Allison Janney finds next role, Wright State ‘Drag Race’ contestant comes out as trans and other pop culture news

Credit: Chris Pizzello

Credit: Chris Pizzello

Dayton’s own Allison Janney is heading back to the small screen.

Variety reports the Oakwood native will join Season 2 of Netflix’s Emmy-nominated political drama “The Diplomat” as Vice President Grace Penn. The series is led by Keri Russell as the titular diplomat Kate Wyler.

Janney won four of her seven Emmy Awards for playing White House Press Secretary C.J. Cregg in “The West Wing.” She won two more for her work on the CBS sitcom “Mom” and another for guest starring on the Showtime drama “Masters of Sex.”

“The Diplomat” debuted in April 2023, ranking on the top 10 lists in 87 countries. Russell was nominated for an Emmy and Golden Globe for the first season, and the show received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Television Series - Drama.

Stay tuned for a Season 2 premiere date.

Wright State grad on ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ comes out as trans

Amanda Tori Meating of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” came out as trans this week during Entertainment Weekly’s “Quick Drag” podcast.

In a revealing conversation, Amanda (the drag persona of Dayton native and Wright State University graduate Philip Stock) opened up about her divorce and coming to terms with her identity, which wasn’t supported by her ex-spouse.

“It wasn’t at all supported by my partner, and it ended up being a big part of why I had to leave, because he didn’t want to be with a trans person. I was in a bad place about it, mentally, for a while, but you get to a point where you’re like, ‘I have to do what’s right for me,’ and that involved getting out of that,” Amanda says. “I showed up to ‘Drag Race’ in this space of, I’m going to advocate for myself, I’m going to stand up for myself, I’m not going to allow myself to be victimized in the way that I feel like I have been in the past, pre-’Drag Race.’ [I was] in this environment for the first time where everyone’s calling me Amanda and not my government name, and realizing how good that felt, and I started to feel a bit more comfortable in the reformation of my identity.”



In spite of continued bullying from mean girl Plane Jane, Amanda had a strong showing on last week’s episode, which included a clever spoof of “Saturday Night Live” and a glamorous runway tribute to Cher.

Find out tonight at 8 p.m. on MTV if Amanda has what it takes to slay another day.

Credit: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Credit: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Grammy preview: Taylor Swift and SZA could win big

The 66th annual Grammy Awards is shaping up to be a big night for pop icon Taylor Swift and R&B powerhouse SZA.

Bolstered by her blockbuster “Eras Tour” and film, Swift has a chance to make Grammy history by becoming the first singer and first woman to win Album of the Year four times. Nominated for “Midnights,” Swift is tied at three wins with Paul Simon, Frank Sinatra and Stevie Wonder.

Due to her huge crossover hit album “SOS,” SZA leads the pack with nine nominations. Her hauntingly melodic murder ballad “Kill Bill” is a frontrunner for Record of the Year and is a strong contender for Song of the Year. If SZA wins Album of the Year, she’ll be the first Black woman to do so since Lauryn Hill in 1999 for “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.”

The Grammys will air at 8 p.m. Sunday on CBS. Newly minted Emmy winner Trevor Noah returns as host.

Right Now with Russell spotlights pop culture every Friday and as news arises. From the latest in film, music, books and TV to the buzz of awards season and other hot button topics, the goal is to fill you in on what’s new in order to satisfy your entertainment cravings. He can be reached at

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