Whoopi Goldberg on Yesterday’s Blow-Up: Jeanine Pirro ‘Called Everybody at the Table a Name I Cannot Repeat on TV’ – WATCH

Whoopi Goldberg

Whoopi Goldberg returned to yesterday’s Jeanine Pirro blow-up on today’s episode of The View, laying out the facts which Pirro has been trying to spin in her favor over on State TV.

Explained Goldberg: “She seemed to leave some key points out. She left a lot of pertinent stuff out…There’s a lot of spinning she’s doing and I can’t do anything about that but I can tell you what went on. She was upset when she got here because Ana Navarro was here instead of Joy [Behar]. After the segment, which ended up when it was supposed to, she then called everybody at the table a name I cannot repeat on TV and said it in front of the audience.”

Whoopi went on: “When I came offstage…I was a little hot. She came off. She could have just passed me. She didn’t need to stop but she stopped and put her finger in my face and yelled ‘I’ve done more for victims than you ever will.’ Then I said to her some few choice words that I cannot repeat. But I did not spit on her. I did not intimidate her. No one chased her out. But she did leave her cursing at the people who book the show, she cursed at the guys who do the security for the show…None of us were chasing her because we still had another segment to do.”

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Dan Coats, Aquaria, Eric Swalwell, Neil Cavuto, Kimberly Guilfoyle, Wiz Khalifa, Jon Stewart, Michelle Obama: HOT LINKS

hector cocco

UPROAR. White House enraged by Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats interview: ‘Inside the White House, Trump’s advisers were in an uproar over Coats’s interview in Aspen, Colo. They said the optics were especially damaging, noting that at moments Coats appeared to be laughing at the president, playing to his audience of the intellectual elite in a manner that was sure to infuriate Trump. “Coats has gone rogue,” said one senior White House official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to provide a candid assessment.’

WIZ KHALIFA. Biting a banana in public is gay.

CATS. Taylor Swift, Jennifer Hudson, and Ian McKellen are starring in the movie based on the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical.

MICHELLE OBAMA. Get out the vote drive with Tom Hanks, Janelle Monáe, Chris Paul, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Faith Hill, and Tim McGraw.

DEVIN NUNES. Used political $$ for $15,000 in tickets to Boston Celtics games, winery tours and trips to Las Vegas. “His PAC also spent about $42,741 since 2013 on catering, site rentals, hotels and meals in Las Vegas. The most recent instance was March 9, when the PAC spent $7,229 at seven different restaurants and hotels in Las Vegas.”

REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA). Putin shouldn’t even be in our country: “He attacked our country. Most Americans, when their homes get broken into they upgrade their security system, they don’t invite the burglar over for dinner. And the president shouldn’t let Vladimir Putin in the Rose Garden for a victory lap.”

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KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE. FOX News bot and Donald Jr. mistress leaving network, joining Trump PAC: ‘Guilfoyle will join Donald Trump Jr., who she is dating, on the campaign trail for the 2018 midterm elections, the people said. It’s not yet clear precisely when she plans on stepping down from her role at Fox News. One of the people familiar with Guilfoyle’s plans said she would likely take a job at America First Policies, a non-profit organization that works to support President Trump’s agenda.’

ARIZONA. CVS refuses transgender customer: “Embarrassed and distressed, I nearly started crying in the middle of the store. I didn’t want to answer why I had been prescribed this hormone therapy combination by my doctor.”

BIG COLLABORATION? Are Gaga, Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus working on a mega anthem? “Fans were sent into a tizzy on Wednesday after Taylor Swift was spotted spending several hours at a New York City recording studio that Miley Cyrus and Lady Gaga have also recently visited.”

MIKE POMPEO. Putin meeting at White House will take place this fall.

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HATE MAIL OF THE DAY. FOX Business anchor Neil Cavuto reads messages he got after criticizing Trump.

I’M GAY. Grandson of Singapore’s  founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew comes out: “Huanwu and his partner can be seen with their arms around each other in portraits shot for Out in Singapore. The son of Lee Hsien Yang, 31-year-old Huanwu works as a general manager while his 27-year-old partner is a fellow Singaporean who works as a veterinarian.”

AMERICAN HORROR STORY. The Season 8 title and art have been revealed.

AQUARIA. Drag Race winner booed off stage at London nightclub. “All was going swimmingly, until Aquaria hand-picked her close friend, trans performer Love Bailey, to be the final contestant. For some bizarre reason, the audience didn’t react well to Aquaria’s choice, and then proceeded to boo the season 10 champion until she finally left the stage.”

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ADEQUATE HULK OF THE DAY. Jon Stewart.

POP QUIZ OF THE DAY. Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen.

FRIDAY FLASH. Hector Cocco.

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‘Pose’ Series Creator Steven Canals Discusses How 2018’s Best New Show Came To Be [INTERVIEW]

Pose Steven Canals

The best new show of 2018 wraps its first season Sunday when Pose airs its season finale at 9 p.m. Eastern on FX. A lovingly-crafted and beautifully-executed ode to New York City’s 1980s ballroom scene captured in the iconic documentary Paris Is Burning, Pose has achieved a new high-water mark in queer storytelling.

A passion project from series creator Steven Canals, the show masterfully blends Canals’ deep appreciation and personal connection to the source material with TV vanguard Ryan Murphy’s eye for luxe production.

Never before has television explored the world of trans people of color more beautifully. Trans luminaries like Our Lady J and Janet Mock have penned episodes (and Mock became the first trans woman of color to write and direct an episode of television), and the series boasts the largest ever cast of trans actors in series regular roles. The result is a much more nuanced and tender portrayal of the trans and queer experience.

It’s vital viewing for the entire LGBTQ community and allies, but don’t mistake Pose for solely a history lesson. There’s plenty of Ryan Murphy’s signature twists and turns, and the cast — particularly Indya Moore, Mj Rodriguez and Kinky Boots star Billy Porter — deliver some of the most emotionally gut-wrenching performances to hit the small screen.

Thankfully, the show has already been renewed for a second season, but before we say goodbye to season one, we chatted with series creator Canals about how the show came to be.

See what he had to say in our interview below.

steven canals

What inspired you to tell this story?

I grew up in New York City in the 1980s and was directly impacted by both the HIV and crack epidemics. Growing up in the shadows of those epidemics, I’ve always been curious about how and why they occurred, and specifically how they affected my communities. I spent a lot of time through my work just investigating that particular time period. Pose really grew out of my interest with how the HIV epidemic affected queer and trans people in New York.

Cut to I’m in college, so 2004, I’m studying cinema at Binghamton University. I have a professor who introduces me to the balls, screens Paris Is Burning for me, and I become enraptured by this beautiful community that taught me so much about resilience and about family. I thought at that time, “Oh, that would make a really wonderful show. Can’t wait to see that.”

Cut to ten years later, 2014, I’m working on an MFA in screenwriting at UCLA, and I’m about to enter a drama pilot course, and I think “Oh, I should dust off that old idea I had from ten years ago.” Because oddly enough, no one has told that story yet. So I constructed this story about this young man named Damon who moves to New York to become a dancer and becomes enmeshed in the ballroom scene. Partially it was about investigating what was happening in New York in the ’80s, but I also wrote it as a love letter to the entire ballroom community, who at that time in 2004 when I first encountered the ballroom community, I was stepping into my own queer identity. I took so much strength from their strength. It was a thank you for inspiring me to live more authentically.

How did you connect with Ryan Murphy?

I wrote the first draft in the beginning of 2014. I met Ryan September of 2016, so a little over two years later. The process of going in and out of rooms was maddening at times, to be perfectly honest. I wrote this pilot that I was really proud of, and I received really great feedback from my workshop and from my professor, Neal Landau, who is one of the writers of the film Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead. He’s a mentor, and he really encouraged me throughout the process of that first draft of Pose.

I entered the Hollywood community equipped with this body of work, specifically this one pilot that I really feel is my calling card. It is on paper the best representation, I feel, of who I am as a person and as a writer. Ultimately, what that pilot did for me was it was opening up doors, but it wasn’t keeping me in any of the rooms.

More often than not, I’d be meeting with these executives who I was spending a lot of time having to educate, because they either couldn’t wrap their brain around queerness and transness — they certainly didn’t understand intersectionality. These characters are not just queer and trans, they also happen to be black and Latinx. They also didn’t understand or have any knowledge of the ballroom community. We would have to go through this whole process of educating before we could ever talk about story.

When we would talk about story, more often than not I was being told, “It’s too niche of a world,” “I don’t know where a show like this lives,” “I don’t know who the audience for this show is.” That was really tough. It was really, really difficult. For me, the subtext to “We’re not interested in developing this project with you” wasn’t just we don’t see value in this story, it was we don’t see value in you, because the story was so personal.

Fortunately for me, I happened to meet Sherry Marsh, who is an EP on the show Vikings on History Channel. She’s also an EP now on Pose. She understood the material, and she was excited by it. It was through Sherry that I met Ryan, someone she had a relationship with for over 20 years going back to his first show Popular. He was also developing a show in the ballroom community. We met, and he read the script. I was able to pitch him my version, and then he pitched his version to me. We connected on a very deep level about our love for this community and for this story. He talked about his experience in New York in the ’80s. I talked about mine. We shared why this story is important to be told today. At the end of that meeting he said we’re going to make that together. Two years later, here we are.

Pose is a period piece, but so much of it still resonates today. Why did you and Ryan feel this story was so important to share today?

There are a lot of pieces I could pull out. I think one is just look at the current political climate. So much of what is happening today mirrors with what was happening with our administration in the ’80s when Ronald Reagan was president. There’s a lot of overlap. I think that was one reason. Obviously, history is also important. The sense that young LGBTQ people may be politically active but may not necessarily be as aware of the history of the community. Specifically, if we’re talking about HIV/AIDS, that really was only three decades back, right? Today we have meds, and, depending on your class, there’s more access to resources, but there are still communities that are lacking in resources and lacking in healthcare. It’s important for us to shine a light on that particular experience, to show that it’s still happening today. How much progress have we actually made?

We also felt like it was important to infuse positive storytelling into the LGBTQ experience, because more often than not the narrative — especially if we’re talking about trans narratives — are often very dark and very morose. Here was an opportunity to tell a family story about resilience and about love and about hope and to infuse aspiration and joy into the narrative. Those are a couple of things we talked about when we first met.

One of the things that makes Pose so incredible is the cast. Not only is it the largest cast of trans series regulars, but it’s uncovered so many talented newcomers. What was the process like casting these actors, and how did they contribute to the evolution of the characters?

Alexa Fogel is our casting director, and she’s worked on Ozark most recently. She is brilliant. She’s just a wonderful person. She and her team are stellar. They spent six months meeting with lots of trans actors. They went into the ballroom community and met with folks there. They presented Ryan and I with an abundance — no pun intended — of options for each of these characters … We met with the majority of folks whose tapes we watched and then we came to New York for a three or four day period and just met with everyone. It was transformative to hear their stories.

The process of casting was so much more than come into a room and go through a scene and then make a decision. These actors would come in and we’d go through the scene, and then we would spend time talking to them. What was your experience? What has your life been? What will you bring to this role? Through the process of that, we fell in love with so many people. We actually wound up going back into the writers room and rewriting the pilot so that we could create more characters and hire more actors because we were just so impressed with everyone.

I think the five actresses who are playing our principle characters, they are incredibly talented. They are so amazing. They imbue every role with so much humanity and soul. I think every single person, cast, crew, producer, all of our directors, everyone has come into this project with such a pure heart space. I’m really, really happy that Hollywood, and Ryan more specifically, took the “risk,” if you will, to hire actors who were quote-unquote “unknown.” I think bringing in actors who the audience wouldn’t be as familiar with would always be something that I would talk about prior to meeting Ryan in the room.

More often than not, I was given a side-eye and shrug, like that’s never going to happen. Ryan, really and truly, when I said that to him, he said “Well, yeah, obviously, of course we’re going to hire folks we’ve never seen before.” I think more often than not, in Hollywood, the narrative is there isn’t enough talent out there. In reality, I think our show disproves that notion. I think there’s absolutely an abundance of talent out there, specifically trans talent. I’m excited this show has given this opportunity to these actors.

Beyond our five actresses, we cast over 140 LGBTQ folks in roles. You watch all the ballroom scenes, those background actors and the folks playing judges in the ballroom scenes, everyone is coming together to work on the show. It’s created opportunities for so many folks who for so long were told there aren’t enough opportunities or there are no opportunities. We’re all really proud of that.

Fast forward ten years from now: What do you want the legacy of Pose to be both on television and on the larger culture?

My hope is that our audience recognizes the beauty and the breadth of both the trans and queer experience. I hope our audience realizes that we all just want to be accepted and embraced and affirmed for who we are. I think taking that all one step further, I hope that this show challenges our audience and keeps educating our audience so that it just creates more allies. I hope that moving forward, more folks’ hearts are open, and they want to donate their time and resources to organizations who are on the frontlines doing the work to aid the queer and trans community.

 

Pose airs Sunday at 9 p.m. on FX.

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Gay Anxiety, Mycoplasma Genitalium, Prostate Cancer, Xanax, Sex Addiction, Domestic Abuse: Gay Men’s Health Round-Up

gay mens health

OVERCOMING ANXIETY. In a new I’m From Driftwood video, Joe Ferreira explains how he dealt with anxiety issues after moving to the big city: “After coming out, graduating college and moving to New York City, Joe Ferreira thought he was going to finally be able to live his life to the fullest. Instead, he developed a deep and toxic form of anxiety that nearly took control of his life. Only after hitting a wall did Joe finally seek what he needed from the beginning – professional help.”

Body Conscious Gay Men's Health, Sex, and SelfBLACK GAY MEN. Finally, CDC says outreach needed in the South: “The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a study released Thursday raised an alarm about black men in the South and HIV. They’re not being diagnosed enough in traditional health care sites, the study found, so health workers need to seek them out in new places for testing and care. The world that most media portray, where HIV-AIDS has been brought into the open and under control, is not theirs. Black men represent an outsized proportion of new HIV cases. Nearly two-thirds of all black men diagnosed with HIV reside in the South, so the study looked at data from 2016 in 20 Southern states. The goal was to break down groups that are being diagnosed and treated effectively, where and how.”

A clip from 2017 in which Atlanta activist Duncan Teague talks about the epidemic:

HIV. Men with same-sex partners 28 times more likely to contract HIV: “The overall annual number of new HIV infections dropped from a high of 3.4 million in 1996 to 1.8m last year, according to UNAIDS, which co-ordinates the organisation’s global response to HIV/Aids. Yet gay men and men who have sex with men remained most at risk of contracting HIV, along with female sex workers, drug users and transgender women, the Global Aids Update 2018 report noted.”

SEX ADDICTION. World Health Organization adds it to list of mental disorders: ‘In its new International Classification of Diseases, WHO defines “compulsive sexual health disorder” as a “persistent pattern of failure to control intense, repetitive sexual impulses or urges resulting in repetitive sexual behavior.” The new classification means that sex addiction – a term popularized before research designated the condition as compulsive sexual health disorder –  can be diagnosed based on a list of criteria, which include: repetitive sexual activities becoming the focus of a person’s life, numerous unsuccessful efforts to reduce sexual behavior and continued sexual activity despite deriving little satisfaction from it. ‘

MYCOPLASMA GENITALIUM. Both men and women may be at risk from emerging superbug: “Mycoplasma genitalium is a bacterium that can cause inflammation of the urethra in men, causing discharge from the penis and making it painful to urinate. In women, it can cause inflammation of the reproductive organs (womb and fallopian tubes) too, causing pain and possibly a fever and some bleeding. You can get it by having unprotected sex with someone who has it. Condoms can prevent this spread.”

46 PERCENT. Women aren’t the only victims of domestic abuse. Gay men suffer too, at high rates: “The study included 320 men in 160 couples, and found that 46 percent reported some form of intimate partner abuse in the last year, including physical and sexual violence, emotional abuse and controlling behavior. “If you just looked at physical and sexual violence in male couples, it’s about 25 to 30 percent, roughly the same as women,” said study author Rob Stephenson. He directs the University of Michigan’s Center for Sexuality and Health Disparities. “We’re stuck in this mental representation of domestic violence as a female victim and a male perpetrator, and while that is very important, there are other forms of domestic violence in all types of relationships,” Stephenson said.’

FITNESS BURN OF THE DAY. Tom Daley helps you work that bum.

PROSTATE CANCER. Trials begin for saliva test: “The test draws on more than 150 DNA markers to identify the 10% of men who have nearly a threefold greater risk of the disease than the general population, and the 1% of men with a sixfold greater risk. Researchers created the test after a major study into the genetics of prostate cancer found 63 new gene variants linked to the disease. The new test combines these with more than 100 DNA markers that were already known from previous work.”

XANAX. Is it really that dangerous? ‘Dr. Arntsen adds, “Long-term use results in dose escalation, increased risk of accidents, cognitive impairment, and possible drug-seeking behavior.” According to Dr. Arntsen, withdrawal can be just as serious as mixing benzodiazepines with other drugs, as it “can be severe, including seizures, and is potentially life-threatening.”’

super gonorrheaFIGHTING DRUG RESISTANT GONORRHEA. Doctors pushing for new methods: “…a handful of researchers and companies are trying to develop rapid, point-of-care diagnostics that would signal which drugs work for a given patient and permit clinicians to tailor treatment to the bacterial strain. A future, in other words, of bespoke treatment, in which a greater variety of drugs are used to treat a very common sexually transmitted disease — potentially prolonging the utility of a number of antibiotics.”

ACCESS. For first time, researchers see link between gay marriage and improved health care access: “This is an important question to study, since recent research has shown that LGBT individuals often face barriers to accessing health services including lack of insurance, stigma, and discrimination, and, as a result, can experience poor health outcomes,” said Christopher Carpenter, professor of economics, who led the trans-institutional research team and is the lead author on the paper. “A very large body of research in economics and sociology demonstrates that marriage is protective for health for heterosexual individuals, but ours is the first to show that marriage policy has meaningful effects on health care access for sexual-minority men.”

THE END OF SAFE GAY SEX? Condoms still a necessary element for safety: ‘After tracking the sexual practices of 17,000 gay and bisexual Australian men from 2014 to 2017, a team of researchers this month unveiled the most convincing evidence to date. While the number of H.I.V.-negative men who are on PrEP increased to 24 percent from 2 percent, the rate of condom use decreased to 31 percent from 46 percent. More troubling, condom use among non-gay men is also down significantly. Although public health advocates have been sounding the alarm on condom use for the last decade, their calls have gone largely unheeded. Part of that is because of a shift in how we talk about risky sex: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has replaced “unprotected” with “condomless” sex. The dangerous implication is that PrEP alone may ward off all sexually transmitted infections.’

SUBSTANCE USE. LGBQ teens more likely than peers to use dangerous drugs: “The data showed LGBQ teens were more likely to have ever used 14 of the 15 substances studied, including alcohol, cigarettes, cigars, cocaine, ecstasy, electronic vapor (“vaping”), hallucinogens, heroin, inhalants, marijuana, methamphetamine, prescription drugs (without physician direction), steroids, and synthetic marijuana. LGBQ teens also were at greater risk for having used harder drugs. For instance, LGBQ teens were more likely than heterosexual teens to ever use heroin (6.6 versus 1.3 percent), hallucinogens (12.3 versus 5.5 percent), ecstasy (10.8 versus 4.1 percent), cocaine (11.0 versus 4.2 percent), methamphetamines (8.6 versus 2.1 percent) and prescription drugs (26.2 versus 15.5 percent).”

PLEASURE SAFARI. An ASMR adventure (wk-unfriendly).

Body Conscious: Gay Men’s Health, Sex, and Self is a new regular twice-monthly feature from Towleroad covering the unique issues gay men face with regard to physical and mental fitness. 

If you are a writer/professional with a background in gay men’s health interested in contributing to this regular column, shoot us an email at jobs-at-towleroad.com.

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Michael Cohen Secretly Recorded Trump Discussing Stormy Daniels Hush Payoff

Michael Cohen

Michael Cohen

Michael Cohen

Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen secretly recorded at least one conversation with Donald Trump two months before the election in which he discussed payoffs to Stormy Daniels with the then candidate. The recording was swept up as part of the FBI raid on Cohen’s office.

The NYT reports: “Prosecutors want to know whether that violated federal campaign finance laws, and any conversation with Mr. Trump about those payments would be of keen interest to them. The recording’s existence further draws Mr. Trump into questions about tactics he and his associates used to keep aspects of his personal and business life a secret. And it highlights the potential legal and political danger that Mr. Cohen represents to Mr. Trump. Once the keeper of many of Mr. Trump’s secrets, Mr. Cohen is now seen as increasingly willing to consider cooperating with prosecutors.” More here.

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‘Golden Girls’ Action Figures On The Way

golden girls action figures

National Entertainment Collectibles Association (NECA), the largest manufacturer of wholesale licensed merchandise, just announced a line of action figures based on the television show The Golden Girls, and the dolls look just like their TV counterparts. They’ll be available early 2019, according to the company, which introduced the set at San Diego Comic Con.

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Writes NECA: “Dorothy, Rose, Blanche and Sofia are dressed in fabric clothing that’s perfect for an afternoon on the lanai, and feature authorized likenesses. Each fully articulated figure stands approximately 8” tall.”

golden girls

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Roseanne Barr Posts Explosive ‘Explanation’ of Valerie Jarrett Tweet: ‘God Damnit, I Thought the B*tch Was White!’

Roseanne Barr explodes

In a video (presumably the one she said would explain her racist tweet in which she compared Valerie Jarrett to an ape) uploaded to her own YouTube channel, Roseanne Barr exploded at the camera: “I thought the b*itch was white! God damnit, I thought the b*tch was white! F**k!”

Barr said earlier this month that she planned to interview herself and post it to her YouTube channel: “After a lot of thought, I decided that I won’t be doing any TV interviews, too stressful & untrustworthy 4 me & my fans. I’m going to film it myself & post it on my youtube channel in the next week-the entire explanation of what happened & why! I love you all-sign up & get ready.”

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