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.

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Um Hi, Armie Hammer Dropped Out Of A JLO Movie After Leaked Texts Claimed He’s Into Being A Cannibal And Is 2021 Over Yet?

Entertainment

Um Hi, Armie Hammer Dropped Out Of A JLO Movie After Leaked Texts Claimed He’s Into Being A Cannibal And Is 2021 Over Yet?

Gregg DeGuire / Getty, Taylor Hill / Getty

Yes, welcome to 2021. A year whose heels only just hit the ground when Republican extremists terrorized the Capitol building leading to Donald Trump’s impeachment… And oh yeah saw actor Armie Hammer being accused of liking cannibalism. Yes, we said it cannibalism, ya know, an appetite for eating your own kind?

Gossip surrounding the Call Me By Your Name actor and his sex life has become so salacious that the actor announced that he was stepping back from an upcoming movie with Jennifer Lopez.

Armie Hammer announced this week that he will no longer star in the upcoming movie, Shotgun Wedding alongside Jennifer Lopez.

The brewing scandal involving Hammer includes alleged leaked messages related to his sex life.

The leaked messages alleged that Hammer has a thing for fantasies related to rape and cannibalism and was leaked by an anonymous social media account user with the name House of Effie. According to the account, Hammer told a woman that he was “100 percent a cannibal.” Another message suggested that Hammer liked the taste of blood.

“I’m not responding to these bulls–t claims but in light of the vicious and spurious online attacks against me, I cannot in good conscience now leave my children for four months to shoot a film in the Dominican Republic,” Hammer said in a statement to Page Six. “Lionsgate is supporting me in this and I’m grateful to them for that.”

Still, the show will go on for Lopez who will star in the film being directed by “Pitch Perfect” director Jason Moore.

The film will be distributed in the US by Lionsgate and will stream internationally on Amazon Prime. According to Deadline, Shotgun Wedding was meant to see Lopez and Hammer “play a couple who gather their lovable but very opinionated families for the ultimate destination wedding just as they begin to get cold feet about their relationship. If that wasn’t enough of a threat to the celebration, suddenly everyone’s lives are in danger when the entire party is taken, hostage.”

Despite the unconfirmed gossip around him, Hammer still has upcoming projects. These include the thriller, “The Billion Dollar Spy,” and a sequel to the 2017 hit “Call Me By Your Name” in which he played Oliver, a handsome doctoral student.

Its not the first time gossip around Hammer’s love life has caused a stir. In a 2013, Playboy interview Hammer described himself as a “dominant lover” and enjoyed “grabbing women by the neck and hair.”

He later told E! News of the candid Playboy interview, “Don’t drink during an interview.”

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Issa Rae Has Been Appointed To Serve On Television Academy’s Executive Committee

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Issa Rae Has Been Appointed To Serve On Television Academy’s Executive Committee

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Throughout her career as an actress and producer, Issa Rae has established herself as a woman with great entrepreneurial mindsets. Focused on telling stories about real women Rae has garnered attention for her YouTube web series “Awkward Black Girl” and contributed to the expansion of content created by people of color. Because of her, the television sphere has become a whole heck of a lot more colorful and no doubt more WOC are receiving more approval and acclaim for their work.

Her HBO television series “Insecure” has been nominated for multiple Golden Globes Awards and Primetime Emmy Awards and in 2015 her memoir, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl became a New York Times best-seller. Now, Rae is bringing her experience and viewpoint to the Television Academy.

Recently, The Television Academy revealed that Rae is now a member of the Executive Committee.

Her appointment to the Television Academy comes at a time when the organization is refocusing its attention on increasing diversity in the entertainment industry. While an increase in representation of actors of color has occurred in recent years, diversity among television executives has remained lackluster. In 20202, UCLA’s Hollywood Diversity Report revealed that “women hold only 32.0% of studio chair and CEO jobs; minorities just 8.0%.”

In a statement about her new role the Academy explained “We are thrilled to be able to leverage the collective expertise of this talented group of Television innovators as we navigate this extraordinary time in the history of our industry… Their leadership provides invaluable insight that will allow the Academy to play an integral role in shaping the evolution of the medium.”

Award-winning writer, producer, director, and actress Gloria Calderón Kellett also joins the ranks of Television Academy executives.

Calderón Kellett is an award-winning writer, producer, director, and actress who served as the executive producer, co-creator, co-showrunner, director and actress on the sitcom “One Day at a Time.” According to the Emmy website, Calderón Kellett “spent her early years as a writer/producer on numerous shows including Devious Maids, Rules of Engagement, and How I Met Your Mother; has directed episodes of Mr. Iglesias, Merry Happy Whatever, United We Fall, and the Mad About You revival; and recently sold her first feature film, We Were There Too.”

News of Rae’s new role as an executive is proving to be just another milestone of accomplishment for the actress. In October, Rae revealed that she was launching a new production company called Hoorae.

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