The Human Rights Campaign gave Ellen Page with its Vanguard Award last night in Washington DC and seven-time (!) Emmy winner Allison Janney did the presenting.
Since coming out publicly on Valentine’s Day in 2014, Ellen has been such a well-spoken activist, such a much more relaxed and confident public person, and a shining example of how good it is to live an authentic life.
‘There was a time when I thought it would be impossible to be out,’ she told the crowd last night. ‘Everything changed for me and I’m still feeling the effects of that moment today. And I know how lucky I am to be in this position. I acutely remember the pain I was in before I was out.’
It is so great to have Apple CEO Tim Cook be out publicly.
I was so impressed when I saw him a few weeks ago on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert and even more impressed with his appearance at last night’s Human Rights Campaign National Dinner in Washington DC.
In accepting the Visibility Award Cook said in part:
“I’m a private person by nature. Growing up I was taught that you distinguish yourself in life by what you do, not by what you say or by how loudly you say it. But sometimes you just have to be loud. People need to hear that being gay is not a limitation. People need to hear that being gay doesn’t restrict your options in life. People need to hear that you can be gay or transgender and be whatever else you want to in life.”
Remember the Lane twins, Gary and Larry, who gave us the wonderful documentary From Hollywood to Dollywood back in 2011?
Well, they appear on tonight’s season premiere of The Weather Channel’s new science/mythbuster type show called 3 Scientists Walk Into a Bar. The episode is called The Sun.
These guys are always very enterprising and also launched a new Lane Twins Adventures Channel on Vrtuo Tv. on Oct 1. Every week they will add new adventure that takes them around Hollywood and the world. (www.watchvrtuo.com)
They also continue to work on a documentary on their good friend Leslie Jordan, the Emmy Award winning actor best known for Will & Grace and Sordid Lives. They recently filmed an interview with Megan Mullally who played Jordan’s nemesis on Will & Grace.
And adding to all of that, the boys just booked another Blue Cross and Blue Shield Commercial as twins Pete and Paul (see the first one below)
I actually watched the entire show and did not nod off even once!
Things kicked off with a cold opening parodying Donald Trump and his wife and the scary part was that it was not so far off from the real thing. There was, of course, the Hillary Clinton appearance and all kinds of Miley Cyrus who really is quite talented.
I post for you here this opening by Miley in which she sings about the summer of 2015 and about all these people will “never, ever be heard of again.”
Always look forward to the annual live musical on NBC and this year it will be The Wiz.
The Sound of Music and Peter Pan have been done in previous years and it is just a great tradition that is perfect as we head into the holidays (it will air December 3).
To start getting us in the mood, I’ve included a trio of numbers from the 1978 film version which has its critics but you can’t quibble with Diana Ross singing home or her spirited duet of Ease on Down the Road with Michael Jackson. Then there’s the late, great Lena Horne singing Believe in Yourself.
And finally, I’ve included Stephanie Mills singing Home. She played the role of Dorothy on Broadway.
Sorry Shaun Cassidy. Move over Rick Springfield. You too Donny Osmond.
The absolute cutest teen idol from the 70s and early 80s was Robby Benson!
You remember Robby, right? Ice Castles, Ode to Billy Joe, One on One, The Death of Richie and Harry and Son are the movies I remember most and they left quite an impression.
Robby was not only adorable with blue eyes to die for, but he was such a fine actor with a lot of heart and soul.
It’s not like Robby, now 59, has ever stopped working since the peak of his popularity as an actor. He’s a versatile talent who writes songs, does voice acting (he was the Beast in Beauty and the Beast and in several sequels) and directs movies (Billy: The Early Years, Modern Love) and television (Ellen, Friends, 8 Simple Rules). And he’s still acting including a recurring role in the NBC series American Dreams and a role in the 2011 TV movie Brave New World.
Robby also wrote We Are Not Alone, the song that plays during the key dancing-in-the-library scene in The Breakfast Club. The woman who sang that track, Karla DeVito, happens to be Benson’s wife. They have two children. He has also taught film and theater at several universities including NYU and Indiana University.
Robby was born with a heart defect, necessitating open heart surgery when he was 28, and again when he was 42. He is an activist and fundraiser for heart research, and wrote the book, lyrics, and music for a play called Open Heart, starring Benson, which opened and closed off-Broadway in 2004. He also wrote the medical memoir, I’m Not Dead… Yet! which was released in June 2012
I was supposed to be at tonight’s Point Foundation Voices on Point Gala but had a minor physical ailment that prevented me from going.
It’s a pity I wasn’t able to see the dapper Johnny Chaillot-Louganis who just posted this photo on Facebook of himself with a couple of Olympic legends: his husband Greg Louganis and Caitlyn Jenner.
Jenner presented the Point Horizon Award, which is given to inspirational young leaders who have advocated for the LGBTQ community. Recipients of this year’s Point Horizon Award were two Point Alumni: Rhys Ernst, co-producer of Amazon’s Transparent, and Zach Zyskowski, producer on ABC Family’s Becoming Us.
Not sure how long this video will be available but if you can’t stay awake late enough tonight, here is a rough video of Hillary Clinton’s guest appearance on SNL tonight. She does not play herself leaving that to Kate McKinnon.
It’s all really well done and funny and I like how Clinton is taken to task a bit on how long she took to evolve on gay marriage.
Seann William Scott came up over dinner conversation with a friend last night – he had just seen the movie Goon for some reason – and we remembered the time more than 10 years ago when we met Seann at a movie premiere in Hollywood and I got a photo with him.
So today I as looking up celeb birthdays and whose birthday is it? Seann William Scott!
Hey, I’m not just a fan because he’s super cute and has a rockin’ body. He’s also very funny, great at physical comedy and he doesn’t mind kissing other guys on screen every once in awhile (see clips below).
Seann is filmed a sequel to Goon (I haven’t seen the first one!) and last year starred in an interesting comedy-drama Just Before I Go On as a guy on the verge of giving up on life who travels to his hometown to make amends.
Not all of his movies have been big hits as the American Pie franchise, Dude! Where’s My Car? and Road Trip but I’ve enjoyed them all the same.So yes, I have seen Mr. Woodcock, Balls Out: Gary the Tennis Coach and Role Models.
She could be the keynote speaker at tonight’s Human Rights Campaign’s National Dinner in Washington DC or do a cameo on Saturday Night Live.
Clinton chose SNL but still found a way to not snub HRC. The Democratic presidential hopeful spoke at an HRC daytime event earlier today and spoke out in favor of trans people serving openly in the military, for the passage of ENDA and said military records should be corrected for service members discharged dishonorably for being gay.
She also spoke out against Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee for his rabid support of Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis.
“We assure [gay youth] it gets better, but it can still be really hard to believe that especially when you turn on the TV and you see a Republican candidate for president literally standing in the courthouse door in Kentucky calling for people to join him in resisting a Supreme Court ruling, celebrating a Kentucky clerk who’s breaking the law by denying other Americans their constitutional rights.”
Serena Williams is out for the rest of the season and her older sister is grabbing back the spotlight.
Venus Williams, 35, won the Wuhan Open on Saturday when her Spanish opponent and fifth-seeded Garbine Muguruza retired with a left ankle injury while trailing 6-3, 3-0. It’s the 47th title of Venus’ career, her second of 2015 and brings her world ranking back up to number 14.
I’m rooting for Venus to qualify for the year-end WTA Championships which she won in 2008.
I’d never seen the movie Friends With Benefits but it was showing on cable so I watched a little bit.
It’s about Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis trying to figure out how to go from friends with benefits to a couple. Whatever. My favorite part was Woody Harrelson in a supporting role as the sports editor of GQ and he happens to be gay.
He’s over the top at times with his self-confidence but also kind of hilarious. He gets all the best lines.
One-time Who’s the Boss star Danny Pintauro who shared with the world that he is HIV positive last weekend, was interviewed about his status by co-hosts Candance Cameron Bure (Full House) and Raven-Symone (The Cosby Show, That’s So Raven).
Symone got very personal at one point when she asked Pintauro, 39, if he and his husband practice safe sex. The husband, Wil Tabares, is HIV-negative and was in the audience during the interview.
‘The question is, we’re married, and you try not to have limits in your marriage,’ said Pintauro. ‘But there have to be limits in ours. Have we always been 100 percent safe? No. But I’m undetectable. And that means it’s really hard for me to give it to him. So we’re okay with that. We have that understanding that I’m taking care of myself, he’s taking care of himself.’
Cameron Bure then read this statement: ‘If you are HIV positive and still having unprotected sex regardless of what anti-viral drug percentages that you’re using, you’re still not keeping your partner 100% safe.
Pintauro interjected: ‘Oh, of course not! There is always a risk.’
He went on to explain: ‘Right now you’ve got people saying they’re negative. And they got tested six months ago. How many partners have they had since then? … If you’re saying to your partner, “I’m undetectable that means you’re taking care of herself.” You know you’re doing everything you can and being as healthy as you can.’
Pintauro has quit his job as a manager of a PF Chang restaurant and says he wants to spend a year spreading the word about the dangers of crystal meth and HIV.
‘I don’t want to be a hero, I don’t want to be the role model,’ he said. ‘I want to be the example. I want to be the example of what can happen if you get into drugs, if you’re being promiscuous, if you’re not taking care of yourself, if you’re not being checked, if you’re not living a healthy, responsible lifestyle.’
Danny Pintauro is in the middle of quite a media whirlwind this week that continues today with an appearance on The View then HuffPost Live.
Before last weekend’s episode of Oprah Winfrey’sWhere Are They Now? thrust him back into the spotlight, we heard very little from the former Who’s the Boss star.
Danny has also been talking this week about his decision to go public about being HIV positive on such shows as Entertainment Tonight and E! News Daily.
On Wednesday night, Danny posted a column on Facebook that he wrote before the Oprah appearance. He shares why he’s decided to become an activist at the age of 39 and what he hopes to accomplish.
‘I can’t pretend to call myself an activist … yet,’ he writes.
‘For the past fifteen years I would say I was one step above ‘neutral’ when it comes to being an ‘activist’ — especially when it comes to issues with the LGBTQ community…. For many of those years I was too lost in my own life crisis’s (note the plural) to spend much time worrying about the ‘greater good.’ For instance: a lot of the time I was worried about paying my bills or having my power turned off because I couldn’t pay my bills, for most of that time I was trying to figure out who I wanted to be when I grew up, for almost all of that time I grappled with being HIV positive, and for some of that time I grappled with meth…. But for every moment of the last fifteen years I felt like figuring me out was more important.’
Danny came out in 1997, five years after Who’s the Boss had ended its eight year run on ABC.
‘But at that time, only a small handful of celebrities had already come out, I was trying not to drown in my classes at Stanford, my parents were less than cooperative, I was barely grasping what it meant to NOT be a child celebrity, and I barely knew what being gay meant for ME … not a good combination to become a ‘Beacon of Light’ or ‘Activist.’ I regret that.’
But now he’s ready: ‘ … The fates allow everything to fall together in just the right way to make it clear to you that the time is finally right. I have a husband who is negative and loves all of my baggage, I’m finally happy, I’ve been financially secure for two plus years, I’m 100% comfortable with being positive, and I’m ready to take on the ‘greater good.’
A lot of people were happy for 83-year-old Joel Grey when he decided to publicly come out as a gay man earlier this year.
It’s never too late!
According to the Oscar winner’s daughter, Dirty Dancing star Jennifer Grey, there’s no one happier about it than her father himself.
‘He’s a lot more gay! she joked this week at the premiere of her new series Red Oaks. ‘The truth is, he’s a lot happier. He feels very light, his energy feels light and joyful.It feels like there’s just more of a skip in his step. And it just feels like he’s alive.’
She added: ‘When he came out, I was so thrilled for him and for anybody who is able to fully be themselves without having any secrets and without having to make any excuses and without having any loss of self-esteem, and just declare, this is who I am.’
Joel Grey won the Oscar and Tony for playing the Master of Ceremonies in Cabaret on Broadway and in the 1972 film version. He was married to actress Jo Wilder for 24 years and are the parents of Jennifer and son James Grey, who is a chef. They divorced in 1982.
He was at the Red Oaks event in support of his daughter and said of life since coming out:
‘No different! I’m the same guy. I’m pretty happy.’
Last week, had dinner with a friend at The Kitchen, one of my favorite restaurants in Silver Lake. After, we went next door to have a drink at Akbar.
While there, we ran into this handsome young actor named Jason Looney who I had also seen several times just a few days earlier at the Cinema Diverse Film Festival in Palm Springs.
Jason should be familiar to eagle-eyed viewers of Days of Our Lives as a guy named Jason who works behind the bar at Sonny and Chad’s club. His lines usually are limited to something like, “Sonny, Will was looking for you.”
But he’s on long enough for you to say: ‘Who is the cute blond guy behind the bar?’
We got to see a lot more of Jason on his popular web series Not Looking which recently wrapped its second season. Jason is not only one of the show’s stars, he also wrote, directed and produced the episodes.
You gotta respect someone who makes things happen for himself. (You can see Not Looking episodes HERE).
As Jason works on his own projects, he has also done several TV guest spots on such shows as Devious Maids, Shameless and One Tree Hill.
Good luck to Jason in all he does – hope to run in to him again sometime soon!
President Barack Obama stepped out today to make remarks about what is the 15th mass shooting of his presidency. It took place this morning at Umpqua Community College in Oregon and left ten dead and another seven wounded.
With less than 16 months left in his presidency, Obama can speak his mind and he certainly did so today. Above are his full remarks, below are some excerpts:
“This is a political choice that we make to allow this to happen every few months in America,” the President told reporters. “We collectively are answerable to those families who lose their loved ones.”
“Somehow this has become routine. The reporting is routine. My response here at this podium ends up being routine,” a clearly frustrated president said. “We’ve become numb to this.”
“We’ve talked about this after Columbine and Blacksburg, after Tucson, after Newtown, after Aurora, after Charleston,” he continued, rattling off the names of cities where other mass shootings have taken place. “It cannot be this easy for someone who wants to inflict harm on other people to get his or her hands on a gun. … There is a gun for roughly every man woman and child in America…How can you with a straight face make an argument that more guns make us safer?”
Cutie pie Nick Jonas is already all the rage with gay fans and has only become more popular since he began portraying gay men on two different TV series.
While he has acknowledged consciously courting gay fans when it comes to his music, Jonas claims he’s not that calculated when it comes to choosing acting roles.
His roles are ‘not based on whether the character is gay or straight, but about what the story is and what the audience is going to get out of it,’ Jonas tells USA Today.
He is playing two very different kind of gay men. On Fox’s Scream Queens, Jonas plays a preppy college student while on Direct TV’s Kingdom, he plays a deeply closeted fighter.
‘In the case of Scream Queens, there’s comedy within the role and I think at its core it really is a social commentary about stereotypes and breaking down some of those barriers. (Creator) Ryan Murphy obviously does that so well.’
Of Kingdom he says: ‘My character is going through a really different journey where he’s struggling with who he is. I think that’s a highly relatable story line that a lot of my fans, both gay and straight, have come and told me that that’s been incredibly important for them: to see the journey he’s on and to know they’re not alone, whatever it is that they’re going through in their life that makes them feel different or strange. There’s real peace and a community and a story being told that feels honest and grounded.’