MEDIA RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE NASHVILLE¹S CBS UN-INVITES DELTA BURKE & LESLIE JORDAN ON TALK OF THE TOWN DUO SET TO APPEAR ON NOVEMBER 10TH TO PROMOTE TWO PRODUCTIONS OF DEL SHORES¹ AWARD-WINNING PLAYS: SORDID LIVES & SOUTHERN BAPTIST SISSIES The Official Tour is currently crossing the country having played in San Diego, Dallas, Palm Springs, and St. Louis - - remaining stops include: Nashville on November 10, 11 & 12 at the Polk Theatre and Ft. Lauderdale on November 17, 18 & 19 at the Broward Center¹s Parker Playhouse LOS ANGELES, CA (November 3, 2006) On September 28, 2006 a News Channel 5 (WTVF CBS affiliate in Nashville, Tennessee) producer for the local talk show ³Talk of the Town² (airs daily at 11:00AM) invited both Leslie Jordan and Delta Burke to appear on Friday, November 10th to promote the national tour of Del Shores¹ two award-winning plays Southern Baptist Sissies and Sordid Lives. The same producer uninvited the actors on October 20th per the following email: ³Sorry, but after closely reviewing the subject matter of the two plays written and directed by Del Shores I have decided that it would not be in the best interest of Talk of the Town to [have] an actor come on the show to discuss the plays. We are dealing with a very conservative viewership who I feel would be offended by the show's titles and their topics.² Producer, Talk of the Town "Somehow I think that the people of Nashville are a little more diverse and open-minded than the producers of "Talk of the Town" are giving them credit for -- at least that's been my experience in one of my favorite cities," said Writer/Director/Producer Del Shores (Queer as Folk, Dharma & Greg). "And can we briefly discuss the name of the show ŒTalk of the Town?¹ Well, Delta Burke and Leslie Jordan will be in town and I know for a fact that people are already talking about it. Yes, the producers have every right to have on their show whomever they choose -- but the fact remains that they invited Leslie and Delta, then uninvited them citing ŒWe are dealing with a very conservative viewership who I feel would be offended by the show's title and their topics.¹ The names of the plays have been the same since day one. The gay subject matter is pretty apparent from our press release and with a title like Southern Baptist Sissies? C'mon! My plays are about finding strength in who you are and there is no way I can come to town and hide, pretending this did not occur. It's more than unfortunate that two stars of Delta Burke and Leslie Jordan's caliber were treated with such utter disrespect -- and frankly, I find it appalling. If Tyler Perry's stars were uninvited on a talk show due to the"black" subject matter of his plays, people would be screaming racism so fast your head would spin. But somehow, it's still okay to discriminate against gays. This is blatant homophobia!" "Having recently won one of the highest awards an actor in my profession can be awarded (The Emmy for Will & Grace), I was looking forward to my appearance in Nashville (my home state) to share this great triumph with my fellow Tennesseans," Leslie Jordan, a Chattanooga native said. "This denial from the producer of a local TV show came as a major slap in the face. If she only knew the personal struggle involved from stepping off the bus in downtown Hollywood in 1982, shame ridden and determined to keep my sexual orientation a secret to the confident openly gay man who stood before an audience of my peers twenty-four years later and accepted such a prestigious award. I certainly realize that she has the right to pick and choose whom she has on her show but I too, have the right to vent my anger at such narrow mindedness. I'm assuming that by Œconservative audience¹ she means Christians who might be offended by the title. What in the world is offensive about "sissies"? And when is it offensive to question the beliefs that were handed to us as children? Even Christ sat in the garden and questioned. And no matter what your beliefs are about homosexuality, did Christ not teach to "love one another" and to "judge not lest you be judged?" To quote Deepak Choopra in a recent newspaper article, 'The reversal of Christianity from a religion of love to a religion of hate is the greatest religious tragedy of our time.' Apparently not much has changed since February 14, 1982, when I boarded that bus determined to put The South behind me for good. This producer more than anyone else I know needs to hear the message of love and tolerance that Southern Baptist Sissies conveys. Shame on you, "Talk of the Town." "Well, talk about your Southern hospitality," Burke joked. "Seriously, though, this play is about love and acceptance and has a beautiful message. It's full of hope and should be shared with everybody. It needs to be seen. And somehow, I think a city like Nashville that is filled with art and culture can handle this "subject matter". It would have been nice for the Nashville people to make up their own minds, instead of having a producer speak for them. It's really kind of sad." Southern Baptist Sissies is an exploration into the lives of four gay men raised in the church. Through laughter and tears, each story unfolds to reveal a struggle for self-discovery. The play originally opened at the Zephyr Theatre in 2000. The show then came back to Los Angeles (after a sold-out run in Dallas) in 2002. It again was launched in Los Angeles in 2006 for a revival of all six Shores plays. The GLAAD Award-Winning Southern Baptist Sissies has made L.A. history - as the longest running play on the Zephyr Theatre's stage, and will be made into a feature film in 2007 (with Delta Burke already attached). Sordid Lives is a black comedy about white trash! In the ³coming out² story, three generations of a small Texas family prepare for a funeral, and that's when the hilarious, sad, trashy truth about their lives runs amuck! The original production opened in 1996 at Los Angeles' Theatre Theatre and was sold-out for its entire 14 month run. In 2001 the play was made into a feature film starring Olivia Newton-John, Delta Burke, Beau Bridges, Bonnie Bedelia and Leslie Jordan. Both plays have won more than 40 prestigious Los Angeles theatre awards (LA Drama Critics, Back Stage West Garland, LA Weekly, Ovation, GLAAD Media Award), and this year, the LA Weekly Theatre Awards honored Del Shores with their Career Achievement Award. The tour kicked off in San Diego in August and has been to San Diego, Dallas, Palm Springs, and St. Louis. The plays have been well received, selling out in several cities (1000 - 1,700 seat houses) - in Dallas breaking records with more tickets sold than any prior production this year (including Broadway tours). Shores most recently sold his new television series Sordid Lives the Series to MTV¹s new network LOGO. Delta Burke made her Los Angeles stage debut in ŠSissies, with the show marking her tour debut as well. Burke can currently be seen on the ABC series Boston Legal, and will also be a judge at the upcoming Miss America Pageant. Leslie Jordan, 2006 Emmy Winner for his work on Will & Grace, stars in both plays, and can currently be seen on the CW series Hidden Palms. Jordan is also working on 12 Miles of Bad Road, a new HBO series with Lily Tomlin. Sordid Lives cast members include Leslie Jordan* (Will & Grace, Boston Legal), Dale Dickey* (Domino, My Name is Earl), Patrika Darbo (Days of Our Lives), singer Debby Holiday, singer Sean Wiggins, Mary-Margaret Lewis* (Kalamazoo, Friends), Ann Walker* (Las Vegas, Sex, Love & Secrets), Mitch Carter* (Children of the Corn), Newell Alexander* (HBO¹s Big Love), Sarah Hunley* (Ghosts of Mississippi, The Ghost Whisperer), David Cowgill and Rosemary Alexander* (Madhouse) and introducing Jason Dottley. (*also starred in the film version of Sordid Lives) Southern Baptist Sissies cast members include Delta Burke (Designing Women), Leslie Jordan, Dale Dickey, Newell Alexander, Ted Detwiler (The Ring Two), Joe Patrick Ward, Anthony Cherry (Blast Off!), Scott Presley (America¹s Next Top Model), Emerson Collins (The Secret Garden), Rich Delia (Strong Medicine), T. Ashanti Mozelle (Angels in America: Perestroika), and David Ojalvo (Down Hearted Blues).Shame on you Channel 5. This is ridiculous.
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