Pop Culture Fix: Melissa McCarthy Is Your Fave Cranky Lesbian Con Artist in “Will You Ever Forgive Me?” and Other Stories

Welcome to your weekly pop culture fix, the missing ingredient in your rice krispie treats.

+ In Can You Ever Forgive Me?, which comes out this weekend, Melissa McCarthy portrays legendary lesbian con artist and failed writer Lee Israel who had a “brief, prolific criminal spree in the early 1990s” consisting of forging celebrity letters and selling them to collectors.

The New York Times says she’s “criminally good” as Lee Israel, who “may be the single most interesting movie character you will encounter this year.” They also note that “The fact that Jack and Lee are gay is both crucially important and no big deal.”

McCarthy also did a cover story in The New York Times Magazine, which is its own work of art. Regarding what drew her to the role:

I’ve always been a bit obsessed with someone who is in the middle of such a huge city with so many people and yet is alone. And chooses to be alone! And puts herself in positions to not make new acquaintances, to not meet people.

Oddly, Julienne Moore was originally cast as Lee Israel, and was replaced following “creative differences.”

+ Orange is the New Black’s seventh season will be their last.

+ Lena Waithe’s new show will focus on sneaker culture.

+ Entertainment Weekly has a first look at the Riverdale episode in which the characters play their parents, and I’m voting yes.

+ Thanks to Footwear News for this important scoop of Kristen Stewart wearing leather pants and chunky boots on the set of the latest Charlie’s Angels reboot.

+ Netflix’s Tales of the City reboot is casting trans character Anna Madrigal with an actual trans actress — our dear friend Jen Richards. Trans actress Daniela Vega will be playing her friend, Ysela.

+ Queer author Carmen Maria Machado’s Her Body and Other Parties, everybody’s favorite book of 2017, is being developed at FX into a television series.

+ Meet Alana Mayo, the 34-year-old head of production and development at Michael B. Jordan’s Outlier Society and, you know, Lena Waithe’s fiancée.

+ Black Girl Nerds talks to Nafessa Williams and China Anne McClain of Black Lightning. Williams:

“I believe as a Black woman, and as a Black woman in this industry wanting to see more of myself and more of my people…lesbians and gay, LGBTQ people are no different. Those stories need to be told. So, I could care less if somebody judges me, or what people think of me telling this story…I am an artist, and I want to tell all stories.”

+ Lea DeLaria doesn’t wanna be called a lesbian woman, she wants to be called a dyke, so.

+ The webseries Same-Same “takes an intimate look at the lives of young queer women as they navigate sex, relationships and friendships in an ever-evolving world of dating.”

+ The Daily Mail asked the contestants of “The Bi Life,” The UK’s first bisexual dating show, what it’s “really like” to be bisexual. Once you get past the sensationalized headline, it’s actually really cool to read so many first-person stories about bisexual identities and a strong reminder how rarely we hear them (especially bisexual men). Diva Magazine also has a rundown on “The Bi Life” contestants and Courtney Act talked to Dazed about hosting “The Bi Life.”

+ Nicole Maines Is the Superhero Television Needs Right Now

+ Transparent is becoming a musical???

+ The TV show God Friended Me, which looks terrible, has introduced a pastor-approved lesbian relationship, according to a Christian News Website: “Episode three of the series took a departure from its family-safe start and matured in language and content. The show featured a few choice words, more drinking, and introduced a same-sex relationship and cohabitation.”

+ A Take of Perfect Temperature: The Real Curse in ‘Practical Magic’ Is Heterosexuality

+ Heather reviewed HBO’s “Camping.”

+ Carmen reviewed the Charmed Reboot: “Charmed” Review: Come for the Kickass Lesbian Witch, Stay For the Sisterhood

+ Netflix’s New “Haunting of Hill House” Gave Us a Lesbian Who Lives, Took Our Whole Weekend: This is what I did with my weekend and it’s not too late for you to do this to your week!

+ Here’s an actual headline: “Mel B reveals how she downed 200 aspirins in suicide bid, snorted cocaine and propositioned women for threesomes – then had plastic surgery and vaginal rejuvenation to cope with her divorce”

+ Trans Is Beautiful: Laverne Cox on the Work of Self-Love

+ “Little Evil” has a character described as “the burly lesbian Al.”

+ Study: Immigrant TV Characters Are More Criminalized, Less Educated Than Reality (Exclusive)

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3177 articles for us.


  1. LMFAO. I stopped watching God Friended Me after episode 2. Of course, it had to be episode 3 that they reveal the sister is a lesbian and had moved in with her girlfriend. Now i have to watch that episode

      • Omg. Wow. That’s even more crazy. Will watch it immediately i get back from work tomorrow. Damn. This is lovely. Thanks

  2. Um that musical news in light of Andrea Long Chu’s thread on Jill’s new book feels like oh so much…

  3. Wow, that Mel B headline…. those certainly are words! Do I even want to know what “vaginal rejuvenation” is? I suspect no.

  4. I cannot imagine how “Her Body and Other Parties” will possibly be adapted for the screen, and I am generally skeptical of literary adaptations, as I have been burned many times before. But I am definitely interested in this.
    Side note: Carmen Maria Machado is truly delightful in person and has the best laugh and you will not be sorry if you attend one of her readings.

    • I can’t understand how they will do it, but I’m just happy for Carmen Maria Machado to get some $$$ from showbiz folx to go do more writing!

  5. Thanks for posting that Bi Life article – I would have never read it on my own, but I’m glad I did.

  6. I wasn’t expecting to like God Friended me because the initial concept was…cringy BUT it’s actually watchable. And even enjoyable. And I say this as someone who has little to no patience for religious anything.

  7. “‘Apparently I don’t look bisexual although I’m not quiet sure what they expect,'” says a woman with an extremely bisexual lob.

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