LGBTQLatest News and Opinion
Posted Wednesday 2/14/18 at 2:32PM EST
TBS orders Lena Waithe's Twenties, a semi-autobigraphical comedy pilot
Following her breakout Emmy-winning success on Master of None and Showtime's The Chi, Waithe will next try to bring to the small screen a semi-autobiographical comedy about a "queer black girl" named Hattie and her two straight girlfriends, who “spend most of their days talking sh*t and chasing their dreams." Long in gestation, Waithe first posted to YouTube a multi-part pilot presentation for the series back in 2013. “I always wanted to tell a story where a queer black woman was the protagonist and I’m so grateful to TBS for giving me a platform to tell this story," says Waithe, who will also write the single-camera comedy. Queer black characters have been the sidekick for long enough, it’s time for us to finally take the lead.”
Posted Friday 2/09/18 at 3:08PM EST
Why Queer Eye’s common-ground approach doesn’t make sense in 2018
On the Netflix reality show, it’s up to the Fab Five to search for common ground while “the subjects must simply be polite and passively tolerant,” says J. Bryan Lowder. As he points out, that approach is “wildly at odds with the shows other demands. The queens must calm their clients with assurances of sameness while simultaneously drawing on their profound difference—particularly on the world-transforming aesthetic skills and sensibilities for which gay men have long been derided as sissies or stereotypes—in order to bring their students revitalization and happiness. Indeed, the more I reflect on Queer Eye, the more I feel like the whole thing is a queasy-making trade of queer talent and joy (see how the straight man, moribund just yesterday, now grins so brightly!) for little more than a ‘Well, y’all are all right.’”
Posted Wednesday 2/07/18 at 2:44PM EST
Charmed reboot will have an LGBT “twist”: One of the sisters is a lesbian
According to a casting breakdown for the potential CW series obtained by TV Line, the sisters succeeding Piper, Phoebe, Paige and Prue will have the unofficial names of Macy, Mel and Madison. The casting breakdown also includes a girlfriend for Mel.
Posted Wednesday 1/31/18 at 2:09PM EST
Grey’s Anatomy to feature a “groundbreaking” transgender storyline with I Am Cait's Candis Cayne
I Am Cait star and transgender actress Candis Cayne will play a transgender actress who undergoes what producers say is a "groundbreaking" vaginoplasty surgery, based on a real-life groundbreaking new procedure. “(The surgery) revolutionizes the making of a vagina and we thought that was a really cool story and Candis is playing a character inspired by something we read," says Grey's Anatomy showrunner Krista Vernoff. In 2007, Cayne became the first transgender actress to play a transgender character in primetime, on ABC’s Dirty Sexy Money, appearing in 11 episodes as a transgender woman who has an affair with a character played by Billy Baldwin. Cayne has also appeared on I Am Cait and Transparent.
Posted Friday 1/26/18 at 11:08PM EST
Gay drama teacher who inspired NBC’s Rise says “for me, 'straight-washing' the character was never an issue, because he is not based on me”
Josh Radnor plays a straight drama teacher named Lou Mazzuchelli on the NBC drama series that is inspired by real-life gay drama teacher Lou Volpe. But Volpe, the producers and NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt — who is gay — want to make it clear that although Volpe’s memoir inspired the series, Rise is not a direct adaptation of his book. Thus the “Lou” character that Radnor is playing is a completely original character, even though he shares the same name as Volpe. “As an artist, I respect their vision for the show," says Volpe. That’s why executive producer Jason Katims received a “Created by” credit on the series, instead of a “Developed by” credit.
Posted Friday 1/26/18 at 11:08PM EST
One Day at a Time feels almost daring, despite its retro vibe
Norman Lear’s reboot of his classic sitcom is putting innovative use to the staid multicamera sitcom format. “Its lack of cynicism makes it easy to marathon and also sets it apart from the revered comedies of the moment, like Veep or BoJack Horseman,” says Margaret Lyons “Its devotion to that straightforward sitcom setup makes it more accessible than shows like the highly serialized The Good Place, or the structurally inventive Atlanta. It’s suitable for most ages, but without the crushing inanity of a Fuller House. More than anything, though, One Day at a Time is a show that radiates delight.”
Posted Wednesday 1/24/18 at 11:32PM EST
RuPaul’s Drag Race: TV’s most radical show?
Since its premiere in 2009, RuPaul’s reality franchise has found a broader and younger audience, reflecting an era that is fixated on gender and identity, says Jenna Wortham. “Drag Race has become a staple of modern television for the way it skewers expectations and attitudes about gender, much as a show like Black-ish works to challenge stereotypes about black families in America," she says. "That isn’t to say contestants on Drag Race don’t bicker or trade petty insults, as in other reality-TV shows, but the program doesn’t leave viewers with the same existential dread about the future of humanity as, say, any of the Real Housewives franchises.”
Posted Friday 1/19/18 at 10:48PM EST
Why is The Assassination of Gianni Versace interested in killer Andrew Cunanan’s sexuality but not his Asian heritage?
Darren Criss, whose mother is Filipino and father is white, portrays Cunanan, who is the product of a Filipino father and a white mother. Yet for as much as this American Crime Story season delves into Cunanan’s struggles with homophobia, it seems to deemphasize the fact that he is of Asian descent, says Inkoo Kang. Kang credits Ryan Murphy for hiring a half-Filipino actor for the serial killer role, but points out that there are only a handful of TV shows with Asian leads. “So it’s a bit strange, and off-putting, that the latest series with an Asian lead—one of the most anticipated shows of the year, it so happens—isn’t being described as such,” says Kang. “In fact, its network—once a standard-bearer for prestige TV’s lack of diversity—is highlighting the drama’s focus on queerness and homophobia—and by doing so largely erasing its main character’s racial identity, especially in the first half of his story.” Kang adds: “A few character details here and there suggest Andrew’s racial self-hatred and the prevalence of anti-Asian racism within the gay community, but the relative sparseness of these implications is all the more noteworthy in contrast with the richly developed portrait of the decade’s homophobia.”
- Darren Criss on avoiding a “whitewashing” controversy: “I would joke with (Ryan Murphy) saying, ‘Hey man, I would love to do this, but if you don’t want me to do it with you, I defy you to find another guy who looks kind of like him, who’s in the same age range, who’s in your Rolodex of actors. Because if you don’t cast a half-Filipino guy, the Filipino community is going to cry bloody murder. So I don’t know what your other options are!’"
Posted Friday 1/19/18 at 10:48PM EST
One Mississippi was a rare opportunity to see a viewpoint never shown before on television
“Much of television would have you believe gay people only exist in major cities, if they exist at all, and that the only legitimate way to portray queerness is in a marriage complete with kids,” says Ann-Derrick Gaillot of the canceled Amazon series loosely based on Tig Notaro’s life. “Not only that, but shows about women above the age of 30, let alone queer women, are few and far between. Amazon is the only place I knew of to find a show about a middle-aged, queer, woman living and dating in the South. Unless another network picks up the show, everything that One Mississippi offers will be stunted at two good seasons until another studio bigwig decides to give an artist with a new story an opportunity few of them get with ease: a show that will draw viewers and make the company look just a bit less like the soulless corporation it is.”
Posted Sunday 1/14/18 at 1:04PM EST
NBC Rise producers deny they “straight-washed” their main character
There was controversy over showrunner Jason Katims’ recent comments explaining why Josh Radnor’s character is straight, when the real-life teacher who inspired the show is gay. Katims said at the TV press tour that he wanted to make the show “his story,” which prompted the “straight-washing” outrage. Katims said what he actually said was that he wanted Rise to be wholly original. The producers also released the following statement: “The misinterpretation by some of what we’ve done with this show goes against what we fundamentally believe and who we are as individuals. We are firmly committed to LGBTQ inclusion, and most of all, are excited for the community to see Rise, which we believe portrays positive depictions of LGBTQ characters and stories on broadcast television with honesty and sensitivity. To that end, we worked with GLAAD on the show’s LGBTQ storylines to ensure they are told with respect and authenticity.”
Posted Friday 1/12/18 at 5:54AM EST
It was up to Grown-ish to finally explore Zoey Johnson’s sexuality
Zoey’s sexuality, says Ariana Romero, was something “that Black-ish often glanced at but never actually dealt with. The result was a necessary conversation that many real young people actually have, but rarely see played out on screen.”
Posted Wednesday 1/10/18 at 10:24PM EST
Sean Hayes says his mom had him see a therapist after he came out of the closet
“It was 1988 when I came out,” the Will & Grace star recalls of telling his family he was gay at age 18. “It’s so cliché that it was during Thanksgiving weekend. My mom said I needed to go see a therapist. She wrote me a 10-page letter, both sides on legal pad size paper. ‘This is not what God …’ You know, the whole uneducated view of it.”
Posted Wednesday 1/10/18 at 2:41AM EST
Why the gay inspiration for NBC’s musical theater series Rise was rewritten as a straight man
Josh Radnor plays a straight male teacher, even though his NBC series is based on Michael Sokolove’s book Drama High: The Incredible True Story of a Brilliant Teacher, a Struggling Town, and the Magic of Theater, about a closeted gay teacher. As Hanh Nguyen reports, Rise showrunner Jason Katims “explained he changed this aspect of his main character to be able to connect with the story, but that he didn’t want to ‘shy away from issues of sexuality.’ He pointed out that Rise will still have LGBT elements, particularly focusing on its young characters — including a trans character and another character who is grappling with his sexuality.” ALSO: How Katims' Friday Night Lights influenced Rise.
Posted Friday 1/05/18 at 11:08PM EST
FX’s Pose parted ways with Tatiana Maslany because she was too young for her role
Ryan Murphy says he only realized while shooting the pilot for the 1980s-set drama that Maslany is a “very young woman." He adds: “I felt that, working with our young cast, we needed an older figure in that world to be the dance teacher. Someone who was a different generation, who was more of a mentor… We needed a Debbie Allen (in Fame-type) character. We all agreed that that was the right choice for the show.” ALSO:
Posted Wednesday 1/03/18 at 6:00PM EST
HBO acquires Imagine Dragons frontman’s documentary on the Mormon church and its relationship with the LGBTQ community
Believer follows the Mormon band leader Dan Reynolds as he explores how his church treats its LGBTQ members.