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1998 Hollywood Year in Review

By William Horn
GLAAD's Assistant Entertainment Media Director


ksecor.gif - 18.69 K Homicide's Kyle Secor … Four lgbt themed films, Out of the Past, Divine Trash, 2by4 and High Art receive awards at the Sundance Film Festival.

… Detective Tim Bayliss (Kyle Secor) comes out as bisexual on NBC's crime-drama Homicide: Life on the Streets.

… HBO premiers Gia, a biographical drama about a lesbian supermodel. The television movie is later nominated for six Emmy Awards.

… ABC buries an episode of the critically acclaimed drama Nothing Sacred. The never-aired episode centers on a gay priest with AIDS.

… Rap star Queen Pen's Girlfriend, a song about a liaison with a woman from the perspective of her female lover, is released.


… ABC puts Ellen on a six-week hiatus.

… Former Judas Priest rocker Rob Halford comes out on MTV

… Ms. Magazine names singers Amy Ray and Emily Saliers of the Indigo Girls and Ellen DeGeneres "Women of the Year."
ellen.jpg - 7.18 K Ellen goes on hiatus

… Ellen tapes its finale in Los Angeles with guest stars like Woody Harrelson, Linda Ellerbee, Phil Donahue, Bea Arthur and Jennifer Aniston.

… Primary Colors premiers with Academy Award-winning actress Kathy Bates portraying a lesbian.


… The Object of My Affection opens nationwide. GLAAD and GLSEN applaud the movie for bringing audiences "an important message about friendship, family and gay teachers."

… George Michael comes out on CNN after being arrested on a lewd conduct charge in Beverly Hills.

… Ellen and San Francisco public television station KQED's documentary The Castro are honored with Peabody Awards.
gmichael4.jpg - 21.45 K George Michael comes out on MTV
… Ellen, In & Out, The Oprah Winfrey Show, NYPD Blue, Janet Jackson, Ad Age, GLORadio, among others win 1998 GLAAD Media Awards at three ceremonies in New York, Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles. Ellen DeGeneres, Cher, Judith Light, kd lang and Bob and Harvey Weinstein (Miramax Films) are awarded special honors.

… ABC cancels the groundbreaking sitcom Ellen.


oppsex.jpg - 13.49 K The Opposite of Sex gains critical acclaim … The Indigo Girls perform a special concert in Columbia, SC after a local principal cancels a performance by the duo because they are lesbians.

… The Opposite of Sex opens nationwide and becomes the most successful independent film of 1998.

… After five seasons the finale of Ellen airs on ABC, except on KXXV-TV in Waco, Texas where management instead runs a re-run of Seinfeld.

… Lifetime Television premiers an Intimate Portrait of actress Judith Light. The program includes footage from the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center, where Light sits on the board.

… People magazine names Anne Heche (photo) one of their "50 Most Beautiful People." It marks the first time an individual has been included on the list that has been identified as lesbian or gay.


… Media outlets nationwide call attention to the continuing crisis of HIV/AIDS by observing the Sixth Annual Day of Compassion. Participants include General Hospital, Cristina, E! Entertainment Television and America Online.

… High Art opens the nation's largest lesbian and gay film festival in San Francisco.

… Cabaret wins four Tony Awards and Terrence McNally wins the Best Book Tony for Ragtime. … Shoe manufacturer Rockport launches a new ad campaign featuring RuPaul.

… Showtime premiers Armistead Maupin's More Tales of the City. The lgbt inclusive series, executive produced by Alan Poul, later receives multiple Emmy nominations.
maupin.jpg - 6.73 K Armistead Maupin's More Tales of the City debuts on Showtime.


… Outfest, Los Angeles's lesbian and gay film festival, kicks off with a screening of Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss.

… Ellen DeGeneres, Armistead Maupin's More Tales of the City , Gia, among others are nominated for 50th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards.

… There's Something About Mary, the summer's big hit, is released. The film includes an offensive and unnecessary stereotype of gay men.

… ABC finally airs two first run episodes of Ellen, which the network had originally shelved in April.


ethompson.jpg - 6.26 K Emma Thompson (seen here in Dead Again) visited Ellen. … GLAAD releases its "TV Scoreboard," the organizations annual list of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender characters on TV. While the overall number decreased from last season, the number of lgbt characters of color jumps significantly.

… Emma Thompson wins an Emmy for her guest appearance on Ellen as a closeted actress.

… Ellen DeGeneres introduces a national audience to the Academy Award-winning short film Trevor on HBO.


… NBC premiers Will & Grace, a new sitcom featuring primetime's first gay male lead.

… VH1 airs the last first-run episode of The RuPaul Show. Soon after, the cable network cancels the show.

… Scott Seomin, former Entertainment Tonight media relations director, is named GLAAD's new Entertainment Media Director replacing Chastity Bono.
mccormack.jpg - 16.43 K Eric McCormack stars in Will & Grace.

… The 13th Annual Wigstock, a world-renowned drag festival in New York City, entertains thousands.


… Executive Producer David Crane tells a Museum of Television and Radio panel audience that the coming out of Josh on Veronica's Closet had recently been squashed by NBC.

… Drew Carey continues the groundbreaking storyline of Drew's straight cross-dressing brother Steve (John Carrol Lynch).

… Terence McNally's controversial Corpus Christi opens to a full house and positive reviews. Time later puts the play on its top ten list for 1998.

tomcruise2.jpg - 24.08 K Tom Cruise attacks rumors he's gay. … Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman win a lawsuit in London against a tabloid that claimed they were gay.

… Documentary maker Michael Moore begins his tour of states with remaining sodomy laws in his pink and leopard print mobile home - his "Sodomobile."

… Ellen DeGeneres hosts VH1's Fashion Awards '98.


… The Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center honors Veronica's Closet star Kathy Najimy.

… Sandra Bernhard brings her scandalous one-woman show I'm Still Here, Damn It! to Broadway.

… Melissa Etheridge and Julie Cypher have their second child - a healthy baby girl named Beckett.

… Christopher Reeve's made-for-television version of Rear Window includes a gay couple.

… Pop star George Michael premiers his new video Outside on MTV, which depicts numerous straight and gay couples having public sex.

… GLAAD honors Barnes & Noble and Sony Pictures Classics at the Third Annual Fairness Awards in New York City.


… Gods & Monsters is named best film by The National Board of Review and star Sir Ian McKellen is named best actor by both the National Board and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association . Gods & Monsters and McKellen are later nominated for Golden Globes. imckellan2.jpg - 9.18 K Ian McKellan lauded for role in Gods & Monsters.

… GLAAD presents 1998 Fairness Awards in Los Angeles to public relations and marketing firm Bragman Nyman Cafarelli and production company World of Wonder. RuPaul, Kristine W. and Steve Tisch attend.

… Will & Grace moves to Tuesday nights on NBC.

… Ellen DeGeneres and Anne Heche fire their agents and prepare to move away from Hollywood. Frustrated by the industry's reaction to their coming outs.

… That 70's Show features a same-sex kiss between two teenage boys.
Previous Entertainment Features from the GayToday Archive:
GLAAD's Hollywood Hotsheet
CD Review: Bathhouse Betty

Related Sites:
Opposite of Sex: Official Site
Homicide: Life on the Streets: Official Site
Will & Grace: Official Site
God's & Monsters: Official Site
GayToday does not endorse related sites.

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