November 17, 2014
I love the Internet. Not just because of the juggernaut BillyMasters.com has become, but because: 1) virtually anyone can publish whatever they want and call it news and b) people will believe it. With my job (such as it is), I spend hours carefully researching stories. Last week, it was reported that Disney would be making an animated feature about two gay princes. The alleged movie was to be based on the children's book The Princes and the Treasure, which is a real book released earlier this year. It features two handsome princes who fall in love with each other during their quest to save a princess. So far, so good. However, the report said that Disney would release this film in fall of 2015. How on Earth could this movie be out in a matter of months when the long-gestating Finding Nemo sequel has been in production for years? Yes, someday our prince will come; but this story is a bunch of crap. Disney is not making a movie about gay princes anytime soon. Sure, many people believe that Frozen is a veiled lesbian allegory. But that's as far as it's going...for now.
A few years ago, the thought of a professional athlete saying he was gay would have been fantasy. But it's happening more and more every day. Last week, it was Robbie Rogers who was out front and center. The soccer player was fêted at a West Hollywood soirée to celebrate the release of his autobiography, Coming Out To Play. Since he's the spousal equivalent of TV producer Greg Berlanti, it's no surprise that his story has already been attached to a television show. Back in July, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron optioned Robbie's life story and began developing a sitcom about a young gay male soccer player. Three months later, ABC signed off on Men In Shorts. That's an awful lot of attention for a soccer player in the US - regardless of his sexuality.
With The Comeback coming back after about a decade, it's no surprise that MTV has decided to bring back one of its most popular properties. Back in 2005, The Osbournes went off the air - but not before thrusting Sharon, Ozzy, Kelly and Jack down our collective throats. Now, 10 years later, the clan is set to return to the airwaves. Sharon announced that this updated mini-season was the idea of Ozzy, who said, "I wish we could have done The Osbournes now where I'm clean and sober." The new show will air on VH-1. Perhaps their lead-in will be Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.
I cannot tell you how many e-mails I received about Culture Club's troubling appearance on The View last week. The iconic band was reuniting for their first tour in 12 years. During their performance, viewers were dismayed by Boy George's soft and raspy voice. This did not bode well for a tour scheduled to start this weekend in Rancho Mirage. Not unexpectedly, George broke the news that the tour was off: "I have been having trouble with my voice on and off for a few months." Doctors discovered a polyp on his vocal chords which may require surgery. "I have been advised by doctors that to continue singing with this polyp would further damage my voice and could cause irreparable damage." The boys hope to reschedule the tour for next year - perhaps to support their new CD.
Andy Dick was arrested last week after allegedly stealing a guy's necklace on Hollywood Boulevard. Apparently, he admired the chain, asked if he could look at it, and then absconded with it. The guy he allegedly stole it from couldn't catch Andy because he was riding his bicycle. This story just becomes more and more ridiculous. The police picked Dick up near his Hollywood apartment. Since the necklace was purportedly worth $1,000, this fell under grand theft. Andy was in jail for about 12 hours until someone put up money towards his $25K bail.
If you know one thing about me, it's that I don't kick someone when they're down. Others made jokes about Clay Aiken being a perpetual bridesmaid after his second-place showing to become Congressman from North Carolina. But not moi...no siree. I made those jokes long BEFORE the election (I always like to be first). But Clay's a clever minx; he's always got a B-plan. A film crew was following him on the campaign trail and the result will be a four-hour documentary series for the Esquire Network (whatever that is). But we hear that some of his supporters are less than thrilled to be a part of this project. Someone who organized a fundraiser in Los Angeles went public with his dismay in an open letter. He claims that guests were misled when asked to sign waivers by the film crew - they "were told it was for a BBC documentary that would not air here in the United States". This person feels that Clay had himself "covered with a reality TV show deal the entire time, just in case you didn't win". Ouch.
Kickstarter seems to have become a godsend for both new and established artists to fund their projects. Queer auteur Casper Andreas will direct Kiss Me Kill Me, which is termed as a gay murder mystery starring Gale Harold and Van Hansis (and oodles of others). The film met its initial goal and is looking for $25K in additional funding to "significantly raise the quality of the production". In the meantime, Casper got himself cast in an upcoming episode of Hawaii Five-0 playing an art collector. Hey, a girl's gotta eat.
Openly gay country singer Steve Grand keeps making headlines. He was looking for $81,000 for his new CD, All American Boy. By the deadline, he raised $326,593 - four times the amount he was looking for. It's been named one of the 10 most-funded music projects in Kickstarter history.
Chely Wright also raised money for her new release. During her 45-day Kickstarter fundraiser, she raised $249,181! That makes her the sixth most successful Kickstarter music campaign, and the number one campaign in country music.
Someone who don't need no Kickstarter is Bette Midler. The Divine Miss M has released her tribute to girl groups, called It's The Girls!, and it's a delight on every level - due in no small part to the genius producing, arranging and overall futzing by Marc Shaiman. The CD also marks a milestone for Bette - it's her fifth consecutive decade of having a top-10 album. That's not a bad distinction, especially since she's second to only one other female performer - Babs. And that brings up one of Bette's regrets: "I would have liked to have duetted with Barbra Streisand by now. She is adorable. There was talk of a collaboration on her latest album and I wanted her on mine, too, but sadly it didn't come to anything because we were both buried in our respective projects." If Babs ever makes her film version of Gypsy (which Bette made for TV in 1993), maybe Midler could play a role. I can just hear her belting out, "I'm electrifying - and I ain't even trying".
Our Ask Billy question comes from Javier in New Jersey: "What has that guy from Smallville been up to? Tom Welling. God, he was gorgeous."
One doesn't think of Tom Welling often - or even, I daresay, annually. I have enormous fondness for him because the footage of him diving into the water wearing only a cock sock was first seen on BillyMasters.com. Recently, I saw one of those spreads about former heartthrobs. I remember stopping at one guy who was positively breathtaking, and positively unknown to me. It was Tom Welling, who happens to have become an incredibly handsome man. There is virtually nothing about him that resembles his Smallville persona, so one would think he'd get some work. But since we last saw him in Cheaper By The Dozen 2 (and where, oh where, is Bonnie Hunt??), he's done two very small film projects. Of course, he's still big - as the video we have of him demonstrates. It's just the projects that got small. But you can see what he looks like today on BillyMasters.com.
When anyone is referring to Babs as adorable, we've definitely come to the end of yet another column. But again I ask, where is Bonnie Hunt? Once I track her down, you know I'll tell all on www.BillyMasters.com - the site that can find anyone. If you have someone or something you want me to look into, write to Billy@BillyMasters.com and I promise to get back to you before Tom Welling turns up in a project as big as his talent. So, until next time, remember, one man's filth is another man's bible.