With stars and producers rocked by allegations of sexual harassment of all kinds, Hollywood — and the journalists who cover it — has had to step up its game in addressing its culture of entitlement, intimidation and enabling. In the process, some writers are trading their casting-scoop hat for the dogged reporter’s notebook. Five members of GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics discuss how our community’s “showbiz journos” are pressing celebrities and media companies for better representation in TV and film — and are uncovering wrongdoers in the land of lights, camera, action.
Moderator: John Griffiths
Panelists: Diane Anderson-Minshall, Trish Bendix, Manny De La Rosa, Judy Wieder
JOHN GRIFFITHS, Founder and Executive Director of GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics and its Dorian Awards for film and TV, is a veteran entertainment journalist. After 13-plus years as Us Weekly‘s sole Television Critic (2003-17), he now freelances as a celebrity interviewer or TV critic/reporter for TV Guide, Emmy magazine and AARP. Over the years, he has profiled the likes of Nicole Kidman, Laurence Fishburne, Keanu Reeves, Ellen DeGeneres and Sandra Bullock for cover stories & features in magazines including InStyle, Glamour, Cosmopolitan. Other highlights in his three-decade (so far) career: Seven years as Special Correspondent for People magazine, (where he interviewed Melissa Etheridge for the magazine’s first-ever “Couples” feature devoted to a gay relationship), an 11-month stint as Senior Arts & Entertainment Editor at the biweekly The Advocate, and four years as contributing editor and celebrity booker for Women’s Health. He also produced and hosted The Hollywood Pitch, a live, weekly digital talk show focusing on recovery issues in the entertainment world (guests included Two and a Half Men‘s Holland Taylor, ’80s sitcom icon Jim J. Bullock & Oscar Nunez of The Office). Sidebar: His 2005 Emmy magazine cover profile of Charlie Sheen was nominated for a Maggie award. Away from writing, John has appeared on E! & Extra and has hosted/moderated TV cast-and-crew panels for Amazon Prime (Electric Dreams), the Paley Center for Media (Cougar Town, Kyle X-Y), LA LGBT Center (MTV’s Faking It) and Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (Dexter). He also participates on the Public Awareness Task Force for the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention. And for 11 years, he helped review nominees for the Entertainment Industries Council’s annual Prism Awards, which honored accurate depictions of addiction & mental health issues in film & TV.
DIANE ANDERSON-MINSHALL is CEO/editorial director of Retrograde Communications, a Pride Media editorial partner, where she oversees editorial and production of The Advocate, Chill, Plus and Out Traveler magazines, as well as TinyLivingChic.com, Chill.us, and HIVPlusMag.com. She is executive producer of My Health, My Way, HIV Stops With Me, The T With Dr. D and IPrEP4. She also serves as president of GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics. She’s the author of four mystery novels from Bold Strokes Books and a memoir, “Queerly Beloved: A Love Story Across Genders” (which she penned with trans journalist Jacob Anderson-Minshall, her co-pilot of 27 years). She is the recipient of several awards from GLAAD, NLGJA, Western Publishing Association’s Maggies and more.
TRISH BENDIX, a past board member of GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics, is currently managing editor of INTO. Her work has been published in outlets such as Vogue.com, Cosmopolitan, Vulture, The Hollywood Reporter, NBC Out, Slate and Buzzfeed. Among her many essays is a piece for the nonfiction anthology “Opposing Viewpoints: Celebrity Culture.” The former editor in chief of both AfterEllen.com and GO Magazine, Bendix is the winner of the NLGJA 2015 Sarah Pettit Memorial Award for the LGBTQ Journalist of the Year. A member of the Television Critics Association as well, she has spoken on panels at SXSW, Q-Me Con, BlogHer and Creating Change and to classes at the University of Western Washington and Columbia College Chicago.
MANNY DE LA ROSA, also known as Manny the Movie Guy, is an Emmy-winning TV entertainment reporter and film critic. He currently presents his movie reviews and feature stories on NBC’s Palm Springs affiliate KMIR, and sidelines for The Filipino Channel (ABS-CBN). He also contributes reviews and showbiz reports to the Coachella Valley radio station MIX 100.5 in the Coachella Valley. In addition to being a member of GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics, he is a voting member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association. Note: Manny the Movie Guy is a proud immigrant.
JUDY WIEDER, who sits on the advisory board of GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics Board, is a Grammy-winning songwriter turned award-winning journalist. Early in her career, she toured with bands as an writer and editor for Creem and other music magazines. In 1992, Wieder became the editor of Genre magazine for a year before joining The Advocate as arts and entertainment editor. Over a period of four years she rose through the ranks to become the first female editor in chief in the then-35-year history of the publication. After steering the magazine through the diverse challenges of the mid-and-late-’90s equal rights movement, Wieder was named editorial director of OUT magazine, The Advocate, Advocate.com, Alyson Books and The OutTraveler from 2002-06. Wieder’s personal accomplishments include the “Outstanding Leadership” award from the Human Rights Campaign and the “Leadership Award” from the National LGBTQ Task Force. Her memoir, “Random Events Tend To Cluster,” was released earlier this year.