Luke Perry, best known as Dylan McKay from the 90s hit tv show Beverly Hills, 90210 turned 50 on October 11. Yes, 50! A magazine recently celebrated his birthday by placing him on special cover created for social media. It wasn’t People Magazine or Entertainment Weekly, it was AARP -the retirement organization!
Having a former “teen” heartthrob go from teen magazine covers to a retirement magazine cover sent shockwaves & caused “OMG! We’re getting older” style reality checks throughout the Internet. Those of us who still feel like we’re in our 20s and not our actual age, realized that we’re not getting any younger and that AARP will be contacting us sooner rather than later!
Kat’s Take: I’m well aware that Luke was actually in his early 20s when he played a high school student on 90210, but seeing him on an AARP cover was still a bit of a shock. When you think of this organization, your parents or grandparents come to mind, not someone you saw in Bop Magazine when you were a teenager. With that being said, cheers to Luke for turning 50 and cheers to all of us continuing to grow older and wiser gracefully.
In other news, an anchor for the Fox News cable channel may have kinda, sorta, (not really) come out of the closet in a recent interview with The Huffington Post. Shepard Smith, who has been with the channel for 20 years, was asked whether his former boss had ever made homophobic remarks when he was around, and if he had prevented Smith from coming out publicly several years ago. Smith replied, “That’s not true. He was as nice as he could be to me.” Many have taken this as a passive admission by Smith that he is indeed gay.
While Smith often makes Out magazine’s Power 50 list of influential gay people, he has never “officially” come out and rarely discusses his sexuality. There were reports back in 2014 that Smith had been demoted at Fox News for wanting to come out publicly. The channel caters to highly conservative viewers who often have unfavorable opinions of LGBT people, and many speculated that Roger Ailes, the former CEO of the network, did not want a prominent gay news anchor on the air. Now that Ailes has resigned amidst allegations of sexual harassment, some wonder if Smith will become more open about his sexuality.
Matt’s take: I have to admit I’m torn here. On the one hand, coming out is a deeply personal event that everyone needs to approach in their own way and in their own time. No one should ever be forced out of the closet before they’re ready. On the other hand, being in the spotlight gives you an opportunity to influence a wide audience, and gay celebrities can do so much good for the community (and for those who may be struggling to come out) by speaking openly about who they are and showing there is no reason to hide. Ultimately, I’d like to see Shepard Smith address the matter head-on rather than take the “everyone knows so nobody has to say it” approach.