Hollywood Inside & Out April 10, 2014
“Well, @guardian, it makes for a nice change…at least I didn’t wake up to the internet telling me I was dead again.” – Patrick Stewart’s Twitter response to “The Guardian” announcing that he’s gay – which, as it turns out, is untrue. But, in many ways, is indeed a compliment.
When I was in my 20s, it would have been unthinkable for my mother to tell people I was gay – I’m not completely sure she runs around telling people now! But that’s certainly not the case with Sally Field, who just sent a letter to the Human Rights Campaign which said: “The three things I’m more proud of in my life are my sons, Peter, Eli and Sam. They are kind, loving and protective people. Each with their own list of talents and accomplishments. Sam is my youngest son, by 18 years, and he’s gay. To that, I say: So what?” Back in 2012, the HRC named Sally their Ally for Equality. This letter is part of a campaign by the HRC to raise money and awareness to combat gay discrimination legislation, such as the one recently vetoed by Governor Jan Brewer in Arizona. During her next Boniva commercial, Sally might say, “I’ve got this one body and one life – and one gay son!”
It’s just been announced that Uma Thurman will take on the starring role in “Anita”, a biopic about anti-gay activist Anita Bryant (she would be completely inappropriate in a film about Anita Hill…or Anita Pointer). I know many of you will find it ridiculous that I have to even explain who Anita Bryant is, but I have a very young fan base. Anita Bryant was a singer and former Miss Oklahoma who had a hit with the song “Paper Roses” long before Marie Osmond. She also was a popular television personality who was a spokesperson for the Florida Citrus Commission throughout the ’70s. But that all came to a crashing halt in 1977 when she spearheaded a movement to repeal an ordinance that made it illegal to discriminate against gay people in Dade County!
Bryant’s group was called “Save Our Children”, which perpetuated the myth that gay people are also pedophiles. Bryant was successful in having the anti-discrimination ordinance repealed. What I discovered while researching this story is that gay bars around the country started boycotting orange juice and began marketing a new drink – the “Anita Bryant”, which was vodka and apple juice (which sounds positively dreadful). She traveled around the country helping other cities strike down anti-gay discrimination laws. That led to the infamous episode in Des Moines when someone threw a pie in her face on live TV. Her response? “At least it’s a fruit pie.” Oh, there’s that famous Bryant wit! Say what you will about the crazy old girl, I bet her life will make one helluva movie!
Last week, I spent some time with designer Bob Mackie, so I just had to ask him about Cher. I had seen photos of her in a really hideous multi-colored cat suit and had to ask if he had designed it. Bob was shocked – how did I not hear about the whole Cher-Mackie “break-up”? Just before the opening night of the tour, Cher Tweeted the following: “Telling you something that has broken my heart. The man who made all my costumes since 1972 decided he couldn’t do my last tour. No matter how disappointed any of u are, you don’t know my grief. I’m sure Bob can’t know how much I miss him. Felt I had to tell u I’m crying. I tried to convince him to end with me, but he had many reasons as 2 why he couldn’t do it. 2 many obligations. Not enough time even 2 do 1.”
Needless to say, a designer of Mackie’s stature has quite a bit on his plate – including a line of furniture, linens, and clothing on QVC. But even with all of that, he was excited about doing this project. Although the tour was announced last September, many of the specific details weren’t coming together in enough time for him to design a wardrobe worthy of both the Mackie and Cher name – especially for a tour called “Dressed To Kill”! But have no fear – there is NO break-up. The two are still good friends and I hear that Cher will once again don Mackie – sooner rather than later. Bob did say one thing that made me laugh – “When Cher tried to convince me to end with her, I said, ‘End? I’m not going anywhere!’”
Our “Ask Billy” question comes from Keith in New York City: “I was just watching the ’48 Hours Mystery’ and they ran a story about a wrongly imprisoned guy named Ryan Ferguson. WOW – he’s like p-rnstar beautiful.”
Oh, I remember that case. At the time of his arrest, Ryan was a 17-year-old who had been out drinking (illegally) and was then accused of a murder he didn’t commit. He was convicted and has sat in jail for the past 10 years. His case would occasionally pop up on “48 Hours Mystery” or “Dateline”, but I really could only focus on his gorgeous face and what appeared to be a hot body under his orange jumpsuit. Fast forward 10 years, and he’s now free. And what’s one of the first things he did? He got his first spray tan in February. And when showing off the results – well, I think I had what was once referred to as “the vapors”! My, my, my – prison definitely agreed with him. And I bet many of the inmates agreed, too. You can see for yourself on BillyMasters.com. But I must warn you that he does have a girlfriend. Myka Cain started writing to Ryan while he was still in prison. She did what she could to help campaign for his release, and they seem to be inseparable…for now.
When I’m looking for love on death row, it’s definitely time to end yet another column. It’s not as silly as it sounds. Look at those Menendez brothers. Since being in jail, they’ve both gotten married…twice! So while you’re checking out the inmates, be sure to check out www.BillyMasters.com – the site that’ll never screw ya (unless you want it to). If you have a question for me and have already used up your one phone call, just send a note to Billy@BillyMasters.com and I promise to get back to you before Cher asks Mackie to help her turn back time. Until next time, remember, one man’s filth is another man’s bible.