The Trailer For A Documentary On Mister Rogers Dropped Today And People Are Emotional

Rogers passed away in 2003, but left an indelible mark on entertainment and culture, as well as on many lives he touched with his kindness and generosity. That impact was evident just last year when writer Anthony Breznican spoke to BuzzFeed News about an important life lesson Rogers taught him, one he thought to share with his many Twitter followers following the deadly bombing in Manchester, England, of an Ariana Grande concert.

“Fred Rogers was the real thing,” Breznican said in a popular Twitter thread about the host’s influence on him. “That gentle soul? It was no act.”

In any event, there’s more content focused on Rogers’ life on the horizon, as Tom Hanks is slated to play the iconic TV figure in an upcoming film, totally separate from the documentary, called You Are My Friend.

Marielle Heller, who’s previously done work on Transparent and the feature The Diary of a Teenage Girl, will direct the project, which was written by Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster.

Heller told Entertainment Weekly that the film is not a biopic and will largely focus on Rogers’ relationship with journalist Tom Junod, whose perspective about the beloved figure changes after he accepts the task of writing a profile on Rogers.

Thumbnail credit: PBS Television / Courtesy of Getty Images

Why “Wild Things” Was A Defining Film For Gay Men In The ’90s

For gay men who grew up in the ’90s, there are two distinctive eras: the time before we saw Kevin Bacon’s full-frontal scene in Wild Things, and the time after.

It’s been 20 years to the day since Wild Things hit theaters. This was two decades before Moonlight, before Love, Simon, before Call Me by Your Name: LGBT representation certainly existed, in indie comedies (1995’s Jeffrey) or the occasional prestige AIDS drama (1993’s Philadelphia), but it was neither plentiful nor especially mainstream. Many of us who were still figuring ourselves out gravitated less toward more overt depictions of gayness, like The Birdcage or In & Out, and more to subtler, subtextually homoerotic representation.

It feels absurd to use the word “subtle” in connection to Wild Things, the kind of steamy erotic thriller that should have been relegated to late-night Cinemax but somehow ended up with a wide release. It is too deliberately over-the-top to be regarded as true camp, although that doesn’t make it any less fun. But whether intentionally or not, there is an undercurrent of gayness that made it especially titillating to all the curious and questioning teens who managed to bypass Blockbuster’s age-restricted rental prohibitions. On paper, it’s a movie that feels designed for straight bros, but in reality, it proved much more appealing to closet queers.

That’s part of what made it such an attractive option: Wild Things was the slightly more respectable version of watching the Pamela Anderson–Tommy Lee sex tape and keeping your eyes focused entirely on Tommy Lee. The only overt same-sex content in the movie is the steamy pool scene between Neve Campbell’s Suzie Toller and Denise Richards’ Kelly Van Ryan, and the threesome involving the two and Matt Dillon as lecherous teacher Sam Lombardo. These aren’t moments of genuine passion between two women so much as a shameless excuse to pander to straight male viewers eager to see two girls making out. And yet, despite the male-gaziness of those sapphic scenes, there is a distinct feeling of true queerness, a wink to those watching Wild Things not for topless Denise Richards but for shirtless Matt Dillon.

Explaining the plot of Wild Things is an exercise in futility: The film is too twisty and convoluted to merit a full synopsis. Suffice it to say, it involves an elaborate con by an ever-increasing cast of players with shifting allegiances — not only Suzie, Kelly, and Sam, but also (spoiler alert) sleazy lawyer Kenneth Bowden (Bill Murray) and corrupt sergeant Ray Duquette (Kevin Bacon). And the film has aged horribly: The inciting incident is a false rape accusation that was cringey at the time and is now even more unbearable. But we can acknowledge how deeply offensive a movie is and also how formative its climactic shower scene was to a certain subset of gay millennials.

Near the end of the movie, after Sam has double-crossed Suzie and Kelly, he returns to his beach bungalow to find someone in the shower. The figure emerging from the steam isn’t Suzie or Kelly, both presumed dead, but a fully nude Ray Duquette. It’s a pivotal moment that reveals both Ray’s complicity in Sam’s plot and, also, Bacon’s penis. Given the rarity of full-frontal male nudity on the big screen — particularly an A-list actor in a mainstream release — it’s a fairly shocking moment. But it also feels like much-needed confirmation to those who watched Wild Things suspecting there was something gay about it all along. The major twist is that a movie that seemed all about the male gaze is actually about the male gays.

Nudity aside, the scene is as homoerotic as it can be without Dillon and Bacon actually embracing. The men are clearly very comfortable with each other — there’s no hint of awkwardness when Sam walks in on Ray in the shower — and given the film’s relentless sexuality, the idea that these dudes might not just be friends and partners in crime feels more than a little implied. If Wild Things were made today — please, god, without the false rape accusation — it’s likely that the scene would have played out differently, with Sam joining Ray in the shower. (Or perhaps that’s just wishful thinking from a former closeted teen who always imagined it ending that way.)

It’s not surprising that Wild Things has emerged as a queer cult classic: It has all the elements of the genre. There’s Denise Richards, whose ’90s work also includes the quintessential Starship Troopers and Drop Dead Gorgeous. There’s the completely batshit plot, including a what-the-fuck incest twist delivered in some offhand exposition. And there’s the endlessly quotable dialogue, most of it coming from Richards: “Where’d she get the shoes, Whores for Less?” What is surprising is seeing, in retrospect, how much of that queerness might have been intentional from the beginning. It would be silly to suggest that Wild Things was a movie made for gay men — but it would be equally naive to dismiss its queer appeal as mere accident.

Thankfully, in the 20 years since Wild Things, we’ve seen major steps forward for actual LGBT representation — including love scenes between women that aren’t clearly designed to excite straight guys. But as retrograde and objectionable as the movie is in many ways, it’s still a fascinating relic of the era. And for those of us who were drawn to it years before we fully understood why, it’s a major piece of nostalgia, a comforting reminder of how far we’ve come and of those early forbidden thrills.

Cynthia Nixon Was Late To Her Governor Campaign Launch Because Of The Subway And Took Aim At Cuomo

A day after announcing her run for Governor of New York, actor Cynthia Nixon was late to her first campaign event on Tuesday because of subway delays.

“I literally had to get off three separate trains and that doesn’t include when we were able to stay on the trains but just sit in the tunnel,” Nixon told a New York Times reporter.

When asked if she thought the delay represented an auspicious beginning to her campaign, Nixon replied, “I think it is a quintessential moment in Cuomo’s MTA daily life.”

The native New Yorker addressed subway delays in her speech in Brownsville, Brooklyn, on Tuesday morning, taking aim at Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whom she is challenging for the Democratic nomination.

“We need to fix our broken subway. You know that and I know that because we are on it every day, unlike Governor Cuomo,” Nixon said. “The subway is the lifeblood of our city. If the subway dies, so does New York and right now our subways are on life support.”

The former Sex and the City actor spoke about a number of issues, from racial inequality to improving public school systems, as well as enforcing minimum wage laws and ending “mass incarceration and the over-policing of communities of color.”

Nixon, who is seeking to run against Cuomo from the left, also criticized the governor and other New York lawmakers for being too close to big business.

“We are tired of corruption and dysfunction in Albany, and we are tired of fake corporate Democrats who won’t lift a finger unless their donors say it’s okay,” said Nixon, who vowed that her campaign would not accept “a single dime of corporate money.”

When asked about Nixon’s possible run for Governor earlier this month, Cuomo joked on a conference call, “It was either the mayor of New York or Vladimir Putin.”

“Normally name recognition is relevant when it has some connection to the endeavor,” Cuomo said. “If it’s just about name recognition, then I’m hoping Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, and Billy Joel don’t get into the race.”

Christine Quinn, former New York City Council Speaker and an openly-gay supporter of Cuomo, told the New York Post on Tuesday that Nixon is an “unqualified lesbian” and called the race “a flight of fancy on her part.” (Nixon supported Bill de Blasio over Quinn in the 2013 mayoral race).

“Cynthia Nixon was opposed to having a qualified lesbian become mayor of New York City,” Quinn told the Post. “Now she wants an unqualified lesbian to be the governor of New York. You have to be qualified and have experience. She isn’t qualified to be the governor.”

There has been speculation Cuomo will appoint Quinn as his running mate.

Sex and the City actor Kristin Davis, who played Charlotte on the hit HBO series, tweeted her support for her former costar’s campaign on Monday.

Representatives for Sarah Jessica Parker (Carrie Bradshaw), Kim Cattrall (Samantha Jones), and David Eigenberg (Steve Brady) did not immediately respond to requests for comment on whether they would also endorse Nixon. A representative for Chris Noth, who played Mr. Big, said the actor was currently working overseas and could not be reached, “but he loves Cynthia.”

Gary Barber Is Out As CEO Of MGM, Which Is Said To Own Behind The Scenes Footage Of Trump On “The Apprentice”

The Hollywood studio MGM, which found itself under pressure during the 2016 election to release unaired footage of Donald Trump during his time on The Apprentice, announced Monday that CEO Gary Barber had been fired from the role he held for eight years.

Barber saw the once-struggling studio rebound after filing for bankruptcy in 2010, thanks to a string of successes like the James Bond films Spectre and Skyfall, and more recently with television hits like The Handmaids Tale, which won big at last year’s Emmys, and FX’s Fargo.

“With this transformation complete, MGM is uniquely positioned for exceptional future growth in the evolving entertainment landscape,” said Chairman Kevin Ulrich in a statement. “Now is the right time to enable the next generation of leadership who can help drive the creativity, collaboration and partnership needed to continue the company’s positive trajectory.”

Sources told Variety that Barber was blindsided by the move from the board, who reportedly told him they wanted to take MGM in a different direction

Barber and MGM — the studio that owns a majority stake in Mark Burnett Productions, the creator of The Apprentice — came under intense public scrutiny in the final weeks of the 2016 election after footage leaked of Trump on Access Hollywood in 2005 boasting while on a hot mic of grabbing women by the genitals.

The leak prompted widespread public speculation that raw, unedited footage of Trump on The Apprentice would show the business mogul making similar or worse comments.

Bill Pruitt, a producer on the first few seasons of The Apprentice, then tweeted that there was worse footage of Trump (but he declined to elaborate further).

However, no such footage was ever made public.

MGM insisted that it couldn’t release any such tapes due to “various contractual and legal requirements.”

The studio later doubled down on its position, saying, “MGM has every intention of complying with its agreements with artists and honoring their rights, including with respect to The Apprentice.”

The public outcry caused Mark Burnett, executive producer of The Apprentice, to issue a statement amid claims that he was somehow protecting Trump by withholding the footage.

“I am not now and have never been a supporter of Donald Trump’s candidacy,” Burnett said in a statement from October 2016. “I am NOT ‘Pro-Trump.’ Further, my wife and I reject the hatred, division and misogyny that has been a very unfortunate part of his campaign.”

A source close to Burnett told BuzzFeed News in October 2016 that the producer had threatened to sue anyone who leaked any footage. (He later denied this report).

Last month, Burnett attended the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC, and was praised by Trump on Twitter.

Barber’s exit from MGM comes right after the executive committed to a contract extension in October 2017, which would’ve seen him keeping his role until 2022.

The company provided no details for the shake-up during this period of what they’re calling “a CEO transition.”

Barber told Variety he was proud of his accomplishments at the company.

“We’ve taken MGM from the depths of bankruptcy to one of the greatest turnarounds in corporate history,” Barber said. “I leave behind many friends and colleagues and I wish them well.”

Netflix's “On My Block” Brings Young People Of Color Into The Limelight — Finally, Cast Says

The new Netflix series On My Block brings a lot of the usual coming-of-age storylines to the screen — issues of angst, puberty, internal strife — but in the traditionally white space of young adult television, the cast cuts a unique path.

“The obvious thing that makes our show so different right now is we have four main characters of color, which isn’t represented as much on TV,” Brett Gray, who plays Jamal on the series, told BuzzFeed News. “A coming-of-age story that you would normally see might just be the qualms of high school and the qualms of growing up and puberty and finding yourself, but on top of that we’re minorities in an underprivileged neighborhood in an inner-city.”

On My Block follows Gray’s Jamal, Cesar (Diego Tinoco), Ruby (Jason Genao), and Monse (Sierra Capri), as they navigate their freshman year of high school in the fictional city of Freeridge, California. The show, which premiered March 16, was co-created by Eddie Gonzalez, Jeremy Haft, and Lauren Iungerich — who also created MTV’s Awkward.

The YA world is so white,” Iungerich told BuzzFeed News. “And just thinking about all the shows that are currently on a lot of channels and the iconic shows about teen years, including my own show Awkward, they’re mostly through a white prism. Now, we’re getting to see these kids from a different slice of life and we get to see representation of their experience, which is not a bleak and negative experience.”

The cast of On My Block is made up of black and Latino teen actors who portray storylines about a range of experiences, including family struggles, quinceañeras, gang violence, and young love. Iungerich said she was thrilled the show gives kids an opportunity to see themselves on TV in a way that other predominantly white TV shows haven’t.

“I just think that it’s time to see more inclusion in TV,” Iungerich said. “I love the YA space and really wanted to work with writers and co-create the show with someone from that world to be able to do justice to these kids who haven’t had representation.”

Gonzalez was born in Compton, California, and raised in Lynwood. Representation of young people of color is important to him because “it’s been an underserved community for years.”

“When you do see the inner-city portrayed in either film or TV, it’s usually this bleak outlook,” Gonzalez said. “I can tell you having grown up there, that’s not what it’s like. Yes, there’s a lot of danger, there’s violence, there’s drugs, but there’s also a lot of positive things. These kids have great aspirations and are hopeful.”

Tinoco, whose character grapples with the reality of joining a gang out of family loyalty, said he doesn’t think stories like On My Block are being told enough.

“Latino, African-American, and Asian kids are growing up in these circumstances,” he said. “This is really happening out there in the world in the real lives of kids our age, and people aren’t as exposed to it as much they should be.”

Gray said it’s important to make shows like On My Block in order to contribute to positive representation of people of color “because they exist … and have the right to feel validated and appreciated.”

“I hope young people of our ethnicity can feel comfortable that there are people on TV representing them,” Gray said. “I hope they’re proud of what we have given, and I hope they feel it’s just as authentic as we do.”