Married lesbian to crack on Obama at annual correspondents’ shindig. Sykes unfazed that The Advocated snubbed her for March cover
This week, the comic actress said she has been selected as the entertainer at the annual White House correspondents’ dinner in Washington, slated for May 9.
Obama is expected to attend the black-tie affair at the Washington Hilton. The guest list of some 2,000 people will likely include the usual mix of Washington elite, White House press corps and Hollywood celebrities.
"The first thing I did when they asked me to do this gig — I made sure my taxes were paid," quipped Sykes, taking a dig at the withdrawal of former U.S. Sen. Tom Daschle from Obama’s cabinet due to unpaid taxes.
Sykes, who booked the gig this week, said the idea of performing for such a high-profile crowd is “"scary but very exciting."
She said it’s her job to "poke fun and ridicule," and even a popular figure like Obama isn’t off limits. She already has some ideas about what she could mine for laughs. For example, she noted, Obama can be "a little long-winded. So we can get him on that."
Last year, Sykes publicly announced she is gay and spoke out against the passage of California’s Proposition 8 to ban same-sex marriage.
Sykes expects fumbles in the Obama administration between now and the correspondents’ dinner.
"I’m not rooting against him at all, because, especially in this economy and everything, we need him to succeed," she says. "But there’s gonna be some incidents and missteps, like we saw with the whole tax thing."
In the March issue of The Advocate, Sykes points out that African-Americans who come out are "conspicuously absent" from magazine covers.
And who made the cover of that Adovcate?
Gold medal Olympian Matthew Mitcham.
"They are a business and really need to sell magazines," Sykes told Bay Area Reporter. "I think they made the right choice putting the swimmer in a head band, well, a Speedo that looks more like a head band."
What about Sykes in a bikini?
"Yeah, you don’t want to see me in a swimsuit," she joked. "That is a whole different publication."
Eliza Dushku to produce Mapplethorpe biopic
She is best known as one of TV’s sexiest and most lethal action chicks, but "Dollhouse" star Eliza Dushku really wants to produce. The "Buffy" alum has obtained rights to the life story of Robert Mapplethorpe, the gay photographer whose controversial works put him at the center of public debate about government arts funding. Dushku sees the film as a vehicle for her brother Nate, who bears a strong resemblance to Mapplethorpe, who died in 1989 at the age of 42 from AIDS complications. Mapplethorpe’s provocative work mixes portraiture (his photographs of Patti Smith helped define her public persona) with images of graphic S/M and even flowers. Dushku announced in January that she had just finalized arrangements with the Mapplethorpe estate.
With no writer or director yet attached, the proposed film probably won’t develop until at least 2010, maybe later. You can’t hurry art.
An Inconvenient Truth: The Opera
Al Gore’s study of climate change, "An Inconvenient Truth," has an ever-growing carbon footprint of kudos.
The movie won some Oscars (one for Mellissa Etheridge), the audiobook snagged a Grammy, and Gore himself was given a Nobel Prize for his work calling global attention to global warming.
Attention, then, people who give prizes for operas: Gore’s PowerPoint presentation is being adapted for that genre as well. Gay poet J.D. McClatchy has signed on to write the libretto for composer Giorgio Battistelli for a piece that was commissioned by the legendary La Scala opera house in Milan. "An Inconvenient Truth" is scheduled to open in 2011, although that projection could be delayed by the recent departure of director William Friedkin.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 13, 2009.