Disney reveals first gay character, Rosie O’Donnell protests in front of White House and more celebrity news

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Season 24 ‘Dancing with the Stars’ cast announced

Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, “The Bachelor’s” Nick Viall and “Glee” actress Heather Morris now have one thing in common: They’re all vying for the Mirror Ball Trophy in season 24 of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.” The new cast was announced Wednesday on “Good Morning America.” Other stars competing include Olympic figure skater Nancy Kerrigan, professional bull rider Bonner Bolton, “Saturday Night Live” veteran Chris Kattan, “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Erika Jayne, actor Mr. T, Fifth Harmony singer Normani Kordei, baseball player David Ross, singer Charo and NFL player Rashad Jennings. Last season, former Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson Jr.made it to the finale and came in third place. IndyCar driver James Hinchcliffe took second, and Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez won the Mirror Ball Trophy. The season premiere marks the 400th episode of the show. Tune in at 8 p.m. March 20 on WXYZ-TV (Channel 7).

Disney reveals first gay character

Disney’s live-action remake of “Beauty and the Beast” starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens hits theaters March 17. In an interview with Attitude magazine released Wednesday, director Bill Condon dropped some news: The film will feature Disney’s first gay character — Gaston’s sidekick LeFou, played by Josh Gad (“Frozen”). “LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston,” Condon told Attitude. “He’s confused about what he wants. It’s somebody who’s just realizing that he has these feelings. And Josh makes something really subtle and delicious out of it ... it is a nice, exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie.” Matt Cain, editor-in-chief the British gay lifestyle magazine, says this is a milestone for Disney. “By representing same-sex attraction in this short but explicitly gay scene, the studio is sending out a message that this is normal and natural,” he says.

Rosie O’Donnell protests in front of White House

As Donald Trump addressed Congress for the first time Tuesday night, Rosie O’Donnell addressed at least 100 protesters outside the White House. About a dozen groups gathered in Lafayette Square for the “Resistance Address,” U.S. News & World Report reports. The comedian and actress who’s been repeatedly lambasted by Trump took an opportunity to mock the president. “Look at this crowd of 1.8 million people!” she said. ‘This is Donald Trump math, ladies and gentlemen.” The 54-year-old also spoke more seriously of threats to equality, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness due to Trump administration actions. “Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends,” she said, “it is the right of the people to alter and abolish it.’ The Trump-O’Donnell feud traces back to 2006 when O’Donnell called Trump a “snake-oil salesman” on ABC’s “The View.” He then retorted she was a “real loser” and continued to criticize her through the years, including during election debates.

Perry and Bloom take a relationship break

Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom are taking a break in their year-old relationship. “Before rumors or falsifications get out of hand we can confirm that Orlando and Katy are taking respectful, loving space at this time,” representatives for both stars told ET Tuesday night. The 32-year-old popstar and 40-year-old actor were last seen together at Vanity Fair’s Oscar party on Sunday. Yet a source told People the couple mostly chatted with their own friends. “Katy didn’t spend much time with Orlando,” said the source. “They got together for a photo, but that was about it.” The duo have been spending some time apart due to travels. Bloom filmed a movie in China in November and took a trip to Africa last month. Perry was in London last week to perform at the Brit Awards. Before their relationship started, Perry dated singer John Mayer. Bloom divorced in 2013 after being married three years to supermodel Miranda Kerr.

Also …

James Taylor & His All-Star Band will perform at DTE Energy Music Theatre on Aug. 8. He will be joined by special guest Bonnie Raitt and her band. Tickets ($26-$130.50) go on sale 10 a.m. March 10 through Ticketmaster.

The Last Waltz 40 Tour has added an additional stop at the Fox Theatre on April 7. The tour is led by Grammy award-winning guitarist Warren Haynes and Grammy award-winning producer Don Was and includes performances by several musicians. The event is an extention of Jazz Fest 2016 concerts in New Orleans. Tickets ($29.50-$125) go on sale 10 a.m. Friday through Ticketmaster.

Compiled by Stephanie Steinberg

ssteinberg@detroitnews.com

Thursday’s birthdays

Jon Bon Jovi, 55

Daniel Craig, 49

Chris Martin, 40

Rebel Wilson, 37

Bryce Dallas Howard, 36

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