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OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network Presents Special Night Of Programming On Being Gay In America

Television
by Tambay A. Obenson
October 3, 2013 6:55 PM
7 Comments
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OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network will present what the press release calls "a special night of programming focusing on the conversation around being gay in America," to air on Sunday, October 27, from 9pm to midnight.

The lineup for that evening, which includes a round-table discussion hosted by Oprah Winfrey, and a feature documentary, looks like this:

"OPRAH'S NEXT CHAPTER" - GAY IN HOLLYWOOD

Sunday, October 27 from 9-10 p.m. ET/PT

Oprah hosts a conversation about being gay in America with comedienne/actress Wanda Sykes, "Modern Family" star Jesse Tyler Ferguson and "Scandal" Emmy award-winner Dan Bucatinsky. The actors talk openly about the time when they realized they were gay, how they came out and the impact being gay has had on their careers in Hollywood.

The series is produced by Harpo Studios. Executive produced by Tara Montgomery and Andrea Wishom.

"BRIDEGROOM"

Sunday, October 27 from 10 p.m. - 12:00 a.m. ET/PT

"Bridegroom" is a documentary film by director Linda Bloodworth Thomason ("Designing Women") that tells the emotional journey of Shane Bitney Crone and Tom Bridegroom, two young men in a loving and committed relationship that was cut tragically short. The story of what happened after Tom's accidental death- of how people in relationships without the legal protections of marriage can find themselves completely shut out and ostracized by family members - is poignant, thought provoking and sheds more light on the issue of marriage equality and human rights.

On the anniversary of Tom's death, after a year of documenting his own grief, Shane decided to make a video tribute to his partner entitled "It Could Happen to You." The video went viral and has garnered over four million views. Although it was a cathartic process for Shane and a tribute to the love of his life, more than anything, he wanted it to serve as a warning to other LGBT couples, and to show the world what can happen when two people are legally barred from having equal rights and protections that are granted to others under marriage laws.

The film has earned numerous accolades, including audience awards at the TriBeca Film Festival, where it was introduced by President Bill Clinton, and Outfest Los Angeles Film Festival. Shane continues to work alongside organizations including GLAAD and the Human Rights Campaign to promote equality, and received the Harvey Milk Civil Rights Award in 2012. "Bridegroom" will be available on DVD on November 19, 2013.

"Bridegroom" is produced, written and directed by Linda Bloodworth Thomason. Produced by Shane Bitney Crone, Harry Thomason, Allen Crowe and Douglas Jackson.

A first look trailer at Bridegroom follows below:


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7 Comments

  • Brent Childers | October 23, 2013 1:56 PMReply

    I hope they address the incredibly large role misguided religious teaching plays in the lives of young kids growing up gay in America. Since it is Oprah, I'm guessing it will not and that will truly be a shame. Doing a special on growing up gay in America without a focus on religion-based bigotry toward to the LGBT community, would kind of be like doing a segment on growing up African American without a focus on racism.

  • Amanda | October 4, 2013 4:04 PMReply

    Also, wanted to add is Wanda Sykes the token black lesbian in Hollywood? It seems to me this special isn't going to be that groundbreaking BECAUSE the people who can come out in Hollywood TEND to be drum roll please.... WHITE. Sure, Sykes is on the panel but she's not a serious actress she's a silly comedian and she's NOT A STAR. Sykes is D list that's why she's out of the closet. I think Oprah could have done a much better job here with the gay in America episode. She should have had Shonda Rhimes on the panel only an idiot would think Rhimes is not a lesbian. Shonda Rhimes is gay, Oprah is gay, Tyler Perry is gay, Queen Latifah is gay, now that would be one hell of a panel for powerful gay African Americans. But Oprah decides to play it safe with the status quo having two boring white gay guys on the panel. Give me a break Oprah LOL!

  • Amanda | October 4, 2013 3:59 PMReply

    Yawn, Oprah is a joke, she's doing a show on being gay in America YET she doesn't have the guts to have gay black actors on the program? I know I am in the minority but I don't care about white gay guys like Jesse Tyler Ferguson talking about being gay. The interesting thing is, the gays who are NOT OUT that's the real story. I can't think of a high profile black actor or actress OUT of the closet besides Raven Symone that's it. Why is that? Queen Latifah is a lesbian everyone knows it. Oprah is gay herself, it is kind of ludicrous for Oprah to have a special about gays and lesbians YET she chooses to hide her own homosexuality. Where is Tyler Perry at? Everyone knows Tyler Perry is gay. So, Oprah's gay in America show is a complete joke, because there are so many black gays in Hollywood except they are hiding in the closet.

  • CareyCarey | October 4, 2013 4:20 PM

    POPPYCOCK!!! That's what you're talking, pure claptrap nonsense.

    Listen, so everyone knows that Tyler and Oprah are gay, huh? And there are a bunch of black gays in Hollywood -- except they're hiding in the closet, huh? And you mad huh. So tell us, how are you privy to all these hidden secrets in the closet? Come on now, I won't kiss and tell but inquiring minds want to know from where thou find your messy-mess?

  • sthn | October 4, 2013 2:33 PMReply

    Is Queen Latifah gonna be on oprah's next chapter?

  • FactChecker | October 4, 2013 2:07 PMReply

    ...And I forgot to mention, Dan Bucatinsky, recently sold a dramedy to Shondaland (aka Shonda Rhimes production co.). ... sounds to me like the dude is on a role.

  • FactChecker | October 4, 2013 1:21 PMReply

    Well, this is certainly an interesting move for OWN, which now seems to be falling back on it's original plan, from the first year, of trying to be all things to all people. My first thought was: Wouldn't a better venue for this be LOGO? But one has to pay for access to that channel on the majority of cable providers.

    And then I thought, why isn't TP on the panel? That would, certainly, bring millions of viewers to the program. And then I thought, as compared to the roundtable featuring black actresses, the two white guys REALLY (for emphasis, not yelling) haven't had it so bad, in terms of being able to find consistent work, etc. In addition to being an actor Dan is a writer who has worked steadily throughout his career. In addition to being seen on "Scandal" he's also a series regular on Lisa Kudrow's "Web Therapy." And he also speaks fluent Spanish and French, which, I would imagine could or would be a HUGE boon for his career -- particularly if he ever does voiceover work. Not to mention he just won an Emmy for a guest starring role!

    Jesse Tyler Ferguson has also worked, steadily, since he began acting. I saw him interviewed, recently, in an E! Special about "Modern Family," in which he said he'd been very lucky that he's never had to work a civilian gig. The work has always come to him.

    Fifteen years ago I would have agreed that being gay in Hollywood was tough. When Ellen came out she did so alone. No other gays in Hollywood stood with her. But today! Are you kidding me? As long as you're white and gay, there's no problem. You can, and will, get hired. And thrive. Each of these men are on hit ABC TV shows and are really strong actors. I seriously doubt their sexual orientation would have prohibited them from landing their gigs.

    But no one can say that about black or Latino gay actors.

    And I've not seen any evidence that Wanda Sykes can't get jobs because she came out. In fact, it seems just the opposite. She landed her own late night TV show (short-lived on Fox) just after coming out, booked a series regular role on that Christine show with Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and
    hosted the White House correspondents dinner. AND, just hosted that God-awful all-female comedy show on OWN (so now she and Oprah are buds, which only serves to raise her stock in the eyes of other execs). ... If anything the fact that Wanda is only a moderately funny comedian is what prevents her from getting work.

    AND it was just announced, two days ago, that Oprah's Harpo Studios, with HBO, is going to produce it's own Modern Family knockoff comedy about two couples in Manhattan -- one gay, one straight. ... And just how many black actors do you think will be cast in this project? Versus how many white actors who may or may not be gay?

    Sean Hayes (who owns a production co., BTW, that has two successful hit shows on TV Land), Nathan Lane, and Harvey Fierstein all work on a regular and consistent basis -- on television and Broadway.

    I mean I could shoot holes through this propaganda all day long. But I'm going to get off my soap box and wait for some others to chime in.

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