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Netflix Releases Trailer For New Tina Fey Comedy Series 'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt' - VIDEO

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Tina Fey’s new Netflix series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt has finally been given a March 6th official release date when the entire first season will be available to stream online. Originally entitled Tooken (think Taken), Kimmy Schmidt follows the life of a woman (Ellie Kemper) recently freed from an underground doomsday cult as she adjusts to life in New York City. The series was first slated to be one of NBC’s flagship comedies for the 2014 fall season, but ultimately chose to sell its distribution rights to Netflix.

"We decided this was the best possible scenario to launch this captivating new series," NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt said of the deal last fall.

Tina Fey and her 30 Rock producer partner Robert Carlock co-wrote and produced the show’s first 13 episode season and have committed to produce a second under Netflix’s brand. Ellie Kemper, best known for her role as The Office’s Erin Hannon, is joined by 30 Rock veterans Jane Krakoswi (Jenna Maroney) and Tituss Burgess (Queen of Jordan’s D’Fwan.)

Check out the trailer for The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt AFTER THE JUMP...

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Billy Crystal's Homophobic Remarks Require Context

Billy Crystal Television Critics Association

As we are all fully aware at this point, legendary comedian Billy Crystal wedged his foot down his esophagus during his Television Critics Association press circuit, saying that gay characters on television are "a bit too much," "Sometimes, it’s just pushing it a little too far for my taste," and of course the old saw of 'shoving it in his face.'

The Hollywood Reporter figured that the remarks had to be taken out of context, particularly given that Crystal had played one of the first openly gay characters on primetime television, and investigated further. Crystal clarified, saying:

What I meant was that whenever sex or graphic nudity of any kind (gay or straight) is gratuitous to the plot or story it becomes a little too much for my taste.

Huffington Post editor Noah Michelson had similar concerns and also went looking for further context, though whereas the The Hollywood Reporter was willing to take Crystal's statement to them at face value, the interview Michelson found at Xfinity's tv blog was more damning. There, Crystal said:

But when I feel it's a cause, when I feel it's "You're going to like my lifestyle," no matter what it is, I'm going to have a problem and there were a couple of shows I went 'I couldn't watch that with somebody else.'

[...]

We live in a very scary time in many ways. You can't say this, you can't say that, you can't offend this group, that group. People come up to you and ask if you were offended. I don't understand that. I understand it why everyone is watching out for the other person. That's offensive to me.

Which brought Michelson to his conclusion:

Beneath all of the progress we've made, the shit -- from disgust with our sex lives to frustration with our wanting to push our "cause" and "lifestyle" -- still exists. We can pass all of the laws we want and we can give queer people all the same rights as non-queers, but if the fundamental feeling about us is still "Ew! Yuck! I don't want to see that!" or "Stop shoving that in our faces!" I hardly call that progress.


Billy Crystal Thinks Gay Storylines on Television Today Are 'Pushing It A Little Too Far' - VIDEO

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Speaking to an audience during his Television Critics Association press circuit, Billy Crystal expressed that in his opinion, many of the current depictions of gay characters on television were “a bit too much." Crystal, who is currently promoting his new show 'The Comedians, made a name for himself in the late seventies playing Jodie Dallas, an openly gay character on the ABC sitcom 'Soap.'

Jodie dallasThough gay characters were a part of some television shows at the time, their sexualities were typically only heavily implied and almost always made out to be character flaws.

Reflecting on his role, Crystal recalls that portraying a character who was openly and explicitly gay in the 1970s was both groundbreaking and extremely difficult.

“It was very difficult at the time, he explained. “Jodie was really the first recurring [gay] character on network television and it was a different time, it was 1977. So, yeah, it was awkward. It was tough.”

Crystal’s exact issues with the currently roster of gay characters appearing on network television weren’t made clear, but the actor intimated that the recent uptick of queer intimacy in shows like 'How To Get Away With Murder' were a bit too much for him.

“Sometimes, it’s just pushing it a little too far for my taste and I’m not going to reveal to you which ones they are,” he said. “I hope people don’t abuse it and shove it in our face… to the point where it feels like an everyday kind of thing.”

As pioneering as Crystal’s role as Jodie Dallas was for its time, the character’s eccentricities and plotlines prove to be deeply troubling when looked at from a modern perspective. Though Dallas was written as being gay, many of the stories involving the character centered around homophobic and anti-trans themes of gender disillusionment and crossdressing for comedic effect.

Watch one of the more problematic scenes of 'Soap' featuring Jodie Dallas AFTER THE JUMP...

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Singer Alexander O'Neal Apologizes For Calling Perez Hilton 'Silly-Ass Faggot' On Celebrity Big Brother: VIDEO

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Singer Alexander O'Neal (above) has apologized for calling Perez Hilton a "faggot" on English reality TV show Celebrity Big Brother, reports The Mirror.

6a00d8341c730253ef01b7c73908b6970b-250wiO'Neal's outburst came after Hilton (right) had been antagonizing the singer by blowing him kisses.

“I know what you want but you’re not going to get it ... you’re going to sit there with that silly ass faggot look on your face,” said O'Neal.

O’Neal later told housemates that although he regretted his choice of words, he didn’t regret using that phrase against the celeb blogger.  Suggesting a threat of violence had the incident occurred off camera, he added:

"He knows well that he couldn't do that out there, but he did that in here 'cos it's safe in the Big Brother house. He taunted me...no man taunts me ever, you don't play with me.

"I apologise to the gay community. I have gay cousins, gay friends, I have people in my family that I love with a passion, if anybody hit them or messed with them the wrong way it's on. God don't make no mistakes.

"For that I apologise, but I never apologise for what I said about him to him ever.”

Although some housemates were supportive of Hilton, others were shocked by his antagonistic behavior towards O’Neal.

Following his apology, O’Neal disappeared into the diary room and didn’t return.  Housemates were later informed that the singer had made the decision to leave the show.

Watch a clip of the incident, AFTER THE JUMP...

Last year, former heavyweight champion boxer Evander Holyfield was reprimanded by Celebrity Big Brother for saying being gay is akin to being "handicapped" and "is a choice." Holyfield later apologized. 

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Piece Together The Puzzle of Last Night's Questionable Decisions With Gay-Dramedy 'The Morning After': VIDEO

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Peru Flores, a semi-finalist out of 300 competitors in Dramatic Interpretation in the National Forensics League National Tournament (2009), has started an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign for his new gay-dramedy film The Morning After. Flores stars in the movie as the character Tomas, who wakes up to a series of unfortunate events after a night of questionable decisions:

"After a night of questionable decisions, Tomas wakes up to a full day of unfortunate events. Although at times humorous, Tomas is faced with the bitter reality of his relationship with those around him-good and bad. 

"Eager to learn what really happened, he sets out to pick up these pieces from the night before. The Morning After deals with toxic relationships and assuming the consequences to our most regrettable actions, while dealing with the LGBT subject matter that resembles real life more so than its current portrayal in the media."

In a statement on The Morning After webpage, Flores states he was inspired to create the film as an alternative to the entertainment industry's one-dimensional stereotypes and offer a diverse, representative look at our nation's diverse culture.

Said Flores:

"The Morning After is a direct response to this problem. By creating a story that puts different characters under circumstances usually portrayed by your typical Caucasian 20-something with narrow socio-economic backgrounds, I ever so subtly aim to change the perspective that the people have of us in the media. Sure, it might seem like something you've heard or seen before at first, but that is exactly the point- to prove that we can have the same storylines, problems, LIVES, as the other people on screen.

"The Morning After is a story most of us have experienced, often regretted, but not often confess. It is my stepping stone into discovering a wide array of interesting characters that reflect the present day New York that I know to be true." 

Notable cast members include Stephen Hanna from the Broadway cast of Billy Elliot The Musical and On The Town, The Morning After Co-Producer Lauren Monroe, Rutgers University graduate and Associate Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework Craig MacArthur, drummer Rob Raco of The Brilliancy, Comedian and Umbrellababes creator Jason Burke, web series The Happiest People in New York creator Rebecca Steele and UCB Improv performer Caleb Schaaf.

Shooting is scheduled for February in New York City. The campaign closes on Jan. 24, and as of today has raised $1,155 of it’s $5,500 total. Donation reward increments for sponsors range from receiving a DVD copy of the film to a night out on the town with the producers and cast, an improv show and dinner. You can follow the film’s developments on The Morning After’s official webpage and Facebook page.

Watch the Indiegogo crowdfunding video for more information about The Morning After's plot and characters, AFTER THE JUMP...

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New Diversity Initiative From British Channel 4 Tackles Need For LGBT Minority Representation In Television

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A new diversity charter put into effect by the British Channel 4 will require that the channel become significantly more diverse in both its staffing and programming by 2020. Going forward scripting shows that air on Channel four will have to prominently feature characters that are women, Black, Asian, minority, or other ethnicity (BAME) according to the organization’s new diversity guidelines.

20 percent of Channel 4’s staff will be required to be BAME and 6 percent of its workforce will have to be LGBT identified. The new guidelines are a part of a larger effort to ensure that Channel 4 more accurately reflects “the experiences of under-represented groups” in Britain, whose population is becoming increasingly diverse in terms of ethnic background, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The new rules also call for similar boosts in on-screen characters and staff who are differently abled.

Executives who are currently in position to make hires and craft casts to meet the new guidelines will be held accountable for their compliance. The annual bonuses to company executives are now tied directly to their efforts at maintaining Channel 4’s diversity standards.

The new initiative was drafted by Oona King, a former member of Parliament under the British Labour Party who now serves as Channel 4’s head of diversity. King championed the proposal after seeing that the numbers of women and minorities working in British television had plummeted in the past five years, despite other pushes for diversity. According to King, other plans had failed primarily because there were little to no financial incentives (or repercussions) in place.

“It will be a black mark against that person,” said Channel 4 chief executive David Abraham. “It is positive action, not positive discrimination.”


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