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Anderson Cooper (#110 of 10)

On Trend The Changing State of Coming Out in Hollywood

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On Trend: The Changing State of Coming Out in Hollywood
On Trend: The Changing State of Coming Out in Hollywood

She certainly came prepared. The E! correspondents may have told you that Jodie Foster wore Giorgio Armani to the Golden Globes, but her frock was more like a suit of armor, its metallic straps criss-crossing her chest as if she were bracing for impact. Amid an awards show that’s often little more than a boring, booze-soaked, wannabe Oscars, Foster—who, at 50, proved a drastically young choice for the HFPA’s career-defining Cecil B. Demille Award—provided a riveting slice of LGBT history, using the acceptance of her honorary trophy as an opportunity to deliver a coming-out speech…sorta. Everyone knows the story by now: How Foster jokingly announced that she’s “single” after a virtual drum roll of anticipation, how she thanked her longtime partner and two strapping sons, and how she professed the value of personal privacy, declaring that she’s no reality star, like “Honey Boo Boo Child.” Gawker had a particularly douchey field day with the latter portion of Foster’s monologue, viciously berating the actress for demanding privacy as a public figure in a very public forum. The contradiction at which Gawker took aim is glaringly apparent, but while celebrities may sacrifice certain libel rights and anonymous trips to the grocery store, they are not, in fact, required to divulge personal details to the masses. If there’s anything to deride about Foster’s show-stopping moment, it’s that it felt dated, dusty, even quaint.

2007: Six Camp Highlights (and One Lowlight)

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2007: Six Camp Highlights (and One Lowlight)
2007: Six Camp Highlights (and One Lowlight)

1. Ultimate Rediscovery

If Myra Breckinridge the film had been a Broadway musical first, I’ve no doubt it would have gone down in midnight movie history right alongside The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Raquel Welch’s Miss Myra is the precursor to Tim Curry’s Frank-N-Furter, with both actors playing sexually (and gender) ambiguous characters seducing naïve young lovers with equal panache. Myra Breckinridge works on so many levels it’s hard to keep track, from the film critic Rex Reed playing film critic Myron Breckinridge to “Miss” Mae West—the ultimate gay man in a woman’s body, perhaps the first transgender superstar—as a stud-collecting Hollywood agent. That Rex and Raquel, playing opposite sides of the same protagonist, flow easily, interchangeably, from one setup to the next—sometimes even playing the same scene together—is a lovely symbolic nod to the desire to become one, be it with another person or with oneself. The classic movie clips commenting on the action like a Tinseltown Greek chorus and the classic Miss West belting out numbers like “You Gotta Taste All The Fruit” are pure winking delight. The many critics who panned Myra Breckinridge decades ago when it was first released were as clueless as John Huston’s Buck Loner, for the film is nothing less than a brilliantly, thoughtfully, stupendously conceived work of art.

The News You Need

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The News You Need
The News You Need

Ted Koppel’s post-Nightline career has barely started, and already it’s shaping up to be as valuable as the one he left behind. At the Television Critics’ Association press tour in Pasadena this month, where Koppel and ex-Nightline producer Tom Bettag promoted Koppel’s deal to make stand-alone documentaries for Discovery Channel, the longtime ABC newsman sloughed off the network-imposed vow of silence he’d taken for years and talked shop, affording the rest of us an intriguing glimpse of hard TV news realities as seen from the inside. (For an account of Koppel and Bettag’s comments, click here and scroll all the way to the bottom.)

As it turns out, that appearance was sort of a preview of Koppel’s other new role as a Sunday columnist for the New York Times, which began today. I’m not aware of any promise by Koppel to focus his column on TV news exclusively, but wouldn’t object if he did; his first column, titled “And Now, a Word for Our Demographic,” paints a portrait of TV news’ confusions and weaknesses that you have probably read elsewhere, but with a sense of first-person professional authority that’s badly needed right now.