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‘Star Trek’ Accused of ‘Virtue Signaling’ After Casting First Trans and Nonbinary Characters

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*”Star Trek: Discovery” has added the first nonbinary and trans roles in the franchise’s history to join for Season 3. 

Trans actor Ian Alexander, will play a trans character named Grey, who is “planning to be a host for a symbiotic alien species that lives in different hosts over its lifetime,” per nbcnews.com. 

Blu del Barrio, who is nonbinary, will play a nonbinary character named Adira, “who bonds with Lt. Commander Paul Stamets (Anthony Rapp) and Dr. Hugh Culber (Wilson Cruz), the first same-sex couple in “Trek” TV series history,” according to NBC. 

READ MORE: Co-Director of ‘The Matrix’ Says Film Trilogy Is Really About Being ‘Transgender’


Under the comments of the show’s Twitter post announcing the casting, fans debated about whether Blu is really the “first” non-binary character in the franchise. 

Several called the casting “virtue signaling,” with one user writing: “Neither ground breaking, first, or anything else other than virtue signaling.”

Another commented, “Star Trek has been doing this type of stuff for decades and this announcement is nothing new.”

Alexander is best-known for his performance on “The OA,” he and del Barrio will be making their television debut on “Star Trek.” 

They both join the cast aboard the USS Discovery for Season 3, which airs October 15 on CBS All Access. 

“Adira is a wonderfully complex character,” del Barrio told GLAAD

“Mainly because of this duality they have within them: They’re astonishingly intelligent and yet they’re still a kid. They experience their emotions at a heightened level, like most teenagers. That’s what makes them so fun to play.” 

The “Star Trek” franchise had its first same-sex marriage in 2017 and the first woman of color to lead the show in 2019. 

“Star Trek has always made a mission of giving visibility to underrepresented communities because it believes in showing people that a future without division on the basis of race, gender, gender identity or sexual orientation is entirely within our reach,” Michelle Paradise, co-showrunner and executive producer, said in a statement.

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Black Celebrity Gossip - Gossip

Naomi Campbell Stuns on Vogue Cover, Talks Racism and Mentoring Black Models

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*Naomi Campbell opens up in the November issue of Vogue about racism in the fashion industry and how she’s mentoring the next generation of Black models.

“Now you understand the strength of my family,” Campbell told the publication while accompanied by her mom and aunts in London. “You understand where I come from.”

The 50-year-old iconic supermodel stuns in a white Dior Haute Couture gown on the Vogue cover. Inside the issue, she slams the British media, calls out her country for not doing more to address racism and shares details about her personal life amid the ongoing COVID pandemic. 

“I was quite happy to be on my own. I know how to cook. I know how to clean. It’s actually good to get to really know every nook and cranny of your home. I mean, I have to be really honest,” Campbell tells the publication. 

READ MORE: Naomi Campbell Sued for Millions By Billionaire Ex Vladislav Doronin

“I stopped smoking during quarantine, but a friend of mine killed himself, and it really affected me. I called my guy in Israel – he’s great for sugar and cigarettes and addiction stuff – and we’re going to do a session. He told me to just get through this week first,” she added.

Campbell also addresses systemic racism in the issue, particularly in her native England. 

“There were a few things that I would do when I was younger that I was told were bad for my race,” she told Vogue. “Now the things I do are not just for me anymore. I think more of my culture and my race, as opposed to thinking about just me.”

And when it comes to the “angry Black woman” stereotype, Campbell admits “I am quite over it.”

“Is it now that we have permission to speak? Well, I have always spoken,” she said.

Campbell also shares with the fashion magazine that she’s writing her autobiography.

“I had this old-school way of looking at it as having to put pen to paper,” she said. “But I had a lovely lunch last year with Clarence Avant. I asked him, ‘Clarence, How do you do it? How do you start writing?’ And he told me, ‘Just start from anywhere. Don’t start from the beginning.’ So it is going to happen!”

You can read her full Vogue feature here.

Vogue’s November issue is available on newsstands nationwide on Oct. 27.

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Black Celebrity Gossip - Gossip

Trump Fires Shots at NBC News Correspondent Kristen Welker Ahead of Presidential Debate

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*The final 2020 presidential debate will go down Thursday, October 22 (9 pm ET) at Belmont University in Nashville, TN, and Trump has already fired shots at Kristen Welker, the moderator of the event. 

Trump claims Welker is crazy and biased in favour of Biden, calling her “terrible and unfair” in a tweet on Saturday. 

“She’s always been terrible & unfair, just like most of the Fake News reporters, but I’ll still play the game. The people know! How’s Steve Scully doing?” Trump tweeted along with a retweet from son Donald Trump Jr., linking Welker and her family to prominent Democrats.

According to Fox News,Welker’s family has donated tens of thousands of dollars to Democrats over the years. In 2012, the veteran journalist and her family spent Christmas at the White House with the Obamas. 

READ MORE: Kristen Welker: Former ‘TODAY’ Intern Tapped for New Weekend Anchor Spot [WATCH]

Trump’s comment about Steve Scully is in reference to when then C-SPAN journalist was suspended for allegedly lying about his Twitter account being hacked. The incident occurred before he was set to moderate the Oct. 15 debate between Trump and Biden. The event was ultimately canceled.

Welker briefly deactivated her Twitter account after Scully claimed he had been hacked, according to the report. 

Earlier this year, Welker, an NBC News White House correspondent, was tapped to serve as the new weekend co-anchor of the “Today” program.

Welker started her career at the network as a “Today” intern more than 20 years ago and now she replaced Sheinelle Jones as weekend co-anchor with fellow NBC News White House correspondent Peter Alexander.

“To have come here as an intern for the Today show, to shoot that reel… I looked so serious,” Welker said after watching an old clip of herself reading the news for her demo reel at age 21. “To be terrified like that and then to come and sit at this desk, to sit next to my friend Peter Alexander every Saturday, it is the honor of a lifetime.”

Welker will be the first Black woman to moderate the presidential debate.

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OJ Simpson Reacts to CNN Analyst Jeffrey Toobin Masturbating on Zoom Call [VIDEO]

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*Author and legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin has been suspended by The New Yorker for masturbating on a Zoom video chat between staffers and WNYC radio last week.

Toobin says he did not realize his video was on.

“I made an embarrassingly stupid mistake, believing I was off-camera. I apologize to my wife, family, friends and co-workers,” Toobin told Motherboard.

“I believed I was not visible on Zoom. I thought no one on the Zoom call could see me. I thought I had muted the Zoom video,” he added.

As noted by vice.com, Toobin’s Conde Nast email has been disabled and he is also taking some time from CNN as the network’s chief legal analyst.

“Jeff Toobin has asked for some time off while he deals with a personal issue, which we have granted,” CNN said in a statement.

READ MORE: ‘People v. O.J.’ Author Jeffrey Toobin ‘Impressed’ by Show’s Details: ‘Down to the Fabric’ on the Courtroom Chairs

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