Entertainment

The New ‘Saved by the Bell’ Reboot Announced That It Has Cast Trans Actress Josie Totah

School at Bayside High is back in session! This time, the role of the most popular kid in school won’t be the infamous blonde-headed boy heartthrob Zack Morris. Instead, the role of the kid to rule the school is being taken on by Josie Totah.

The 18-year-old American actress is set to play Lexi on NBC’s reboot of “Saved By the Bell.”

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According to Deadline, Totah is signed to join the original series cast members, including Elizabeth Berkley and Mario Lopez, in the NBC Universal’s streaming platform Peacock. A statement by Deadline says that “Totah will play Lexi, a beautiful, sharp-tongued cheerleader and the most popular girl at Bayside High who is both admired and feared by her fellow students.”

According to reports, th new series, which acts as more of a sequel than a reboot, is set to follow Zack Morris as a California Gov. who comes under fire after closing too many low-income schools. To remedy the situation he sends displaced students to higher-performing schools including Bayside High.

Totah’s casting role is big news and history in the making because of it what it means for the trans community. 

Totah first gained attention as an actor when she started in the short-lived Mindy Kaling series “Champions.” AT the time, Totah had not come out as trans. She ultimately did so in an essay for Time Magazine writing “When I was really young, growing up in a small town in Northern California, people would just assume I was gay. On the playground, I was the type of kid who wanted to sing with the girls, not play soccer with the boys. Then I found myself playing that role once I got into the entertainment industry, and people kept assuming my identity. Numerous reporters have asked me in interviews how it feels to be a young gay man. I was even introduced that way before receiving an award from an LGBTQ+ rights organization. I understand that they didn’t really know better. I almost felt like I owed it to everybody to be that gay boy. But that has never been the way I think of myself.”

Totah went onto say that she planed on going off to college and continuing her acting career saying “I plan to play roles I haven’t had the opportunity to play. And I can only imagine how much more fun it’s going to be to play someone who shares my identity, rather than having to contort myself to play a boy. I’m going to gun for those roles, be it a transgender female or a cisgender female. Because it’s a clean slate — and a new world.”

Strangely, Totah is set to star along Mario Lopez, who was criticized late last year for anti-transgender comments in June.

Speaking in an interview on the “The Candace Owens Show” Lopez said that it was “dangerous” for parents of children as young as three years old to permanently label their kids as transgender.“I’m kind of blown away, too,” Lopez said in the interview with Owens. “I’m never one to tell anyone how to parent their kids, obviously, and I think if you come from a place of love, you really can’t go wrong, but at the same time, my God, if you’re 3 years old and you’re saying you’re feeling a certain way or you think you’re a boy or a girl or whatever the case may be, I just think it’s dangerous as a parent to make that determination.”

Following the backlash, the actorapologized in a statement sent to The Advocate. “The comments I made were ignorant and insensitive, and I now have a deeper understanding of how hurtful they were,” he told the outlet at the time. 

Lopez took a day off of work from “Extra” following the backlashed he received even after his public apology and returned to work later that week. At the time, producers over at “Extra,” where Lopez acts currently as a host, did release a statement that same week saying: “While we have enjoyed a long relationship with Mario Lopez, who we know to be a caring person, the opinions he expressed in this interview do not reflect those of Extra. We wholeheartedly embrace our friends from the LGBTQ community and believe they need support and love.”

GLAAD, a non-profit media monitoring organization founded by LGBT people, also weighed in on Lopez’s comments and the repercussions they have. The organization says that experts have long previously discredited Lopez’s claims. 

“Medical and psychological experts and parents of children who are transgender have long discredited the ideas that @MarioLopezExtra shared. The real dangerous action is when someone with a public platform uses bad science to speak against a vulnerable group of children.”

Here’s hoping Lopez behaves appropriately on set while working with his new co-star.

Here Are Some Queer Films And Shows To Watch To Start Pride Off Right

Entertainment

Here Are Some Queer Films And Shows To Watch To Start Pride Off Right

posefx / onedayatatimepoptv / Instagram

Pride Month is here and that means it is time to highlight the already celebrated LGBTQ+ shows and movies that have made a mark on us. Since Pride and the COVID pandemic are coinciding, it is a good time to watch some of the best examples of LGBTQ+ Latino entertainment.

“Moonlight”

Winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture, “Moonlight” brought Afro-Latino, Black, and queer storylines together. The movie follows a young Black man in Miami and his own trials and tribulations growing up with a mother who is addicted to drugs. His life is changed thanks to an Afro-Cuban man who takes him under his wing and shows him how to make it through his adolescents.

“To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar”

One of the most popular classic films in LGBTQ+ cinema. “To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar” follows three drag queens who drive from New York to Los Angeles for a national drag beauty pageant. Chi Chi Rodriguez, played by Joh Leguizamo, convinces the two competing queens to let him ride with them. Along the way, Rodriguez learns what it means to be a drag queen and the queens all learn a lot from a small, rural community filled with unexpected love and understanding.

“Pose”

“Pose” brings the ballroom culture straight to your living room. Set at the beginning in 1987 New York City during the peak of the AIDs epidemic, “Pose” empowers the queer people of color of the time. Ballroom culture is an underground dancing culture that has jumped into the mainstream because of “Pose.” The show takes the narrative of HIV-positive people of color in the time and empowers them rather than tears them down.

“Tangerine”

“Tangerine” is the story of a prostitute on a mission. The main character gets out of jail and learns that their boyfriend and pimp has started a new relationship with another woman. So, she and her friend set out to find him and teach the two a lesson for straying from her while she was incarcerated.

“Gentefied”

“Genetfied” is the latest Netflix hit and it is all about gentrification and the fight to keep Boyle Heights Latino. In the overall story, there is a lesbian relationship that is leaving everyone with all kinds of envy.

“One Day At A Time”

Netflix really misstepped here when they pulled the plug on their production of “One Day At A Time” but Pop TV saved the show. The first three seasons are currently on Netflix so you can still watch all of those episodes and enjoy the growing openness of Elena as she comes out.

“La casa de las flores”

This telenovela is truly one of the most incredible projects with LGBTQ+ characters today. Even Valentina, the famed drag queen from “RuPaul’s Drag Race” is in the latest season solidifying the shows LGBTQ+ status.

READ: The Trailer For The Final Season Of ‘La Casa De Las Flores’ Is Here And We’re Not Ready To Say Goodbye

Another Man Grabbed A Woman Reporter While She Was Trying To Do Her Job Live On-Air

Entertainment

Another Man Grabbed A Woman Reporter While She Was Trying To Do Her Job Live On-Air

WGN2 / Twitter

Illinois television reporter Gaynor Hall was doing her job when a man ran up and assaulted her while she was live on air. Hall, 37, had been providing viewers with a weather update in Shorewood, Illinois, on Saturday evening when a man jumped into the live shot, grabbed hold of her, and blurted out an obscenity. The man has since been arrested for assault.

The incident took place while Hall was reporting on wind damage that had occurred 45 miles south of Chicago.

According to Shorewood police, 20-year-old Eric Farina was the man in the video who “grabbed the reporter around her shoulders and uttered a profane and disturbing statement.” Upon his arrest, Farina was charged with disorderly conduct and battery. “Shorewood Detectives located Farina on Sunday morning at his residence,” the police said in a statement. “Farina made a full confession and was placed under arrest, bonded, and released.”

Farina was ultimately released on a $2,500 bond. His arrest came at the hands of help from the community.

Hall reached out to her friends and followers on Facebook and asked for help with identifying her assailant on.

***UPDATE*** Thanks to your help, he was identified and arrested. Thank you all so much for your kind words and…

Posted by Gaynor Hall on Saturday, May 23, 2020

“Thanks to your help, he was identified and arrested. Thank you all so much for your kind words and support. I am ok and I appreciate you more than you know,” Hall wrote in a post to her Facebook page.

Before his arrest, Hall published a post with Farina’s face during the attack writing “A brief note to the young man who jumped in my live shot tonight: It was not funny. You violated my personal space. You grabbed me. You scared me. Was it worth it?”

Unfortunately, incidents like these happen often to women reporters.

In December of last year, a video was posted to Twitter of WSAV reporter Alex Bozarjian being assaulted on live television. The video showed Bozarjian smiling in front of a crowd of joggers who were running the annual Enmarket Savannah Bridge Run in Georgia. Runners streamed behind her, occasionally interrupting her reporting and making goofy faces to the camera. Things took a dark turn when a male jogger came up behind Bozarjian and slapped her on the butt before he continued on his run.

Bozarjian was visibly rattled by the incident, her face appeared shocked as she struggled to regain her composure, and stumbled over her words before continuing to do her job. A concerned viewer, Twitter-user @GrrrlZilla, recorded the incident and posted a video of it to her Twitter account. “We watch @WSAV in our house every single morning,” she said in a follow-up Tweet. “Their staff is like extended family to us. I’m furious about this.” Soon after the incident, the jogger was identified by internet sleuths as Georgia man Tommy Callaway and it turned out he spends his time as a youth minister.

According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, 63% of sexual assaults go unreported and according to The Office of Civil Rights & Sexual Misconduct women decide not to make the reports for various reasons but one of the number one reasons including not being believed or fearing that the justice system will not consider the crime “serious enough”

Check out a video of the incident here.