News Round-Up: September 14, 2020

Professional English Rugby player Levi Davis (image via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

Gay Star News: Professional English Rugby player Levi Davis (above) has come out as bisexual – a first for a professional player with his career still ahead of him. The 22-year-old is also famous for his other love – music. Last year he formed a band to take part in the Celebrity X Factor competition and got through to the semi-finals.

Attitude Magazine: “I realized that being gay and growing up around people and in a culture where that wasn’t celebrated – where it was reviled, in many ways – had an impact on me. Happy as I am, I’m still working out the fear I grew up with: that by revealing who I really am, I will somehow lose the love of the people who are important to me.” – Jim Parsons in a new interview with the UK publication.

Lambda Legal: A federal district judge ruled in favor of a woman who was denied Social Security survivor benefits after her partner of more than two decades had passed away. Helen Thornton and Marge Brown lived as a couple for 27 years, purchasing a home together, and raising a child. Brown passed away in 2006 of cancer years before marriage equality came to Washington state. The Social Security Administration (SSA) refused to give Thornton survivor benefits after Brown passed away.

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman

The Atlantic: “They may or may not have dirt on him (Trump), but they don’t have to use it. They have more effective and less risky ways to employ him. He has aspirations to be the kind of leader that Putin is, and so he admires him. He likes authoritarian strongmen who act with impunity, without checks and balances. So he’ll try to please Putin. In the Army we call this ‘free chicken,’ something you don’t have to work for — it just comes to you. This is what the Russians have in Trump: free chicken.” – former National Security Council official Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman.

Axios: In a new clip from an interview with Bob Woodward, Donald Trump said that his relationships with world leaders are better “the tougher and meaner they are,” naming Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as an example.

CBSN: Meeting with officials in California to discuss the wildfires that are devastating the state on Monday, Donald Trump pushed back when Wade Crowfoot, secretary of California’s Natural Resources Agency, told him the science regarding climate change needed to be looked at.

“It’ll start getting cooler. You just watch,” said Trump.

“I wish science agreed with you,” Crowfoot replied.

“I don’t think science knows actually,” Trump remarked with a smirk.

Netflix Drops Official Trailer For ‘The Boys In The Band’

Netflix drops the official trailer for the upcoming screen adaptation of The Boys in the Band which premieres on the streaming platform September 30.

From Netflix:

Based on the Tony Award-winning play that changed a generation, The Boys in the Band follows a group of nine gay men who gather for a birthday party in 1968 New York City – only to find the drinks and laughs interrupted when a visitor from the host’s past turns the evening upside down.

Starring Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto, Matt Bomer, Andrew Rannells, Charlie Carver, Robin de Jesús, Brian Hutchison, Michael Benjamin Washington, and Tuc Watkins. Produced by Ryan Murphy. Directed by Joe Mantello. Based on the groundbreaking work of Mart Crowley.

Big Emmy Nominations For Schitt’s Creek, RuPaul’s Drag Race, Billy Porter & More

The cast of Schitt’s Creek (via Instagram)

The 2020 Emmy Award nominations were announced this morning with lots of LGBTQ recognition to go around.

Schitt’s Creek garnered a whopping 15 nominations including Outstanding Comedy Series as well as Outstanding Lead Actor / Lead Actress / Supporting Actor / Supporting Actress for Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Daniel Levy, and Annie Murphy respectively.

Daniel Levy is also nominated for Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series and Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series. The show has received four nominations in past years.

VH1’s RuPaul’s Drag Race scored 10 nominations including Outstanding Competition Program and one for Mama Ru for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Program.

RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked was nominated for two trophies including Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program, and RuPaul’s Drag Race Out Of The Closet scored a nod for Outstanding Short Form Nonfiction or Reality Series.

The ‘make better’ show Queer Eye was honored with 7 nominations including Outstanding Structured  Reality Program, and Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Program.

https://twitter.com/QueerEye/status/1288152402135265280

Billy Porter was nominated again for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series for his performance as Pray Tell in FX’s Pose. Porter took home the trophy last year in the same category.

The series also received nominations for period costumes, hairstyling, and makeup, but no Emmy love for any of the transgender actresses on the show – Mj Rodriguez, Dominique Jackson, Indya Moore, and Angelica Ross.  Additionally, the show itself was not nominated for Outstanding Drama Series.

Steven Canals, one of the co-creators of the show, made note of that on social media.

https://twitter.com/theebillyporter/status/1288143439046090758

The wild and wooly Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness received 6 nominations including Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series.

We’re Here, starring Bob the Drag Queen, Eureka O’Hara, and Shangela, was nominated for Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program.

Holland Taylor was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for her delicate turn as a movie studio casting director in Netflix’s Hollywood. Jim Parsons also scored an Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series of Movie nod for his scheming talent agent in Hollywood as well. Hollywood, which reimagines the Golden Age of Tinsel Town with marginalized communities like Black and LGBTQ Americans finding success in the 1940s, received 12 nominations in total.

In the Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series category, Laverne Cox received a nomination for her appearance in the final season of Netflix’s Orange Is The New Black. Cherry Jones was nominated in the same category for her work in HBO’s Succession.

https://twitter.com/RandyRainbow/status/1288157086426312704

Political satirist Randy Rainbow was honored with a nomination for Outstanding Short Form Variety Series for his popular parodies of Broadway tunes which lampoon political figures.

HBO’s dystopian superhero drama Watchmen walked away with the most nominations, 26 in all, followed by Amazon’s stylish comedy The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel with 20 nods.

For a complete list of all nominees head over to Emmys.com.

The 72nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, will be presented on September 20 on ABC.

Out Star Jim Parsons Calls It Quits After 12 Seasons Of ‘The Big Bang Theory’

CBS has announced The Big Bang Theory, arguably one of the most successful sitcoms in television history, will come to a close at the end of the upcoming 12th season.
The Big Bang Theory star Jim Parsons

CBS has announced The Big Bang Theory, arguably one of the most successful sitcoms in television history, will come to a close at the end of the upcoming 12th season.

The reason for the series ending, according to Entertainment Weekly, is out actor Jim Parsons felt he was ready to walk away from the sitcom.

To date, the series has not only brought Parsons immense fame but 4 Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe award, starring roles on Broadway (The Normal Heart, The Boys in the Band) and in films (A Boy Like Jake, Hidden Figures).

Additionally, as the series’ neurotic “Dr. Sheldon Cooper,” Parsons has become the highest paid actor on television earning, along with his costars Kaley Cuoco, Johnny Galecki, Kunal Nayyar, and Simon Helberg, about $1 million per episode.

EW reports that had he stayed for the two years CBS was negotiating, he stood to earn more than $50 million.

“We are forever grateful to our fans for their support of The Big Bang Theory during the past 12 seasons,” read a joint statement by Warner Bros. Television, CBS and Chuck Lorre Productions. “We, along with the cast, writers and crew, are extremely appreciative of the show’s success and aim to deliver a final season, and series finale, that will bring The Big Bang Theory to an epic creative close.”

According to reports, Parsons will continue to do voiceover work for the prequel series to TBBT, The Young Sheldon.

Although he never officially came out, Parsons has remarked in interviews that he was “delighted” when the New York Times outed the actor by casually writing “Mr. Parsons is gay and in a 10-year relationship” near the end of a profile in 2012.

He married his longtime boyfriend, Todd Spiewak, last year in New York City.

The final season of The Big Bang Theory premieres on September 24.

Big Bang Theory‘s Jim Parsons On Roseanne Scandal – “How Did You Type That?”

Big Bang Theory star Jim Parsons on Roseanne's racist tweets - "How? Why?"
Jim Parsons

In a candid interview, CNN’s Van Jones asks The Big Bang Theory star Jim Parsons if Roseanne Barr went too far with her tweets.

Addressing the recent scandals with Roseanne Barr, who saw her #1 series on ABC get cancelled over racist tweets, and Samantha Bee, who got in hot water calling Ivanka Trump the “c-word” on the air, CNN’s Van Jones asked Parsons if it’s difficult to be funny without consequences in the age of Donald Trump.

“It crosses my mind every single time I sit down for an interview or speak in public, anything,…It’s hard to speak your mind,” said the 45-year-old actor from Texas.

“We’re easily offended right now, frequently about things that are probably not that important.”

Jones asked how Parsons processed the recent Roseanne debacle to which Parsons says, “I only thought about it on an emotional scale, which as ‘how’ and ‘why?’ That was my reaction to it.”

“Reading the tweet, I thought, ‘How did you type that?’”

Parsons did pivot to the current political thought regarding Donald Trump’s infamous “grab’em by the pussy” remark: “It’s ok to say certain things as an elected official right now that it’s not necessarily ok to say as an entertainer. And I find that fascinating.”

The actor also lamented the unemployment effect of Roseanne’s hideous tweets on her fellow actors and crew of her sitcom. Riffing on the current whisper campaign in Hollywood about possible spin-off series for Sara Gilbert or Laurie Metcalfe, Jones inquired if Metcalfe should be given her own show.

Parson emphatically responded, “Laurie should always be given her own show.”

From Parson’s Instagram recently:

A post shared by Jim Parsons (@therealjimparsons) on May 29, 2018 at 3:14pm PDT

Jones shifted to the issue of red-state citizens feeling locked out of the Hollywood industry to which Parsons (a native Texan) shared, “I have so many conservative traits about me. I’m such a family-first type of guy.”

And speaking of traditional values and family-first, Jones brought up Parsons wedding in 2017, “As recently as 2012, people like Barack Obama was a bit hesitant to say publicly he was for marriage equality. Five years later, 2017, you’re married and it’s no big deal. Nobody cares at all.”

“In fact, the big deal, which really took me by surprise considering how traditional I am, was how meaningful the day was,” said Parsons.

“We did it because it was meaningful, but to actually go through the wedding; to be there in front of all of your loved ones, your family. It really gave such meaning to doing this so people could bear witness to it. It meant so much more to me than I was prepared for. Especially having grown up where it wasn’t a possibility.”

One of the busiest men in show business, Parsons not only has his long-running Big Bang Theory sitcom on CBS but he opened on Broadway this week in the iconic, groundbreaking gay-themed play, The Boys in the Band.

And, his new movie, A Kid Like Jake, landed in theaters on Friday wherein Parsons plays the father of a four-year-old who enjoys “gender-expansive play” dressing up in whatever gender clothes feels best at the time.

Watch the CNN segment below and you don’t forget to check out The Boys in the Band and A Kid Like Jake, both open now.

All-Star “The Boys In The Band” Revival Opens Tonight On Broadway

(all images courtesy of The Boys in the Band Broadway revival)

I recently wrote about Matt Bomer’s nearly naked mishap during the previews of the Broadway revival of The Boys In The Band, the iconic homocentric play by Mart Crowley.

To recap, Bomer forgot to check his props before a preview performance and after showering onstage realized he had no towel to cover himself with. But being the pro that he is, Bomer soldiered on through the scene wearing just his wet, tight white briefs.

Tonight, the 50th anniversary production premieres on The Great White Way. And the production has released several promo pics – including one of Bomer in those very tight, white briefs.

The Boys in the Band is rightfully considered a landmark as the first mainstream play to explore gay men’s lives onstage, without filter or judgement. Premiering off-Broadway in 1968 in New York City, this was all before the Stonewall riots which launched the gay rights movement.

The comic drama became an instant sell-out and ran for over 1,000 performances.

The movie adaptation, released in 1970 featuring the original stage cast, continues to be a milestone in queer cinema.

From The Hollywood Reporter:

First produced in 1968, Crowley’s biting comedy drama is a groundbreaking work among pre-Stonewall depictions of LGBTQ characters, chronicling the fun and frictions that emerge when a group of gay male friends gather for a boozy birthday party in New York City. The play is loved and loathed to an equal extent, with some calling it a perpetuation of negative bitchy stereotypes and others hailing it as a breakthrough in its intimate exploration of the attitudes and behavior of gay men at a time when cultural representation was minimal.

With direction by Tony Award-winner Joe Mantello (Wicked, Assassins), the new production features an all-gay, star-studded cast led by Jim Parsons, Matt Bomer, Zachary Quinto and Andrew Rannells.

Also starring in the play are Charlie Carver, Michael Benjamin Washington, Brian Hutchison, Robin de Jesus, and Tuc Watkins.

The limited 15-week run of the production is being produced by Wicked’s David Stone and out TV producer Ryan Murphy (American Horror Story, GLEE)

Check out the newly-released pics below. Click here for the official website.

Matt Bomer, in his underwear on the left, stars in The Boys in the Band with Jim Parsons (right)
Matt Bomer (L), Jim Parsons (R)
Foreground – Zachary Quinto (L), Charlie Carver (R)

Zachary Quinto (background)

Tuc Watkins, (L) Michael Benjamin Washington (center) Matt Bomer (R)

Los Angeles: “Big Bang Theory” Star Jim Parsons To Be Honored With GLAAD’s Stephen F. Kolzak Award

GLAAD has announced Big Bang Theory star Jim Parsons will be honored with the Stephen F. Kolzak Award at the 29th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles.

Via press release:

GLAAD’s Stephen F. Kolzak Award is presented to an LGBTQ media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting LGBTQ acceptance. Previous recipients include Laverne Cox, Ellen DeGeneres, Wanda Sykes, Ruby Rose, Troye Sivan, Chaz Bono and Sir Ian McKellen.

Jim Parsons is a four-time Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award winner who has become a fan favorite for his role as Sheldon Cooper in the long-running sitcom The Big Bang Theory.

Parsons will next appear on Broadway in the revival of the iconic comic drama The Boys in the Band which opens on May 31, 2018. The landmark 1968 play was a theatrical game-changer with its focus on a group of gay men in New York City who gather for a friend’s birthday party. Parsons co-stars with Matt Bomer, Zachary Quinto, Andrew Rannells, Robin de Jesús, and, Michael Benjamin Washington in the highly anticipated production.

The awards will be held at the Beverly Hilton on Thursday, April 12, 2018. Details and ticket information here.

News Round-Up: December 18, 2017

Some news items you might have missed:

• Thanks to Boy Culture, I want to make sure you schedule a checkup with Dr. Yazan Abou-Ismail (above). Not only is he a doctor, but he’s clearly waaay hot. And he records covers of his favorite songs on YouTube. Check out his Instagram here.

• Easily one of my favorite LGBT-centric books of 2017 is TV writer Michael Ausiello’s Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies, TV writer Michael Ausiello which chronicles the journey he shared with husband Kit Cowan, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2014. Now, Big Bang Theory star Jim Parsons has optioned the film rights for the book with plans to produce and star in the flick.

• Track Palin, son of former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, is in jail tonight for breaking into his parents’ house and beating his dad, Todd Palin. When police arrived Todd was bleeding from multiple cuts to his face. This is not Track’s first brush with the police.

• GOP Senate Candidate E.W. Jackson says it’s OK to call gay people “perverted” and that homosexuality “poisons culture.”

• Gay besties Andy Cohen and Anderson Cooper revealed on a recent episode of Watch What Happens Live which one is the bigger freak in bed. Interestingly, they both agreed on who that is.

• My buddy from CHICAGO the Musical days, Nick Adams (Wicked, Priscilla Queen of the Desert), brought the holiday cheer recently when he guested with The Skivvies in New York City. For those may not know, The Skivvies are an uber-popular cabaret act that performs in their underwear. Check out Nick and his holiday medley below.

Jim Parsons Shares What It’s like For Gay Men To Fall In Love And Marry

Jim Parsons stopped by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to chat on the upcoming seasons of The Big Bang Theory and Young Sheldon. But before chatting into “sitcom land,” Colbert asked about Parsons’ recent marriage to longtime bf, Todd, and why – other than legal reasons – they waited so long to marry.

Parsons was quite thoughtful in his reply.

“I didn’t really think we cared about the act of it that much, to be honest with you. And that sounds cold in a way, but I finally thought…well, let’s have a party then for the celebration of, and we’ll go ahead and legalize this thing. And I really thought it would kind of end at that, a party feel but it was so much more meaningful in the moment to me than I predicted. And it’s been resonantly more meaningful to me afterward than I ever saw coming. I’d been an adult gay person for so long at a time when that wasn’t possible that life was ‘fine,’ you know what I mean?”

I can honestly say I had very similar feelings about getting married before hot hubby Michael and I tied the knot.

When I was actually saying marriage vows to Michael was a moment the depth and gravity of our relationship took yet another step forward that was deeply emotional – in every good way possible.

Watch Parsons talk on marriage (and sitcoms) below.