NEW YORK, July 2 (UPI) -- American broadcast journalist Anderson Cooper gave permission to The Daily Beast to publish an e-mail he wrote confirming he is gay.
Written to Cooper's longtime friend, Beast columnist Andrew Sullivan, the e-mail was a response to a recent EW.com article about a trend of high-profile figures such as Jim Parsons casually confirming they are gay instead of announcing their sexuality in media interviews or being outed by tabloids as has been common in the past.
"Even though my job puts me in the public eye, I have tried to maintain some level of privacy in my life. Part of that has been for purely personal reasons. I think most people want some privacy for themselves and the people they are close to," Cooper wrote in the e-mail.
"But I've also wanted to retain some privacy for professional reasons. Since I started as a reporter in war zones 20 years ago, I've often found myself in some very dangerous places. For my safety and the safety of those I work with, I try to blend in as much as possible, and prefer to stick to my job of telling other people's stories, and not my own," Cooper said.
"As long as a journalist shows fairness and honesty in his or her work, their private life shouldn't matter. I've stuck to those principles for my entire professional career, even when I've been directly asked 'the gay question,' which happens occasionally. I did not address my sexual orientation in the memoir I wrote several years ago because it was a book focused on war, disasters, loss and survival. I didn't set out to write about other aspects of my life," he said.
"Recently, however, I've begun to consider whether the unintended outcomes of maintaining my privacy outweigh personal and professional principle. It's become clear to me that by remaining silent on certain aspects of my personal life for so long, I have given some the mistaken impression that I am trying to hide something -- something that makes me uncomfortable, ashamed or even afraid. This is distressing because it is simply not true. ...
"The fact is, I'm gay, always have been, always will be and I couldn't be any more happy, comfortable with myself and proud. I have always been very open and honest about this part of my life with my friends, my family and my colleagues. In a perfect world, I don't think it's anyone else's business, but I do think there is value in standing up and being counted."
Kanye, Jay-Z, 'The Help' win big at BET Awards
LOS ANGELES, July 2 (UPI) -- Rappers Kanye West and Jay-Z and the film "The Help" were the big winners at the BET Awards in Los Angeles night.
The hip-hop icons took home the prizes Sunday night for Best Group and Video of the Year for "The Throne."
Jay-Z's wife, Beyonce, was named Best Female R&B Artist and Chris Brown Best Male R&B Artist. Brown also picked up the AOL Fandemonium Award. Drake and Nicki Minaj won matching male and female Best Hip-Hop Artist statuettes.
"The Help" won the Best Film Award and leading lady Viola Davis the Best Actress honor.
"The Five-Year Engagement" and "Think Like a Man" star Kevin Hart won the Best Actor trophy.
Samuel L. Jackson hosted the ceremony at the Shrine Auditorium.
'Ted' tops N. American weekend box office
LOS ANGELES, July 2 (UPI) -- "Ted," the R-rated comedy starring Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis and a stuffed bear, topped the North American box office this weekend, Rentrak said.
The film raked in $54.1 million in its debut weekend.
Coming in at No, 2 is "Magic Mike" with $39.2 million, followed by "Brave" at No. 3 with $34 million, "Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection" at No. 4 with $26.4 million and "Madagascar 3" at No. 5 with $11.8 million.
Rounding out the top tier are "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" at No. 6 with $6 million, "Prometheus" at No. 7 with $4.9 million, "Moonrise Kingdom" at No. 8 with $4.9 million, "Snow White and the Huntsman" at No. 9 with $4.4 million and "People Like Us" at No. 10 with $4.3 million.
NBC staging 'Sound of Music'
UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif., July 2 (UPI) -- NBC says it is partnering with the Hollywood producing team of "Smash," "Chicago" and "Hairspray" on a live broadcast of "The Sound of Music."
"It is our supreme pleasure to broadcast -- live -- a new version of the seminal Broadway musical 'The Sound of Music' for a whole new generation,"
Robert Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment, said in a statement. "There used to be a tradition of broadcasting musicals live back in the 1950s and we're thrilled to do it once again with a musical that has been a family classic for five decades. There is no more talented and creative producing team than Craig Zadan and Neil Meron to bring Rodgers and Hammerstein's final -- and most beloved -- collaboration to network television in this groundbreaking live telecast."
"It isn't our intention to produce a remake of the movie version of 'The Sound of Music' -- that would be artistic blasphemy," said Zadan. "What we want to do, instead, is to give audiences a completely fresh experience of this great Tony Award-winning stage musical in the form of a classic television event, combined with the spontaneity of a live performance. And all of the actors will be singing live; there will be no lip-synching to pre-recordings."
"This groundbreaking 'hybrid' of sorts will be based on the stage musical," said Meron, "and will feature all the classic songs that audiences associate with 'The Sound of Music' -- including the title song, 'Do-Re-Mi,' 'Climb Ev'ry Mountain,' and 'My Favorite Things' -- plus a few wonderful songs from the Broadway version that people are less familiar with."
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