Arts & Entertainment

In the Arts & Entertainment section, The Advocate brings readers all the latest news on Hollywood, Broadway, and beyond. From New York to Los Angeles, The Advocate shines a spotlight on the stars of the screen who are lending their voices to support the LGBT community, as well as gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals who are moving the cultural needle. Discover A-list interviews, the best gay movies and reviews of theater, music, books and television. Learn how Arts & Entertainment can shape national dialogue and can work to advance equality.


10. FILM: Drive Angry
Known for her roles in The Stepfather and All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, Amber Heard makes a fine romantic lead in this 3D action flick, in theaters February 25, which stars Nicholas Cage as a guy who escapes hell to stop a cult from sacrificing his granddaughter. It’s Heard’s biggest project since she officially came out as a lesbian at a 2010 GLAAD event, where she proudly walked the red carpet with girlfriend Tasya van Ree.


9. CD: Mr. Phyllis & Other Funny Stories, Joan Rivers
Joan Rivers has enjoyed a deserved career resurgence since the release of last year’s raw documentary Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work. Fans can now trace her bleached roots back to her 1967 debut comedy record, which has just been released on CD for the first time. The focus of two stories in her act, Mr. Phyllis was actually her gay hairdresser, a topic Rivers recalled as being “very shocking in those days” in a recent Advocate interview.


8. TV: The 83rd Annual Academy Awards
Black Swan has that sex scene between Mila Kunis and nominee Natalie Portman, but fellow Best Picture contender The Kids Are All Right is our great gay hope when the Oscars air February 27 on ABC with four nods, including one for out filmmaker Lisa Cholodenko’s screenplay. Best Actor noms include Javier Bardem, Colin Firth, and cohost James Franco, gents who have all memorably played gay in past Oscar favorites.

February 25 2011 9:30 AM

British designer John Galliano was detained by police in Paris on Thursday for alleged assault and making anti-Semitic comments.

According to Agence France-Presse, “The detention in Paris' fashionable Marais district came after Dior's chief designer allegedly verbally accosted a couple seated on a cafe terrace. Galliano's lawyer strongly denied accusations of anti-Semitism.”

February 25 2011 9:05 AM

Husband and wife team Mark Consuelos and Kelly Ripa will coproduce the second season of the docuseries Be Good Johnny Weir.

February 23 2011 8:05 AM

In a surprise guest appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show set to air on Wednesday, teen pop star Justin Bieber debuted his new haircut and said it was inspired by the talk show host.

Bieber joined Ellen for the Twits and Ask segment during her monologue. He confirmed that she would appear in his Never Say Never 2.0 version, and gave her a lock of his real hair. Ellen said she would auction off the hair to benefit an animal charity.

February 23 2011 7:35 AM

Even though he was out back then, Charles Perez's time hosting his self-titled talk show in the '90s was relatively scandal free. After the show wrapped in 1996, Perez transitioned into the role of television journalist, working for the program American Journal, and then serving as a weekend anchor on the number one station in the country's largest market, New York's WABC.

In 2008, Perez was named main evening anchor at WPLG in Miami — a job he says was a joy until bad publicity, regarding an ugly break-up with an ex-boyfriend, began rearing its head. Perez says his bosses become anxious about the headlines surrounding his personal life, called him "too soft," and then pulled him from the main anchor desk. After filing a complaint under the Miami-Dade Human Rights Ordinance, Perez was fired; WPLG says it had nothing to do with Perez being gay and, since the scandal erupted in 2009, the complaint against WPLG has been dismissed.

Perez's tumultuous time at WPLG, along with his entire career in front of the camera, is documented in his new memoir, Confessions of a Gay Anchorman. Happily married and with a new baby daughter, Perez talked to The Advocate about his book and why it's so hard for some television journalists to come out.

The Advocate: Why did you want to write the book?
Perez: I would not change anything about how my life has unfolded—I have an amazing husband and a beautiful daughter. But when I parted with my last station, WPLG in Miami, which, up until the end, was a great relationship—I felt like two things finally collided—Charles Perez, the TV anchor personality, and Charles Perez, the gay man. And when they did, I felt like fate put me on that intersection and I had to deal with it. It had been a long time coming.

How have people reacted to the book?
I think there’s two reactions—I stay away from reading things online; lots of people have lots of opinions and I have no power over what people think and they have a right to their opinion. But especially with the book, many people with opinions haven’t read it yet. Facebook is a great example—a lot of people have started reaching out to me, particularly young gay men. Most of all, I wrote the book because I thought we have to erase the shame associated with being gay. It’s time for gay men to have our own Rachel Maddow, if you will. There are lots of examples of gay men on television, thank God—there wasn’t when I was coming out in the '80s. But even though that changed, I do believe there’s still a ceiling. I think that’s really disconcerting and I wanted to put a spotlight on it. I know that makes some people uncomfortable, but nothing changes until it changes.

In the book, you mention a newspaper article that had the headline, “Charles Perez, Too Gay for WPLG?” How strongly did you feel there’s a limit on journalists’ "gayness?"
I give an example in the book of a co-worker who called one of our meteorologists “too gay”; he needed to be tempered. First of all, [the gay man] was a great meteorologist. Bottom line. And that’s the other message of the book—as Martin Luther King said, we should be judged on the content of our character. We should also be judged by the quality of our work and our results. But in today’s corporate culture, particularly if you’re on camera, you’re a commodity. Being gay is still considered by the top brass a liability. They’ll take that shot with you if you’re a reporter in the street or if you’re a morning anchor, but if you’re the main evening anchor that they’re putting their image behind—not so much. This is true at a local stations and at a national network. [Executives] might be OK with it, but there’s an unspoken expectation that you will not only not lead with it, but you will allow the misperception that you’re straight to be perpetuated.

Does Joe the Plumber, et al, care if he gets his news from a gay anchor?
I don’t think they care. And if they care, they care for a moment and then they’re more interested if you’re doing a professional job. I think the fear comes more out of advertisers and out of television executives who are afraid what advertisers will think. Ellen DeGeneres is a great example, if you go back to her sitcom. When she came out, there were great ratings, everything was fine, and then unfortunately advertisers started to pull out and ABC didn’t stand with her; they dumped the show. I think in the long run, Ellen and Rosie O’Donnell and Rachel Maddow have proven the case—if you’re good, no one cares. But I think there is a double-standard with men. The Celluloid Closet put a spotlight on how gay men were only allowed in films as jesters or clowns. There are a lot of great people who are on TV today and accepted by management and their colleagues, but there also sort of the role of “Jack” on Will and Grace. That’s unfortunate and needs to change. We can’t be that narrow; our community is broader than that.

February 22 2011 5:05 PM

Glee’s newest heavy hitter — and Chris Colfer’s date to the Golden Globes — responds to Rosie O’Donnell’s recent complaints about her plus-sized character.

February 22 2011 12:20 PM

Rosie O’Donnell and her girlfriend Tracy Kachtick-Anders, known for combining their 10 children into the “Gay-dy Bunch,” have split after a year of dating.

The Huffington Post reported on the recent breakup, citing a report in the New York Post’s Page Six.

February 22 2011 11:50 AM

Media Fooled by Fake Gay Icon Poll

February 22 2011 8:50 AM



10. COMEDY: This Filthy World Goes Hollywood, John Waters

Revered and reviled for films like Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble, and Desperate Living, gay provocateur John Waters brings his wildly popular one-man show — a vaudevillian stand-up lecture on show business, the art world, and his own career — to UCLA Live’s Royce Hall on February 23, hard-targeting Hollywood for Oscars week. The evening will feature emcee Matthew Gray Gubler and musical guest Elvis Perkins.



9. TV: America’s Next Top Model

Last cycle, ex-Hooters waitress Kayla Ferell became the highest placing out lesbian in Top Model history. There's a bisexual Texas native named Sara Longoria on the high fashion-focused sweet 16th cycle, which premieres February 23 on the CW, and you can still count on stylish gay representation by anti-dreckitude judge André Leon Talley, photo shoot director Jay “Mr. Jay” Manuel, and runway coach J. “Miss J” Alexander.



8. CD: Into the Dark Unknown, Holcombe Waller

Reflecting six years of the out Portland-based artist’s wanderings through the Pacific Northwest, this gorgeous chamber-folk album features melancholy first single “Bored of Memory,” which has a sweet gay video. “The Unicorn” was inspired by a hookup with a sexy closet case, and the title track expresses Waller’s frustration with marriage inequality. He celebrates the release with a February 24 concert at New York’s Joe’s Pub.

February 18 2011 3:55 PM

Bravo executive Andy Cohen and British rugby player Ben Cohen teamed up for a message about accepting other people and celebrating differences.

The men, who are not related but joked about their shared last name and brotherly similarities and differences, filmed the spot in the Watch What Happens Live studio over beers.

Watch the video.

February 18 2011 7:20 AM