OPINION: Identity and Acceptance Collide in LGBTQ News

Caitlyn Jenner is now endorsing Texas Senator Ted Cruz (R) for president.

Caitlyn Jenner is now endorsing Texas Senator Ted Cruz for president.

Coverage this week of LGBTQ news couldn’t be any more of a headache.

The same tropes of homophobia and transphobia showed their nastier sides on social media and beyond with adverse reactions to the difference in opinions and expressions in Hollywood. Read more »

OPINION: LGBTQ Entertainers Deserve Better From Hollywood

Actress Mya Taylor speaks onstage during the 2016 Film Independent Spirit Awards on February 27, 2016 in Santa Monica, California.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Actress Mya Taylor speaks during the 2016 Film Independent Spirit Awards on February 27, 2016, in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

As I watched the Academy Awards on Sunday, my mind was split in two places.

One, as a black American, I was baffled by the controversy surrounding #OscarsSoWhite and how comedian Chris Rock trivialized the sentiment while hosting. But being gay as well, I was also reminded of how much hasn’t changed in seeing both of my identities advance in Hollywood.

As much as we can argue that the Oscars were so white this year, it was also so straight this year too. But depending on how you view it, you might argue it wasn’t. Read more »

OSCAR SUNDAY: Filming The Danish Girl

Rebecca Root in a scene from The Danish Girl.

Rebecca Root in a scene from “The Danish Girl.”

Trans actors Rebecca Root and Jake Graf play cisgender characters in the Academy Award–nominated film The Danish Girl. Watching the film carefully, one would have not noticed their identities until they revealed them later to the press. In an interview, both actors discuss their experience on set and their newfound fame. Read more »

George Clooney Addresses Gay Rumors

In the January 2014 issue of Esquire U.K., 52-year-old Hollywood heartthrob George Clooney addresses accusations that he’s a closeted homosexual. It all started, he told the magazine, when he responded to a headline that read, “George Clooney is Gay-Gay-Gay.” His response? “I’m gay-gay, the third one’s pushing it.”

Fire was added to the speculation in 2011, when ex-girlfriend Elisabetta Canalis told People that she and Clooney had a “father-daughter” relationship, saying that their relationship ended because of their “personal needs.” Hmmm …

In the Esquire interview, he said “[I’m] not going [to deny it], because that’s flat out insulting to the gay community.” The statement mirrored a similar one he gave to The Advocate last year:

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The Best and Worst of 2013 Movies … So Far

It has been a disastrous summer for movies. Compared to last year, box office was down over 17 percent. (Much of this has been attributed to woefully under-performing clunkers The Lone Ranger, White House Down and After Earth.) But even of those films that did make money, few were actually any good. Instead, you had to go to a small theater to see most of the quality movies, like: The Way, Way Back, Fruitvale Station, Frances Ha, Before Midnight and Much Ado About Nothing. So here are my picks for the best and worst of 2013 …  so far.
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Parks and Rec’s Ron Swanson Is the Best Character on Television

It’s been a week since the Emmy nominations were announced and I’m still upset. While most focused on Netflix getting nominations for House of Cards and Arrested Development (the first time for non-network or cable shows), little attention has been given to the continued oversight of Parks and Recreation — the greatest comedy on TV — and its manly, mustached, government distrusting, woodworking, meat-loving, ex-wife hating supporting character Ron Swanson. With brilliant writing and Nick Offerman’s pitch perfect performance, it is unbelievable that only the Television Critics Association has recognized his work.

So the problem must lie with the voters —  i.e., they must be intimidated by him. Here are some possible reasons why: Read more »

Why The Newsroom Is the Most Insufferable Show on TV

This Sunday, The Newsroom—the critically lambasted show from The West Wing’s Aaron Sorkin—returns for its sophomore season on HBO. Honestly, I never got past the fifth episode of the first season; each episode was so overwrought with unlikable characters and excruciatingly overwritten dialogue I couldn’t continue. But there’s hope for this season. In a recent Hollywood Reporter article, Sorkin admits to rewriting the beginning of the second season, thereby forcing reshoots. Let’s hope that he made the following changes:

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It’s Time to Ditch Rocky, Philadelphia

It was 1996, and I was standing at the top of the Art Museum steps looking down the Ben Franklin Parkway to City Hall. A video camera was swinging toward me, dangling from the arm of a large jib mounted on the flatbed of a truck. I was the host of Access Hollywood, and I was home in Philadelphia to host a special on the 20th anniversary of the movie Rocky.

A producer handed me a script, and after reading the first line I said, “I’m not saying this.” The script read: “Hi, I’m Larry Mendte in Philadelphia, the city that Rocky put on the map 20 years ago.” When I showed the line to the producer to share a laugh, he looked at me with a quizzical stare and said “What’s the problem?”

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Seven Reasons You Should Skip The Lone Ranger

Perhaps the tepid, if not vicious, reviews have not yet swayed you from seeing The Lone Ranger this weekend. Perhaps your sincere, stalkerish love of Johnny Depp makes you think that anything he is in is worth seeing. Perhaps you think that since it’s directed by Gore Verbinski (who helmed Rango and The Pirates of the Caribbean), this too will be fun and enjoyable. Well, you would be mistaken. The Lone Ranger is a bloated, random, weird, violent mess of a movie that would be best viewed as a rental (if at all). Here’s why:

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The Best and Worst of TV This Year

It was a rough year for network TV. Many of the most talked about shows continued to appear on cable and through streaming services (Netflix’s Arrested Development and House of Cards). NBC cancelled most of its new shows (Go On). But like any other season, there were some welcome additions (Elementary) and some unwelcome ones (Guys with Kids). Some long overdue goodbyes (Rules of Engagement) and some shows we said goodbye to before we ever really got to know them (Ben & Kate). Here are some of my picks for the best, and worst, of the TV season. Read more »

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