Connect with us

Celebrity News

RuPaul’s 11 Emmy awards ended up the only LGBTQ big wins

There were several other opportunities to make history for LGBTQ performers which the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences passed up on

Published

on

73rd Emmy Awards host Cedric The Entertainer at the Emmys Press Preview in North Hollywood, Calif. on Sept. 15, 2021. (Photo by Danny Moloshok/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images)

LOS ANGELES – While RuPaul celebrated a historic win at the Emmys, there were several other opportunities to make history for LGBTQ performers which the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences passed up on.

Fans were extremely disappointed to see Michaela Jaé Rodriguez not win for her mesmerizing role as Blanca, the HIV-positive mother of the drag ball, House of Evangelista, in FX’s “Pose.” The popular trans actress received the nomination for Best Actress in a Drama Series– making her the first trans thespian to ever be recognized.

In a tweet, actress, producer and activist Alexandra Grey noted; “I could’ve bet all the money in the world sis @MjRodriguez7 would win! Did you hear them cheering for her? But it’s all good, that door is open! You did it!”

“Pose” didn’t win any awards at the Primetime Emmys for its final season, nor did Rodriguez’s co-star, Billy Porter, who was nominated for the third time in the lead actor category. 

It was also a missed opportunity for Bowen Yang, who was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. The breakout “Saturday Night Live” comedian would have been the very first Chinese out male to win the award. 

Other LGBTQ nominees who did not win include Hannah Einbinder and Carl Clemons-Hopkins in “Hacks,” Jonathan Groff  in the Disney+ movie musical of “Hamilton” and Samira Wiley in “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

Michaela Jaé X Billy Porter presenting at the 73rd Primetime Emmys.

A More Intimate Gathering

With Covid still prevalent throughout Hollywood, there were no large scale awards parties this year. 

​“I am very thankful that some Emmy events are back but much more private and intimate,” noted Rembrandt Flores, founder of the entertainment marketing/celebrity outreach company, Entertainment Fusion Group. 

“Although many people in our industry are hurting because of the smaller scale and budgets, we still need to be safe, diligent and cautious. I know that we will go back to larger events in 2022 and the industry will thrive once again.”

While Flores was happy to see so many LGBTQIA+ nominees this year, he hopes that the Television Academy continues acknowledging the community. “I know that this is truly important to so many young people who need to see us represented across all platforms. I pray this is not a trend but a way forward for the future.”

Gay celebrity interior designer Josh Johnson, who also runs Invision Church in West Hollywood, was equally grateful that the Emmys were in person.

 “This is my biggest event, designing the Giving Suite for the Emmy Foundation. I have collaborated with them for the past eight years. It has been challenging for anyone in the Hollywood events industry to deal with the loss of work.” 

Gay celebrity interior designer Josh Johnson (Photo by Michael Popham)

Johnson had a lengthy conversation with Rodriguez in the Giving Suite. “I thanked her for the work she was doing with the lgbtq community and she said ‘we have to stick together and continue the fight for inclusivity in Hollywood.”

An In Person Red Carpet

Trans fashion designer Leon Wu was thrilled to see more non binary looks on the Emmys red carpet. 

“I like Bowen Yang’s simple double breasted two-button tuxedo. The pattern is cut for an androgynous look and leaves room to really focus on the silver platform heels. Perfect for the red carpet.”

He continued: “And Carl Clemons-Hopkins wearing Christian Siriano was fantastic. Also, Billy Porter looked inventive and yet tasteful as usual, wearing bird wings and luxurious neckwear that only he could pull off. Fashion truly has to fit the persona for it to be worn well.”

Wu thought Rodriguez’s dress, was a highlight out of all the Emmy nominees. “This was one of our favorites, as always. The outfit has a strong soul with a soft and elegant slip leg, matching her personality and style.”

Gay celebrity stylist Antonio Soto also loved Rodriguez’ dress, noting that she looked “beautiful” in her strapless gown. “A beautiful trans woman commanding the red carpet being exactly who she wants to be is amazing to watch!” 

Soto added: “The Emmys red carpet was giving us diversity, flair and fun! Color is in full effect for all genders and the suiting came in a variety of cuts, textures, and fabrics.   Best dressed in my opinion were Michaela Coel, Issa Raye, Angela Bassett, Tracee Ellis Ross, Cynthia Erivo and Anya Taylor-Joy, Jason Sudeikis, Cedric the Entertainer and Trevor Noah. A classic tux look with a great fit is always correct Dan Levy looked electric in his blue ensemble while Cedric the Entertainer gave us Shades of Cool. Gay or straight, when you know you know.”

White Actors Sweep the 2021 Emmy Awards

The other factor that stood out Sunday at the 73rd annual awards was that outside of drag icon RuPaul and his wins and despite nearly 44 percent of the acting nominees being from the global majority, those performers were shut out.

The Hollywood Reporter observed in its headline after the show with the notation; #EmmysSoWhite.

The Reporter wrote: “[…] because very few Black people — or people of color in general — won at the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards. Although performers from the global majority comprised 44 percent of acting nominees heading into Sunday night, white actors ultimately swept all 12 lead and supporting races across the comedy, drama and limited series categories.”

Continue Reading
Advertisement
FUND LGBTQ JOURNALISM
SIGN UP FOR E-BLAST

Celebrity News

Anne Heche dead; Actor removed from life support after organs harvested

“Hopefully, my mom is free from pain and beginning to explore what I like to imagine as her eternal freedom”

Published

on

Screenshot/YouTube Inside Edition

LOS ANGELES – Actress Anne Heche died after she was removed from life support on Sunday, nearly 2 weeks after her Mini-Cooper crashed through a two-story house in L.A.’s Mar Vista neighborhood. Investigators with the Los Angeles Police Department believe she was intoxicated at the time.

She sustained a severe anoxic brain injury along with severe burns and was being treated at the Grossman Burn Center at West Hills Hospital, near Chatsworth in the San Fernando Valley.

The 53-year-old actress who was a star of films like Donnie Brasco, the political satire Wag the Dog and the 1998 remake of Psycho, had been declared legally dead under California law on Friday, however, her family kept her alive long enough to be an organ donor.

In a statement Friday, the LAPD announced that: “As of today, there will be no further investigative efforts made in this case. Any information or records that have been requested prior to this turn of events will still be collected as they arrive as a matter of formalities and included in the overall case. When a person suspected of a crime expires, we do not present for filing consideration.” LAPD detectives had previously made public that investigators into the crash found narcotics in a blood sample taken from Heche.

The actress’s family released a statement on Friday:

“Today we lost a bright light, a kind and most joyful soul, a loving mother, and a loyal friend. Anne will be deeply missed but she lives on through her beautiful sons, her iconic body of work, and her passionate advocacy. Her bravery for always standing in her truth, spreading her message of love and acceptance, will continue to have a lasting impact,” the statement added.

Heche was married to camera operator Coleman Laffoon from 2001 to 2009. The two had a son, Homer, together. She had another son, named Atlas, during a relationship with actor James Tupper, her co-star on the TV series “Men In Trees.”

Laffoon left a moving tribute on an Instagram reel in which he also gave an update on how their 20-year-old son Homer Laffoon is coping with the loss of his mother.

“I loved her and I miss her, and I’m always going to,” he said adding: “Homer is okay. He’s grieving, of course, and it’s rough. It’s really rough, as probably anybody can imagine. But he’s surrounded by family and he’s strong, and he’s gonna be okay.”

“Rest In Peace, Mom, I love you, Homer,” the actor’s 20-year-old son, Homer, said in a statement after Heche was declared legally dead on Friday.“ My brother Atlas and I lost our Mom,” read the statement. “After six days of almost unbelievable emotional swings, I am left with a deep, wordless sadness. Hopefully, my mom is free from pain and beginning to explore what I like to imagine as her eternal freedom. Over those six days, thousands of friends, family, and fans made their hearts known to me. I am grateful for their love, as I am for the support of my Dad, Coley, and my stepmom Alexi who continue to be my rock during this time. Rest In Peace Mom, I love you, Homer.”

James Tupper a Canadian actor who starred alongside Heche in the ABC television series Men in Trees, had a 13-year-old son, Atlas, with her. “Love you forever,” Tupper, 57, wrote on his Instagram post’s caption with a broken heart emoji, which shared an image of the actress from Men in Trees.

Between 1997 and 2000, Heche was also in a relationship with Out talk show host Ellen DeGeneres. “This is a sad day,” DeGeneres posted on Twitter. “I’m sending Anne’s children, family and friends all of my love.” The year after her break-up with the comedian, in September 2001, Heche recounted in her memoir “Call Me Crazy,” about her lifelong struggles with mental health and a childhood of abuse.

KTLA’s entertainment reporter Sam Rubin noted that over the past two decades, Heche’s career pivoted several times. In 2017, she hosted a weekly radio show on SiriusXM with Jason Ellis called “Love and Heche.”

In 2020, Heche made her way into the podcast world. She launched “Better Together” which she cohosted alongside Heather Duffy Boylston. The show was described as a way to celebrate friendship. 

She also worked in smaller films, on Broadway, and on TV shows. She recently had recurring roles on the network series “Chicago P.D.,” “All Rise,” and was a contestant on Season 29 “Dancing With the Stars.”

People Magazine reported that several of Heche’s acting projects are expected to be released posthumously.

These include Girl in Room 13, expected to be released on Lifetime in September 2022, What Remains, scheduled to be released in 2023, and HBO Max TV series The Idol, created by Abel Tesfaye (The Weeknd) and Euphoria creator Sam Levinson.

In her Insta post from earlier this year Heche stands between her sons Atlas, 13 and Homer, 20.

From KTLA:

Continue Reading

Celebrity News

LGBTQ ally Olivia Newton-John has died at 73

Newton-John had been battling breast cancer for over three decades, her first cancer diagnosis in 1992 when she was 44

Published

on

Olivia Newton-John (Family provided photograph/Facebook)

SANTA BARBARA – In an announcement on Facebook Monday, John Easterling, the husband of singer and actress Olivia Newton-John relayed the news that she had died at age 73.

Newton-John had been battling breast cancer for over three decades, her first cancer diagnosis in 1992 when she was 44. Although she had previously seen her cancer in remission, in 2017 she was diagnosed again.

In October of 2020 in an interview with The Guardian the pop star and actor spoke about her third diagnosis of cancer. “Three times lucky, right?” she smiles warmly. “I’m going to look at it like that. Listen, I think every day is a blessing. You never know when your time is over; we all have a finite amount of time on this planet, and we just need to be grateful for that.” She genuinely sounds as if she means every word.

The cancer’s return in 2017 was, she told The Guardian, not unexpected. “It’s been a part of my life for so long. I felt something was wrong. It’s concerning when it comes back, but I thought: ‘I’ll get through it again.’”

Olivia Newton-John (Photo by Michelle Day)

What of her health problems? “I don’t think of myself as sick with cancer,” she says firmly. “I choose not to see it as a fight either because I don’t like war. I don’t like fighting wherever it is – whether it’s outside or an actual war inside my body. I choose not to see it that way. I want to get my body healthy and back in balance. Part of that is your mental attitude to it. If you think: ‘Poor me,’ or ‘I’m sick,’ then you’re going to be sick.”

The popstar-singer was arguably best known for her breakout role in Grease, the 1978 American musical romantic comedy film based on the 1971 musical of the same name by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey, which co-starred Oscar nominated actor John Travolta.

Travolta paid tribute to his co-star in a post on his Insta:

Newton-John was an ally to the LGBTQ community who was appreciative of her LGBTQ fans. In an interview with Logo/MTV she noted: “The gay fans have always been very loyal, they are a really great audience and have always been there for me.”

Out actor George Takei tweeted his remembrance:

In addition to her husband she is survived by her 36-year-old daughter, Chloe Lattanzi. 

The family asked for donations to be made to her cancer organization, the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, in lieu of flowers. 

Continue Reading

Celebrity News

Nichelle Nichols, Star Trek’s Lt. Nyota Uhura, has died at 89

Roddenberry’s decision to cast Nichols, an African American woman, as major character on Star Trek was an almost unheard-of move in 1966

Published

on

Screenshot/YouTube The Smithsonian Channel

SILVER CITY, Nm. – She was a groundbreaking cultural icon who broke barriers in a time of societal upheaval and battling for the civil rights of Black Americans. An actress, a mother, and thoroughly devoted to the legions of fans of Star Trek, Nichelle Nichols, Star Trek’s Lt. Nyota Uhura, has died at 89.

The announcement on her Facebook page by her son read:

Sunday, 31 July 2022

Friends, Fans, Colleagues, World

I regret to inform you that a great light in the firmament no longer shines for us as it has for so many years.

Last night, my mother, Nichelle Nichols, succumbed to natural causes and passed away. Her light however, like the ancient galaxies now being seen for the first time, will remain for us and future generations to enjoy, learn from, and draw inspiration.

Hers was a life well lived and as such a model for us all.

I, and the rest of our family, would appreciate your patience and forbearance as we grieve her loss until we can recover sufficiently to speak further. Her services will be for family members and the closest of her friends and we request that her and our privacy be respected.

Live Long and Prosper,

Kyle Johnson

Nichols was born in Robbins, Illinois, in 1932, according to her IMDb page. Legendary composer Duke Ellington “discovered” Nichols and helped her become a singer and dancer. She later turned to acting, and joined Gene Roddenberry’s “Star Trek,” where she played Lt. Uhura from 1966 to 1969.

Out actor George Takei who played ‘Sulu’ on Star Trek the original series with Nichols who played Lt. Uhura, at a Star Trek convention in this undated photo. (George Takei/Twitter)

It was in that role of Nyota Uhura that Nichols not only broke barriers between races, most famously her onscreen kiss the first between a Black person and a White person, with castmate William Shatner who played Captain James T. Kirk, but she also became a role model for young Black women and men inspiring them to seek out their own places in science, technology, and other human endeavors.

In numerous interviews over the years Nichols often recalled how the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was a fan of the show and praised her role and personally encouraged her to stay with the series.

When the first series ended Nichols went on to become a spokesperson for NASA, where she “helped recruit and inspire a new generation of fearless astronauts.”  She later reprised her role in several successful Star Trek films and continued to advocate for the advancement of Black Americans especially in the areas of science and technology.

Formerly a NASA deputy administrator, Frederick Gregory, now 81, told the Associated Press he once saw an advertisement in which Nichols said “I want you to apply for the NASA program.”

“She was talking to me,” he recounted. The U.S. Air Force pilot would apply and later become the first African American shuttle pilot.

President Joe Biden weighed in Sunday afternoon on her passing in a statement issued by the White House:

In Nichelle Nichols, our nation has lost a trailblazer of stage and screen who redefined what is possible for Black Americans and women.
 
A daughter of a working-class family from Illinois, she first honed her craft as an actor and singer in Chicago before touring the country and the world performing with the likes of Duke Ellington and giving life to the words of James Baldwin.
 
During the height of the Civil Rights Movement, she shattered stereotypes to become the first Black woman to act in a major role on a primetime television show with her groundbreaking portrayal of Lt. Uhura in the original Star Trek. With a defining dignity and authority, she helped tell a central story that reimagined scientific pursuits and discoveries. And she continued this legacy by going on to work with NASA to empower generations of Americans from every background to reach for the stars and beyond.
 
Our nation is forever indebted to inspiring artists like Nichelle Nichols, who show us a future where unity, dignity, and respect are cornerstones of every society.

Nichols son said that services will be private for family members and her closest friends.

In 2008 the actress at a news conference, coordinated by the filmmakers of the motion picture TRU LOVED, in honor of the more than 900 students at LAUSD’s Miguel Contreras Learning Complex’s School of Social Justice who participated in the LGBTQ+ National Day of Silence.

TRU LOVED Star Nichelle Nichols Speaks on LGBT Civil Rights:

Her fellow castmate and life long friend, openly Out actor George Takei shared his sadness on hearing of Nichol’s passing on Twitter:

From the September 2016 edition of the Smithsonian Channel: “Star Trek’s decision to cast Nichelle Nichols, an African American woman, as major character on the show was an almost unheard-of move in 1966. But for black women all over the country, it redefined the notions of what was possible.”

Star Trek’s Nichelle Nichols on Uhura’s Radical Impact:

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Sign Up for Blade eBlasts

Advertisement

Follow Us @LosAngelesBlade

Advertisement

Popular