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Showtune Sunday: All about Carol Burnett!

http://cdn.picapp.com/ftp/Images/d/f/d/1/PicImg_5th_Annual_TV_cc7c.jpg?adImageId=12162720&imageId=3847642This comedy legend is obviously best known for her classic television work on The Carol Burnett Show but she has also been a bit of a Broadway baby during her legendary career.

Carol Burnett, who had been scheduled to appear at last night’s LA Gay and Lesbian Center gala (she had to cancel due to a death in the family), made a big splash back in 1959-60 in the original Broadway production of the musical Once Upon a Mattress then returned in the mid-60s in the musical comedy Fade out – Fade In.

More recently, Miss Burnett starred in the comedy Moon Over Buffalo and earned a 1996 Tony Award nomination and three years later, returned to Broadway in the musical revue Putting It Together.

Here are a few of her musical performances starting with her versions of Ladies Who Lunch and I’m Still Here and wrapping up with her duet with George Hearn singing Do I Hear a Waltz?

Enjoy!



FILE UNDER: Showtune Sunday

Morning Man Classic: Rick Springfield!

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,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,rick.jpgWhat’s interesting about going through photos of Rick Springfield is that it’s very difficult to tell if they were taken in the 80s, 90s or in the past decade.

The singer, actor and now author simply has not aged much since the early 80s when he broke through with his biggest hit Jessie’s Girl, won a Grammy , and played Dr. Noah Drake during the glory days of ABC’s General Hospital.

Other hits followed including Don’t Talk to Strangers, I’ve Done Everything for You, Love is Alright Tonight, Affair of the Heart, I Get Excited and Love Somebody, among others.

Rick also starred in the 1984 feature film Hard to Hold and headlined two prime time TV shows: Human Target in 1992 and High Tide from 1994-97.

He returned to General Hospital after a 23-year hiatus in 2005 and appeared regularly through 2008. He also was a sensation in season three of Showtime’s Californication as twisted version of himself, a “hedonistic Rick Springfield.”

Rick is now 61 and has just released a compelling memoir Late Late at Night which details his personal and professional ups and downs including serious bouts with depression.

I interviewed Rick a few years ago when he was appearing on General Hospital in a role other than Noah Drake: rocker Eli Love. It gave him a chance to sing on the soap which he had not done previously and to promote what had been his first studio album in four years Venus In Overdrive.

I wondered why didn’t he ever sing on the show during the height of his fame?

“I never thought that was plausible,” he said. “He’s a doctor. Of course, they wanted me to do it in the ’80s. I said no. There was radio play and you didn’t need to. Plus I was fighting everyone thinking I was a soap star who wandered into the recording studio. Now I’ve been around long enough where it makes sense.”

I mention to Rick that I saw him in concert at the Orange County Fair about 10 years earlier. Even though we didn’t meet, he did walk across some chairs near me when he made his way into the audience.

He laughed.

“I love playing live,” he said. “It’s the way I connect with people. I’m a pretty quiet person in my family life. The party guy only comes out when I play live. He’s anxious to come out.”

How does he say so remarkably youthful and energetic?

“I’m very much into health,” he said. “I like to eat well; I have always worked out. But it’s mainly being passionate about what you do. The energy of the audience is really what keeps me playing. It’s as much of a high as it ever was. The fans have hung in there.”

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Actor Max Adler who plays Kurt’s bully-turned-kisser on “Glee” talks about the twist in his storyline

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With all that’s going on in the real world, Glee’s current bullying storyline could not be more timely.

We saw the bullied gay kid, Kurt Hummel, stand up for himself in Tuesday’s Never Been Kissed episode and then learn something not-so-surprising about his tormentor, football player Dave Karofsky: he’s gay himself.

Max Adler plays Dave and he talked to ZaptoIt.com about what’s going on with his character: “Before this was written, I thought there’s got to be a reason why he’s so angry, why he’s such a bully, why he’s going out of his way to make other people’s lives a living hell,” Adler tells Zap2it. “So I toyed with it. When this developed, it was kind of cool.”

“I just got the script delivered and was reading it,” adds Adler. “I thought, ‘This is getting serious. He’s not backing off. He’s going to punch him.’ And then I turn the page and it says, ‘Karofsky kisses Kurt.’ I was like, ‘What?’ I jumped off the couch. I was just as shocked as anybody else.”

When it came to shooting the emotionally fraught scene, Adler credits Colfer with setting the tone.

“Chris is one of the best actors I’ve ever worked with,” he says. “He’s just so good in every take. He gives so much.”

Kurt and new friend Blaine’s (Darren Criss) attempts to get Karofsky to own his sexuality and come out of the closet fail though. In fact, he’s angrier than ever and the bullying continues until it comes to a head at school.

“My parents get involved,” Adler reveals about the Nov. 23 episode titled “Furt.”

And even though many improbable things happen on “Glee,” Adler doubts that “Kurtofsky” will ever come to pass. “You heard Kurt. He thinks I’m a chubby guy who sweats too much. So I don’t see him being sexually attracted to me, but obviously I am to him.”

FILE UNDER: Glee

“Glee” star Chris Colfer talks to Entertainment Weekly about the letters he gets from young gay fans

http://29.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_kwkiy0AFtP1qavl3no1_400.jpgPreviously, I posted a portion of Chris Colfer’s interview with Entertainment Weekly in which he talked about his personal experiences being bullied while he was in high school and how he handled it.

His character of Kurt Hummel was stood up to his bully in this week’s episode of the show called Never Been Kissed. The bully (played by Max Adler) ends up kissing Kurt in the end.

The EW article notes that Kurt has unequivocally become the heart of the series and, amid a recent flare-up in gay teen bullying and suicides across the country, one of the most socially important characters on television.

Says Colfer: “With all due respect to my castmates, they don’t get the letters like I get – the letters that not only say ‘I’m your biggest fan,’ but also, ‘Kurt saved my life.’ and ‘Kurt doesn’t make me feel alone’ from 7 year olds in Nebraska. When I was growing up, there wasn’t a character like this. I think what makes Kurt so special is he’s finding himself in front of our eyes.”

FILE UNDER: Glee

Saturday Morning Man: Nick Beyeler!

Fotos do Nick Beyeler- fotos de homens

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This guy is so good looking it should be against the law.

I don’t know how the heck I’d never seen or heard of him before but I’m making up for lost time by sharing with you some gorgeous photos of Nick Beyeler, Double Twisting World Gymnastic Aerobics Champion, dancer, aerialist and International Mens Health Magazine cover boy.

The 35-year-old Nick won the gold medal at the World Gymnastic Aerobics Championships 2002 in Montpellier, France.

He has since been booked as a show act, to represent products and to model for companies such as Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, Nike, Puma, UBS, ESPN, Swisscom, Nestlé and Coke.

His powerful, provocative and signature performance was showcased at the Olympic Games Ceremony in Beijing 2008. He’s also part of the acrobats of Les FarFadais from France and provided the aerial action for the Holiday on Ice Tour “Spirit.”

“I’m aware that I’m quite blessed with a fully functioning and healthy body, it allows me to do cool tricks with it,” he told OhLaLa Mag in 2007. “Being able to move is a gift that we should not take for granted. It’s the moment during a  performance that I feel the most alive. I’m a constant mover, so I guess I do burn quite a few calories per hour. However, in my opinion my body is far from perfect, but let’s strive for excellence, not perfection.”

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FILE UNDER: Morning Men

“I Love Lucy” Friday has the week off!

http://goatellys.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/i-love1.jpgThe redhead will return to Greg In Hollywood next week in all her glory!

Check out my I Love Lucy Friday archives to get your fix!

FILE UNDER: I Love Lucy Friday

L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center gala tomorrow night honors Jane Lynch and includes online auction for walk-on part on “Glee”

http://www.inrumor.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/Jane-Lynch-Glee.jpegTomorrow night is the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s 39th Anniversary Gala & Auction at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza and I will be there, in my tuxedo, getting all the scoop for you.

We already know it’s going to be a star-studded night with Jane Lynch being honored with the Rand Schrader Distinguished Achievement Award, presented by Glee co-star Matthew Morrison. Lily Tomlin is hosting and also appearing is … wait for it … Carol Burnett!

This is always one of my favorite events and if I have time left over from covering the red carpet, I love checking out the silent auction items up for bid.

If you can’t make it tomorrow night in person, you can still be a part of an online auction for a walk-on part on Glee! Here’s the info: Go a New Direction in the halls of Glee’s McKinley High School with a walk-on part on Glee, plus a meet-and-greet with the cast. (Closes on Monday, Nov. 15 at noon Pacific.)

For more information on the gala or to purchase tickets, go to www.anniversarygala.org.

Walk-on parts to other shows including How I Met Your Mother, Supernatural and True Blood were also available through charitybuzz.com: but bids for those shows closed at noon today.

FILE UNDER: Benefits

Chord Overstreet, of course, turns down Playgirl

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http://cdn03.cdn.socialitelife.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/chord-overstreet-shirtless-glee-10132010-02-430x433.jpgThere was no chance Chord Overstreet was ever going to accept an offer from Playgirl to pose nude but I’m posting about his official decline of the offer because it is a good excuse for a few shirtless pics of this adorable Glee star.

E! Online reports that Chord is not going to take it all off for $100,000: “We couldn’t work it out,” a rep for the men’s nudie website tells E!. “Chord’s people decided against it.”

Duh.

He just got the break of a lifetime landing on Glee. We’re not talking about a no-talent like Levi Johnston!

We’ll just have to settle for all those shirtless shots of Chord on the show which always seems to have him in the shower.

No complaints here!

FILE UNDER: Glee

Ricky Martin’s latest book tour stop: The Ellen Show!

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The Ricky Martin express goes on!
The singing star is promoting the hell out of his memoir, Me, and his latest stop was a big one: The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
The host presented Ricky with a pair of mini track suits for his twin sons with their names in the back and the title of dad’s biggest hit: Livin La Vida Loca.
Ricky spoke to Ellen about coming out and finding the right time: “I think that everyone has to go through their own process. When you’re not ready. You’re not ready. You have to go through a spiritual path. It doesn’t mater if takes you 10, 15 years since the moment you realize where you understand who you are. You cannot be forced.”

He also talked about the bullying epidemic: “Children are being bullied because they are gay and they are committing suicide. Children are committing suicide because they are being outed. If you’re not ready, you’re just not ready.”

Here is video of Ricky’s appearance. Enjoy!

FILE UNDER: Books, Out Stars

See Cher on “The Late Show with David Letterman”

Cher Discusses Her Former Daughter's Sex Change With Lettermanhttp://2.bp.blogspot.com/_5mxw-sYc_F0/TNzGbP077iI/AAAAAAAAvmk/LN0t2wFahA8/s1600/cb1.jpgCher and David Letterman go way back.

She first appeared on his NBC show Late Night With David Letterman in the 80s and in 1988, made a wonderfully sentimental appearance with ex-husband Sonny Bono. Dave convinced them to sing that night and they did I Got You Babe.

It’s a good thing: They never performed together again. Cher went on to win the Oscar for Moonstruck while Sonny was elected Mayor of Palm Springs then later to the U.S. House of Representatives. He was killed in a skiing accident in 1998.

Cher, a star for more than 45 years, is busy promoting her new movie Burlesque. I have the video of her visit with Letterman (they are always so funny together) and some Cher quotes from last night:

On being recognized: “The only time it’s rough is like — well, the paparazzi are nightmares, so they’re never nice. They’re always just crap.”

On being mistaken for a Cher impersonator: “I went in the bathroom and I’m coming out, and a woman goes, ‘Miss, miss! Could I have your card? Because you are the best I’ve ever seen!’ And I’m so dense, I’m thinking, ‘I don’t have a card. I don’t carry cards.’”

On the audience at her Las Vegas show: “It’s been very different because the people are pretty old. And, uh, I always think, in the beginning I thought, Oh, what a pain in the ass. But then I thought: This might be the last concert they ever see.”

On her age, compared to the audience at her Las Vegas show: “The people come in oxygen sometimes…. It taught me a lot. You know, it taught me a lot because in the beginning, I was very, like, you know, I don’t wanna do this. I’m young! Then I’m thinking, I’m probably older than most of these people taking oxygen.”

On why she likes playing arenas better than Las Vegas: “I like playing arenas because the people who come there really know my material and they’re very, you know… I have this one thing, which I’m sure is true, where the guy says to his wife or girlfriend, ‘I’m going to take you to see the naked old bitch, and then I’m gambling.’ And I’m sure that that’s true!”


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German soccer star Mario Gomez says if gay players came out “they would play as if they had been liberated”

http://images.clickliverpool.com/admin/article/articleimages/1283774345-mariogomez.jpgIt’s nice to hear a professional athlete from ANY sport talking this way: Mario Gomez, a 25-year-old German soccer star who is a striker for Bayern Munich, is urging has urged gay players to come out and called for a radical rethinking about homosexuality in the sport.

UK’s The Guardian quotes Gomez as telling a German magazine that gay players would have an improved performance if they were out.

“They would play as if they had been liberated. Being gay should no longer be a taboo topic.”

“We’ve got a gay vice-chancellor [Guido Westerwelle]; the Berlin mayor [Klaus Wowereit] is gay,” he added. “So professional footballers should own up to their preference.”

I don’t know if Gomez is gay or straight but whatever he is, he’s playing some excellent ball right now.

He has scored nine goals in his last six games, including hat-tricks against Hannover in the Bundesliga and CFR Cluj in the Champions League.

Gomez told reporters: “Even I can see my own potential now. One can always improve, but I know my strengths and I know that I am complete.”

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FILE UNDER: Sports

OUT 100: Cover w/Ricky Martin, Rachel Maddow, Nate Berkus, Julianne Moore and Johnny Weir revealed!

Out1So Out Magazine has finally finished revealing its complete list of the annual Out 100.

It’s been trickling out for the past week or so and I’ve been trying to keep you posted every time a name or two was released.

The list is mostly made up of openly gay people but also included are some straight allies. Click HERE to see all of the honorees who were all photographed in one of three distinctly different gatherings — Studio 54, the Stonewall Riots, and Truman Capote’s Black and White Ball.

Out chronicles the 100 LGBT movers and shakers who made big impressions on the cultural and social fabrics of this year.

I do find it interesting to find Ricky Martin and Johnny Weir on the same cover because they have conducted themselves so differently. Ricky has been very articulate and out and proud this year – especially in recent weeks on his book tour. I’m sitting here and am not sure if Johnny has ever publicly acknowledged that he is gay.

Reading the blurb that goes along with his photo does not shed light.

The 16th Annual Out 100 Cover Award Honorees:

Ricky Martin - Entertainer of the Year. Click to move to next slide. Entertainer of the Year — Ricky Martin: “I am Hispanic, and I am a gay man, and they both struggle. Is it a big responsibility? It can be as big as I want it to be,” Martin tells Out. Embracing both fatherhood and new status as a gay role model, Martin, who opens up in his new memoir, Me, looks forward to teaching his twin boys acceptance and love and a day when he proudly walks them down the red carpet!

Diva of the Year — Johnny Weir: “Every little boy should be so lucky as to turn into me,” Weir declared unapologetically after two Canadian broadcasters suggested he undergo a “gender test” during the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. With his flair for flamboyance and commitment to glamour, Weir never shies away from controversy—or pageantry. As to the ubiquitous questions surrounding his sexuality, Weir’s opinion remains clear. “I’m not ashamed of anything, but I want it to be out there in my own words.”

Julianne Moore - Artist of the Year. Click to move to next slide.

Artist of the Year — Julianne Moore: “I don’t think a movie like The Kids Are All Right could be made if this wasn’t the way that families are living today all over the United States,” Moore states. The actress, a four-time Oscar nominee, began her activism some 25 years ago after her first experience with what would become the AIDS pandemic. Now, although she works to keep politics and career separate, Moore notes, “I choose a part because I’m interested in the role, the director, the script. I don’t go looking for something that seem political, but by virtue of the roles being intensely personal, it becomes that way.”

Rachel Maddow - Newsmaker of the Year. Click to move to next slide. Newsmaker of the Year — Rachel Maddow: Growing up in the time of the AIDS pandemic gave Maddow a compelling perspective on the state of gay activism, especially now in the age of Obama. “We continue to have a sort of lackadaisical gay political movement that has a relationship with Democrat politicians that doesn’t serve gay rights: ‘We want to be close to you.’ Beautiful! But if we’re not getting anything for that, then it’s actually counterproductive.” Now Maddow’s self-titled MSNBC news hour serves as appointment TV for anyone even halfway interested in the surreal theater of American politics amid the surging tide of anti-Washington sentiment.

Stylemaker of the Year – Nate Berkus: Oprah protégé Berkus recently became the first openly gay man to host a daily nationally syndicated television show, and the guru is not taking that responsibility lightly. “Having a daily show is an opportunity for me not to push a political agenda, but to speak out for tolerance and understanding and equality,” he notes. “I’ve been given an enormous opportunity, and I plan to use it responsibly.” Berkus has already proved his commitment to responsibility, having recently appeared on Larry King Live and delivered a compelling plea to America to stop antigay bullying.

Out Editor Aaron Hicklin says of the selections: “For this year’s cover, the five honorees all reflect major breakthroughs in the profile of the LGBTQ community, including one of the most successful pop stars of all time, a leading commentator on politics and current affairs, a wildly entertaining Olympic ice skater who captured everyone’s imagination in Vancouver this year, the first openly gay male host of a daytime TV show, and the fabulous LGBT ally Julianne Moore, star of The Kids Are All Right, a boundary-pushing movie that quietly and profoundly lent legitimacy to our relationships and families,”

FILE UNDER: Out Stars

Friday Morning Man: David Bromstad!

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_pn4uLnoGIi0/ShQCdIPJ9hI/AAAAAAAAAY8/ddx8wHQn7vo/s400/davidbromstadbeach.jpgSince I’ve always lacked the gay gene that gives so many guys a good sense of design for their homes, I sure could use a friend like David Bromstadt.

He is the winner of the first season of HGTV Design Star and went on to become host of Color Splash and Color Splash Miami.

David is 37, openly gay, and was always interested in design. But he began his professional life as an illustrator for Disney after attending the Ringling College of Art and Design at Sarasota, Florida.

He was laid off from Disney but instead of hanging his head, David started Bromstad Studio and began designing fantasy bedrooms for children. At the urging of a friend, he moved to Miami Beach and tried out for HGTV’s  Design Star.

The rest, as they say, is history!


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Carol Burnett talks about guest stint on “Glee”

http://glee-episode.info/wp-content/uploads/080510_0858_JaneLynchTh1.pngI’m really looking forward to Carol Burnett guest starring on Glee as Sue Sylvester’s Nazi hunter mom.

But even  more immediate is seeing Miss Burnett and Sue herself, Jane Lynch, together on Saturday night at the LA Gay and Lesbian Center’s 30th Anniversary Gala at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza. I’ll have more in that tomorrow.

Miss Burnett chatted with TV Guide about her Glee guest stint. Here is an excerpt:

TV Guide Magazine: You’ve played a lot of mothers before, but probably not a lot of Nazi hunters.
Burnett: Let me think back now [laughs] — this must be a first. I knew I was going to play [Sue's] mother, but somebody said, “You have to go on the Internet and see about your character!” I looked it up on the Internet and that’s when I found out I was a former Nazi hunter. I started to laugh. At least she was on our side!

TV Guide Magazine: Describe Doris Sylvester.
Burnett: She’s retired. They caught the last Nazi. You get the idea where Sue got her temperament from. This mother makes Sue Sylvester look like Mother Teresa.

TV Guide Magazine: You and Jane Lynch sing “Ohio” from the musical Wonderful Town. Who’s idea was that?
Burnett: My husband and I were having dinner and he said, “Why don’t you do ‘Ohio,’ since your character’s coming back to [the show's setting of] Ohio? You could sing, ‘Why, oh why, oh why, oh — did I ever leave Ohio?’” I talked to [Glee co-creator] Ryan Murphy — and nobody [at the show] knew the song because they’re all so young. I said, “Listen to it and see what you think.” They thought it was great. It’s funny, [later] they called my assistant and said, “We’re going to send over the music. We don’t know if Miss Burnett knows this song or not.” [Laughs]

TV Guide Magazine: Tell me about working with Jane Lynch.
Burnett: I love locking eyeballs with her because she is a consummate comedian. She knows exactly how to say it and whether or not it will land — and it does every time. And Jane can really sing. In this duet she does the harmony, so it doesn’t show off her voice the way it should. But I think they should give her major singing [scenes] because she’s really musical.

TV Guide Magazine: And the other cast members?
Burnett: All of my scenes were with Jane. [But] during a break I watched them do a tribute to “Singin’ in the Rain.” I said, “My God, it really is like going back to the good old days with Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire.” All the kids were wonderful and Matt [Morrison] was dancing up a storm and [guest star] Gwyneth Paltrow was terrific.

TV Guide Magazine: Will you do just this one guest spot?
Burnett: I’m going back again for another episode. I have no idea what I’m going to be doing, but I trust them.

FILE UNDER: Glee

Marie Osmond tells Oprah son Michael wasn’t gay

1289499052_1289415064_oprah-290.jpgI watched Marie Osmond on The Oprah Winfrey Show today and it was a really heartbreaking hour that focused on the suicide death of her son Michael.
Michael was 18 when he jumped to his death in Los Angeles last February.
There had been speculation that Michael’s depression was connected to a struggle with his sexuality but his mother set the record straight:”My son was not gay,” Marie said. “He wanted to be married and have a family and travel all over the world. And it wouldn’t matter if he was — I have a daughter who’s gay. She was the most offended by [the rumors],” she said, adding that her daughter felt they implied that “everyone who’s gay commits suicide.”

Marie revealed that Michael had previously attempted suicide in 2007 while she was competing on ABC’s Dancing With the Stars and had struggled with drugs since the age of 12.

“He promised he would never do anything like that again and I believed him,” she said. “Whatever his reality was, I do believe that there are moments when you slip into insanity and you no longer think rationally. I believe that’s what happened.”

Michael is one of Marie’s eight children and among the five she adopted.

FILE UNDER: Newsmakers

Kellan Lutz goes for a run!

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Thought you might enjoy these shots of Twilight star Kellan Lutz going to a run with his dog in his neighborhood in Los Angeles.

I know I enjoyed ‘em!

To see about a dozen more, go over to Socialite Life!

Happy Thursday!

Kellan Lutz jogging dog running black tank top ipod

FILE UNDER: Guy Candy

Isaiah Washington talks to Chicago Tribune about his being fired from ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy”

http://www.aolcdn.com/red_galleries/tr-knight-washington-400ds0825.jpgIsaiah Washington, the gifted and handsome actor whose big mouth got him fired from Grey’s Anatomy in 2007, has given an interview to the Chicago Tribune that is getting a lot of attention because he said he’d be willing to work with Mel Gibson.

I could care less about that.

The part of the interview that I am interested in has to do with the controversy that led to his being booted from the ABC show which is still going strong. He had an on-set tussle in fall 2006 with co-star Patrick Dempsey and during it, said something to the effect that he was not anybody’s “faggot” like co-star T.R. Knight.

The incident was widely reported and in the process, Knight came out publicly.

Not long after, I interviewed Isaiah on the red carpet of the 2006 American Music Awards and he downplayed the incident insisting all was overblown. Then at the Golden Globe Awards in January, I was among the members of the press standing there when the winning cast of Grey’s Anatomy was on the stage. I remember standing next to Eddie Murphy and looking over at Jennifer Hudson and Beyonce leaning against the wall because the winning cast of Dreamgirls was waiting to be interviewed next.

Then, it happened: Grey’s creator Shonda Rhimes was addressing backstage controversies (downplaying them) when Isiah stepped in front of the microphone and said: “I never called T.R. a faggot.”

Knight was standing there and he and the rest of the cast looked mortified. Washington had already issued a public apology and yet here he was denying he ever said anything. Katherine Heigl, Knight’s close friend, did a TV interview moments later and blasted Washington saying “he needs to stop talking now.” She was the only cast member to speak out publicly.

The fallout was bad for Washington post-Globes. Knight went on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and talked about it and Isiah fought to keep his job by agreeing to some kind of counseling. But by the end of the season, he was fired anyway.

Isaiah Washington's journey

Here’s what he tells the Tribune now about that time:

“At the time it was very painful, embarrassing, humiliating,” he said. “I was distraught. I was nervous. I didn’t know what my future was going to be economically because I was being taken to task for something that I apologized for, and it never stopped, and I realized I was a part of a much larger political agenda.”

That agenda, he continued, involved the reaction to his progressive character. “This is not egocentric here. Dr. Burke was Barack Obama before Barack Obama, particularly in the world of the black community.” He asserted that his elite, professional African-American character was a television pioneer, one who happened to be in an interracial romance with Sandra Oh’s Cristina Yang.

“I said my days are going to be numbered, because a lot of people are going to be unhappy about that, because my character wasn’t really supposed to be as prominent as he became,” he said. “A lot of people were really concerned with where the progression of the show was going to go.”

Asked whether these people were inside or outside the show, Washington said, “Both, but those people are no longer there. The ones that had the biggest concerns about my character, what I wore, what I said, what I did, ended up leaving shortly after I did.”

He acknowledged that this was a reference to Knight, who left two seasons after Washington, and Katherine Heigl, Knight’s friend and Washington’s most outspoken critic when everything was hitting the fan; her last episode aired early this year.

Washington said the controversy never represented who he actually is. He said he considers African-American author and activist James Baldwin and other gay figures to be personal heroes, and he played a gay character in Spike Lee’s 1996 film “Get on the Bus.” After his dismissal from Grey’s Anatomy, he campaigned against California’s anti-gay-marriage referendum, Proposition 8, and he took a photo with photographer/gay-marriage activist Adam Bouska when, he claimed, “no other African-American would support it.”

But then at the end of the interview, Washington gets another attack of foot in mouth disease:

Winding up in the courtyard outside Wright’s Home and Studio, Washington sat down to pose for a photo, got a silly grin and declared, “I feel so gay right now!”

“You can’t say things like that,” chided the photographer, Keri Wiginton.

“I just said that so you could say that,” he responded with a laugh. “I say that; people go” — he gasped.

FILE UNDER: Controversy

Happy Birthday to Carson Kressley!

http://images.broadwayworld.com/upload/26742/tn-500_img_6170.jpgThe standout member of the quintet that made up the cast of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy turns 41 today!

So happy birthday to the very funny and very busy Carson Kressley!

I wrote about Carson on the blog just last week when it was announced that he would headline a show on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. It is called Carson-Nation and will premiere in March 2011.

He is also set to co-host Your OWN Show: Oprah’s Search For the Next TV Star, which will premiere on OWN at its January launch.

Queer Eye was really only the beginning of what looks like lasting television stardom for Carson whose quick wit is always welcome on my television screen.

Have fun celebrating today Carson!

FILE UNDER: Birthdays

Designing Women Thursday: A look back at an early episode about AIDS: “Killing All The Right People”

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/4/48/DWkilling.jpg/250px-DWkilling.jpghttp://designingwomenonline.com/Photos/025_02.jpgThis is such a powerful episodes of one of the greatest shows of all time: It’s the 28th episode of Designing Women which originally aired on Oct. 5, 1987.

It was a time in the AIDS crisis when those infected got sick and died fairly quickly – so many young and beautiful people gone forever. They were infected at a time they did not know they were risking their lives with unsafe sex and it breaks my heart.

Tony Goldwyn, who went on to co-star in Ghost and many other films as well as being a respected director, guest starred as a young gay man named Kendell Dobbs in this episode. He is dying of AIDS and he’s come to the Sugarbaker design firm to ask Julia, Mary Jo, Charlene and Suzanne to plan his funeral.

This episode is filled with heart, with information, and with some touches of hate and ignorance that remain today – 23 years later. A design firm client overhears the girls talking about Kendell and goes on an anti-gay rant saying: “As far as I’m concerned, this disease has one thing going for it: it’s killing all the right people.”

Julia really lets her have it in that terminator way of hers: “Imogene, get serious! Who do you think you’re talking to?! I’ve known you for 27 years, and all I can say is, if God was giving out sexually transmitted diseases to people as a punishment for sinning, then you would be at the free clinic all the time!

Here are some key scenes from the episode written by the brilliant Linda Bloodworth-Thomason:

Thursday Morning Man: Stanislas Wawrinka!

http://www.tenisinfo.cz/img_art/img_1283/S.%20Wawrinka.jpgMy apologies for the late start today but now we’re off to the races!

Today’s Morning Man is the very talented Swiss tennis star Stanislas Wawrinka who is currently ranked number 22 in the world. He’s the kind of player the very top players never want to see on their draw sheet because he is capable of beating anyone on tour including his countryman Roger Federer. This year he has wins over top 5 players Andy Murray and Robin Soderling.

Stanislas has been ranked as high as number 9 in the world and won just under $4 million in prize money so far. He won the second title of his career earlier this year in Casablanca and made it to the quarterfinals of the US Open in September.

The 25-year-old star considers clay his best surface and was the 2003 French Open Junior Champion.

The highlight of his career so far would have to be winning the Olympic Gold Medal in doubles with Federer at the 2008 Summer Olympics. The pair were not expected to medal but put together a string of wins and took the gold. They were so excited the hugged and fell to the ground in an embrace.

It was a beautiful thing.

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FILE UNDER: Morning Men, Tennis