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.

Teen Suicides Moved Zachary Quinto To Come Out

Zachary Quinto in ‘The Boys in the Band’ (photo: Netflix)

Zachary Quinto, currently starring in the Netflix screen adaptation of The Boys in the Band, recently shared for the first time the reason why he felt moved to come out as gay in 2011.

Quinto hit the national spotlight as a series regular in the NBC sci-fi series Heroes in 2006, which he starred in for all four seasons. In 2007, he was announced to play a young Spock in the reboot of the Star Trek film franchise.

Quinto told Variety in a recent interview that when he began his career in 1999, he was aware of the “explicit stigma’ that was attached to being an openly gay actor.

“I did feel like me coming out would have potentially had an impact on my career and it wouldn’t have been a good one,” Quinto shares.

He also recalled being out with a gay friend and running into a studio executive. After the encounter, the actor worried there were “going to be some ramifications” if he even appeared to be gay.

Zachary Quinto in 2012 (photo: Gerald Biggerstaff)

But then, in 2011, after reading the news of a series of teen queer suicides, Quinto had an epiphany.

“That was at a time when a lot of young gay kids were killing themselves around the country because of bullying,” says the 43-year-old actor. “There was a huge spate of teen suicides that were happening.”

“I just felt like I had an obligation at this point,” he added. “Having enjoyed a certain level of success, I felt like the hypocrisy was too much to bear for me to be enjoying this life that I had created for myself and not acknowledging my identity as a gay man.”

“I felt like it was actively harming a group of young people who the choice to come out could benefit.”

Charlie Carver, one of Quinto’s The Boys in the Band cast mates, also shared his own reason for coming out with Variety which involved a colleague slapping him across the face for appearing “gay” at an Emmy Awards party in 2015.

The coworker apparently criticized Carver three times over the course of the evening telling him to “get it under control.” When the young actor asked for ‘clarification,’ the man slapped Carver.

Said Carver, “That was the moment when I said to myself, ‘I can’t do this. I cannot police myself in that way.’”

The new TV adaptation of The Boys in the Band, starring the acclaimed all-gay/bi cast from the Tony Award-winning 2018 Broadway revival, is now streaming on Netflix.

In addition to Quinto, the cast includes Jim Parsons, Matt Bomer, Andrew Rannells, Charlie Carver, Robin de Jesús, Brian Hutchison, Michael Benjamin Washington, and Tuc Watkins. The new screen version is based on the groundbreaking work of Mart Crowley.

PSA: Matt Bomer, Billy Porter, Michael Urie, Harvey Fierstein & More #EraseHate

Matt Bomer, Billy Porter, Harvey Fierstein, Zachary Quinto, Michael Urie, Mary Louise Parker, Bridget Moynahan, Annaleigh Ashford and Michael Benjamin Washington appear in new PSA for #EraseHate campaign meant to combat anti-LGBTQ violence
Matt Bomer for the #EraseHate campaign

Twenty years ago, in the aftermath of the horrific murder of 21-year-old college student Matthew Shepard outside Laramie, Wyoming, The Tectonic Theater Project traveled to the town to conduct interviews with the people of the town.

Those interviews evolved into The Laramie Project, which premiered in 2000 and has become one of the most performed contemporary plays in the world.

On September 24, 2018, the Matthew Shepard Foundation and Tectonic Theater Project will present a benefit reading of The Laramie Project to honor the progress made over the last two decades to erase hate.

As part of the company’s #EraseHate campaign, a stellar collection of stars came together to help create a new music video set to a new original song, “Love Is Love.”

Directed by Sue Kramer, the PSA features Matt Bomer, Billy Porter, Harvey Fierstein, Zachary Quinto, Michael Urie, Mary Louise Parker, Bridget Moynahan, Annaleigh Ashford and Michael Benjamin Washington.

Learn more by visiting laramiealegacy.org.

Matt Bomer, Billy Porter, Harvey Fierstein, Zachary Quinto, Michael Urie, Mary Louise Parker, Bridget Moynahan, Annaleigh Ashford and Michael Benjamin Washington appear in new PSA for #EraseHate campaign meant to combat anti-LGBTQ violence
Tony Award-winner Billy Porter for the #EraseHate campaign 

(h/t TheOUTfront)

News Round-Up: June 7, 2018

(image via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

• I know, I know – It’s Thursday and shirting is hard…

• The story of the secret love affair between two of the most popular leading men of Hollywood’s Golden Age, Tab Hunter and Anthony Perkins, is heading to the big screen thanks to Zachary Quinto and J.J. Abrams.

• A Southern California mother has been sentenced to life in prison and her boyfriend was sentenced to death for the killing of an 8-year-old boy who prosecutors say was punished because the couple believed he was gay. #Good

• A new poll by Quinnipiac University shows a majority of Americans – 58% – don’t find football players taking a knee during the national anthem to be ‘unpatriotic.’

• Porn star and Donald Trump paramour Stormy Daniels is launching a new perfume and it’s name is… TRUTH.

• Season 2 of Netflix’s Queer Eye lands June 15. The Fab Five have a whole new crop of men to makeover — and a woman!

“We’re doing a lady,” says Bobby. “I haven’t done a lady in years,” responds apparent bisexual legend Antoni. Check out the new trailer below!

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)

Zachary Quinto Has No Problem With Straight Stars “Queerbaiting”

In a HuffPost Live interview on Thursday, actor Zachary Quinto sounded off on the likes of male stars like James Franco and Nick Jonas, who have been criticized for “queerbaiting” their gay fans, claiming he doesn’t have an issue with the phenomenon.

Quinto: “These guys who are, in many ways, considered very conventionally desirable, attractive leading men… lending themselves to these kinds of stories is a valuable thing for our culture.”

I personally agree with Quinto. The fact that high-level, mainstream male stars are so open to acknowledging their gay fan base doesn’t offend me at all. And it sets a tone of acceptance that I wish more major celebs would adopt.

The star also opened up about the controversy that ensued when he urged caution over the use of the HIV/AIDS prevention drug Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, or PrEP.

Quinto: “I certainly like to be a part of conversations in our culture, and I’m not particularly afraid to articulate my position or my opinion on things, and if people don’t agree with it, that’s great. That fact that the backlash initiated a conversation about [PrEP] on some level — an issue that people are really uncomfortable talking about — I feel like that was my contribution.”

Watch the clip below. For the entire interview with Quinto on HuffPost Live, click here.

Zachary Quinto Clarifies His Comments On “Laziness” Of Gays Regarding HIV/AIDS

In his recent interview with OUT for the upcoming OUT100 issue, Zachary Quinto took young gays to task for what he termed “complacency” regarding HIV/AIDS today.

He’s now issued a statement to Huffington Post clarifying the point he was trying to make.

Here’s an excerpt:

What troubles me — and what I was trying to speak to in my interview — is an attitude among (some of) the younger generation of gay men — that we can let our guard down against this still very real threat to our collective well-being. I have had numerous conversations in my travels with young gay people who see the threat of HIV as diminished to the point of near irrelevance. I have heard too many stories of young people taking PrEP as an insurance policy against their tendency toward unprotected non-monogamous sex. THAT is my only outrage.

How gay men have sex with each other was unilaterally redefined for nearly two generations as a result of AIDS. I was simply trying to assert my belief that we need to be especially vigilant and accountable to ourselves and one another at this moment in our evolution. It is a tremendous advancement in the fight against the disease that scientists have developed this particular medication. But it’s still early — that’s all.

News Round-up: November 12, 2014

Zachary Quinto

Stories you might have missed:

OUT100 cover guy Zachary Quinto calls the LGBT community “complacent” in the new millennia of AIDS

Texas state Sen. Donna Campbell looks to pass a constitutional “license to discriminate” against the gays

A federal judge has ruled Michigan cannot ban benefits for same-sex couples, even if they aren’t allowed to marry

Sting’s new Broadway musical, The Last Ship, opened to mixed reviews from the critics, so now the music legend may join the cast of the show to save the sinking “ship”

Bravo Network’s Andy Cohen doesn’t read the gay blogosphere because he KNOWS what names he gets called there

Andy Cohen

OUT Reveals 20th Anniversary OUT100 Covers

OUT Magazine’s annual OUT100 Issue celebrates “the year’s most entertaining, heroic, and compelling people, from all walks of life—including professional athletes, trans pioneers, actors, activists, designers, journalists, emerging musicians, artists, and dancers.”

2014 marks the 20th anniversary of the OUT100 with this year’s with the theme, “On the Shoulders of Giants.”

As in other years, there are multiple covers for the issue. This year OUT features fab four Ellen Page, Zachary Quinto, Sam Smith and Samira Wiley.

You can check out the OUT100 here.

Billy Porter, Jonathan Groff, Zachary Quinto and Jesse Tyler Ferguson celebrate Marvin Hamlisch

KINKY BOOTS Tony Award winner Billy Porter shared shots of himself and fellow Broadway headliners Zachary Quinto, Jonathan Groff, Jessie Tyler Ferguson and more at last night’s celebration of Marvin Hamlisch and the 40th anniversary of the birth of A CHORUS LINE.

The event was held at The Public Theatre in New York City.