'Wasn't He Gay?': A Revealing Question About Mister Rogers
"Wasn't he gay?" That's what people often ask me when they learn that I'm working on a book about Fred Rogers -- the beloved creator, writer, and host of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. I've come to believe that the question, however intended, reveals just as much about the questioners as it does about Rogers.
Sure, the question makes complete sense if a lack of machismo means that a man is gay. After all, Fred Rogers was the opposite of macho. He showed no hint of physical brawn; his chin was weak, his muscles underdeveloped, and his face smooth. Nor was he aggressive. He talked softly and carried no stick; his spirit was gentle and tender, patient and trustworthy, and receptive and loving. A model of male softness and sensitivity, Rogers cut a striking figure on and off television.
But wait a second: Lots of gay men are tough guys -- muscular, aggressive, and downright rough. So the mere fact that Rogers was the opposite of macho really proves nothing about his sexual orientation.
The question is also reasonable if gay men prefer that their friends and social groups be gay or at least gay-friendly. After all, Fred Rogers knowingly hired gays to appear on Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, even counting two of them, John Reardon and Francois Clemmons, among his closest personal friends. Rogers also attended a Presbyterian church in Pittsburgh that remains well known for welcoming the LGBT community and supporting its full inclusion at all denominational levels.
But wait another second: Isn't it true that some gay men don't use sexual orientation as the major criterion when selecting their best friends, and that others even closely identify with institutions and movements that are historically and vehemently anti-gay, like the Catholic Church, conservative Protestant churches, and the Boy Scouts of America? If this is indeed true, Rogers' choice of friends and church also doesn't give us any firm evidence about his sexual orientation.
The nagging question is also understandable if we acknowledge that gay men of Rogers' generation (and discretion) often hid their gay sexuality by marrying women and having children, all the while engaging in gay sex on the sly. Rogers was married to one woman, Joanne, for almost all his adult life, and their relationship, by all accounts a loving and devoted one, resulted in the birth of two sons. But there's a significant point to add here: There's no publicly available evidence that Rogers ever engaged in gay sex.
OK, but don't we also have to concede that some (heterosexually married or single) gay men, for a wide variety of reasons, don't engage in gay sex? I can easily think of a famous name or two I'd rather not mention here. And if this is the case, we're still left unsure about Rogers' sexual orientation -- much, I suspect, as others are about, well, our orientations.
Everything becomes a bit more complicated when we consider that in the late 1960s Rogers encouraged Francois Clemmons, who played the role of Officer Clemmons, to remain in the closet, marry a woman, and focus on his singing career as ways to rein in and channel his gay sexual orientation. Rogers evidently believed Clemmons would tank his career had he come out as a gay man in the late 1960s.
But -- and this is a crucial point -- Rogers later revised his counsel to his younger friend. As countless gays came out more publicly following the Stonewall uprising, Rogers even urged Clemmons to enter into a long-term and stable gay relationship. And he always warmly welcomed Clemmons' gay friends whenever they visited the television set in Pittsburgh.
Nevertheless, Rogers was never a public advocate of gay rights, even in the post-Stonewall era, and he told colleagues that a public stance on the issue would alienate many of the viewers he wanted to reach with his message.
And what was that message?
"I like you just the way you are."
Unconditional acceptance, arguably the most positive and compassionate message that any gay child, youth, or adult could find anywhere on television during Rogers' tenure.
Perhaps it's this queer- and straight-friendly message that we would do well to recall as we wonder about Rogers' sexual orientation, revealing so many of our prejudices along the way, deep-seated prejudices about the lives of gays and straights and about our own uneasiness with sexual orientations and behaviors.
At last, perhaps we should turn the camera lens toward ourselves and assure Fred Rogers that we like him just as he was: the opposite of machismo, a loving husband and father, a close friend and employer of gays, a man who grew to support at least one friend's desire for an openly gay relationship and, above all else, a compassionate human being who assured each of us that, no matter who we are or what we do, we are always and everywhere lovable and capable of loving...
Just as they are.
'Walking Dead' Star Laurie Holden Is A Real-Life Hero
Actress Laurie Holden, who played Andrea for three seasons on AMC's The Walking Dead, recently got the chance to be a hero in real life.
Kat Dennings On Kim Kardashian: 'I've Never Seen An Ass Like That In My Life'
Kat Dennings declared her love for Kim Kardashian’s butt, talked about new boyfriend Josh Groban, and had a bucket of fake spiders dumped on her during a very eventful Tuesday appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”
CaCee Cobb Pregnant, Expecting Second Child With Donald Faison
CaCee Cobb and her husband Donald Faison are expecting their second child together!
Here's Aziz Ansari's Ridiculous Appearance With Grover On Sesame Street
Aziz Ansari knows a thing or two about being ridiculous.
The comedian and star of "Parks and Recreation" stopped by Sesame Street on Tuesday's episode to hang out with Grover. The two proceeded to get very, very silly:
Thanks for not being a Grouch, Aziz.
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'Keep On Keepin' On'
Keep on Keepin' On is a beautiful film about the love of friendship. It is a poetic film about mentoring, loving life and honoring musical talent. It is an intimate portrayal of Clark Terry, often referred to as "CT" and he is perhaps the best trumpeter that ever lived. At 93 years old and in frail health, he is still sharing and teaching. It is a brave movie. It portrays life as it comes -- the good, the bad and not always pretty.
The documentary showcases the talent and genius of Clark Terry and the caring and beauty of Quincy Jones. Clark is a prophetic award winning jazzman that has help define jazz as an art form. Among his credits are the Count Basie Orchestra and the Duke Ellington Orchestra. He was the first African American staff musician at NBC. He played on the Johnny Carson's Tonight Show. His first student was a young Quincy Jones, who took lessons with Clark before he went to school and after Clark had worked all night. They found their common hour early morning. Another student of Terry's was Miles Davis. Terry left the Ellington band and began to play with the Quincy Jones Orchestra, a high compliment to his student.
The Master Teacher
Terry is clearly a master teacher whose wit and hipness extends far beyond music. He teaches life. The documentary took 5 years to make by first-timer young Australian filmmaker, Alan Hicks. Later on Quincy Jones came aboard as a producer. This poignant story of Clark Terry, weaves his awards, performances and his struggles of life into a beautiful intimate portrait. It traces Clark from a child of 5 years old, making his very own horn.
Terry works with a young prodigy, Justin Kauflin. Blind with a hereditary disorder since 11, he wants to be a jazz pianist. Clark helps him find his musical voice. He tells him from the bedside (his vision was failing from diabetes) how to play his instrument. The bedside scenes are touching. Theirs is a friendship of mentoring and the master teaching a wonderful student. They form a strong bond like father like son. They speak in a jazz language that oodles and improvises and is forever hip. Clark is loosing his sight. They communicate beautifully through their music, about six decades apart.
Kauflin visits with Terry in his Arkansas home on and off as he goes to New York to find his musical way. He enters the Theloinus Monk Contest. He is diligent in his preparation, but he losses the competition. Terry tells him how to cope with his loss - keep on moving. You tried and you now have an experience under your belt. Keep on keeping on. One of the most touching scenes in the movie to me is when Justin is in his hotel room. He is a bit nervous before leaving alone for the auditorium. A package arrives. It is a pair of socks from Clark's wardrobe with a note of encouragement, providing Justin with just the right moxie to conquer the stage.
One day Quincy Jones unexpectedly comes to visit Terry at his bedside. Their connection is uniquely syncopated. Terry has had both legs amputated due to diabetes. The musical master CJ introduces Quincy to the young prodigy Kauflin. He has the opportunity to perform for Quincy in Clark's living room. What happens is simply magical.
Months later the young pianist gets a call from Terry. He tells him that Quincy Jones wants to take him on a world tour. Kauflin's life changes and his dreams are realized. He is with another master. We see him play at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. Clark matched his students, appropriately.
This is a sensitive tale and is bound to make you cry. It is delicate and a lovely story all about love. The love of jazz, the love of friendship and how lovely life can turn out to be. It is a unique tale. It is real. It is the story of a jazz musician and the love of his music. It is a story of humanity and shows greatness beyond music. This is a story with life lessons. "Keep on Keepin' On"
Keep on Keepin' On appears in Chicago at a limited engagement. I went opening night and the treat of the evening was Mr. Justin Kauflin playing for the audience. It is playing at the Music Box Theater, 3733 North Southport.
Harry Shearer's 'Nixon's The One' Shows Us The Moments The Audio Tapes Never Could
Richard Nixon is famous for having recorded conversations in the oval office, and that led to some notoriously damning tapes of him. But what about the rest of the audio?
Harry Shearer, "Saturday Night Live" alum, voice of multiple "Simpsons" characters and member of faux British rock trio Spinal Tap, is kicking off a six-part series where he plays former President Richard Nixon. In "Nixon's The One," Shearer and a small cadre of actors recreate the recordings of Tricky Dick, his cabinet and constituents, showing the humor in their sometimes awkward conversations.
In this pilot episode, Nixon attempts to figure out the recording system, talks with then Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and deals with dairy lobbyists on their strategy for selling milk. You can look out for more episodes on My Damn Channel and YouTube.
Watching Movie Sex And Violence May Desensitize Parents (STUDY)
BY KATHRYN DOYLE
NEW YORK Mon Oct 20, 2014 12:54pm EDT
(Reuters Health) - Parents may get so accustomed to seeing sex and violence in movies and television that they end up lowering their standards for what kids are allowed to watch, a new report suggests.
In a new study, parents who watched several clips of movie violence in succession became desensitized over time, and they relaxed their standards for what they would allow their children to see.
In particular, the researchers point out, the violence in PG-13 movies has become more graphic over the last several decades.
“We released a study last November that showed a dramatic increase in violence and in particular gun violence in popular PG-13 movies over the past 10 years,” said lead author Daniel Romer of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
“There is now actually more gun violence in PG-13 than in R-rated movies,” he told Reuters Health by email.
The new study suggests that parents are now more willing to allow their children to watch these movies, he said.
“This is consistent with surveys done by the Kaiser Family Foundation showing that parents express less concern about both sex and violence in movies,” Romer said.
For the study, researchers asked 1,000 parents of pre-teens and teenagers to watch a series of movie clips one after another. For each clip, parents recorded the minimum age at which they would be comfortable allowing their child to view the movie.
The six movie clips, which ranged from 15 to 59 seconds, were arranged randomly for each parent viewer and came from popular PG-13 or R rated movies.
Violent scenes, usually involving guns, came from the films Collateral, Taken 2, Die Hard, Live Free or Die Harder and the Terminator series, while the sex scenes were taken from 8 Mile and Casino Royale.
At first, the parents rated the violent scenes and the sex scenes as appropriate for 17-year-olds, on average.
By the last clip in the series, parents deemed scenes of a similar level of violence and sex appropriate for 14-year-olds, according to results in Pediatrics.
They also reported more willingness to have their own child view the movie by the end of the sequence.
The increase in movie violence and concurrent desensitization may be working to fuel each other, Romer said.
“We potentially have a cycle of more violence in PG-13 movies (which is the most popular rating category today) leading to greater acceptance among parents, leading to the Motion Picture Association of America encountering less resistance in rating those movies PG-13, which 15 years ago would have been rated R,” he said.
There is evidence that viewing a lot of violent TV content starting in grade school can lead to more aggressive behavior as children age, he said.
“This is a difficult thing to research, and several studies have looked at this question in many different ways,” said Dr. Jeanne Van Cleave of the Pediatrics Department at Harvard Medical School and the Division of General Academic Pediatrics at MassGeneral Hospital for Children in Boston.
“Although they have their limitations, collectively, studies indicate an association between viewing violence and later tendencies toward aggression,” Van Cleave told Reuters Health by email.
She wrote a commentary accompanying the new study in Pediatrics.
“We don't know how gun violence in particular affects this process,” Romer said, and there is less evidence for how if at all sexual media affects children’s’ development.
There is a risk that kids who are vulnerable to imitate violence they see in movies and television will do so, especially if they have access to guns and a reason to use them, he said.
“My professional opinion as a pediatrician is that yes, there is a pretty important difference between seeing these things at age 14 compared to age 17,” Van Cleave said. “There is a lot of cognitive and social development that happens between these ages, such that a 14-year-old and a 17-year-old are going to come away with different impressions of the same thing.”
Parents should be aware that PG-13 movies can contain high levels of violence, Romer said.
“It is hard to be objective as a parent about deciding what’s okay for a child to watch and what isn’t,” Van Cleave said. “Being aware that PG-13 movies can be quite violent while still attaining that rating may help parents in their decision-making.”
SOURCE: bit.ly/1sGJYcn Pediatrics, online October 20, 2014.
Copyright 2012 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions.
Rob Cantor's 'Shia LaBeouf' Live Could Even Make The Actor Famous Again
Shia LaBeouf isn't famous anymore, according to Shia LaBeouf, but a new video could put the actor back on the map.
Musician Rob Cantor's "Shia LaBeouf" song, which recounts the actor's (probably) embellished cannibal ways, hit the web as an upload to his online portfolio and then blew up back in 2012, reports The Washington Post. Now the song is back in a video featuring the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, the West Los Angeles Children’s Choir and the Argus Quartet, and it's more ridiculous than ever.
The impressive production, captivating storyline and surprise twist ending are just a little reminder of what awesome people can do when they have way too much time on their hands.
'Django Unchained' Actress Daniele Watts And Boyfriend Charged With Lewd Conduct
"Django Unchained" actress Daniele Watts and her boyfriend, chef Brian James Lucas, have been charged with lewd conduct, the Los Angeles Police Department confirmed.
Watts and Lucas were each charged with one misdemeanor count for allegedly engaging in lewd conduct, CBSLA confirmed via the City Attorney's office. They face a maximum sentence of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. They are due in court for an arraignment Nov. 13.
"We were sent a collection of evidence from law enforcement, and after review, our prosecutors felt filing was appropriate," LAPD spokesman Frank Mateljan told the New York Daily News about the charges.
The actress and her boyfriend made headlines last month after an incident with L.A. law enforcement.
Police received a call on Sept. 11 about a couple having sex in a car outside the CBS Studio Center in Studio City, California. Officers said they approached Watts and James because they matched a description given by the caller. Watts later claimed she was "showing affection, fully clothed." She said she was mistaken for a prostitute and unlawfully detained after refusing to provide her identification.
The 28-year-old also claimed the incident was racially charged.
"Would someone have called the police if it had been a white couple?" Watts wrote in an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times. "Would the sergeant have been so zealous in 'investigating' what was clearly not a crime? Does bias have something to do with how and why Brian and I have been stopped this year? I think it probably does. And I think that the conversations our country has been having about the role of race in minor incidents, such as mine, and life-and-death ones, must continue."
The LAPD launched an investigation into the incident after the couple spoke out against the department, the L.A. Times noted.
Representatives for Watts were not immediately available for comment.
'The 100' Goes Dark In A Good Way: Season 2 Secrets From The CW Show's Creator
"I didn't see that coming."
I said that to myself more than once during the first three episodes of "The 100," which returns Wednesday on The CW.
The good news is, those shocks weren't gratuitous or unsatisfying, and they weren't merely there to shine a light on whatever wild plot turn had arisen in this brisk tale of post-apocalyptic survival.
No, what surprised me was how dark "The 100" was willing to go.
You'd have thought I learned my lesson during the show's energetic first season, when "The 100" regularly transgressed whatever I thought of as "the rules" of The CW.
Everyone is quite attractive on "The 100" -- some rules can never be broken -- but that appears to be the only inviolate law of the network, which currently airs a large number of shows I just cannot quit ("Arrow," "The Flash," "Supernatural," "Jane the Virgin").
It isn't just about the abs on these programs; it's about the aspiration. Through all of their ups and downs (and there have been many peaks and valleys on "Supernatural," which is about to air its 200th episode), these shows present characters, relationships and moral dilemmas that hold my interest week to week. That's more than I can say for approximately 87 percent of the tepid new broadcast network dramas that have turned up in the last few fall seasons.
You could almost say that The CW is broadcast-network television's boutique cable brand: The stakes are lower and it's able to take more chances, and in recent years, its smarter gambits have paid off. While the bigger, richer broadcast networks turn increasingly toward bland formulas, "noisy" concepts and ill-advised star vehicles, The CW has quietly stuck to its knitting, churning out solid and enjoyable shows that end up giving me me more hope about humanity than an assorted six pack of network crime procedurals.
"The 100" is by far the network's darkest show, but this addictive drama doesn't forget to supply the adventure element as well. ("The 100" does for running through forests what "Doctor Who" does for sprinting down spaceship corridors.) It doesn't have the bucks of bigger networks, so it has, of late, focused on smart casting and fresh, energized takes on familiar forms.
So, as you might have guessed, I am not here to make a claim for the innate originality of "The 100." Like a crash survivor cannibalizing his or her ship, "The 100" takes components from the standard Y.A. and sci-fi toolkits and assembles them into a sturdy, efficient narrative. But like Syfy's "Defiance" -- another pulpy, enjoyable serial that unashamedly deploys its share of sci-fi and Western tropes and has a number of game, charismatic actors at its core -- "The 100" doesn't look away from the deeper questions embedded in its narrative.
"The 100" -- a figure that originally described the number of teen survivors plunked down a century after Earth's nuclear apocalypse -- continues to tell the story of several factions of adults and teens trying to stay alive under desperate circumstances. Hence the occasional harshness and even extreme brutality on display, but this is no surprise to those who witnessed the torture and murders that occurred in Season 1. The good news is, this show truly embraces the characters' impossible moral dilemmas without ever lapsing into lazy cynicism or predictable despair, and extreme actions are given the moral weight they're due.
Though Earth is now habitable, more or less, if some are going to live, then others have to die, and these characters ask themselves who and what is worth dying for without bogging down the narrative with overdoses of morose self-pity. Sure, the drama has some convenient twists and a few believability-stretching moments, but I'm willing to give "The 100" the benefit of the doubt because its cast is used well, its pacing is crisp and it's more morally adventurous than a lot of shows with far greater resources.
The survival game has changed this season: More adults have arrived on the scene and they have their own ideas about how to impose "order" on the young people -- and others -- who are roaming the surprisingly picturesque post-apocalyptic territories. The grown-ups often think they know best, but more often than not, Clarke Griffin (Eliza Taylor) is not having any of it.
Taylor is admirably committed to conveying Clarke's unbreakable will, which sometimes comes off as almost unreasonable stubbornness. But Clarke's skepticism about her new situation ends up being understandable, and her resistance is one of the most attractive elements of "The 100." These kids have a chance to literally remake the world, and Clarke and her cohorts Bellamy (Bob Morley), Finn (Thomas McDonell), Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos) and Raven (Lindsey Morgan) do not want to re-make their parents' mistakes.
It's fairly bold of "The 100" to take a narrative that's relatively similar to "The Walking Dead" and put a teen girl at the center of it (and as is the case with "The Good Wife," The CW show would actually support a reading of it as a critique of the differences between male and female leadership styles). As Alyssa Rosenberg has pointed out, even on prestige dramas, young women often "function as built-in critics of the behavior of the adults." Though Eliza is clearly at the center of this story, many of the younger characters on "The 100" are turning into credible leaders. As Bellamy, Bob Morley has been a terrific asset to the show since it began, and through sheer force of will, Bellamy's sister Octavia has become one of my favorite TV badasses. There's a Season 2 scene in which Octavia overpowers a much larger character and the moment should have been preposterous, but Avgeropoulos sold the hell out of it.
There's a lot for the young folk to critique on "The 100," but there are not many cartoonish villains to be found (and the show makes good use of skilled adult actors like Paige Turco and Raymond J. Barry). On lesser dramas, hiring a parade of "Battlestar Galactica" actors might bring up uncomfortable questions about what a show is lacking, but on "The 100," the presence of "BSG" alums drive home the central parallel between that great show and this more modest yet very enjoyable one.
As Adama and Roslin taught us, those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
HuffPost TV spoke to "The 100" executive producer Jason Rothenberg about what fans can expect from the second season. I don't consider what's below to be particularly spoiler-y. There are hints about what's coming, but trust me, you won't see a lot of it coming.
Last time we talked, you couldn't tell me how many episodes would be in Season 2, but now we know it's 16. How do you feel about that number?
I love that number. Thirteen was hard to do. Sixteen is going to be harder because it's just the sheer number [of episodes in total]. I don't know how people do 22 episodes and make them good. In a serialized adventure like this, that's too much. You can't have every episode be good. At some point, the most important part of my job is quality control. Last year, we were able to do what I think was a very strong 13-episode season. This year, we're going to do a little more, but it's not so much more that it's going to kill me and make it so that [the attitude would be], "Eh, that's good enough."
When we talked before [before and after the Season 1 finale], you said you wanted to get into more character moments and the characters' pasts, so I would think more episodes would give you time to do that. I also think about the fact that you have so many groups and factions now -- you just probably need more room for that.
"I wouldn't say it's a new show, but it's very different."Yeah, so far a lot story time in the first couple of episodes has been taken up with that. We're almost re-establishing what the show is. I wouldn't say it's a new show, but it's very different. We're establishing new sets. Usually, in a Season 2, you go back to your same locations and same sets. This is totally new. We've got no Ark, for the most part. We've got Mount Weather, which we spent a ton of money on and it's amazing. We're going to live there for quite a bit of story. That's a new world. And that's really hard on production, by the way. You don't have the time or the money that you have with a pilot.
On top of that, you are shooting outside a lot, and the weather around Vancouver can be so rainy and unpredictable.
It's great, though. I'm in my nice office in Santa Monica, so I can't really complain, but the worse the weather is, the better the show tends to look.
Is there a dividing line in the season -- like, a first bunch and then the show comes back in the new year and airs a bunch more?
The good thing about last year was that we did 13 episodes in a row. This year, we're on in the fall, so unfortunately there are some natural breaks for Thanksgiving and Christmas. But in the [writers'] room, we break stories so there's a big [episode] right before the first break and a big one right before the second break. The bigger episodes will unfold like that. And then I think we run through eight in a row at the end. There's a huge [development in] Episode 5. And there's a story point [later in the season] that's going to really blow people's minds.
Given where everyone's starting in Season 2, it sounds like there will be a lot of new recurring characters.
Yes, there will be new people who will be with us for a while. The fun thing is, we're building out all these universes -- Mount Weather, the camp where the Ark fell -- that's our main ground set this year. It's unbelievable how big the ship is. We built the drop ship last year, but this is a section of the Ark. It's huge.
The thing that Abby and Kane climbed out of at the end of Season 2 -- that's a different section. It broke apart and they were looking for other survivors, and they came across this section that is more intact. Over the season, that [large section of the Ark on the ground] becomes like "Deadwood" with a space ship in the middle of it. It's like a Western town. They build a bar and a hospital and all of that.
What's been the most fun about the second season so far?
There are so many new people on the ground, so we get to have scenes with actors who have never worked together. There are some really big reunions coming up.
I'm sure you can't say when it will be, but the Abby-Clarke reunion will be a big deal.
That'll be a really long-awaited moment for them and for the audience too. It's going to be crazy because she's so different now. They're both very different from those two women who last saw each other in the teaser of the pilot episode. We did a flashback of them together in Episode 3 [in the first season], but [actors Paige Turco, who plays Clarke's mother, Abby, and Eliza Taylor] have not worked together since then.
Obviously the show has a very active online community and you interact with them a lot. Do you ever think, "What will the fans think?" when you're laying out where the show will go?
I've never been influenced by anyone saying [what they want]. If [a fan idea] is a great idea, I would do it, but I'm not going to take the pulse of the audience before I do anything. You've got to surprise people.
I will assume you know that people are really into Linctavia.
That's a relationship with that actually has some real weight in the show, because it's about different cultures. The whole thing this season is about turning people's views on the Grounders. The Grounders are actually not the monolithic bad guys. When I say the season is about reunions, it's also about unions. Groups that hate each other and are at war with each other need to make alliances in order to defeat the bigger bad that may be out there.
I wanted to ask a couple of those before I let you go. Here's one: Where did Lincoln get his tattoos?
The Grounders actually tattoo themselves. It's sort of based on Native American culture [and many] ancient cultures -- tattooing is a really old art form. They're all hand done. One tattoo that actually isn't a tattoo is -- they mark themselves for every kill. They burn a little bump into their backs. Lincoln has that field of bumps on his back. And they could tell you [who each person was]. It's a way not to sort of glamorize the kill but to memorialize the person that died.
We're going to meet a character this year named Indra who's a very high-ranking Grounder who's got [a lot of them]. They don't fit on her back, they spill down her arm.
Will we learn Lincoln's last name?
No. I don't know if he has a last name, honestly. I think if they have last names, it's more like, "Of the Woods." It's more a geographic designation.
"The 100" airs Wednesday at 9:00 p.m. ET on The CW, and the first season of the show arrives Wednesday on Netflix.
Why Amazon's <i>Transparent</i> Is Binge-Watch Worthy
Whether you're transgender or not, Amazon's new series, Transparent, will suck you in like the display case at Georgetown Cupcake. You'll find yourself lying in bed at midnight, clutching your TV remote and rationalizing "one more" that will likely turn into two or possibly three more should you suffer from insomnia like I do. But I promise: unlike a good cupcake binge, you won't hate yourself afterward.
Jeffrey Tambor, is phenomenal in his role as Maura, the 68 year-old patriarch-turned-matriarch of the Pfefferman clan who finally begins her transition while officially coming out to her ex-wife and three adult children, each one dysfunctional in their own way. Tambor may be the headliner, but he is surrounded by an amazing cast. And it's the way they adjust to the news and come to terms with their own identity issues that makes this series so watchable. The character development is masterful and the performances are, in a word, real.
There is nothing trite about the script. And while you don't have to be trans to appreciate the realness of both the situations and dialogue, as someone who has transitioned, I can tell you first hand that the writing and acting is legit.
The scene where Maura comes out to her oldest daughter, Sarah (played by Amy Landecker), is a perfect example. Sarah is not only dealing with the shock of seeing her father in full make-up, wig and flowing silk caftan, but is also struggling to make sense of what she's just been told. "Are you saying that you're gonna start dressing like a lady all the time?" she asks. Maura sums it up perfectly, stroking her daughter's hair like a mother would do. "No honey, all my life -- my whole life -- I've been dressing up like a man."
The reason Transparent is so spot on? Jill Soloway, the show's creator. She too had a parent come out to her as trans, which is what inspired her to bring this dramady to life. Though not without help from transgender consultants like author Jennifer Finney Boylan, filmmaker Rhys Ernst and artist Zackary Drucker, who also appears in the series as the trans support group facilitator. Soloway casts transgender actors to fill trans roles wherever possible including Alexandra Billings who plays Maura's friend and mentor, Davina, and comedian Ian Harvie who cameos as a professor pursued by Maura's sexually curious daughter, Ali (Gaby Hoffmann).
Even still, Soloway has been criticized for not casting a trans woman to play the role of Maura. As someone who transitioned, I get it. But as an ad guy who has cast over a hundred TV commercials, I also understand the need to go with the best actor for the part. The acting is what's going to make the show work and engage an audience. And with the right talent, it shouldn't matter whether or not the actor is trans. Especially with transgender consultants there to help. Plus, in this particular show, Maura is 68 and just beginning her transition, so realistically, it makes sense that she looks and seems more like a cis man (male born) than a trans woman. Transitioning is an awkward learn-as-you-go process and Tambor's 6'1" gawky frame further accentuates the character's struggle to be comfortable and confident in her femininity and ability to pass. After watching this show, I can't imagine the role of Maura being played by anybody else.
So let's celebrate a series that gets it right. Grab your smart TV remote and order Amazon Prime if you don't already have it. Transparent alone is worth the annual fee-both for it's entertainment value and educational value on the trans topic.
Annie Lennox's Comments About Beyonce And Feminism Were 'Lost In Translation'
Annie Lennox made waves last month when she called Beyonce "feminist lite," but she told HuffPost Live on Tuesday that her words were "lost in translation."
In a September interview with PrideSource, Lennox responded to a question about Beyonce's performance at the MTV Video Music Awards, which featured the word "feminist" projected on a gigantic screen behind her, by calling it "tokenistic."
Lennox told HuffPost Live's Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani on Tuesday that she did not intend to insult Beyonce. Instead, she was making a comparison between Beyonce and what Lennox would call "feminist heavy," which includes activists like "Vagina Monologues" author Eve Ensler.
"I know these women at the grassroots level, and that's the real-deal place," Lennox said. "They're working at the front lines on a daily basis. So that was really what I was trying to say. It came across as if I was slighting Beyonce, which was not the case, not the intention whatsoever. I commend her."
And lest anyone report her to The Beygency, Lennox also offered some praise for the one and only Queen Bey.
"I adore Beyonce. I think she is a sublime performer, artist. I think there's no one [who] can touch her," she said.
Lennox's new album, "Nostalgia," is available now.
Watch Lennox discuss Beyonce in the video above, and click here for the full HuffPost Live conversation.
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'Racism Insurance' Is The Full Coverage Policy A LOT Of People Need
What if every time someone "accidentally" said something racist, a more knowledgeable and eloquent person swooped in and translated their words into something much less objectionable?
The folks behind the satirical film "Dear White People" are here with a commercial parody that imagines a world where people can buy "racism insurance" to do just that.
"Racism insurance" may not be a real thing, but until it is, maybe try just not saying any of the stuff above. It's a much simpler solution -- and hey, no monthly fee!
Jimmy Kimmel Makes 'Fury' Even More Intense -- With Furbys
With his new role in "Fury," Brad Pitt has firmly established himself as a Nazi's worst nightmare, but his new enemy is more intense than ever.
On Monday, Jimmy Kimmel gave us a sneak peek of the sequel to "Fury," and this time around Pitt and his crew will face their biggest challenge yet: Furbys.
Don't let their cuddliness fool you. These guys have been attacking parents' wallets since the late '90s, and they show no signs of stopping now.
"Jimmy Kimmel Live" airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. ET on ABC.
28 February 2012
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