News Round-Up: October 8, 2021

A still from the Netflix holiday rom-com "Single All The Way"

Some news items you might have missed:

GQ Magazine UK: Billy Porter on the Actors Fund of America when he found out he was HIV positive: “They showed up for me and saved my life. I’m so grateful that there was some place for me to go where I was not shamed but instead lifted up and supported so I could get back on my feet. And now look at what has happened, all because someone cared enough to help.” Continue reading “News Round-Up: October 8, 2021”

News Round-Up: November 23, 2020

L-R Ben Lewis, Blake Lee in ‘The Christmas Setup’ (screen capture)

Some news items you might have missed:

OUT: A new poll from GLAAD shows only 14% of LGBTQ voters cast their ballot for Trump, while 81% voted for the projected president-elect Joe Biden.

The Hill: Sixty-six percent of Republican voters support President Trump running for president again in 2024, according to a new survey.  Also in the poll: 86% would support Trump calling for national unity, 38% would support Trump refusing to give up power and remain in the White House, and 46% would support Trump starting his own TV network.

Lifetime Channel: Check out the first trailer for Lifetime’s The Christmas Setup (lead photo above) – the cable network’s first-ever holiday movie centered on an LGBTQ romance. The film stars real-life couple Blake Lee and Ben Lewis, and The Nanny star Fran Drescher. Looks super-cute! Premieres December 12 at 8 pm ET.

New York Times: More than one million people were screened by the TSA on Sunday – more than on any day since the pandemic took hold in March. That number is about half of what it was in 2019, but experts are concerned that people flying to visit their families for Thanksgiving could increase the spread of the coronavirus.

Mediaite: Far-right nutjob Dan Bongino floated on his podcast Monday that he would consider running for president of the United States in 2024. Bongo has previously run for Congress three times – in Maryland and Florida – and failed each time.

Twitter: Donald Trump Jr., currently quarantining in a private cabin somewhere due to testing positive for the coronavirus, is becoming more and more erratic on social media. In this recent tweet, he asks about burning down the house for Thanksgiving…? #NotFunny

Podcast: A Cowboy Christmas Movie + News From UK, Norway, Poland & Hungary

In this episode of The Randy Report - France bans conversion therapy, Florida Republicans push "Don't Say Gay" bill, bad news for Ellen DeGeneres, Adam Rippon has good news, and the award-winning Western short film STEAM! premieres on Revry.

The Randy Report podcast delivers the week's top stories in a quick, convenient podcast - 'the 60 Minutes of gay news - only shorter'

In this week’s podcast:

• HIV diagnoses in the UK drop to their lowest levels in 20 years

Norway expands hate speech laws to protect all LGBTQ citizens

• Lawmakers in Hungary have drafted a constitutional change that effectively prohibits same-sex couples from adopting

• A citizens’ petition in Poland proposes banning Pride parades

Sarah McBride is set to become the highest-ranking transgender legislator in the country

• Out political journalist Steve Kornacki shines on Election Night on social media as ‘Korsnacki’ and ‘Map Daddy’

• Don’t miss the upcoming gay holiday romance movie Dashing in December on Paramount TV

All that and more in this episode of The Randy Report

Trailer: Paramount TV Serves Up A Cowboy Christmas ‘Dashing In December’

Peter Porte and Juan Pablo Di Pace in Dashing in December (screen capture/Paramount)

This really is the year of the gay Christmas movie!

I’ve previously reported on several holiday romance flicks coming our way including the Sony Pictures film Happiest Season premiering on Hulu, as well as Lifetime’s The Christmas Setup and Hallmark’s The Christmas House.

And now, there’s a gay cowboy Christmas rom-com on the way –Dashing in December – that looks to be a cross between God’s Own Country and Brokeback Mountain but with a much lighter touch and a whole lot more tinsel.

Official synopsis: When Wyatt Burwall (Peter Porte) finally returns home for the holidays in an effort to convince his mother Deb (Andie MacDowell) to sell the family’s Colorado ranch, a romance unexpectedly ignites between Wyatt and their dashing new ranch hand Heath Ramos (Juan Pablo Di Pace), who dreams of saving the beloved property and the ranch’s magical Winter Wonderland attraction while reawakening the spirit of Christmas in Wyatt’s lonely heart.

Dashing in December, from MTV Studios, will debut on Paramount TV on December 13 with simulcasts on TV Land, Pop, and Logo.

Hulu Makes The Holidays Super-Gay With ‘Happiest Season’

L-R Kristen Stewart, Mackenzie Davis (image via Hulu)

The new trailer for the Hulu Original Christmas romantic comedy, Happiest Season, is here and it’s adorbs.

Directed by Clea DuVall, the film stars Kristen Stewart, Mackenzie Davis, Victor Garber, Academy Award-winner Mary Steenburgen, plus a scene-stealing performance by Schitt’s Creek creator/star, Dan Levy.

From the official synopsis:

Meeting your girlfriend’s family for the first time can be tough. Planning to propose at her family’s annual Christmas dinner — until you realize that they don’t even know she’s gay — is even harder. When Abby (Kristen Stewart) learns that Harper (Mackenzie Davis) has kept their relationship a secret from her family, she begins to question the girlfriend she thought she knew.

When the couple arrives at Harper’s parent’s house, she’s introduced as that go-to status of ‘orphan roommate.’

Abby calls her bestie, played by Levy, who finds it difficult to believe folks aren’t picking up on the truth:

Levy: So her parents believe she brought home her lesbian friend for Christmas?
Stewart: Not exactly. They also think that I’m straight.
Levy: Have they ever MET a lesbian?

With fresh and funny performances, Happiest Season combines all too familiar issues like balancing your family’s acceptance, being true to yourself, and trying not to ruin Christmas.

Look for Happiest Season to premiere on Hulu on November 25. Plus, the movie features a soundtrack with LGBTQ artists like Tegan and Sara, Shea Diamond, and more.

And don’t forget the Lifetime Channel and the Hallmark Channel are also sending us LGBTQ-themed romantic comedies, so expect your holiday to even more merry and bright!

Jonathan Bennett (‘Mean Girls’) To Star In Hallmark Channel’s ‘The Christmas House’

Out actor Jonathan Bennett (photo: Sonny Tong)

Making good on its promise, the Hallmark Channel has announced one of its upcoming holiday TV movies, “The Christmas House,” will feature a same-sex couple as part of its “Countdown to Christmas” lineup.

The film will premiere on November 22 (8 EST/PST) and star former Mean Girls actor Jonathan Bennett (above) as part of a gay couple hoping to adopt their first child.

The official synopsis for “The Christmas House” reads:

“Working through some difficult decisions, Mitchell family matriarch Phylis (Sharon Lawrence) and patriarch Bill (Treat Williams), have summoned their two grown sons — Mike (Robert Buckley) and Brandon (Bennett) — home for the holidays. It is their hope that bringing the family together to recreate the Christmas house will help them find resolution and make a memorable holiday for the entire family and community. As Brandon and his husband, Jake (Brad Harder), make the trip home, they are anxiously awaiting a call about the adoption of their first child. Meanwhile, Mike reconnects with Andi (Ana Ayora), his high school sweetheart.”

Hallmark Channel faced serious backlash last December when the network pulled a commercial that featured same-sex weddings. While the cable channel quickly reversed course and began airing the spot again, the criticism led to an announcement in July that the Hallmark Channel would be announcing “LGBTQ storylines, characters and actors” in upcoming projects.

In August, Hallmark aired “Wedding Every Weekend” that included a same-sex wedding.

Michelle Vicary, executive vice president of programming for Crown Media Family Network (Hallmark Channel’s parent company) said in a statement, “Our holiday table is bigger and more welcoming than ever.”

“This year’s movies reflect our most diverse representation of talent, narratives and families,” Vicary added. “Our movies are rooted in warmth and positivity, meaningful connections, family gatherings and seasonal traditions — a winning formula we hope will bring our millions of viewers much-needed levity and holiday cheer at the end of a tough year.”

“The Christmas House” will mark Bennett’s third original movie for the Hallmark Channel. In addition to acting gigs, the out 39-year-old out has been a staple on The Food Network handling hosting duties for Cake Wars and Halloween Wars.

He’s also jumped into some reality TV competing on the 2014 edition of Dancing with the Stars and Celebrity Big Brother in 2019.

Bennett and his boo, entertainment reporter and former host of The Chippendales, Jaymes Vaughan, frequently share their (often shirtless) shenanigans on Instagram.

While we’re on the subject, let’s check out some eye-candy action for Hump Day…