The Dish: The First Lesbian Network To Get An Emmy Nomination, Ellen Page And Her Paramour Dance, And A Whiskey Company Heir Alleges Homophobia

Representation still sucks for bi+ Women on TV.

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Welcome, GO readers, to our revamped weekly roundup of the biggest lesbian, bisexual, queer, and transgender women’s news and entertainment stories! We’ll be recapping the biggest hits each week and talking to the newsmakers, movers, and shakers behind them.


tello Films Becomes The First Lesbian Network To Get An Emmy Nomination

At last year’s Emmy Awards, LGBTQ women cleaned up, with Sarah Paulson, Jill Soloway and Kate McKinnon walking away with their own statuettes. This year, the glass ceiling for queer women in Hollywood is getting another crack. Actress Mindy Sterling has been nominated for an Emmy for her work on the tello Films digital series “Secs & EXECS,” a workplace comedy following four executives and their personal assistants, also starring comedian Sandra Bernhard. tello, which has been around for a decade, is the first lesbian network to get an Emmy nomination. Another series featuring a queer woman, “Brown Girls,” is also nominated for an Emmy.

Christin Baker, the Producer, Director, and CEO of tello Films, told GO that she was “shell shocked” over the nomination—thanks to excitement, of course. According to Baker, getting shows made about queer women is an uphill battle in Hollywood because networks aren’t convinced they’ll play well. While series like “Orange Is The New Black” and “The L Word” capture mainstream attention, Baker said she hopes this nomination signals that there’s a bigger appetite for lesbian content. “Being a lesbian network, I think, and to show that we’re viable, I think that there’s an importance there that I’m hoping does break through,” Baker told GO. “This is a great way to kind of dip our toe in, and then continue to get recognized again hopefully as we start to raise our profile.”

Representation Still Sucks For Bi+ Women On TV

While Baker’s work behind the camera puts more stories about queer women on screen, the rest of the TV industry has a lot of catching up to do. At a TCA Press Tour panel on Friday, GLAAD outlined how LGBTQ TV characters are still largely white and male. Following a year where many queer women characters were killed off of TV shows, bisexual characters, especially, are still faring badly.

“First of all, bisexual women are portrayed predominantly more than men or than people of another gender in the media,” Alexandra Bolles, Associate Director of Campaigns at GLAAD, told GO. “Number two, bisexual women are portrayed in the media as hypersexualized and greedy and exploitative.” These representations are so troubling for bi women because they translate to violence in real life. “The bi community is at an extremely high risk to experience sexual and emotional violence. In those moments of violence those exact tropes—of being untrustworthy, of being hypersexualized—are invoked, even if they’re not rooted in reality,” Bolles added.

This summer, the action flick “Atomic Blonde” brought a bisexual action hero to audiences. “I feel that when you make movies, if you’re going to hold that mirror up and reflect society, then you should reflect society,” Charlize Theron said of playing her queer character, Lorraine Broughton. While the movie isn’t exactly the antidote to biphobia, it’s amplifying these issues, which Bolles said she hoped would lead to “bi people of all shapes and colors as well as behind the camera crafting stories that are accurate.”

Ellen Page And Her Paramour Dance Together In A New Video

The Viceland host is rumored to be dating choreographer Emma Portner, who released a video of the pair dancing together, called “Slack Jaw.” It’s a raw and intimate three-minute-long piece where the pair embrace, set to the music of Sylvan Esso. On Instagram, Page said that it was an “honor” to dance with Portner. Meanwhile, Portner praised the actress. “Ellen is an abyss of presence, trust, vulnerability, power, humility, and strength encapsulated,” she wrote on Instagram. But don’t take our word for it: watch the video for yourself.

Bulleit Alcohol Heiress Alleges Homophobia

Next time you fix yourself a Manhattan, you might want to layoff the Bulleit. Hollis Bulleit, the heir to the eponymous whiskey company, alleged that she was fired from the company months ago because she’s a lesbian. The “First Lady of Bourbon” outlined on Facebook how she and her partner were excluded from the company and family due to their sexual orientation. After bringing her partner home for Thanksgiving, she got the axe from the company. “I literally lost my name and the worth that comes with it,” Bulleit wrote.

Bulleit’s parent company, Diageo, has received good reviews from the Human Rights Campaign for its policies for LGBTQ workers. In a statement in the Washington Post, the company said “… to insinuate that the failure to do so was due to bias of any kind is simply unfair and inaccurate.” Currently, under federal law in the U.S., there are no explicit nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people in the workplace.

Cameron Esposito Has A New Podcast

The comedian is hilarious on-stage, hilarious on video and, now, hilarious on “Queery,” her new podcast. Esposito’s podcast dropped this week and features hour-long conversations with LGBTQ+ luminaries exploring “individual stories of identity, personality, and the shifting cultural matrix around gender, sexuality, and civil rights,” according to the show’s page. Somehow Esposito found time between kicking off a new tour, co-creating and co-starring in the series “Take My Wife,” and dressing up like the new Ken Doll to tape the series. Up first: an interview with her equally hilarious wife, Rhea Butcher.

Honorable Mentions

Can’t get enough of queer women making news? Here are a couple more stories to check out:

Jessica Williams’ new Netflix movie “The Incredible Jessica James” features a lesbian character.

“Orphan Black” is winding down to its series — yes, series — finale.


Be sure to follow Alex Berg on Twitter, @alexfromphilly