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The Highs And Lows For Warner Bros.

How Warner Bros. Has The Biggest Hit And Miss Of The Year

It's no secret that Warner Bros' hand in the Barbie movie provides them with the biggest box office success of the year. It's already breaking records, pulling in over $300 million in its opening weekend, the biggest for a female director (in Greta Gerwig) ever. And it's already garnering Oscar buzz. It went head-to-head with previous Warner Bros right-hand-director Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer and won decisively .

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What Are They Doing With All Those Yeezys?

So Adidas finally decided they’re going to with the Yeezys

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 3: Kanye West is seen exiting her hotel on September 3, 2016 in New York City.; By Liam Goodner // Shutterstock

Remember when Kanye West went on a tear and, in a series of cascading failures, alienated himself from the industry and lost all of his contracts?

After a series of controversial statements, a flop of a Paris Fashion Week show, and problematic behavior that culminated in an antisemitic rant…Kanye West’s unchecked platform was finally checked. One by one, industry players spoke up against him until finally, he lost his deal with Adidas — the seminal collaboration which birthed his Yeezy shoe product.

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Lego Batgirl and Batman figurines

Deposit Photos

On August 2, 2022 Warner Bros. Discovery announced that the nearly completed Batgirl would not be coming to HBOMax as intended.

The decision to not release Batgirl reflects our leadership’s strategic shift as it relates to the DC universe and HBO Max. Leslie Grace is an incredibly talented actor and this decision is not a reflection of her performance,” said a Spokesperson from Warner Bros. Pictures.

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Raven-Symoné and 5 Other Stars Who Were Told Being Gay Would Hurt Their Careers

"I'm labeling myself, but in the way that I want to," says the former Disney star.

With celebrities coming out left and right and queer storylines gaining big-screen prominence in Hollywood, it seems hard to imagine that some of our favorite gay stars were encouraged not to come out for the sake of their careers.

One such star is Raven-Symoné. In a video for "It Gets Better," she discussed how difficult it was for her to come out as queer due to pressure from the media and fear that her sexuality would affect her personal brand. "I never thought I would come out because my personal life didn't matter," she said. "It was only supposed to be sold as, you know, a Raven-Symoné record."

She was afraid to come out because, as she said in the video, being gay "was always negative. So, if you don't see other people going through it in a positive way, why would you say anything? There was nothing that would have made me want to deal with my own issue at that time."

The pressure to remain in the closet didn't end as the years went on. She recently told Variety that she received criticism for her appearance during her years starring on That's So Raven. "I remember that I wore Abercrombie and Fitch jeans, a stereotypical lesbian vest, a tie," she said, "and one of the members of my team went up to my mom and was like, 'She looks too much like a lesbian. Can you tell her to put on a skirt and makeup? Because then they'll accept her and come to her concert.' I could not! It always happened when I was on tour, because I've always been myself in hip-hop clothes and not necessarily super feminine... So seeing the reaction of people in my own camp who were trying to mold and publicize me in the way that they think girls should look like just blew my mind."

Since she came out in college, Raven-Symoné has never been one to defer to others' expectations. After the comment about her looking too much like a lesbian, she ended up going onstage in a tutu, just to spite her managers.

Later in the interview, she said, "I do not like labels because labels have certain historic connotations that don't describe who I am fully. If I use a certain label, our world view of that word or image will go right to the negative, every single time. I think as my generation and the generations after me continue to grow, we're changing certain labels, but it's still a part of the fabric of society. I'm labeling myself, but in the way that I want to. I know that I am a 'human of the world.'"

In honor of her bravery and generally inspiring outlook on life and the media (read the whole interview here), here are 5 other contemporary gay icons who were encouraged to remain in the closet for the sake of their careers.

1. Ellen Page

The Juno star and globally adored lesbian icon (have you seen the photos of her and her wife?) was initially encouraged to stay in the closet. "I was distinctly told, by people in the industry, when I started to become known: 'People cannot know you're gay,' she said. "And I was pressured—forced, in many cases—to always wear dresses and heels for events and photo shoots." She added, "As if lesbians don't wear dresses and heels. But I will never let anyone put me in anything I feel uncomfortable in ever again."

Still, it wasn't easy for her to come out. "I remember being in my early 20s and really believing it was impossible for me to come out," she told Porter. "But, over time, with more representation, hearts and minds have been changed. It doesn't happen quickly enough and it hasn't happened enough, particularly for the most marginalized in the community. But things have got better."

Now, she has said she feels a responsibility to be out and proud, and is committed to creating queer content. She's also just enjoying married life. "I love being married," she said. "I'll be walking my dog, and I start talking to people, and I end up telling them about my wife and making them look at our Instagram. I'm that person."

2. Ezra Miller

Miller is the new star of Justice League, but he solidified a place in many young queers' hearts when he played the queer character Patrick in Perks of Being a Wallflower. Unfortunately, he apparently faced a huge amount of pressure to remain in the closet in order to survive in Hollywood.

"I won't specify [who told me not to come out]," he said. "Folks in the industry, folks outside the industry. People I've never spoken to. They said there's a reason so many gay, queer, gender-fluid people in Hollywood conceal their sexual identity, or their gender identity in their public image. I was told I had done a 'silly' thing in…thwarting my own potential to be a leading man."

3. Hayley Kiyoko

Kiyoko, who has previously stated she knew she was a lesbian since the age of 6, has said that she was told to "tone down" her sexuality after the release of her 2015 single, "Girls Like Girls."

"'Girls Like Girls' was too violent and too sexual for a lot of people to premiere," she said. "When you're in the LGBTQ community and you're open about your sexuality, it's not common for you to hear your music played on the radio. It's more common to be underground and left-of-centre with a selective core that listens to that music. That's why this is an exciting time to really break those barriers of… I wouldn't say judgment, but to break out of that box."

4. Amber Heard

The bisexual actress, who has starred alongside Johnny Depp and Nicholas Cage, was told that coming out as bisexual would ruin her career. "Everyone said, 'You're throwing it all away. You can't do this to your career,'" she said. "And I said, 'I cannot do this any other way. Watch me.'" She later said, "I told myself to describe reality in a truthful way and to offer young people someone to look up to, since those of my generation had grown up without any model of reference. Who knows." She added, "Thanks to me, maybe someone has felt less inadequate."

The outspoken star has also critiqued the LGBTQ community, stating, "I didn't come out. I was never in." She explained, "It's limiting, that LGBTQ thing. It served a function as an umbrella for marginalized people to whom rights were being denied, but it loses its efficacy because of the nuanced nature of humanity. As we become more educated and expand the facts of our nature, we keep adding letters. It was a great shield, but now we're stuck behind it." Food for thought, certainly, but at least it seems that Heard remains committed to speaking her mind and questioning norms.

5. Evan Rachel Wood

The Westworld star has become a feminist force of nature in recent years, due to her honesty about her past as well as her refusal to remain in the closet. Recently, she released a 20-minute confessional video along with the comment, "I recorded a video of myself walking people through my journey of self-realization—abusive relationships, suicide attempts, and finally coming out of the closet."

Still, she wasn't always this open about her sexuality. Because she had few role models growing up, she felt alone. "No one I knew was talking about it," she said in her HRC speech. "I wasn't exposed. So the only thing that I knew was fear, and confusion, and loneliness. How can you be who you are when you don't understand what you're feeling?"

Now, she's become determined to use her platform to spread love and solidarity with other marginalized people. "As an actor, my job is to look at a stranger and find myself in them—to connect the dots, to have such empathy for a character that I can read someone else's words and be moved to tears," Wood said in a 2017 speech at the HRC gala. "Turning empathy into vulnerability... and it wasn't until I saw the effect that it had on other people that I really started to see how powerful really allowing your most vulnerable parts to be seen was. I saw another side to what I did, and it was the power of visibility."


Ezra Miller Is in a Band?

Indie alt-rock band Son's of an Illustrious Father release introspective single before heading out on worldwide tour.

Laurent Vu/SIPA/Shutterstock

Alt-rock trio Sons of an Illustrious Father, comprised of Josh Aubin, Lilah Larson, and actor Ezra Miller continue tearing up the indie scene with their unique, "genre queer" sound with their latest, self-titled single.

The Howard Bilerman produced track features a creative blend of retro guitar lines, attention-grabbing vocal harmonies, and entrancing strings, arranged by The Dears frontman Murray A. Lightburn. The single produces a psychedelic vibe, with lyrics that are reflective and engaging, touching on the experiences the group has shared over the years and their evolution as a band.

In an interview with Highsnobiety, Aubin shared that the single's message "started as more of an active reflection" and that "It feels like a moment of seeing us from afar, but also being very much ingrained into the experience which was in our lives, and was particularity for this tour." Miller and Larson followed up this statement by saying that when the track is performed, there are various feelings of intention and affirmation, almost like a "physic manifesto."

In addition to the release of a new song and the increasing popularity of their 2018 album, Deus Sex Machina, Sons have begun a massive worldwide tour, including shows opening for Priests in the U.S. this summer and a headline show at the Village Underground in London. Listen to Sons of an Illustrious Father's self-titled single and check out the tour dates below.

Sons of an Illustrious Father — "Sons of an Illustrious Father"

Tour dates:

4/23/19 - Hong Kong, China @ This Town Needs

4/25/19 - Singapore @ SCAPE

4/27/19 - Shanghai, China @ Strawberry Music Festival

4/28/19 - Chengdu, China @ Strawberry Music Festival

4/30/19 - Beijing, China @ Tango Live

5/4/19 - Seoul, South Korea @ Yes 24 Hall

5/13/19 - Lisbon, Portugal @ MusicBox

5/15/19 - Madrid, Spain @ Moby Dick

5/16/19 - Barcelona, Spain @ Sala Nau

5/20/19 - Glasgow, UK @ King Tut's Wah Wah Hut

5/21/19 - London, UK @ Village Underground

5/24/19 - Manchester, UK @ Dot to Dot Festival

5/25/19 - Bristol, UK @ Dot to Dot Festival

5/26/19 - Nottingham, UK @ Dot to Dot Festival

5/28/19 - Brussels, Belgium @ AB Club

5/29/19 - Paris, France @ Bellevilloise

5/31/19 - Amsterdam, Netherlands @ Bitterzoet

6/2/19 - Berlin, Germany @ Bi Nuu

6/3/19 - Cologne, Germany @ Luxor

6/5/19 - Copenhagen, Denmark @ Pumpehuset

6/7/19 - Oslo, Norway @ Parkteateret

6/9/19 - Stockholm, Sweden @ Nalen Klubb

6/15/19 - Mexico City, MX @ Bajo Circuito

6/20/19 - Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall +

6/21/19 - Austin, TX @ Barracuda +

6/22/19 - Dallas, TX @ Club Dada +

6/24/19 - Albuquerque, NM @ Sister +

6/25/19 - Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar +

6/26/19 - San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar +

6/27/19 - Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom +

6/29/19 - Oakland, CA @ Starline Social Club +

7/01/19 - Portland, OR @ Polaris +

7/02/19 - Vancouver, BC @ Biltmore Cabaret +

7/03/19 - Seattle, WA @ Neumos +

7/21/19 - Philadelphia, PA @ Boot & Saddle

7/22/19 - Washington, DC @ DC9

7/23/19 - Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade

7/25/19 - Boston, MA @ Great Scott

7/26/19 - Montreal, QC @ Casa Del Popolo

7/27/19 - Toronto, ON @ Garrison

+ - with Priests

Alessandra Rincón is a journalist, writer, and photographer from Baton Rouge, Louisiana living in New York City. She loves covering music, art and culture news and you can usually find her at a show or with her nose in a book. In her spare time she is a musician, comic book nerd and wannabe cook.

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