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Nina West shares her experience growing up as a republican and being targeted in college for being gay. Nina West shares her experience growing up as a republican and being targeted in college for being gay.

Arts & Entertainment

RPDR S11E4: Nina West Shares Her Story Of Growing Up As A Republican While Growing Up As Gay

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This week’s episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 11 was very political, and I love it. The maxi-challenge is a lipsync musical where the queens played as different women in Donald Trump’s life like Melania Trump, Ivanka Trump, Omorosa, Betsy DeVos, and of course, his arch nemesis, Hillary Clinton.

The challenge is RuPaul’s attempt to bring a hyper-political topic in a very creative and entertaining way. The musical number entitled “Trump: The Rusical” is a social commentary about the women in President Trump’s life and the roles they play in his presidency. It eventually sent a message of women power, where women are said to be the future – encouraging the audience to vote more women politicians to government positions.

Nina West performed as Sarah Sanders in Trump: The Rusical. Photo from @NinaWest / Instagram

The main challenge has brought out different political emotions from the queens – who mostly grew up in a homophobic society – and started conversations about political issues that other queens did not bring up in the past.

The episode has uncovered different political anecdotes from the competing queens that helped educate people about the political climate in the United States.

GROWING UP AS A REPUBLICAN

In a conversation with Ru during the time that she checked out the queens progress in the challenge, Nina revealed that she actually grew up in a very political family, a Republican at that. At the age of 12, she went to the Republican National Convention.

Asked if ‘her party’ win that year, Nina immediately denied her involvement with the Republicans saying that “it is not my political party, but I believe they did win. I believe it was George Bush…The father.”

She also told viewers in her confessionals that she was able to meet Bush’s wife, Barbar and Connie Chung and that she was also the president of the Young Republican Club until she started to realize that she was gay.

She clarified, however, that now she is already super liberal and progressive.

GROWING UP GAY

Nina West shares being targeted in college for being gay. Screenshot from VH1

During the time where the queens put their make up on, Nina west opened up being a target in college. She said that during her sophomore year, she ran for student government. Because of the extra attention that her candidacy made her, an underground anti-gay hate group in her college campus took into themselves to harass her, break into her dorm room, and threatened her life.

She revealed that one day, she arrived into her dorm greeted by the word “fag” carved in her dorm room and a distorted voice message threatening to kill her saying “we’re gonna get you.” Later that day, one of her dorm mates told her that someone tried to break into her room. She expressed how scared she was during that time and shared to her fellow queens that the incident forced her to move out of her dorm room and transfer to an all-girls dorm and remained hidden for two weeks until authorities found the perpetrator of the threats.

The incident rang hard on Nina as it happened in the wake of Matthew Sheppard, a college student in Wyoming who was killed by anti-gay “monsters.” Sheppard went to a local bar, and a group of men picked him up and beat him to death, eventually hanging him in a fence.

Nina said that the Matthew Sheppard incident and her experience in her sophomore year made her the gender rights activist that she is now.

“The Matthew Sheppard murder changed my life…This is why I’m involved in gay rights issues; because I don’t want anyone to feel that way that I felt – that I was suicidal, that I was not good enough, or that I didn’t belong. That’s why I do what I do; so they will never feel that way,” Nina said on the show.

“It is awful, you don’t want to feel like you don’t matter,” she added.

Nina urged people not to let anyone tell them that their voice doesn’t matter in this time where the environment is very divisive.

The revelations of Nina West have moved her fellow competing queens, and they started to hug her and gave her message of support. Fans in Twitter have also expressed how proud they are of Nina and have called upon more queens to tell their stories and fight just like what Nina did. /apr

A consumer tech and cybersecurity journalist who does content marketing while daydreaming about having unlimited coffee for life and getting a pet llama. I also own a cybersecurity blog called Zero Day.

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‘Recess’ Live-Action Remake Cast And Crew Do It For The Love, As Production Struggles With Funding

The team behind Recess remake shared hurdles and highlights their love and passion toward the hit 90s cartoon.

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All the 90s kids are now in the yard, as a tandem of independent Canadian filmmakers is bringing their favorite cartoon to life with the live-action remake of Recess. But they have a massive problem facing ahead: funding.

Produced by Director Jerome Yoo and Co-written by Kent Donguinez and Zlatina Pacheva, the new live-action show, promises that they will prioritize authenticity of the storyline and character’s accuracy above all.

“Expect for it to be character-accurate especially that our ensemble is composed by very familiar faces in the Vancouver film scene,” Kent Donguines, who co-produces and the show, told Z6Mag.

Recess is a 90s cartoon that used to be everyone’s ideal Saturday morning show back then. It revolves around the story of six fourth-graders at the Third Street School who made it their life mission to protect other kids in the playground against bullies — of course, during the recess period.

While everyone is much familiar about the story of popular and confident Theodore Jasper “T.J.” Detweiler, athletic Vince LaSalle, tough girl Ashley Spinelli, gentle giant Mikey Blumberg, genius Gretchen Grundler (Ashley Johnson), and shy new kid Gus Griswald, no one really knows what happens to them after fourth grade.

“One question continued to haunt us — what happened to the gang after 4th grade?” they shared in their pitch on IndieGogo. “Well, we’re here to answer that question for you! As filmmakers, we want to explore a more grown-up version of the show — same characters, different issues. A live-action, re-imagining of the gang in a high school setting tackling current issues like love, peer pressure, social media, identity, etc.”

The producers and writers of the live-action remake of Recess explore their curiosity on what’s next to the kids when they started high school. When asked what to expect of the show regarding its storyline, Donguines teased about how the “the Recess friends are finally reunited on screen.”

“At this point, I won’t sugar coat anything about what we’ve shot anymore. I just want the public to watch out for it,” Donguines added.

What they lack for money, they compensate with love

However, independent productions are always riddled with technical and financial constraints; and the producers of Live-Action Recess are no exemptions. Donguines shared to Z6Mag different challenges that they faced and are still facing for the project, and first on his list was “money.”

Donguines pointed out that one of their primary concerns for the show is for it to get enough funding. He highlights the fact that most of those who lead the project are immigrants, and that itself present some hurdles.

The project has set up a crowdfunding campaign to help finance their costs. However, as of writing, the team had raised only about $1000 of their $6836 goal, with only four days left before the campaign expires.

That is why Donguines and his team compensate for their lack of funding with talent and passion. He said that their team is mostly composed of volunteers, who like him and his co-producers, are fans of the original animated show.

“A huge challenge for us, as well, was putting together a team who are willing to give us their weekend voluntarily and making sure that they know what Recess is all about,” he said.

“[Their] way to show our love for Recess, and as fans, we just want to put something together that’s made out of love. Every member of the cast and crew of this project really love Recess; that’s why we brought it back to life,” the producer discussed.

He prides that the members of the new show’s cast are big names in Vancouver, with hopes that their fame would help the production regarding marketing and the general idea of “making it big.”

The roles, as Donguines said, would be played by Deadly Class‘ Benjamin Wadsworth as TJ, Sean Depner as Mikey, The Order‘s Louriza Tronco as Spinelli, Lillian Doucet-Roche as Gretchen, Fritzy-Klevans Destine as Vince and Clive Holloway as Gus.

“The Ashleys” clique will be played by Sydney Scotia, Brenna Llewellyn, as well as, Kelcey Mawema and Emilija Baranac, who’s best known for her role as Genevieve in the Netflix hit, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.

Of course, the gang won’t be complete without the playground snitch Randall, who’ll be portrayed by Netflix’s The Order, Adam DiMarco.

Nonetheless, Donginues remains optimistic amidst the challenges that are coming their way. He shared his hopes that their small project will be picked up by Disney and fund them for a bigger production.

“We hope that we will be able to reach Disney and have it picked up to produce a full live-action show officially. If not, we just want people to enjoy the show and experience nostalgia,” Donguines said.

IndieGogo Pitch Video for Live-Action Remake of Recess

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‘A Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy’ Is Coming To Hulu

Don’t Panic and don’t forget your favorite towel.

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Photo: Jose Sa | Flickr.com | CC BY 2.0
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Executive producers Carlton Cuse and Jason Fuchs are creating a TV series adaptation of A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in Hulu.

Cuse, the producer of Lost and Jack Ryan, and Fuchs, the producer of I Still See You and It Chapter Two, will team up as the series’ executive producers, showrunners, and writers. Fuchs, also known for his screenwriting for Wonder Woman, will write the pilot.

The series will be a collaboration between ABC Studios and Disney, the parent company of Hulu. Cuse, who owns Genre Arts production company, will be leading the production for the TV series adaptation.

The TV series will be a modern update of the classic science fiction tale. However, there is no news yet if there will be any changes to the characters or the main storyline.

A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy focuses on the adventures of Arthur Dent, an Englishman who wanted to save his home from demolition, and Ford Prefect, an alien who is a contributor for the hitchhiking guide. Prefect saved Dent when intergalactic aliens demolished Earth.

Since then, Dent and Prefect were thrown into a big road trip across the universe. The duo meets Zaphod Beeblebrox and his companion Trillian and goes onboard The Heart of Gold, a ship powered by an Infinite Improbability Engine. A depressed robot named Marvin rounds out the unlikely group who travels to the legendary planet Magrathea for an exciting adventure.

Douglas Adams created the British series. It has been a significant part of British pop culture. The series has been adapted to different forms of entertainment; however, this is the first time it will be adapted into a TV series for the American audience.

The History of the Hitchhiker’s Guide

Adams created the A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in 1978 as a science fiction comedy radio series. It was broadcasted in the UK on BBC Radio 4. The radio series was successful in bringing wit and comedy in an out-of-the-box format.

The design of the drama was experimental with the use of its new music and sound effects. Adams’ was inspired by Pink Floyd and the Beatles, and wanted a rock album feel for the radio series. A second series was commissioned in 1980.

After the success of the first series, Adams adapted his story into a novel in 1979. It was also adapted into a TV show. The sci-fi series created four more books.

The novels are titled as The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Life, the Universe and Everything, So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish, and Mostly Harmless. A sixth novel installment, titled And Another Thing…, was written by Eion Colfer and released in 2009, eight years after Adams’ death.

Series’ Adaptations

The 1981 TV series focused on the first and second radio show adaptation. It starred Simon Jones as Arthur Dent and David Dixon as Ford Prefect. Mark Wing-Davey and Sandra Dickinson portrayed Zaphod Beeblebrox and Trillian. Marvin, the robot, was played by David Learner in a costume but was voiced by Stephen Moore. The show’s narrator was Peter Jones.

Aside from the TV series, the series was also adapted into a 1984 video game. The game was developed by Infocom and can be played on various platforms like Apple II, Atari ST, MS-DOS, and plenty more.

The most recent adaptation was the 2005 movie directed by Garth Jennings. It earned a $104.5 million with a budget of about $50 million. The reception was reasonably okay, but it wasn’t good enough to start a sequel.

Martin Freeman was perfect for the role of Arthur Dent. Freeman’s style of panicky and comedic acting worked well in personifying Dent. Mos Def (whose real name is Yasiin Bey) was Dent’s eccentric alien friend, Ford Prefect.

Sam Rockwell played Zaphod Beeblebrox with a second head under his neck. His relaxed and stylish demeanor perfectly portrays the character’s calm and adventurous side. When he asked about the charm of Zaphod, Rockwell said, “Zaphod’s very Bill Clinton, he’s a very charming guy. He has to be, that’s what it said in the book, so I had to pull it out of somewhere.”

Meanwhile, Zooey Deschanel was Trillian. Although Trillian’s love story was not one of the main plots in the novels, the romance was heavily laid down on the film. Deschanel said that she watched many movies as a reference for her love story scenes with Freeman and Rockwell.

Last but not least, Marvin the Robot was played by Warwick Davis. Stephen Fry also voiced the narrator for the film.

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Trump ‘Very Disappointed’ In Swedish Prime Minister For Inaction Over A$ap Rocky Case

#FreeRocky wants the rapper released on bail as he awaits court proceedings

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Source: Billboard
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US President Donald Trump sent out his frustration over Twitter regarding the Swedish Prime Minister after it failed to act on his request to release rapper A$ap Rocky from incarceration.

American Rapper A$ap Rocky, formally known as Rakim Athelaston Mayers, was recently charged with assault over a fight in Stockholm last month along with two other individuals.

Daniel Suneson, the prosecutor overseeing the rapper’s case said in a statement that he filed charges against the artist after “having come to the conclusion that the events in question constitute a crime and despite claims of self-defense and provocation.”

According to reports, the platinum-selling rapper was involved in a fight with another man as he was on his way to appear at a festival last June 30. In videos published on social media, Rocky was seen violently throwing a man to the ground although it was unclear who else was involved in the scene.

Currently, the artist has been in custody since July 3 and will remain there until trial. Meanwhile, the Stockholm District Court will have to set a date for the proceedings.

The rapper’s lawyer said that Rocky was acting in self-defense. “We think it was self-defense,” The rapper’s lawyer, Slobodan Jovicic said, adding that his client is “very disappointed” that the prosecutor has “chosen to go with the other party’s version” of events.

Based on the videos published online, one of them appeared that Rocky and his friends told two men to stop following them. However, reports said the two men alleged in the video hit one his security detail with a pair of headphones that eventually led to the fight in the first place.

In the caption for the first video, which Rocky posted on Instagram after the event, writes: “We don’t know these guys and we didn’t want trouble. They followed us for four blocks.”

In the second, he accuses the man of hitting his security guard “in the face with headphones.”

As an attempt to appease requests from the President to step in and help with Rocky’s case, Trump held a conversation with the Swedish Prime Minister and even vouched for the rapper promising that he will not be a flight risk if given bail and will be present once a date has been set for him to appear in court.

However, bails are not part of the Swedish criminal justice system, and the Prime Minister said he has no influence over the judicial process to grant his request.

In a tweet, President Donald Trump expressed his frustration over the inaction and even hinted that the Prime Minister was racist—calling for action to give equal treatment to all Americans.

“Very disappointed in Prime Minister Stefan Löfven for being unable to act,” Trump wrote. “Sweden has let our African American Community down in the United States. I watched the tapes of A$AP Rocky, and he was being followed and harassed by troublemakers. Treat Americans fairly! #FreeRocky.”

In a second tweet, Trump added: “Give A$AP Rocky his FREEDOM. We do so much for Sweden, but it doesn’t seem to work the other way around. Sweden should focus on its real crime problem! #FreeRocky.”

In response, Löfven’s spokesperson Mikael Lindström said in a statement to an American outlet that all people in Sweden are equal before the law.

“All I can say at this point is that Sweden and Prime Minister Stefan Löfven have explained and emphasized the complete independence of the Swedish judicial system, prosecutors and courts,” Lindström said. “The Government is not allowed, and will not attempt, to influence the legal proceedings, which are now ongoing.”

Notably, President Trump was urged by the first lady and celebrities including Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West—who has famously worked with the Trump Administration with freeing incarcerated African Americans over charges regarding one-time drug offenses—to intervene to try to free Rocky.

Other celebrities have also expressed their concern such as Justin Bieber, Sean “Diddy” Combs, and Nicki Minaj, and have all pushed for Rocky’s release.

There’s also an online petition to #FreeRocky and release him under bail, which has already accumulated over 500,000 signatures.

The trial is due to start in July 30.

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