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Rep. Greg Pence Read My Lips ... VP Pence & His Wife Are Not Anti-LGBT

1/16/2019 3:38 PM PST

The Vice President and his wife are getting a bad rap when it comes to LGBTQ rights, despite their track record ... at least according to Mike Pence's older brother.

Indiana Congressman Greg Pence was on Capitol Hill Wednesday when we asked him about the backlash over the VP's wife, Karen Pence, going back to teach at Virginia's Immanuel Christian School ... which has a policy of refusing admission to gay students.

Rep. Pence did an artful DC two-step -- especially for a freshman -- dodging the question by saying he can't speak for Karen. However, when we asked point-blank if his brother and sister-in-law are anti-LGBT ... he answered. Definitively.

Now, whether anyone buys his answer is another thing. The Veep's reputation in the LGBTQ community stems from a stance he took in 2000 during a campaign. 

His website stated the following regarding the Ryan White Care Act, which provided funding to HIV/AIDS patients: 

Congress should support the reauthorization of the Ryan White Care Act only after completion of an audit to ensure that federal dollars were no longer being given to organizations that celebrate and encourage the types of behaviors that facilitate the spreading of the HIV virus. Resources should be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.

That paragraph is why it's widely believed VP Pence supports conversion therapy for gays. He's also backed a law defining marriage as strictly between a man and a woman.

Still, Greg seems to think his brother's reputation is undeserved.

Shaq Defends Kevin Hart 'He Apologized, Move On'

1/11/2019 10:03 AM PST

Shaquille O'Neal is calling for people to back off Kevin Hart ... saying he shouldn't have to keep apologizing for his old homophobic jokes and wants everyone to "just move on."

"Some people feel he made a mistake," Shaq said ... "He apologized for his mistake. I always thought comedians were allowed to crack jokes."

"Anyone that knows Kevin Hart should know that anything he said was never malicious."

Of course, Shaq is referring to some of Hart's tweets and stand-up bits from 2009 to 2011 -- when the comic described how he'd react if he found out his son was gay. 

"Yo if my son comes home & try's 2 play with my daughters doll house I'm going 2 break it over his head & say n my voice ‘stop that's gay,'" Hart tweeted in 2009. 

The material resurfaced after Hart was named the host of the 2019 Academy Awards -- and after a backlash online and a demand for renewed apologies, Hart pulled out of the show and only apologized after stepping down. 

"He shouldn't have to keep apologizing," Shaq said ... "He apologized twice."

"People should just move on. Everyone makes mistakes."

Of course, Shaq and Kev go way back -- Hart was a headliner Shaq's All-Star Comedy Jam back in 2009 and they've been friends ever since. 

Shaq's not the only big star who's come to Hart's defense -- Ellen DeGeneres also went to bat for the comic ... backing Kev's stance that he's evolved and said it's his right to host the Oscars. 

Kevin Hart Chances Are 'Slim' I'll Host Oscars

1/9/2019 5:53 AM PST

1/9 5:53 AM -- On Wednesday morning, Kevin Hart ended the debate with a hard "no" and said, "There's no more conversation about it ... I'm over that. I'm over the moment."

So, Kevin Hart saying there IS a chance he'll host the Oscars this year ... is one way to take what he just told us in NYC.

Kevin was leaving an Equinox Tuesday in NYC, when he was asked him where's the smart money going IF you're inclined to wager on whether he returns to the Oscars hosting gig. It's the obvious question after he issued a very direct apology Monday to the LGBTQ community for his homophobic remarks in the past.

You gotta see Kevin's response -- he used the word "slim" to describe the chances he'll host, BUT ... he also said a lot of complimentary things about the Motion Picture Academy.

One thing's clear ... if it doesn't happen this year, Kevin's open to hosting the big show sometime in the future.

But again ... he's NOT totally ruling it out for this year.

Originally Published -- 1/8/2019 12:38 PM PT

Terrence Howard Kevin Hart's Homophobic Jokes ... All Part of Comedy

1/5/2019 7:08 AM PST

Terrence Howard dismisses criticism of Kevin Hart for making homophobic jokes, saying it's all part of the job.

We got Terrance Friday at LAX and he was squarely in Kevin's corner, saying the Academy blew it by passing on him. He went on to say dredging up jokes and tweets from year's past crosses the line, and then insinuated the attack on Kevin might be racial ... pointing to recent comments by Nick Cannon that white comedians made similar homophobic jokes with no consequences.

When our photog pressed, Terrence said it's not a racial thing, but he brings up Nick Cannon's comments a second time. 

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney Words for Kevin Hart, Ellen and Gay Rights

1/4/2019 11:07 AM PST

Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney has strong opinions on Kevin Hart, Ellen DeGeneres, gay rights and forgiveness.

We got the New York Dem, who's also openly gay, Friday on Capitol Hill, and he made it clear -- Kevin Hart has made "stupid" comments about gay people. That said, he was quick to add that people are capable of change -- something he has seen firsthand on the House floor.

As for Ellen, Maloney praised her for carrying the torch on behalf of the LGBTQ community, but at the same time said she does not speak for the entire group. He says we should celebrate the fact there are many voices and they should all be heard.

You gotta watch this clip ... he's pretty awesome. 

Ellen DeGeneres Blasted for Calling Kevin Hart's Critics 'Haters,' 'Trolls'

1/4/2019 10:08 AM PST

10:27 AM PT --  We've tried for 4 hours to contact the Motion Picture Academy to confirm the conversation Ellen recounted on her show -- that the Academy still wants Kevin to host the Oscars. No one has responded to our emails or taken our calls.  

10:06 AM PT -- Ellen is now responding to the backlash, stating on social media, "However you feel about this, the only positive way through it is to talk about it. Thank you for being here, @KevinHart4real."

Ellen DeGeneres is being skewered on social media for reducing the criticism of Kevin Hart's homophobic comments to an attack by a small group of internet haters.

Kevin Hart is appearing on Ellen's show Friday, and DeGeneres launched a full-court attack on people who still have issues with Hart saying things like, "If my son comes home & try's 2 play with my daughters doll house I'm going 2 break it over his head & say n my voice 'stop that's gay.'" Hart also said in one of his comedy specials, "One of my biggest fears is my son growing up and being gay."

DeGeneres seemed to say the gay community is fine with Hart's vague apology back in 2014 and his more recent post in 2018, in which he said, "I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past."

DeGeneres and Hart dismissed the critics as trolls, and she then doubled down and said it was Kevin's "right" to host the Oscars.

There's a huge backlash against DeGeneres for her defense and vicious attack on Hart's critics ... some calling it "a massive f***ing betrayal."  

Hart called the criticism of him "a malicious attack on his character" where people went back to 2008 to dredge up his comments. Point of fact ... he made homophobic comments years later as well.

There are some who are outraged Ellen is putting herself out as speaking for the entire LGBTQ community, one person tweeting, "To Ellen. Unfortunately Mrs Ellen, this ain't your fight. The harm is done and this man hasn't learned."

Toward the end of the show, Hart suggested Ellen has made him rethink his decision to walk away from the Oscar gig, saying, “You have put a lot of things on my mind. Leaving here, I’m promising you I’m evaluating this conversation … Let me assess, just sit in the space and really think.”

Originally Published -- 6:17 AM PT

Disney's 'Jungle Cruise' Movie Coming Out Scene with Gay Character ... But Avoids the Key Word

12/27/2018 12:50 AM PST

Disney is making strides by introducing its first openly gay character in the upcoming "Jungle Cruise" movie, which will feature a big coming out scene ... but there's one important step that's missing.

A test screening of the film took place last week -- it'll get a wide release in 2020 -- and sources who attended tell TMZ Disney avoids using the word "gay" when Jack Whitehall's character, McGregor, comes out to Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson

We're told, at one point, McGregor has a heart-to-heart with The Rock's lead character, Frank, about dating history ... and McGregor makes it very clear he isn't into ladies. Keep in mind, this flick isn't set in modern times. 

McGregor explains to "Frank" his family had tried arranging marriages for him with several women, but he didn't wanna marry any of them -- or any woman, for that matter. He also says Emily Blunt's character, Lily (his sister in the movie), was the only one in his fam to accept him and support him regardless of the "person" he loves.

We're told the scene was well-received by the audience, but the glaring omission of a pronoun to describe McGregor's love interest did not go unnoticed. 

Unclear if the scene will make the final cut -- but ya gotta imagine it will, given how significant a move it is for Disney to include a gay character in an action blockbuster. 

There was already backlash from the LGBTQ community over Whitehall's casting earlier this summer -- he's a straight guy playing a gay character -- and now, it's obvious Disney's watching its step even closer as it tiptoes into the 21st Century.

One small step for gay representation ... but still plenty to go. 

Sarah Silverman I Used to Say 'That's So Gay' I'm Done w/ That!!!

12/14/2018 7:33 AM PST

Sarah Silverman understands times have changed ... and that's why she's no longer the same person or comedian who used to bank on homophobic jokes.

We got Sarah outside of Craig's Thursday night and wanted her take on Nick Cannon dragging her name in the Kevin Hart controversy. ICYMI ... Nick was furious about the backlash Kevin got after old homophobic tweets resulted in him stepping down from his dream gig as host of the Oscars.

So, Nick dug up some old tweets by Sarah, Chelsea Handler and Amy Schumer in which they used similar language. Point blank ... Nick thinks there's a serious double standard in Hollywood.

Sarah's planning to address Nick's comments on her own platform, but she did say she sees things differently than she did back in the day. 

But, Sarah made a solid point ... people shouldn't try to bully comics.

Viggo Mortensen Judge Resigns After Telling Lawyer to Suck Viggo's 'D**k'

12/12/2018 8:12 AM PST
Exclusive Details

A New York judge has just announced he's resigning ... this after someone lodged a formal complaint that he told an attorney he should get a hotel room and suck actor Viggo Mortensen's d**k.

Judge John W. Hallett, who serves as a Justice in the LeRay Town Court in Jefferson County, is taking heat for a courthouse conversation he had last January with a lawyer who was promoting a film festival honoring Mortensen.

The judge allegedly responded the festival was "about the gayest thing I have ever heard." The judge allegedly went on to say, "You and Viggo Mortensen should get a hotel room and suck each other's d**ks."

Five months later, the judge was talking to the same lawyer and allegedly made a gesture with his hand to his mouth to connote oral sex, patted the attorney lightly on the cheek and said, "There, there little boy."

The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct opened an investigation and it appears the judge is resigning under pressure, before the hammer comes down.

The judge is resigning New Year's Eve and has agreed to never seek or accept judicial office at any time in the future.

Stormy Daniels Club Owner Says She's Lying About Slur ... 'I've Owned Gay Bars Before!'

12/11/2018 10:34 AM PST

Stormy Daniels lied about a Florida strip club owner using a homophobic slur ... according to the club owner who not only denies using the word, but says he's done plenty of biz with gay people.

Leonard Del Percio -- the owner of Goldfinger, where Stormy was supposed to perform last weekend -- tells TMZ he used to own gay bars, so Stormy's claim he called her right-hand man a "f**king f****t" is a bunch of BS.

Del Percio's fuming over Stormy's allegation, and tells us his attorneys are considering filing a slander lawsuit against her. 

As we reported ... Stormy also claimed the owner told her to "do something not in my contract," so she bounced. Del Percio denies doing any such thing, and says Stormy's the only one who broke the contract ... because she never got onstage. 

Doesn't quite rise to the level of her President Trump beef ... but fair to say, Stormy's got more on her plate.

Kevin Hart Addressed Gay Jokes in 2014 ... Lacked Apology Then Too

12/8/2018 1:00 AM PST

Before Kevin Hart apologized Thursday night for his old homophobic tweets, he insisted he'd already addressed the issue many times ... but this outtake from a 2014 interview seems to be missing something.

Kevin might have been referring to this interview with journalist Ed Gordon. It's true ... he did explain why he doesn't make fun of gay people anymore. But, during the sitdown -- which aired once, and doesn't exist on the Internet -- Kevin never says "sorry" or "I apologize."

TMZ obtained this clip from "Conversations With Ed Gordon" where Gordon grills Kevin over backlash he'd recently gotten over a joke. He asked the comedian why he feels it's fine to make fun of black women but not homosexuality.

Kevin's answer shows he's aware of the harm words can inflict on gay people, but stops short of a mea culpa for doing it in the past. Instead, he says, "I don't want that problem. I don't want any enemies."

Translation: I don't want the heat.

As we reported ... Hart stepped down as host of the Oscars after several homophobic tweets and comments he made years ago resurfaced, and he initially refused to apologize.

Again ... the audio is interesting because Kevin fully acknowledges the pain and suffering of the LGBTQ community due to hate crimes and bullying. It just gets murky part when he seems more concerned about harming his career than people.

Tony Rock Gay Jokes Are Signs of Acceptance ... Kevin Hart Meant No Harm

12/7/2018 10:46 AM PST

Tony Rock says Kevin Hart stepping down as Oscars host is a sign of the times, and believes we'd all be better off if we could embrace "jokes" instead of being offended -- and in this case, he's talking specifically about gay people.

The comedian was outside the Hollywood Improv Thursday night after news broke Hart was bailing on the Academy Awards job following backlash over his old homophobic tweets. Tony thinks Kevin should have apologized AND stayed on as host because it's his best opportunity to flip the controversy into something positive.

He also thinks the LGBTQ community needs to be more accepting of jokes. He believes it's a sign of respect and acceptance. We'll let him explain further ... watch the clip.

Now, several of Hart's old tweets weren't really in the style of stand-up comedy -- they were just straight-up homophobic. It's unclear if Tony was aware of that when we spoke, but that might be why he thinks Kevin owed an apology.

Bottom line for Tony ... a society where you can't tell jokes freely isn't a good thing.

He's not alone in that sentiment.

Halsey Slams Victoria's Secret Exec ... No Place for Transphobia!!!

12/3/2018 7:58 AM PST

Halsey's making it clear, just because she appeared in the annual Victoria's Secret Fashion Show ... she's still pissed off about one of its execs disregard for the LGBTQ community.

The singer, who performed in the VS Show, blasted the show as it was airing Sunday night. She called out Ed Razek, the chief marketing officer for VS's parent company. 

Last month in Vogue, he was asked about having transgender models in the show and said ... "No, I don't think we should. Well, why not? Because the show is a fantasy. It's a 42-minute entertainment special. That's what it is." 

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Halsey's IG post slammed VS for "a lack of inclusivity" ... and added she stands in solidarity with the trans community.

For his part, Razek apologized and walked back his comment, as soon as the backlash began. He said, "To be clear, we absolutely would cast a transgender model for the show."

Razek added, "We've had transgender models come to castings. And like many others, they didn't make it. But it was never about gender. I admire and respect their journey to embrace who they really are."

Halsey seems to want action, not words.

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