Quotables: Billy Porter, Robin Roberts, Ivanka Trump, Cynthia Nixon

Billy Porter on the red carpet at this year’s Academy Awards

Billy Porter on his red carpet-stopping tuxedo dress: “Now I’m in a space where, being on Pose, I’m invited to red carpets and I have something to say through clothes. My goal is to be a walking piece of political art every time I show up. To challenge expectations. What is masculinity? What does that mean?”

GMA’s Robin Roberts interviews Empire star Jussie Smollett

GMA journalist Robin Roberts on her interview with Jussie Smollett: “I’m a black gay woman, he’s a black gay man. He’s saying that there’s a hate crime, so if I’m too hard, then my LGBT community is going to say, ‘You don’t believe a brother,’ if I’m too light on him, it’s like, ‘Oh, because you are in the community, you’re giving him a pass.’ It was a no-win situation for me.”

Ivanka Trump

Ivanka Trump joked recently about how hard it is to be her: “The press seems to think it’s ironic that I, born of great privilege, think people want to work for what they are given. As if being Donald Trump’s daughter isn’t the hardest job in the world.”

Cynthia Nixon

Sex in the City star Cynthia Nixon on Vice President Mike Pence: “The fact that Pence does vile, hateful things while well-coiffed and calm doesn’t make him decent; it makes him insidious and dangerous. Respecting each other’s rights and humanity is what makes us civilized — not keeping a civil tone while doing the opposite.”

Jussie Smollett Speaks To GMA About Alleged Late Night Attack

‘Empire’ star Jussie Smollett speaks to GMA about alleged gay bashing

In his first interview since he told police he had been the victim of a late night attack in Chicago, actor/singer Jussie Smollett says he’s disappointed some doubt his story.

“I have to acknowledge the lies, and the hate,” the Empire star told Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts. “And it feels like if I had said it was a Muslim, or a Mexican, or someone black, I feel like the doubters would have supported me much more – a lot more.”

“And that says a lot about the place that we are in our country right now,” he added.

Police continue to investigate the suspected hate crime that Smollett says happened on January 29 around 2 a.m. as he left a Subway restaurant.

The 36-year-old actor says two men yelled homophobic and racial slurs to get his attention, then put a noose made out of white rope around his neck, poured a liquid on him Smollett says was bleach, and then beat him. Smollett says the men yelled, “This is MAGA country” during the attack.

He was later treated for bruised ribs and injuries to his clavicle bone at a hospital.

Smollett says he thought if he told the truth, then, “That’s it – that’s the truth.” But, then as he began to hear doubters, he came to feel, ”Oh, it’s not necessarily that you don’t believe that this is the truth, you don’t even want to see the truth.”

“For me, the main thing was the idea that I somehow switched up my story, you know? And that somehow maybe I added a little extra trinket, you know, of the MAGA thing,” Smollett told Roberts. “I didn’t need to add anything like that. They called me a fag, they called me a n*gg*r. There’s no which way you cut it. I don’t need some MAGA hat as the cherry on top of some racist sundae.”

He explains he didn’t immediately call the police out of a sense of pride, saying, “We live in a society where, as a gay man, you are considered – somehow – to be weak, and I’m not weak. And we, as a people, are not weak.”

When asked why he thought he was targeted, Smollett surmises it’s because, “I come really really hard against 45. I come really really hard against his administration.”

Smollett says he believes the image of two people found on surveillance cameras by the police are his attackers, saying “I don’t have any doubt in my mind that that’s them – never did.”

And moving forward, he says he “will never be the man that this did not happen to. I am forever changed.”

And Smollett has a message for the LGBTQ community. “I want a little gay boy, who might watch this to see that I fought back.”

“Learn to fight; learn to be a fighter,” he continued. “I’m not advocating violence, at all. If you are going to die, fight until you do. Cause if you don’t fight, you have no chance.”

Shortly after Smollett’s interview aired, Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi tweeted that authorities have found the persons of interest captured on surveillance cameras around the time of the alleged attack and they are being questioned.

Guglielmi emphasized the two are “not considered suspects at this time as they are currently being questioned by detectives.”

He added, “We remain in communication with the alleged victim.”

Robin Roberts Throws Omarosa Shade – “Bye Felecia”

Omarosa Manigault Newman

Yesterday I reported on the firing of reality TV personality Omarosa Manigault Newman from her position in the Trump administration.

Today, Omarosa made the rounds of news shows denying the reports she was forcibly removed from the White House grounds. As usual with the former TV villainess, there’s more and more drama surrounding her even as she exits.

But the best part of the Omarosa departure was a short comment this morning on Good Morning America.

At the end of the segment wherein Omarosa tried to preface some future media attention saying she has “quite the story to tell,” Robin Roberts threw some serious shade with a subtle “Bye, Felecia.”

Delicious.

Watch below.

Quote of the day: Robin Roberts

Good Morning America host Robin Roberts in an interview with Good Housekeeping on coming out:

“Shortly after I posted about my relationship with Amber on Facebook last year, I showed a picture of us with my niece — who’d gotten married in Baton Rouge, LA — on GMA. It was like a beautiful family picture. I was so moved that people got it and said, ‘You’re happy.’ Others, though, were asking, ‘Why didn’t you say something about her before? Why are you only recognizing her now?’

“News flash: Some people like their anonymity. This is what’s right for me. Love is love, and I’m grateful to have that.

“Sometimes there’s a stigma attached to how people view you if you’re living a certain way. But I don’t care — you gotta live your life. You gotta find what happiness is and what it means for you, and you can’t get caught up in what someone is saying about you on Twitter. You don’t go through a year like I did to not be happy and not make your own choices.”

CNN Anchor Don Lemon on why it’s still important to “come out”

Via Mediaite – CNN’s Don Lemon ended OutFront on Monday night by talking about Robin Roberts coming out and why it’s important for other famous people to publicly come out too. Lemon said, “Do people really need to do it anymore? The answer is yes.”

He spoke of his own struggles coming out to people close to him, and then coming out publicly years later, saying he was fearful at how the news would be received by viewers and others.

Lemon said he was “afraid of people like Phil Robertson who claim to love everyone while simultaneously thinking that everyone’s love is unequal.”

I’m thankful we have public figures like Don Lemon, Robin Roberts and Thomas Roberts to be out front and public with who they are both professionally and personally.

Great way to end the year knowing folks like this represent me in some way.

Forward.


Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts comes out

Robin Roberts on her return to Good Morning America this past January

GMA’s Robin Roberts came out today in a post on her Facebook page expressing her gratitude for the support she experienced this year during her health crisis:

Flashback 12/29/12….Hard to believe this was 1 year ago today..when I reached a critical milestone of 100 days post transplant…and KJ was finally allowed to come back home.

Reading this comforts me and I hope the same for you: “If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.”

At this moment I am at peace and filled with joy and gratitude.

I am grateful to God, my doctors and nurses for my restored good health.

I am grateful for my sister, Sally-Ann, for being my donor and giving me the gift of life.

I am grateful for my entire family, my long time girlfriend, Amber, and friends as we prepare to celebrate a glorious new year together.

I am grateful for the many prayers and well wishes for my recovery. I return every one of them to you 100 fold.

On this last Sunday of 2013 I encourage you to reflect on what you are grateful for too.

Wishing you a Healthy and Happy New Year.

Peace, love, and blessings to all..XO

The 53 year old anchor has reportedly been with her girlfriend, Amber Laign is a licensed massage therapist from the San Francisco Bay Area, for ten years.

ABC News issued this statement of support: “We love Robin and Amber, who we adore and have all known for a long time. We were so touched by Robin’s Facebook message today and so thankful for all the loving support she has in her life.”

Roberts joins Jodie Foster, Wentworth Miller, Maria Bello, Jason Collins, and Tom Daley — among others — in the “celebrity ‘coming out’ class of 2013.

Roberts took a leave from GMA last year after being diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome, which can be caused by chemotherapy.

After sharing her diagnosis on the air, the National Marrow Donor Program reported an 1800% increase in donors. Roberts returned to GMA in January of this year (see the above pic from her first day back).

On a personal note, my husband Michael has booked many guests on GMA and he is always quick to mention to people how warm and professional Robin is to work with.

Thanks Robin for your courage and grace.

Robin Roberts with her Jack Russell “KJ”