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'Orange Is The New Black' Stars Join Thousands Rallying in NYC Against Police Violence

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The ladies of Orange is the New Black were spotted alongside thousands of protesters on the streets of New York City yesterday for the #MillionMarchNYC demonstration protesting police violence and the grand jury decisions surrounding the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. 

Vicky Jeudy, who plays Janae Watson on the acclaimed Netflix series, posted the above photo on Twitter. She was joined by Jackie Cruz (Marisol Gonzales), Kimiko Glenn (Soso), Lea DeLaria (Big Boo), Danielle Brooks (Taystee), and Emma Myles (Leanne Taylor). 

In a separate rally in DC yesterday, the Rev. Al Sharpton led thousands of demonstrators down Pennsylvania Ave demanding better oversight of policing. 

More photos and video from the rallies, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Why is It So Hard to Get Away with Gay Intimacy on Network Television?

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The Interplay is a special bi-weekly series exploring the intersections of sex, pop culture, and current events.

BY CHARLES PULLIAM-MOORE

According to GLAAD’s recently published Where We Are On TV report, lesbian, gay, and bisexual characters are having a banner season. There are more explicitly queer characters on more shows across the board. Of the hundreds of regular and recurring characters gracing our screens this season, 170 were identified as being LGBT. Moreover on both network and cable, the representations of those characters are becoming more diverse and balanced in terms of ethnicity and sexuality. Looking at raw numbers, it’s easy to see that we’re everywhere on TV. It’s even easier to say that this particular instance of being everywhere is a good thing. Thing is though, it might not be. This fall’s crop of headlining queer are defined more by the sex they’re having than by their substance. 

Regardless of what you think about her shows, Shonda Rhimes’s programming on ABC has become something of a cultural phenomenon. In terms of ratings, How to Get Away With Murder and Scandal rank as two of the most popular and widely-acclaimed television shows airing this fall. Both programs prominently feature gay leading characters wrought in Rhimes’s signature hyperbolic style. 

Tumblr_mnfv58Xn6Y1s03u14o1_250Scandal’s Cyrus Beene, played by veteran stage actor Jeff Perry, is notable for being one of the few older queer characters given the spotlight. Throughout the series Beene and his husband James Novak (Dan Bucatinsky) plotted and backstabbed in proper Scandal fashion, and in many ways the characters’ sexualities were ancillary aspects of their personalities. How To Get Away With Murder’s Connor Walsh (Jack Falahee) bears a striking resemblance to Cyrus Beene. Both are smart, conniving, career-driven men whose sexualities are sources of strength, rather than shame. To that end, neither show has shied away from portraying their gay characters’ sexual intimacy. 

CONTINUED, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Why is It So Hard to Get Away with Gay Intimacy on Network Television?" »


The Inmates Of Litchfield Prison (AKA 'Orange Is The New Black' Cast) Want You To Celebrate Spirit Day: VIDEO

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Who better to tout GLAAD's annual LGBT Spirit Day than the most sexually and racially diverse cast on television? A couple of the ladies from Netflix's Orange is the New Black made a video to inform those outside the Litchfield Prison walls about the event, taking place on Thursday, October 16th. 

Selenis Leyva (above left), who plays Gloria Mendoza on the show, gets right to the point: "Did you know that half of all gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students say they feel unsafe at school?" The solution, according to Yael Stone (AKA Lorna Morello, above right)? "Wear a whole lot of purple." That's right, GLAAD wants you to stand in solidarity with bullied LGBT youth by wearing purple from head to toe (or, you know, somewhere) and communicating your support. And if the cast of "OITNB" is doing it, why on earth wouldn't you?!

Check out the Spirit Day website here.

And watch the promotional video, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "The Inmates Of Litchfield Prison (AKA 'Orange Is The New Black' Cast) Want You To Celebrate Spirit Day: VIDEO" »


MTV to Air 'Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word' Documentary Highlighting Trans Youth

Cox

Between her role as Sofia in Netflix’s Orange Is The New Black and producing a feature length, independent documentary about Cece McDonald, Laverne Cox has firmly established herself as a modern icon within the transgender community. To date, the bulk of Cox’s work has highlighted the struggles facing adult trans women, but her latest project, Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word, focuses on trans youth.

“For many of us, the ‘T’ in LGBT means more than transgender—it also means truth,” Cox said to New Now Next “The cast members in this documentary are fearlessly living their truths and in sharing their stories will send the message to other trans youth that it’s okay to be who you are.”

Earlier this year Cox accepted a Logo Trailblazers award on behalf of Orange Is The New Black and called on the LGB community to stand in solidarity with trans people dealing with discrimination. As a part of MTV’s Look Different campaign, The show will chronicle the lives of seven youths from different backgrounds they explore what it means to be trans-identified in America today. The T-Word will premiere on both MTV and Logo TV on the on Friday, October 17 at 7PM ET, followed by a round table discussion between Cox and the documentary’s seven cast members.

Watch footage of Laverne Cox's Logo Trailblazers award AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "MTV to Air 'Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word' Documentary Highlighting Trans Youth" »


Orange is The New Black Lead Writer Divorces Husband, Comes Out, Begins Dating Show's Female Star

OitnbOrange Is The New Black lead writer Lauren Morelli took to Policy Mic back in May to write an open letter describing how working on the popular Netflix show allowed her to come to terms with and explore her struggle with her sexuality. Months into her marriage to Steve Basilone, a man she had dated for six years, Morelli described her personal revelation as something of a blindside that Orange helped her cope with:

"I was nervous about the first love scene I'd written for Alex and Piper. I'd loved writing it, loved watching a tenderness emerge in their relationship where passion always seemed to be the ruling principle, but by that time, I was so deep in my own self-doubt that I constantly felt like a fraud.

As I watched Taylor Schilling and Laura film the scene, one of our producers (as it happened, a gay woman) tapped me on the shoulder. She pointed at the screen and gave me a thumb's up. It was a small gesture, but my first step toward feeling accepted and quietly accepting myself. In Piper and Alex, I'd found a mouthpiece for my own desires and a glimmer of what my future could look like."

Morelli and Basilone have since parted ways on amicable terms according to details of divorced documents obtained by TMZ, and Morelli has found new romance in Samira Wiley. Wiley, known for playing Orange’s outspoken Poussey Washington, appeared hand in hand with Morelli at this year’s Emmy Awards.

“I went through it all on set: I fell in love with a woman, and I watched my life play out on screen.” Morelli explained in her letter, alluding to her budding relationship with Wiley. “And now, as we are gearing up for the release of season 2, it feels liberating and appropriate to live my life in front of you.”


Uzo Aduba Wins Emmy for Her Role As Crazy Eyes in 'Orange is the New Black'

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Last night, Uzo Aduba earned herself an Emmy for her breakout role as lesbian prisoner Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren in Netflix's Orange is the New Black.

New York's Daily News  reports:

The series received two other awards, for casting and picture editing, at the creative arts Emmy ceremony Saturday honoring technical and other achievements.

In an emotional speech, Aduba thanked her mother, who came from Nigeria "to make a better life for her family."

She also thanked producers and others for a show "that lets everyone be represented in such a beautiful way."

Orange is the New Black season 3 is set to premiere summer 2015. 


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