Hughes—style high-school movie where everyone is mysteriously attractive—this time for the gay kids out there." In the movie, based on the book Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, the closeted Simon ( Nick Robinson ) falls in love with an anonymous classmate online, while keeping his secret from his family and friends. Jennifer Garner and Josh Duhamel play his parents, while 13 Reasons Why's Katherine Langford is his best friend.

Sara Bareilles, who made her Broadway stage debut earlier this year in Waitress ( earning Tony and Grammy nominations ), will return to the musical in 2018, according to Playbill. Betsy Wolfe, who currently plays the small-town baker with big dreams, will take her final bow at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre Jan. 9, 2018; Bareilles will begin performances Jan. 16, playing a limited engagement through Feb. 25.

On The View, co-host Meghan McCain said she is not a fan of now-former Today co-host Matt Lauer, Page Six noted. "I will say, the way Matt Lauer treated Ann Curry, that's when I was done with him," McCain said. "I'm the biggest fan of Ann Curry, period. I haven't liked him since." It's been widely reported that Lauer played a role in the demotion of Curry, who infamously left Today in 2012 after assuming the anchor position in 2011. Lauer was fired from NBC with news he had sexually harassed a fellow staffer at the 2014 Winter Olympics; he has since issued an apology.

Adult-film actor Hugh Hunter recently declined several GayVN awards nominations, citing systemic racism in the adult-film industry and the addition of a segregated "Best Ethnic Scene" category for performers of color, NewNowNext.com noted. "Why were these scenes not just included in the best scene category?" Hunter tweeted. In a statement, AVN ( which has now merged the Best Ethnic Scene with Best Duo )said its goal was to give recognition to smaller studios that cater to specific tastes, similar to its "Best Bear Scene" and "Best Fetish Scene" categories.

Playwright/director Israel Horovitz has resigned from the Gloucester Stage Company in Massachusetts following allegations of sexual assault from several women, Playbill noted. Horovitz co-founded the theater with Geoff Richon and Denny Blodget in 1979. Board member Liz Neumeier sent an email to Gloucester Stage members Nov. 30 explaining that the staff had been contacted by a reporter at the New York Times with news of allegations against Horovitz from nine women.

Less than three weeks after Andrew Kreisberg—co-creator/executive producer of the CW's DC series The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow and Arrow—was suspended from his duties over allegations of sexual harassment, he has been fired by the studio, Warner Bros. TV Group, according to Deadline. Kreisberg has been one of the top lieutenants of Greg Berlanti, architect of the CW DC universe, whose company Berlanti Prods. produces all those series.

Fran Drescher is considering a reboot of her hit show The Nanny, Page Six noted. "As far as a reboot goes, I would be open to it if somebody wanted to do it," Fran Drescher told Closer Weekly. "But if nobody wants to do it, then I'm currently trying to develop something else." The show ended in 1999.

After teasing the collaboration on Instagram, Ed Sheeran released his remix of "Perfect," featuring Beyonce, Variety noted. This marks the third time Sheeran and Beyonce have teamed musically. In 2015, they performed a tribute to Stevie Wonder at "Songs in the Key of Life: An All-Star Salute" and, later that year, sang a rendition of "Drunk in Love" at Global Citizen Festival.


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