Perry wants to ensure that Josiah “Jonty” Robinson’s killer is caught.
Actor and filmmaker Tyler Perry best known for his “Madea” franchise is offering a reward of $100,000 to anyone who has information about the killing of a Black gay man in Grenada.
Perry posted earlier this week that Josiah “Jonty” Robinson, 24, was “like a son” to Perry’s friend Yvette Noel-Schure, the celebrity publicist.
“My soul ached as she shared that he was a young, gifted singer who was murdered because he was gay,” Perry wrote in the post, which included several images of Robinson. “My mind immediately went to Mathew Shepard, and all the other victims of racist, homophobic, antisemitic, xenophobic, senseless violence. – ” Perry wrote in his Instagram post. “So with that said, Yvette and I are offering a $100,000 dollar reward to anyone who brings forth information that leads to the conviction of the murderer of Josiah ‘Jonty’ Robinson.”
Robinson’s body was found on a beach in St. George’s, Grenada, on June 18, according to the local newspaper The New Today Grenada. It reported that an autopsy found that Robinson had been strangled before he was thrown into the sea. It said police have questioned several people but have not had any breakthroughs.
Where it is a nice thing that Tyler Perry is doing. If only every murdered LGBT person had a connection to someone with money.
For those of you too young to remember the movie Cruising it is a 1980 psychological thriller film directed by William Friedkin of The Exorcist fame and starring Al Pacino. The film is loosely based on the novel of the same name, by New York Times reporter Gerald Walker. It’s about a rookie NYPD cop that goes undercover to bait a homophobic serial killer in the leather and S&M world of New York’s Greenwich Village.
The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force ( back when they had a task and did something ) in a letter to the New York Times wrote that “in the context of an anti-homosexual society, a film about violent, sex-obsessed gay men would be seen as a film about all gay people. The psychosexual dynamic of Cruising is certainly questionable—deliberately so, to some extent—though in chalking up violent homoerotic impulses to unresolved daddy issues, the movie may be a greater insult to the intelligence of psychoanalysts than to the sensibilities of gays.”
The movie suffered a huge backlash from the LGBT community which did everything it could to disrupt the movies filming in Greenwich Village and promotion in NYC.
Village Voice writer Arthur Bell was the person who raised a call for full-out sabotage of the movie writing that Friedkin’s film “promises to be the most oppressive, ugly, bigoted look at homosexuality ever presented on the screen,” he wrote, “the worst possible nightmare of the most uptight straight. I implore readers . . . to give Friedkin and his production crew a terrible time if you spot them in your neighborhoods.”
Gay-owned businesses on Christopher Street barred the filmmakers from their premises. People attempted to interfere with shooting by pointing mirrors from rooftops to ruin lighting for scenes, blasting whistles and air horns near locations, and playing loud music. One thousand protesters marched through the East Village demanding the city withdraw support for the film to which Mayor (and famous closet case) Ed Koch responded, “Whether it is a group that seeks to make the gay life exciting or to make it negative, it’s not our job to look into that.”
Al Pacino who starred in the movie said that he understood the protests but insisted that upon reading the screenplay he never at any point felt that the film was anti-gay. He said that the leather bars were “just a fragment of the gay community, the same way the Mafia is a fragment of Italian-American life,” referring to The Godfather and that he would “never want to do anything to harm the gay community”.
Friedkin asked noted gay author John Rechy, to screen Cruising just before its release. Rechy had written an essay defending Friedkin’s right to make the film, although not defending the film itself. At Rechy’s suggestion, Friedkin deleted a scene showing the Gay Liberation Front slogan “We Are Everywhere” as graffiti on a wall just before the first body part is pulled from the river, and added a disclaimer:
“This film is not intended as an indictment of the homosexual world. It is set in one small segment of that world, which is not meant to be representative of the whole.”
Friedkin later claimed that it was the MPAA and United Artists that required the disclaimer, calling it “part of the dark bargain that was made to get the film released at all ” and “a sop to organized gay rights groups”. Friedkin also said that no one involved in making the film thought it would be considered representative of the entire gay community, but the late great gay film historian Vito Russo disputed Fredkin’s claims citing the disclaimer as “an admission of guilt” writing “What director would make such a statement if he truly believed that his film would not be taken to be representative of the whole?”
Now over 40 years later despite the content of the movie which by today’s standards seems schlocky and mediocre at best. Snippets of Cruising are easily one the most graphic and true depiction of the NYC underground gay leather scene ever seen in a mainstream movie and is also in a way, a documentary of a time and places lost in history with background shots of the West Village and West Side highway that capture that period in time.
Locations like The Ramrod, The Anvil, Mineshaft, and the Eagle’s Nest (the latter two eventually barred Friedkin from the premises) have been gone for decades, but Cruising is a flashback to a time of poppers, color-coded pocket hankies, hardcore discos, bathhouses, backrooms, park cruising and yes even Crisco. It is a visual time capsule back to a part of our history that has been overshadowed by the plague known as AIDS that would soon wreak havoc on the gay community in the years after the movie was released.
Like it or not the movie Cruising is a part of our history and reflects an era of images and memories that are slowly being lost forever.
Note: The exterior entrance of the club that Al Pacino enters is the door to the infamous Mineshaft in NYC. (CLICK HERE to learn more about The Mineshaft.)But as stated above Friedkin was barred from filming within the establishment. The next shot of Pacino walking down the stairs was filmed at the Hellfire Club Sex Club in the Triangle building on 14th Street which later would house J’s Hangout and home of the New York Jacks on 14th and Hudson Street.
What now stands in its spot is the gentrified 675 Bar which is described as a “subdued lounge attempts to bring back some dignity to the Meatpacking District with pedigreed cocktails, and uncomplicated entertainment”
Barbie’s opening weekend box office surpasses Sound of Freedom in one weekend from moviegoers who paid for their tickets!
Analysts predict that Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie” has the potential to rake in an impressive $158 million in the United States this opening weekend surpassing all expectations Even Warner Bros., the studio behind “Barbie,” cautiously tempered expectations, suggesting a more conservative estimate of around $75 million.
Barbie is all but assured of scoring the biggest domestic start ever for a movie directed by a woman solo.
Starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling as the popular Mattel dolls Barbie and Ken, the film has received excellent reviews. Collider’s Ross Bonaimewrites that Barbie “could’ve just been a commercial, but Gerwig makes this life of plastic into something truly fantastic.”
Barbie has a lot of bragging rights now just beyond owning a dream house and sports car.
Never before in the history of box office has a weekend seen one movie open to $100M+ and a second to $50M (Oppenheimer)
In the late 1960’s Steve Ostrow opened the Continental Baths in the basement of the landmark Ansonia Hotel, which at one time was home to such greats as Caruso, Stravinsky, and Toscanini.
Famous for its lavish accommodations, the Continental Baths was advertised as being reminiscent of “the glory of ancient Rome.” The impressive features of this bathhouse included a disco dance floor, a cabaret lounge, sauna rooms, an “Olympia blue” swimming pool, and clean, spacious facilities that could serve nearly 1,000 men, 24 hours a day. (And many patrons did!)
One gay guide from NYC in the 1970s described the Continental Baths as a place that “revolutionized the bath scene in New York.”
An extra added attraction at the Continental was the first-class entertainment provided by performers such as Melba Moore, Peter Allen, Cab Calloway, The Manhattan Transfer, John Davidson, Wayland Flowers, and Madame and Bette Midler, who began her career by performing there with Barry Manilow in 1972.
Despite Midler’s constant complaints about “that goddam waterfall,” her poolside performances were so successful that she soon gained national attention, beginning with repeat performances on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.
Many of those who were fortunate enough to see Bette’s early bathhouse shows attest to the fact that her greatest achievement in show business took place the night she convinced the otherwise shy Barry Manilow to accompany her on the piano while wearing only a white towel, which was considered “proper bathhouse attire.”
As the popularity of the cabaret shows increased, a wide variety of entertainers were invited to “give it up” at the Continental Baths, including the soprano Eleanor Steber, who gave a “black towel” concert there in 1973.
The list of visitors to the Continental Baths read like a “who’s who” of the entertainment world, from actors, singers, artists, and producers, to the mafia and even the Metropolitan Oper. They all paid a visit either to see Bette or have some fun.
And for those unfortunate souls who never descended into that legendary basement bathhouse, the Continental Baths were able to come to them in the form of the highly popular Continental Baths towel, which was sold by Bloomingdale’s department store at the height of the club’s fame.
During this period even the mainstream news talk show The Pat Collins Show broadcast live from the club. In one segment, Pat sat by the pool and interviewed proprietor Steve Ostrow while nude men, apparently indifferent to the television cameras, went splashing (WCBS-TV received only one complaint about the program.)
Below watch one of Bette Midler’s final performances in its entirety at The Continental Baths. (With Barry Manilow on the piano of course)
Apologies about the quality of the videos below but it’s a miracle that it exists at all
“Friends” “Fat Stuff” “Chattanooga Choo-Choo” (Andrews Sisters) “Superstar” “Empty Bed Blues” (Bessie Smith) “Marahuana” “For Free” (Joni Mitchell) “Easier Said Than Done” (The Essex) “Chapel Of Love” (The Dixie Cups) “I Shall Be Released” (The Band)
Written and Directed by Rick Hammerly, the 2010 short film “Signage” follows two forty-ish gay friends who go out for a night at the clubs. Our hero connects with a young gay deaf man and they both hit it off. But the many labels and groups within groups of the gay community might be a hurdle in their getting together.
Starring: Rick Hammerly, Jason Wittig, Jeffery Johnson.
Signage won Best Short at the Washington DC Independent Film Fest.
*Portions of film is told in sign language, with subtitles.
Tom Holland goes gay all-in in “The Crowded Room”. GFB’s aka, greasy fan boys take offense.
Actor Tom Holland, known to all as the current Spiderman in the MCU universe. (Well one of them.)
Holland — who recently announced that he will return to the superhero role in “Spider Man 4” came under fire on social media from homophobes and bigots Friday for his part in the Apple TV series, “The Crowded Room.” in which he plays a gay man.
PLOT: In Manhattan in the summer of 1979, a young man is arrested for a shocking crime, and an unlikely investigator must solve the mystery behind it before the true criminal strikes again.
Over forty-five years ago on September 26th, 1975 the movie that has taught generations to “Don’t dream it, be it.” and to be more accepting to others who are different, The Rocky Horror Picture Show opened at the UA Westwood in Los Angeles, California.
Directed by Jim Sharman from a screenplay by Sharman and Richard O’Brien, the production is a humorous tribute to the science fiction and horror B movies of the late 1940s through early 1970s. It introduces Tim Curry and features Susan Sarandon and Barry Bostwick along with cast members from the original Kings Road production presented at the Royal Court Theatre, London, in 1973.
Still in limited release nearly four decades after its premiere, it has the longest-running theatrical release in film history. It gained notoriety as a midnight movie in 1977 when audiences began participating with the film in theaters
Prior to RHPS’s infamous the midnight screenings’ success, the film was withdrawn from its eight opening cities due to very small audiences, and its planned New York opening (on Halloween night) was cancelled. Fox re-released it around college campuses on a double-bill with other off-beat films.
RHPS was eventually screened at midnight, starting in New York City at The Waverly Theater on April Fools’ Day of 1976.. By that Halloween, people were attending in costume and talking back to the screen. By mid-1978, Rocky Horror was playing in over fifty locations on Fridays and Saturdays at midnight, newsletters were published by local performance groups, and fans gathered for Rocky Horror conventions. By the end of 1979, there were twice-weekly showings at over 230 theaters in the United States including the 8th Street Playhouse in NYC which had the premiere floor-show in the country led by Sal Piro.
I played Brad Majors opening night and later also Eddie at 8th. Street Playhouse and I WAS NOT an asshole at that time just a closet-case Jersey boy.
But that would soon change.
Dori Hartley and Will Kohler RHPS – 8th Street Playhouse Floorshow. NYC NY
How many times have you seen The Rocky Horror Picture Show?
Two-time Daytime Emmy nominated actress Andrea Evans best known for her rise to daytime fame in the 1970s and ’80s as the troublemaking teen Tina Lord on the ABC soap One Life To Live, died Sunday of cancer. She was 66.
Evans’ One Life co-star Robin Strasser remembered the actor as “a woman who was super smart & energized a heat seeking missile. That’s a compliment. You knew when you worked with her, it’d be like going head to head with a champion. I admired her daring. I hate the disease that took her.”
She returned to One Life To Live and her most famous role in 2008 and again in 2011, saying, “It’s time to give the audience what they want. And it’s time for me to get closure on why I left in the first place.”
Andrea Evans is survived by husband Steve Rodriguez and daughter Kylie.
Disco star France Joli lived the old “42nd Street” movie line dream “if you’re going out a youngster but you are coming back a star.”
Over 40 years ago on the hot summer night of July 7th. In 1979 before an estimated audience of 5000 screaming gay men on Fire Island Pines the 16-year-old singer at the last minute was asked to fill in for Donna Summer at an all-star disco music concert.
Jolie remembers it vividly. “Sister Sledge was there. EVERYBODY was there!”
When it came time for her to perform. She stepped up to the microphone and began to sing, never realizing that she was about to turn the first major corner in her career and the process steal the show from some of the biggest and brightest names in the industry. Seven minutes later, when she took her bows, the crowd went wild, flipping head over heels for this unknown Canadian teenager and proclaiming her, from that day forward, a star in the truest sense of the word.
“Come to Me” became the number-one disco song of the summer, and the definitive Fire Island gay tea dance classic.
Actor Michael Imperioli best known for his work on “The Sopranos” is among the many actors in Hollywood speaking out against the Supreme Court, making a statement against the group’s ruling in favor of a Christian web designer who sought legal protection to discriminate against same-sex marriages due to her religious beliefs.
“I’ve decided to forbid bigots and homophobes from watching ‘The Sopranos,’ ‘The White Lotus,’ ‘Goodfellas’ or any movie or TV show I’ve been in,” Imperioli wrote Saturday morning. “Thank you Supreme Court for allowing me to discriminate and exclude those who I don’t agree with and am opposed to. USA! USA!”
Imperioli later reaffirmed his statement, writing that “Hate and ignorance is not a legitimate point of view” and “America is becoming dumber by the minute.”
The Supreme Court’s 6-3 majority decision was announced Friday, representing an impactful blow to LGBTQ protections. In this case, web designer Lorie Smith desired to explain why she wouldn’t create wedding websites for same-sex couples, as she opposes them due to her religious beliefs. Under Colorado law, she stated that posting such a statement would be illegal. The case was argued to the Supreme Court under free speech grounds.