Zachary Quinto & Billy Porter Cast As Gay Parents In Disney Series

Billy Porter and Zachary Quinto
Billy Porter and Zachary Quinto
L-R Billy Porter and Zachary Quinto (images via Instagram/Depositphotos)

Out actors Billy Porter (POSE, Kinky Boots) and Zachary Quinto (Star Trek, The Boys in the Band) are joining the cast of the upcoming reboot of Disney’s The Proud Family.

The original series ran on Disney Channel from September 2001 to August 2005 with a 14-year-old African-American protagonist named Penny Proud.

The new series, titled The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder, will stream on Disney+ and pick up with the straight A student and her coterie of friends.

As part of the new crew, Porter and Quinto will voice the roles of Randall Leibowitz-Jenkins and Barry Leibowitz-Jenkins, respectively. The pair will play mixed-race adoptive parents to 14-year-old activist Maya Leibowitz-Jenkins, to be voiced by Keke Palmer.

The animated characters of Barry and Randall Leibowitz-Jenkins
The animated characters of Barry and Randall Leibowitz-Jenkins (image via Disney)

Plus, EJ Johnson (Rich Kids of Beverly Hills) will voice the role of Michael Collins, Penny’s bestie who is described as “a non-conforming trendsetter serving fierce looks at school and on the basketball court” by EW.

The animated character of Michael Collins
The animated character of Michael Collins (image via Disney)

The new series is slated to launch on Disney+ in 2022.

In the meantime, you can catch Porter in the final season of FX’s acclaimed series POSE currently airing new episodes on Sundays. And Quinto can be heard as the voice of the Robot on the Amazon Original adult animated series, Invincible.

News Round-Up: February 17, 2021

Promo photo for 'RuPaul's Drag Race'
Promo photo for 'RuPaul's Drag Race'
Promo photo for ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’

Some news items you might have missed:

NewNowNext: A new documentary special, RuPaul’s Drag Race: Corona Can’t Keep A Good Queen Down, takes fans behind the scenes to see how the Emmy Award-winning series pulled off shooting a new season amid COVID-19.

Broadway Cares: The fan-inspiring, steamy stream of ABC Daytime: Back on Broadway, a nostalgic evening of song and conversation with the stars of All My Children, One Life to Live and General Hospital, raised a stellar $130,565 to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, the philanthropic heart of Broadway.

Kenneth-in-the-212: It’s Wrestle Wednesday over on KIT212 – click over to see this week’s athletic twunk.

(image via kenneth-in-the-212)

Washington Blade: Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) signaled he would oppose the Equality Act, legislation to expand the prohibition on anti-LGBTQ discrimination under federal law, unless Christians get a carve-out to discriminate based on religious grounds.

Revry: The queer streaming platform celebrates Black History Month with an entire February calendar highlighting incredible Black Queer content made by and for the community. Check out the 2019 film Trade which tells the tale of two men, one a streetwise hustler, the other a straight-laced lawyer, who meet and form a relationship that brings to light who they really are.

Disney: Academy Award® winner Emma Stone (La La Land) stars in Disney’s Cruella, an all-new live-action feature film about the rebellious early days of one of cinemas most notorious – and notoriously fashionable – villains, the legendary Cruella de Vil. Due out May 2021.

NBC News: Tim Boyd, mayor of Colorado City, Texas, resigned after lashing out at constituents who have been paralyzed by this week’s devastating cold snap. In a Facebook post, Boyd told town residents to stop complaining about the cold weather that has left millions across Texas stranded without power. “No one owes you or your family anything; nor is it the local government’s responsibility to support you during trying times like this! Sink or swim, it’s your choice!”

CNN: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell reportedly laughed about Donald Trump’s recent attack statement and has no plans to engage the former President. He’s done talking Trump, with plans to focus on push to take back Senate and focus on Biden agenda. “He’s moving on,” one source said.

Disney+ Releases Adorable Animated Short Film ‘Out’

In advance of Pride month, Pixar Studios has released an adorable animated short film that tells the tale of a young man coming out to his parents.

The nine-minute short, titled Out, is the story of Greg who is getting ready to move in with his boyfriend Manuel. The film’s conflict?  Greg hasn’t come out to his family.

While packing to move, his parents unexpectedly show up to help. Aided by his trusty fairy god-pets, Greg has to figure out how to handle THE moment.

The short is written and directed by Steven Clay Hunter, a longtime animator for Pixar whose past credits include A Bug’s Life, Finding Nemo, Toy Story 2, and The Incredibles.

While there have been queer characters in supporting roles in past Disney projects, this is apparently the first time a gay character has taken the lead in a Mouse House release.

Longtime readers know that, due to my short attention span, I’m a fan of short-form content 🙂

You can check out the super-cute teaser below. The full nine-minute short is currently streaming on Disney+.

Broadway Mega-Hit ‘Hamilton’ Will Stream on Disney+ July 3

Broadway fans are about to lose their minds!

The filmed version of the mega-hit musical Hamilton – originally scheduled to hit theaters on October 15 – will now premiere on Disney+ on Friday, July 3.

The televised version was shot over three days in July 2016 with the original Broadway cast.

Squee!!!

Lin-Manuel Miranda, the show’s creator, and Bob Iger, executive chairman of The Walt Disney Company, made the surprise announcement Tuesday on “Good Morning America.”

‘Disney On Broadway’ Charity Streaming Event Cancelled Over Musicians’ Fees

Back in November, Disney celebrated 25 years on Broadway with a charity concert features songs and artists from the many shows produced by the Mouse House on the Great White Way.

The concert event, produced by Disney, served as a charity fundraiser for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS bringing in over $570,000 to help folks.

Broadway Cares, which has been raising money for a COVID-19 assistance fund, sought to stream performances from the concert this coming Monday with actor Ryan McCartan weaving in interviews between performances.

And then a snag occurred.

From the NY Times:

Actors’ Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA, the unions which represent actors and stage managers, agreed to allow the streaming of the concert without fees, but the American Federation of Musicians, which has been focused on winning greater compensation for streamed content, did not.

“Members of the American Federation of Musicians are suffering from the sudden cancellation of all work as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak,” the union’s international president, Ray Hair, said by email. “During the height of this crisis, Disney Theatrical has come to us asking to stream media content without payment to the musicians involved in the production. Especially now, with zero employment in the entertainment sector, the content producers should care enough about the welfare of those who originally performed the show to see to it that they are fairly compensated when their work is recorded and streamed throughout the world.”

“I understand being told no,” Tom Viola, the organization’s executive director, said in a statement. “When that happens — and it does — I can usually see why or understand the extenuating circumstances. It never feels simply meanspirited. This was different and the result, particularly now, is heartbreaking.”

Broadway Cares shares that, if forced to pay the musicians for an already recorded concert, the organization would have to pay the other unions.

Additionally, Broadway Cares has already given $50,000 this year to musicians’ assistance programs and offered to give another $25,000 to a musicians’ emergency fund, which Viola said would be more than the value of the payment Hair was seeking.

But Hair refused that offer, saying he wanted the 15 musicians, who were paid in November for their efforts then, paid their streaming rights.

You can check out a short montage of performances from the November concert event below.

Musical Goodness: Disney Stars Perform Stunning Virtual “Go The Distance”

Please stop and enjoy the musical goodness…

From Good Morning America, nine current and former Disney on Broadway cast members virtually perform Alan Menken’s “Go the Distance” to honor food bank workers, volunteers and struggling families on ABC’s “Day of Hope.”

The coronavirus pandemic has infected more than 400,000 people and killed at least 13,000 in the United States so far.

Another serious consequence of the outbreak: food insecurity.

With sky-rocketing unemployment and millions of children unable to receive free or reduced-price school lunches, more people are now facing hunger because of this crisis, according to Feeding America, the largest hunger-relief organization in the U.S.

Due to this crisis, ABC is launching Day of Hope, in partnership with Feeding America, to highlight food banks and food pantry personnel working on the front lines, and to share food resources with all Americans who need it.

Feeding America officials report they are seeing a massive increase in demand. Approximately 37 million people are food insecure, including 11 million children and 5.5 million seniors.

Learn more about Feeding America’s work and get involved at FeedingAmerica.org/FeedTheLove.

They are all exquisite talents, but I do love me some Heather Headley…

(h/t to Larry at TheOUTfront.com)

Broadway Cares Fundraiser Will Celebrate 25 Years Of Disney On Bway

Guest post by Lawrence Pfeil, Jr. of TheOUTFront.com

For three decades, BroadwayCares/EquityFightsAIDS has been at the forefront of the entertainment industry’s response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic raising over $300 million and supporting more than 450 health organizations.

During that time, Disney Theatrical Productions arrived on Broadway becoming a leading player and champion in their vital work raising more than $18M for the nonprofit.  Nine Broadway productions later, Disney and BC/EFA will share the stage of the New Amsterdam Theatre for one night only, on November 4th at 8 pm “Celebrating 25 Magical Years of Disney on Broadway.”

The benefit concert, produced in partnership with Disney Theatrical Productions, will feature beloved songs from Aida, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Frozen, The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Mary Poppins, Newsies, Tarzan and a few surprises along the way. This unforgettable evening is set to feature a star-studded lineup of Broadway favorites to be announced in the coming weeks.

From the BC/EFA website, Thomas Schumacher, president and producer of Disney Theatrical Productions and executive vice president of Broadway Cares’ Board of Trustees is quoted,

“Broadway Cares rose from a time of crisis and need to become an essential part of the Broadway landscape. It would be hard to imagine our community without the essential resource that is Broadway Cares.

“Direct support to The Actors Fund as well as an extraordinary array of grants to service organizations here at home, around the country and as far away as South Africa, is only possible because of the extraordinary efforts of Broadway Cares working side by side with theatre professionals throughout the Broadway community.

“This special evening allows our Disney on Broadway family to both express our deep thanks and to raise much-needed funds for Broadway Cares.”

Individual tickets start at $100. VIP tickets include a post-performance reception with the stars. The Backstage & Beyond package offers exclusive dress rehearsal access on the day of the show, a backstage tour, dinner with members of the company and the post-performance reception. Sponsorship opportunities are also available.

Purchase tickets HERE 

Support BC/EFA’s life-changing and lifesaving work HERE

Here are just a few of our favorite moments from 25 years of Disney on Broadway!

From the show that started it all, the OG Beast, Terrence Mann sings “If I Can’t Love Her” from Beauty and the Beast:

You know we love a strong black woman who can sang, and Heather Headley’s Tony Award-winning star turn in Aida is a throw down.

Still the pride of Broadway after 22 years, The Lion King has been described “like being in a dream awake.”  But audiences don’t get to see the breathtaking, “Circle of Life” in a full 360 experience like this.

Goosebumps: Standby

Goosebumps: GO

Disney CEO: It Will Be ‘Difficult’ To Continue Filming In Georgia If Abortion Law Takes Effect

Bob Iger, Disney Chief Executive

Georgia’s new abortion ban could cost the state dearly as Bob Iger, Disney’s chief executive, told Reuters that continuing to film in the Peach State would be “very difficult” were the law to go into effect.

“I rather doubt we will,” Iger said during an interview at Disneyland. “I think many people who work for us will not want to work there, and we will have to heed their wishes in that regard. Right now we are watching it very carefully.”

Should the law takes effect, “I don’t see how it’s practical for us to continue to shoot there,” he added.

Reuters notes that, thanks to a lucrative tax credit offered by the state, the film and television industry has created 92,000 jobs in Georgia, and at least 455 productions were shot there in 2018.

And these aren’t just small indie projects.

Disney’s billion-dollar blockbusters Black Panther and Avengers: Endgame were filmed in Georgia.

Netflix has also announced they are re-thinking their production schedule in Georgia.

Podcast: Trolls Bungle Fake Buttigieg Smear, Mormon Valedictorian Comes Out At Graduation; 2019 Tony Award Nominations

In this week's podcast:  • GOP trolls attempt to smear Mayor Pete Buttigieg  • A valedictorian at Brigham Young University comes out during his graduation speech  • The president of Brazil told gays not to come to his country  • Disney cancelled its award-winning LGBTQ-inclusive series Andi Mack  • The 2019 Tony Awards nominations are out including a Special Tony Award for Judith Light for her LGBTQ advocacy  All that and more in this episode of The Randy Report podcast.

In this week’s podcast:

• GOP trolls attempt to smear Mayor Pete Buttigieg

• A valedictorian at Brigham Young University comes out during his graduation speech

• The president of Brazil told gays not to come to his country

• Disney cancelled its award-winning LGBTQ-inclusive series Andi Mack

• The 2019 Tony Awards nominations are out including a Special Tony Award for Judith Light for her LGBTQ advocacy

All that and more in this episode of The Randy Report podcast.