It was the year of #MeToo, as this one story seemed to dominate the pop culture landscape of 2017. Victims came out saying “enough is enough” and called out their attackers and predators by name.
It was also a year of important stories being told on television and in films. We honored the voices of women, people of color and the LGBTQ community in movies like Moonlight and The Life and Death of Marsha P. Johnson, and on shows like When We Rise and Master of None. Plus we got Will & Grace back!
It was a big, confusing year in pop culture. To make sense of it all we start as simply as we can… with our ABCs.
ABC: It was the network to watch as they ran the seven-part miniseries on the history of the gay rights movement, When We Rise. The series was written by Milk screenwriter Dustin Lance Black.
Bryan Singer: The famed director was fired from the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody after repeatedly failing to show up to the set. It is also rumored he had several confrontations with the film’s stars. Days after he was fired, he was sued for allegedly raping a 17-year-old boy in 2003.
Chris Colfer: The Golden Globe-winning actor turned children’s author released the final book in his Young Adult fantasy series The Land of Stories. He also announced that he is directing, writing and producing the film adaptation of the series’ first novel, The Wishing Spell.
Discovery, Star Trek: After more than 50 years’ worth of films and television shows, Star Trek finally featured its first gay male kiss in the CBS All Access series Discovery. This isn’t the first lip-lock that caused a stir in the Star Trek world: the original series featured television’s first interracial kiss.
Emmy Awards: It was a big night for lesbians at the 2017 Primetime Emmy Awards. Lena Waithe became the first black woman to win for Writing in a Comedy Series for an episode of Master of None which chronicled her coming out to her family. An episode of Black Mirror that focused on a romance between two women won for Best Writing for a Television Movie, and openly gay Kate McKinnon won her second Emmy in a row for her performance on Saturday Night Live.
Fierstein, Harvey: He found himself having to clear his name after he became confused with Hollywood producer and alleged sexual assailant Harvey Weinstein. Fierstein went on a social media campaign to let the world know that he is NOT a Weinstein, and for good measure he let them know that he is also NOT the hurricane that battered Houston this year.
George Takei: OH MY! The Star Trek legend was among the list of men accused of sexual misconduct in 2017. Takei took to Twitter to adamantly deny the accusations, even accusing Russian bots of spreading the rumors, although he later deleted those tweets.
House of Cards: Netflix’s first major hit saw a delay in its new season as series star Kevin Spacey was accused by multiple men of sexual harassment and assault. The first to accuse Spacey was actor Anthony Rapp. Spacey issued a statement apologizing and came out as a gay man.
“I’m Gay”: The phrase that changed the world for Ellen DeGeneres, both in her show Ellen and in real life, celebrates its 20th anniversary. “The Puppy Episode” would go on to win DeGeneres an Emmy, but it would eventually get her sitcom cancelled.
JAY-Z: He drops his album 4:44 and spills the tea on everything from cheating to Kanye. In one of his most intimate tracks, “Smile,” JAY-Z raps openly for the first time about his mother’s sexuality, identifying her as a lesbian.
Kathy Griffin: The comedian had one hell of a year after she was photographed holding a fake, blood-covered head of Trump. The controversy led to CNN firing Griffin from her New Year’s Eve gig with Anderson Cooper and Cooper taking to Twitter to condemn Griffin. Griffin later called out Andy Cohen (who replaced her on CNN for NYE) for drug use and harassment.
Life and Death of Marsha P. Johnson, The: After making the rounds at film festivals in 2017, The Life and Death of Marsha P. Johnson, a documentary which examines one of the key players in the 1969 Stonewall Riots and her transgender activism, was acquired by the streaming service Netflix.
Moonlight: It may have been Oscar night’s biggest blunder, but after clearing up the mess of reading the wrong winner, Moonlight became the first LGBTQ-themed film and the first all-black cast movie to win the Best Picture Academy Award.
Nixon, Cynthia: It was rumored in 2017 that the Sex and the City star may be considering a run for New York governor. She’s been unhappy with the way Andrew Cuomo has been running things so she might take control herself. She’s such a Miranda.
O’Neals, The Real: After two seasons, ABC axed The Real O’Neals due to low ratings. The sitcom, loosely based on the life of Dan Savage, followed the aftermath of a seemingly perfect Catholic family who all confessed life-altering secrets, including the middle child coming out as gay.
Peep, Lil: The 21-year-old rapper came out as bisexual this past summer shortly after releasing his debut album Come Over When You’re Sober. Three months later, he was rushed to the hospital due to a drug overdose where he was pronounced dead.
Queer Eye: The show that launched a thousand metrosexuals is back. Netflix announced they are reviving the hit show Queer Eye for the Straight Guy for the millennial audience. The original Fab Five are being swapped out for younger models and the location is being moved from the Big Apple to the Big Peach.
RuPaul: The world’s most famous drag queen had a huge year as RuPaul’s Drag Race moved from Logo to VH1 and had its highest ratings ever. On top of that, Ru was named one of TIME’s 100 most influential people, was featured on the cover of Entertainment Weekly and it was announced he would get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Work it, girl!
Subway art: Commuters using the New York City station at 72nd Street have something to look at other than Sharpie art and messages to future riders that KYLE WAS HERE. The station debuted a series of mosaic murals, one of which features two men in love holding hands.
Transparent: The Amazon series started the year off on a high note, winning multiple awards; however, not long after the release of the show’s fourth season, allegations of sexual misconduct against star Jeffrey Tambor started to come out. The show’s writers are now considering writing him out of the show.
Unfortunate Events, A Series of: Neil Patrick Harris made yet another successful return to television, this time in his first streaming series. He portrayed the devious Count Olaf in Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. Being bad has never been this delightful.
Vogue: The chic magazine was all about the LGBTQ headlines in 2017. They appointed their first gay, male editor-in-chief at British Vogue; Teen Vogue had the conservatives freaking out by releasing an anal sex guide; and Vogue had them freaking out even more when Chelsea Manning was featured in a swimsuit spread. The more traditional Vogue Italia got in on the risqué features by featuring a same-sex kiss on a cover.
Will & Grace: Honey what’s this, what’s happening, what’s going on? After 11 years of wondering whether Will and Grace were able to maintain their repaired friendship, we all found out that the last season never really happened. It was a pill-induced hallucination all in the head of Karen Walker. Got it?
XBOX Live: Microsoft announced that the avatars for their XBOX Live service will now feature gender-neutral clothing options. In related news, Mother has removed the XBOX from Mike Pence’s office and replaced it with an Atari that only plays Pong.
Yiannopoulos, Milo: The right-wing provocateur all but disappeared in 2017 after comments in which he appeared to support pedophilia went viral. The backlash was swift as he was let go from Breitbart News and saw his book deal canceled all within a matter of weeks.
Zombie ex-husband: The Walking Dead is no stranger to killing off characters, but Aaron watching his undead husband, Eric, walk away from their happy marriage for a life of eating brains killed us. Oh, Spoiler Alert.