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Offline Hooky

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Re: • TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
« Reply #25 on: February 06, 2009, 06:36:21 PM »
I'm such an idiot! :groan: :funny:


Offline georgiapeach

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Re: • TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
« Reply #26 on: February 08, 2009, 03:16:56 AM »
Delicious White Whine
Mike did 'School of Rock.' Mel worked for Pat Robertson. Now they're an amazing 'Race' team.


Joshua Alston
NEWSWEEK
From the magazine issue dated Feb 16, 2009


The hardest part about watching a reality competition show is learning all the contestants' faces. But for the 14th season of "The Amazing Race," which starts Feb. 15, savvy viewers will have a leg up. One of the competitors is Mike White, the actor-screenwriter best known for "School of Rock." His partner is his father, Mel, the gay-rights activist who, before coming out, was an evangelical minister who ghostwrote books for Billy Graham and Pat Robertson. (Mike is bisexual.) They spoke to NEWSWEEK's Joshua Alston.

Alston: Did any of your rivals recognize you?
Mike White: A couple did, but it didn't necessarily endear me to anyone.

That's what I figured—there would be people thinking, what's he doing here? Shouldn't he be writing a movie or something?
Mike: Yeah, it does slightly put a target on your back because there are moments where people are like "You don't need the money—go home!" But the coolest part about being on the race is that when you see the show, you think everyone is this or that "type," but they are all real people with different dimensions, and I think they realized that about me and my dad just as much as I did about them.

Whose idea was it to do the show?
Mel White:Definitely Michael's.

Mike: I had been a fan for a while, and it just seems like the funnest thing you can do. It was last year during the writers' strike when I decided to apply. I first applied with another screenwriter, and we were going to be the neurotic screenwriters who never left their houses. But then he turned out to be so neurotic he couldn't handle it.
Did you guys fight a lot?
Mel: My son said from the beginning, "Dad, don't go aggro on me," knowing that I can get excited about things. But I think we succeeded; we had fun. I don't think there was much fighting between us.

Mike: The situations were stressful, and there are bound to be moments when one of us wants to go left and the other wants to go right, and we'll have our little issues. But when you look around at some of the other teams, we weren't at each other's throats nearly as much. There's drama, but not really between us.

Mel: You know, I'm 68 going on 90. So we would be running through an airport and I'd be the last one. But Michael was always patient, and would tell me to just limp along.

Mike, if you had to do the race with another celebrity, who would it be?
Mike: Reese Witherspoon. She's a friend of mine, and she was on Leno talking about how she wanted to go on the show because she found out that I was going on. Reese is an incredibly competitive, type-A, get-it-done kind of person. We would have kicked ass.


What about you and Jack Black?
Mike: Jack is pretty athletic, but there are some things he wouldn't want to do. He's, like, a closet neurotic. Although we did bungee-jump in New Zealand together, so some of the things he'd be up for. I think the biggest problem with Jack would be waking him up. We'd have to be up every day at 6, and I don't think he could do that.

Mike, you're a vegan. I'm sure that presented some challenges.
Mike: Yeah, it was pretty brutal because during the race usually the only place you can eat is on planes, and so you don't get a wide selection. After a while on the race my body was eating itself.

Reality shows tend to boil people down to their most unflattering moments. Does that concern you at all?
Mike: As someone who has created TV and knows the pitfalls of participating, I felt like the important thing was having the experience. We didn't really think about the consequences of participating, or whether or not it would be flattering.

Mel: If our appearance on the show is boiled down to us being gay, I'm hoping that this myth that gay people can't parent will be burned up in some way. I think it's really sad that so many people are still worried about gay people adopting or having kids. So if we have to be a model of something, I hope we can model that gay parents can be great parents.

Were both or either of you involved in the No on Proposition 8 campaign?
Mel: Oh, yes, my partner and I got married on June 18, the day after it became legal, and when Proposition 8 came around it was heartbreaking, and we had to fight it from here in Lynchburg, Va. We didn't donate money, but we were part of the crowd-gathering that was used to show the state this was a bad mistake.

Mike, how did your experience growing up with your dad shape your faith?
Mike: I definitely got a lot out of the ministry growing up, and we had a lot of theological discussions around the dinner table and stuff, and all that stuff certainly had a huge impact on the way I see things, and in a positive way. I don't really consider myself a Christian. It's complicated, like everything, but I think what my dad is doing as far as reaching out to the conservative Christian community for inclusion is a really courageous thing.

Mel: It's ironic because given the state of what it means to be a Christian these days, I'm not a Christian either. I'm a mediocre follower of a first-century Jewish teacher. And being a Christian brings up all those stereotypes that are so destructive to the gay spirit. So when Michael says he's not a Christian, I completely understand and feel the same way. I hope that one day we can reclaim that word, but as it stands now, it's embarrassing to be a Christian.

URL: http://www.newsweek.com/id/183721
"Our fans are pretty good. They don't give away too much. Sometimes people love dropping spoilers, but our fans are good. They tend to do it in such a way that doesn't ruin it for fans who don't want to know."--Phil Keoghan

Offline georgiapeach

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Re: • TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
« Reply #27 on: February 08, 2009, 03:20:02 AM »
Yay! Finally, confirmation of what we knew re Reese's comment,  puddin called it!! :jam:

"Our fans are pretty good. They don't give away too much. Sometimes people love dropping spoilers, but our fans are good. They tend to do it in such a way that doesn't ruin it for fans who don't want to know."--Phil Keoghan

Offline puddin

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Re: • TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
« Reply #28 on: February 08, 2009, 01:26:19 PM »
Mike & Mel get another blurb, this one from Entertainment Weekly


Offline georgiapeach

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Re: • TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
« Reply #29 on: February 10, 2009, 11:41:44 PM »
The 'Amazing Race' is on for local residents
Three area residents compete in the CBS reality show airing Sunday.
By Sharla Bardin

On your mark, get set, go globe-trotting.

That's exactly what three area residents got the chance to do when they competed in CBS' "The Amazing Race" to win $1 million.

Martinsville couple Steve and Linda Cole and Lynchburg resident Mel White and his son, Mike, are contestants in the new season of the reality TV hit that premieres Sunday.

They were among 11 teams competing in the race, which included stops in nine countries in 22 days.

Production has wrapped on the season, but White and the Coles can't reveal much about the race now because of waivers they signed to avoid spoilers.

Still, they did open up about their love of travel and how "The Amazing Race" was the trek of a lifetime.

....


White, 68, is a gay activist, clergy member and founder of Soulforce, a gay-rights group. He raced with his son, Mike White, 38, a filmmaker and actor whose work includes writing and starring in the 2003 comedy "The School of Rock." Mike White lives in California.

Mel White had watched the show occasionally, but it was his son who applied to compete.

Mel White, who jokes that he felt like "Father Time" during the race, said he was grateful to share the experience with his son.

"Mike said to me, 'Dad, we want to win. We want to compete and do the best we can.' "

But there was a catch.

His son told him if they weren't enjoying the race, they should stop.

"That was his rule from the beginning, and it was a perfect rule," Mel White said.

The father and son have traveled together before, including on family trips to Hawaii and China.

"Travel, to me, it's like learning a language. It opens up another world," Mel White said. "Going across the world has changed me for the better."

....

The Coles and Mel White also believe viewers will be fascinated by the racers.

Teams included brothers who are stunt men, flight attendants, Harvard lawyers, former NFL cheerleaders and the show's first-ever deaf contestant and his mother.

"They're all fantastic," Mel White said. "I think the audiences will just love these teams."

They also promise a lot of excitement.

"I think this season is the most dramatic," he said. "The things we did no human on Earth would be asked to do them, and we did them. And they were fun."

More here:
http://www.roanoke.com/extra/wb/194129
"Our fans are pretty good. They don't give away too much. Sometimes people love dropping spoilers, but our fans are good. They tend to do it in such a way that doesn't ruin it for fans who don't want to know."--Phil Keoghan


Offline puddin

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Re: • TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
« Reply #30 on: February 11, 2009, 11:05:53 AM »
TELEVISION ‘Race' features amazing father-son duo
by Ross Forman
2009-02-11

A diehard fan of the award-winning reality TV show The Amazing Race, Mike White tried out last year with a fellow filmmaker—and they were accepted for the 13th season.

But then the other filmmaker got scared and withdrew from the show, leaving White without a partner for the trip around the world.


At a party, White invited a representative of the show to attend—and choose who she would like to accompany him on The Amazing Race.

She choose White's dad: 68-year-old Mel White, an openly gay clergymember, author and film director.

And so, when The Amazing Race kicks off Sunday, Feb. 15, on CBS-TV, Team White will feature the show's first gay father/son duo.

“I'm still having trouble believing that I'm on The Amazing Race. It never would have crossed my mind that,” said the elder White, who admits he was not a devout fan of the show. “Being with your son for a trip around the world, you can't ask for more than that. This can't really be compared to anything else.

“I hope this shows a fun side of me, that this person of faith also is a person of fun.”

Mel was a behind-the-scenes member of the Evangelical Protestant movement through the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, writing speeches and ghostwriting books for televangelists such as Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and Billy Graham. After years of writing for the Christian right, he came out as gay in 1994.

Mel and his partner of 27 years, Gary Nixon, were married last June in California.

So, will Mel gain fans he previously lost?

“Hmm, that's a great question. Heck, I might gain enemies,” he said, laughing.

Mike is a writer, director and actor for movies and TV, and the winner of the Independent Spirit John Cassavetes Award for Chuck & Buck. He is single.

“They put you through so many things to get you ready [ for The Race ] ,” Mel said. “I worked out with a trainer for a couple months before The Race, and I was feeling pretty good. I was ready to race; I just didn't know how fast the others would be.

“I think my background helped. Michael decided that we weren't going to be agro [ on the show ] , meaning, aggravated. We wanted to win and we wanted to compete, but we also wanted to have fun.

“So we really enjoyed each other's company throughout the race.”

The elder White endured personal struggles on the show, knowing it might entail keeping secrets and misleading people.

“Luckily we never had to mislead anybody, but we did have to keep secrets,” he said. “At first I was a little leery about that, but once you know the rules and know that everyone is playing by the same rules, then it's fine.”

White admitted few of the other participants recognized the duo before the journey began. But Mike was spotted and asked for autographs along the way.

“As Michael said to me, ‘No matter what you've done in life, you'll only be remembered for being on The Amazing Race,' Mel said, laughing.

The new season of Race also features another gay and a lesbian participant ( on separate teams ) , so the LGBT community is represented on three teams.

“I just love to see us breaking all of the caricatures and breaking expectations; I just love to see gay people having a good time and proving to the world that we're not freaks,” Mel said.

http://www.windycitymediagroup.com/gay/lesbian/news/ARTICLE.php?AID=20510

Offline Mrs Shrek

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Re: • TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
« Reply #31 on: February 11, 2009, 03:39:25 PM »
The new season of Race also features another gay and a lesbian participant ( on separate teams ) , so the LGBT community is represented on three teams.

Is the reporter getting confused about other seasons, or who are the 2 others they are referring to?

Offline Ashe

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Re: • TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
« Reply #32 on: February 11, 2009, 04:04:11 PM »
The new season of Race also features another gay and a lesbian participant ( on separate teams ) , so the LGBT community is represented on three teams.

Is the reporter getting confused about other seasons, or who are the 2 others they are referring to?
Maybe one of the sisters is a lesbian, if one of Cara & Jaime isn't.
Jamison

Eleven teams race around the world for $1,000,000 on The Amazing Race 14!  Sundays at 8/7 Central on CBS!

Offline georgiapeach

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Re: • TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
« Reply #33 on: February 11, 2009, 04:58:40 PM »
The new season of Race also features another gay and a lesbian participant ( on separate teams ) , so the LGBT community is represented on three teams.

I believe Luke is gay as well.

Is the reporter getting confused about other seasons, or who are the 2 others they are referring to?
"Our fans are pretty good. They don't give away too much. Sometimes people love dropping spoilers, but our fans are good. They tend to do it in such a way that doesn't ruin it for fans who don't want to know."--Phil Keoghan

Offline Mrs Shrek

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Re: • TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
« Reply #34 on: February 11, 2009, 05:18:46 PM »
The new season of Race also features another gay and a lesbian participant ( on separate teams ) , so the LGBT community is represented on three teams.


Is the reporter getting confused about other seasons, or who are the 2 others they are referring to?

I believe Luke is gay as well.

I didn't know that. Thanks for the info. Any ideas which one of the ladies they are referring to?


Offline puddin

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Re: • TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
« Reply #35 on: February 12, 2009, 11:20:11 PM »
Mike White On Doing 'The Amazing Race': 'I Felt Like Jason Bourne And His Old Gay Dad'
Posted by Kyle Buchanan at 6:20 AM on February 13, 2009
Curious

So where did the idea to do the show come from?

I'm a not-so-closeted reality TV fan, a traitor to my own. I think I've watched probably every Survivor and Amazing Race—I'm a weird reality fanatic, I guess. During the strike I was watching my usual shows because I couldn't work, and at some point I was like, "What the crap! I should just go on The Amazing Race." I actually just made a video, I didn't try to pull any strings, I just made a video with somebody besides my dad and sent it in.

Who?

I was gonna go with this screenwriter that I met on Freaks & Geeks, this guy Jon Kasdan. Our little sorta reducible idea was "neurotic screenwriters who never leave the house." And it turned out that he really was too neurotic to leave the house. We got to the semifinals of the prior season, Season 13, and he had sort of a meltdown at the Hilton at LAX and was like, "I can't do this!"

So how did your dad get involved?

We had gotten pretty far along and you know, it's a relationship show and they want to show the most interesting relationships, so they encouraged me to go with someone in my family [father Mel White, the founder of the gay rights group Soulforce].

You know, it's an interesting trajectory: so many reality stars want to make it in Hollywood, and you're sort of doing the reverse. Were you concerned about becoming known for reality instead of writing, directing, acting?

[laughs] Honestly, I just can't give a flip about that. For me, the show's about to start airing, and it really is less about that than being able to go do it. Like, the idea of just travelling and partying and having this crazy experience was reason to do it, and let the chips fall where they may. I think I started off by thinking, "How can I be in the race but not of the race?" but after about ten minutes, I was just like, "I've gotta be of the race to do this right."

So how was the idea of doing it different than actually doing it?

It was actually way more fun doing it. You're in a circus! You're running through airports with a camera crew and there's like, dwarves and giant Amazonian women's basketball players and everyone's in matching outfits and it's so fun. You know, when you're in LA, you're always like, "Maybe there's something more fun going on somewhere else," but for that period of time where you're on the race, there's definitely nowhere else you'd rather be than there.

So when you're on that starting line with Phil, and the race is about to begin, what should we know was going through your head?

The whole time, I was just like, I wanna get to LAX! [The race starts in Los Angeles.] I didn't think we had many advantages past the point of getting to the airport. I didn't want to be in the back of the train—I was like, "All the times I've dropped friends off at LAX needs to come into play now!" But you'll see, it doesn't exactly end up the way that I expected.

Have you seen the first episode yet?

I haven't seen any of them. I've seen the promos.

How do you think you'll be portrayed? Like, what elements of your story do you think are the ones they're highlighting?

Honestly, I did read a review of the first episode, and the reviewer said I'm perpetually grinning. [laughs] If that's all they have me as, the "laughing fool," then that's fine with me. That's how I was on the race. For the first 24 hours, I literally could not stop smiling. I felt like Jason Bourne and his old gay dad, driving this Mercedes to the airport trying to outrun these musclebound mofos. It was literally the time of my life.

Did any of the other contestants recognise you?

A couple, not many. I mean, I'm the king of "you look vaguely familiar." I think some people scratched their heads. It didn't necessarily endear me to anyone, like they were trying to suck up to me because I'm from Hollywood or whatever.

Had you done anything to prepare for it beforehand? Like, a lot of map reading?

We did have enough time for my dad to go insane with the idea of matching outfits. His long-dormant dream of walking around in matching outfits finally came to the fore! They encourage you to wear a colour scheme just to identify the teams, and ours was royal blue. So my dad was like, "Oh, we've got to get matching outfits!" and I was like, "Dad, we don't have to wear, like, the exact same clothes. Wearing things with a similar colour is enough." And he got so frustrated! And so he went into my closet and saw the stuff that I had pulled out for the race, and went out and bought the exact same clothes! And so I was like, "I guess I'm gonna be that guy, wearing the same thing as his gay dad on national TV."

What was the industry reaction when it was announced that you were on the show?

I think there's two separate people. Half of the people are like, "That is the coolest thing you could ever do," and they're jealous, and half of the people are like, "Why the hell would you ever want to do that?" Especially some of the more Hollywood A-lister types, they're like, "Did you have to fly economy?" [laughs]

You say in the CBS bio that you wanted to pattern yourself after former contestants Charla and Mirna. Mike, I don't know if you know this, but Mirna is crazy!

Well, yeah! But what I like about them is that they had no discernible advantages at all, no physical advantage, no intellectual advantage, and yet they just had the will to succeed. I wanted to channel them. A little crazy doesn't hurt in the circumstances they throw you into.

Have you met them?

No, I want to!

I'm sure you will now that you're all on the reality alumni circuit.

I'll go do a college speaking tour with them. [laughs]

http://www.defamer.com.au/2009/02/mike_white_on_doing_the_amazing_race_i_felt_like_jason_bourne_and_his_old_gay_dad-2.html

Offline puddin

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Re: • TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
« Reply #36 on: February 13, 2009, 01:32:12 AM »
Grace Under Pressure
Worlds away from writing speeches for Jerry Falwell, out Soulforce founder and reformed evangelical Mel White joins forces with screenwriter son Mike (School of Rock) for The Amazing Race.
By Dan Avery
Mel White has never been one to run from a challenge. A former speechwriter for evangelicals like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, White came out of the closet in the early '80s and wrote a best-selling autobiography, Stranger at the Gate: To Be Gay and Christian in America. Countering the homophobic rhetoric of his former employers, he also founded the gay social-justice organization Soulforce, which sponsors Equality Rides to Christian campuses to spark peaceful dialogue. He then became an ordained minister in the gay-affirming Metropolitan Community Church. In 2002, White and partner Gary Nixon even leased a home across the street from Falwell’s Lynchburg, Va. church just to keep the legendary holy roller in check.

Starting this week, though, White will be running -- traversing nine countries across 40,000 miles on the new season of CBS’ The Amazing Race. Joining him on this grand adventure is his award-winning screenwriter son Mike (Chuck & Buck, School of Rock), who is openly bisexual.

“Mike’s a massive fan of the show,” says White, 68. “He auditioned on his own and was accepted, but the person he signed up with bailed at the last minute. I was the backup plan.”

Among the far-flung countries the show’s contestants visit in its 14th season are India, China, Russia, Switzerland and, for the first time, Romania.

“I’ve traveled a lot more than most people, but there’s nothing that can really prepare you for this show,” White explained. “You’re racing the clock -- the whole thing is such a rush.”

Deciphering clues and overcoming challenges designed to test their endurance, intelligence, and cunning, the team that crosses the finish line first walks away with a cool million dollars.

Just before the show’s February 15 premiere, we spoke with the veteran activist to find out what it was like running the race of a lifetime and why gays still need to stand their ground against the Christian right.

Advocate.com: Were you familiar with The Amazing Race before you entered?
Mel White: Not so much -- Sunday isn’t a good TV night for a clergyman. Mike showed me a lot of old episodes, though, and I really got into it.

Did the producers know who you were when you signed on?
I don’t think so, or at least it never came up during our conversations. I don’t think they did any research into my activism. They wanted me as Mike’s dad, which was fine with me -- I was delighted to be billed as “the gay father.” It gave me a chance to talk about not just being gay, but being a gay parent, without the perceived stigma of being an activist. Of course, I wore my Soulforce hat everywhere, hoping it’d spark some interest.

Did either you or Mike get recognized during filming?
I don’t see myself as a celebrity, but people recognize Mike all over. Back home, he has paparazzi shooting and asking him questions. When we were going through India, this woman leaned over to us on a bus and said to him, “I like your movie.” I’m a dad, so of course I got a puff of pride. I mean, I don’t see him as an actor or screenwriter, I just see him as my kid. When I see him on the screen, I don’t see the character, I see Mike. Which was really uncomfortable when I saw Chuck & Buck. [Laughs] I was so taken aback.

How did your husband feel about your leaving for almost a month to traipse around the world?
Gary’s been in the limelight with me for a while, so he was just as happy to relax at home. And happy for me to spend time with Mike. I’m on the road a lot, so I don't know that he even missed me! [Laughs] People ask us how we made it 27 years? And he says, “'Cause Mel’s gone a lot!”

The season was filmed last fall. Did you feel like you were missing out on the election?
That was the hardest part -- being away from the election and all the reporting that went along with it. We’d see headlines as we raced by, but we had no laptops, no iPods. Being without the Internet and a Blackberry for 35 days is wonderful, once the shock wears off. But I love CNN. I let if flow over me like water. And I like to watch FOX to get angry and get my juices flowing. They took the phones and TVs out of our rooms! At first I thought they were too rigid, but I realized the focus really has to be on the show for the duration.

Sometimes traveling together can ruin an otherwise healthy relationship. Were you worried about that happening with you and Mike?
Well, Mike set down the rules for me pretty early on. One: We’re doing it for fun and if we’re not having fun, lets not do it. And two: We’re trying to win, but we’re not gonna get aggro about it. Sometimes he’d have to remind me not to be so aggro, like when the cab driver drove us around in circles. But we ended up having such fun, which was my main goal. The producers asked, “Will this lovefest never end?”

Was Mike well-behaved on family trips as a child?
He didn’t like to travel too much because it took him away from what he liked to do, which was make movies. He was always so preoccupied with it; we got him a camera when he was 8.

What quality do you think made you a good candidate for the show?
I really like people -- sometimes to my detriment -- which helps when you don’t have a common language. And I’m good at winning people’s favor, which is something we learn as activists. Being focused is a gift. There’s a moment where there was real risk, and the whole race was at stake. I sat down and did my meditation. Also, a lot of the other competitors had never been out of the country, or even out of their state. Even things like Customs threw them. Mike and I both have been traveling around the world our whole lives. Rushing through airports is second nature.

Any handicaps or bad habits?
I’m terrible with directions. I can’t walk out of a hotel room without going the wrong way. Can’t find my way out of a wet paper bag. Thank God, Mike is so good with that. We’d hop in a Mercedes and go off wherever. But Mike’s a vegan, which made it almost impossible to find places he could get food. So he didn’t eat for much of the race. Me, I was ready for any challenge -- eat whatever food, jump off whatever cliff.

Did you guys train for the show ahead of time?
We exercised. Both Mike and I do yoga, and I do meditation. We’re spiritually fit. And I naturally have a lot of energy: I was two or three times older than some of the other contestants, but I love to move fast -- I loved the energy drain.

How were your fellow competitors -- any Bible-thumpers or homophobes?
If so, they didn’t push it in our faces. We were definitely in competition, but we got along with the other racers. I even counseled some of them. From what I could tell, our sexuality was a non-issue.

The show sends you guys to some pretty remote areas. Were you worried about getting bashed or ending up somewhere with a terrible human rights record?
We were running so fast the issue didn’t really come up. I guess maybe I should’ve thought about some of the countries we visited, but I had to take what they threw at me. You can’t be an activist in a race like this; there’s just no time. But everywhere we went the people were fantastic. If a nation had a nasty policy, we didn’t feel it from the people. And the show has incredible security. If we were ever in real danger they would’ve gotten us out of there. You couldn’t see them but you knew they were there.

But at the same time, you’re very much on your own.
Short of your life being at risk, the producers wouldn’t get involved. And they were right there, ten feet away from you. You know, The Amazing Race has some 2,000 people working to put the season together. When I saw how much preparation went into it, and how seamless it was, I was in awe.

If only we'd had that kind of team working against Prop 8.
Boy, ain’t that the truth. I haven’t had a secretary in 15 years -- Soulforce has no money and no staff. I was on a White Party cruise recently with 37 gay men. I thought, “How many of these guys give to HRC or any other group?” If the gay community could organize like [The Amazing Race], we’d change the world. But no, we don’t think it’s worth it.

You’re obviously an expert on the fundamentalist movement. With the Obama election, and holy rollers like Falwell leaving the stage, are the evangelicals less of a threat now?
I wouldn’t say that. The megachurch pastors like Rick Warren are just as bad as Falwell was. They’re worse, in fact, because they’re so… slick. They couch their message carefully, and say they want gays to come to their church. With Falwell and those guys, you knew where you stood. I think today fundamentalism is like a rattlesnake that’s lost its rattle: There’s no warning.

Did Obama betray the gays by choosing Warren for the inauguration, or was the issue blown out of proportion?
When they put Warren on, we assaulted Obama with letters. He represents homophobia in its worst form. When we heard Bishop Robinson was chosen, we started shifting our approach. I have to live with Rick Warren and allow him to be as free and expressive as I am. But I can protest like hell. I won’t hold a grudge, but Ill remind him when he goes astray.

What’s scarier -- running through a third world country with no money or going on an Equality Ride to Liberty University?
To be surrounded by fundamentalists is much scarier than being surrounded by pygmy warriors or whomever. The fundamentalists are so blind, so dogmatic. I have to have police guards at universities. I had 40 Baptist clergy marching into a classroom demanding they must be heard. They just lose their cool completely.

The Amazing Race 14 premieres on February 15 at 8 p.m. on CBS. For more details, visit CBS.com.


http://www.advocate.com/print_article_ektid72866.asp

Offline puddin

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Re: • TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
« Reply #37 on: February 14, 2009, 10:49:04 AM »
 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/la-et-white14-2009feb14,0,2659399.story

From the Los Angeles Times
Mike White's dream is reality on 'The Amazing Race'
The writer and actor got hooked on the show during the writers strike. Being paired with his dad made it even better.
By Chris Lee > > >

February 14, 2009

CBS' Emmy-winning reality show, "The Amazing Race," has seen its share of eclectic contestants come and go over the series' 13 seasons: beauty pageant winners and bickering married couples, jock siblings and even little people. But this winter's installment marks the first time that "Race" has included a "Hollywood star" in its contestant ranks -- even if that famous face hardly counts as a household name. ¶ Enter Mike White, the actor-screenwriter-producer-director who's best known for writing hit comedies, including "Nacho Libre" and "School of Rock" (in which he also plays a supporting role). White, a former producing partner of Jack Black, calls himself a "scholar" of CBS' multiple-Emmy-winning reality show and a self-professed "weird reality fanatic" who began his quest to become an "Amazing Race" contestant during the Hollywood writers strike in late 2007. ¶ "I couldn't write. I'd been watching for so long, I was just like, 'I want to go on the show!' " White recalled. "I made a tape with a friend and sent it in. It wasn't like I tried to pull rank. We just sent in an audition and they called."

In fact, White, a Pasadena native who earned his stripes as a writer for Judd Apatow's late, great 1999-2000 television series, "Freaks and Geeks," places his burning ambition to be on "The Amazing Race" right up there with his abiding goals in life. "It's definitely on the bucket list," White said over a plate of roasted vegetables at the Brentwood Country Mart earlier this week. "Do 'The Amazing Race,' do a few movies, die happy."

But that doesn't quite explain how the whippet-thin Hollywood hotshot -- whose boyish physical presence and unblinking demeanor can't help but bring to mind the slightly demented naif-stalker he portrayed in 2000's oddball dramedy "Chuck & Buck" -- wound up on the physically arduous, globe-spanning obstacle course/time trial, which kicks off its 14th season at 8 p.m. Sunday.

Before White could take his place at the starting line, he had to persuade producers to cast him despite his professional pedigree; unlike so much programming on VH1, "The Amazing Race" had largely resisted anything resembling "celebreality" stunt casting until White came along (one exception being the casting of "Survivor" alumni Rob and Amber in Season 7). Then, White's original partner, filmmaker Jon Kasdan (who wrote 2007's "In the Land of Women"), dropped out during semifinal callbacks. And in a turn of events that surprised White as much as anyone, the show's casting director helped choose Kasdan's replacement: White's father, Mel White, a 69-year-old documentary filmmaker, author and leader in the gay evangelical Christian movement -- one of the oldest contestants to appear on the show. "I thought I'd collapse," Mel said of his expectations at the outset. "I thought when Michael said go, I'd fall down dead."

As well, Mike White had to overcome his own professional misgivings. "You feel a little weird as a writer of scripted television for many years to say you're a fan of reality TV. You feel like a traitor. But I am a total fan. There are life lessons that can be derived from reality television. It was a . . . blast."

It's hard not to harbor certain suspicions about Mike White's motivations -- namely, that his appearance on "Race" is some kind of Andy Kaufman-esque gag -- especially if you are at all familiar with White's view-askew comedy. Plumbing the aesthetic of discomfort for laughs as well as pathos, White's well-meaning but often dim-witted characters tend to find their bliss only after coming through the fire of ritual humiliation (see: Jack Black as a doofus music teacher in "School of Rock" or Molly Shannon as a misguided animal rights zealot in White's directorial debut, "Year of the Dog").

But to hear him tell it with wide-eyed sincerity, White didn't do the show for greater fame. He wanted to go on in large part to shake himself from complacency. "No matter what your job is, to be kicked out of that bubble is a healthy thing. You're asked to do things you'd never do. And the whole time it's slightly embarrassing, slightly humiliating. You get over yourself."

When Kasdan suffered what White jokingly refers to as a "nervous breakdown" during a battery of psychological tests administered by show producers, White had already won the admiration of Lynne Spillman, casting director for "The Amazing Race." She gauged him as someone who "was doing it purely for the love of the show and not for any kudos or fame."

After the two became chummy, White invited Spillman to a party at his house, where she met the openly bisexual filmmaker's friends and family members with an eye toward casting a replacement. Which is when she met Mel White, a prize-winning documentary producer and bestselling writer who ghost-wrote the autobiographies of such religious firebrands as Billy Graham, Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson. After undergoing three decades of "anti-gay" therapy in conjunction with the church, however, White came out of the closet in 1994 with his autobiography, "Stranger at the Gate: To Be Gay and Christian in America."

"He was fascinating: opinionated, complex, sarcastic," Spillman said. "I didn't realize he was Mike's father at first. I tried to be cool, but I was so excited. Mike said, 'You gotta be kidding! He's the only person I'm not funny around.' "

Added Mike White: "To be perfectly honest, I'm competitive. I wanted to win. As much as my dad is spry for someone who's almost 70, he is still 20 years older than the next-oldest person on the show."

Nonetheless, both were persuaded that the experience would be positive and provide for plenty of father-son bonding that occasional lunches and cross-country visits can't approximate. Still, boundaries had to be established upfront. "Right at the beginning, he told me, 'Dad, don't go aggro on me.' I had to look it up. What's 'aggro'?" recalled Mel White from his home in Virginia. "I thought it was agriculture. But it's aggro-vated. He knows I'm a gay Christian activist. I'm aggravated half the time!"

Asked if he learned anything surprising about his son while traveling together under the battlefield conditions of reality television, Mel White grew suddenly emotional. "I couldn't pay for what 'The Amazing Race' did for me, to have this time with my son," he said.

Shooting wrapped in late November, after the racers hit five continents, 15 countries and traveled 30,000 miles. But so far, neither White has seen any footage from the show outside of a quietly hilarious CBS promo :// www.melwhite.org/blog/& ;feature=player_embedded"> www.melwhite.org/blog/& ;feature=player_embedded clip in which father and son are introduced simply as "writers" and shown pecking away at side-by-side laptops, doing tandem yoga and tooling around on Segway PTs. Mike White admits he stage-managed the commercial to temper people's expectations. But it seems like he also couldn't resist imposing some small measure of his comedic worldview on the show.

"They always have people doing this sporty stuff like volleyball," he said. "What would be the laziest thing we could do for our promo? Let's just ride on Segways in our neighborhood! I was thinking, 'Let's just do the goofiest stuff possible.' "

chris.lee@latimes.com

Offline puddin

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Re: • TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
« Reply #38 on: February 15, 2009, 03:12:34 PM »
I just found Mel's website!
http://www.melwhite.org/

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Re: • TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
« Reply #39 on: March 01, 2009, 12:08:25 AM »
Good Luck Mike & Mel and Happy RACE DAY!  :jam:  :wohoo:


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Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
« Reply #40 on: March 25, 2009, 11:40:45 AM »
Mel and Mike White made our Must List, how about yours?
Mar 25, 2009, 11:27 AM | by Jean Bentley

Categories: middle-aged butt-kicking, Must List, Travel

 What's that you say? You don't watch The Amazing Race, aka the best reality show ever (sorry, Biggest Loser)? Well, you should. And there are two very worthy reasons why: Mel and Mike White. The father-son team, comprised of Christian author/gay activist dad Mel and screenwriter Mike, land firmly at the top of my Must List this week. I was afraid the elder White's days on the show would be numbered after he pulled pulled his groin in the very first episode, but the duo has managed to consistently beat their opponents while maintaining an upbeat attitude, polite demeanor, and constant stream of self-aware commentary. If you ever wanted an example of how to portray yourself on reality TV and not look like an asshole, use the Whites as your template.

Of course, I hope I haven't jinxed them by mentioning them here. Help reverse my curse by checking out all our Amazing Race coverage (Josh Wolk's recaps, Phil Keoghan's blogs) and then sharing your Musts for this week. List up to three items from current TV/movies/music/books/games/online. Don't forget your e-mail address, in case we decide to use your submission in the magazine. Deadline is Thursday, March 26 at noon ET.

http://popwatch.ew.com/popwatch/2009/03/amazing-race-me.html

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Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
« Reply #41 on: March 25, 2009, 11:44:48 AM »
These guys need more love! Mel & Mike are a breath of fresh air, I'm totally enjoying watching them on the race. They make me laugh and make me want more, very entertaining! Great job with the casting CBS!!   :jumpy: :jumpy: :jumpy:

Offline georgiapeach

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Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
« Reply #42 on: March 25, 2009, 11:50:55 AM »
Definitely, puddin!!

From Mel's sliding down Cheese Hill on his bum, to his beautiful prayer at the paragliding, to Mike's "I want my freaking medal", to Mel's kick-ass rocking of the Indian bucket brigade roadblock, these guys join my list of all time favorites!!

Absolutely love them! :hearts:
"Our fans are pretty good. They don't give away too much. Sometimes people love dropping spoilers, but our fans are good. They tend to do it in such a way that doesn't ruin it for fans who don't want to know."--Phil Keoghan

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Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
« Reply #43 on: March 25, 2009, 01:37:01 PM »
I will say this.  After the dullness that was Dennis & Andrew and the awfulness that was Steve & Josh, it's great to finally have a father/son team in which both members are very interesting and very likable.

That said, Mel's sad sack attitude and pity parties whenever he thinks he's messed up need to go.  Especially when it happens too early on a leg to really be sure.
Jamison

Eleven teams race around the world for $1,000,000 on The Amazing Race 14!  Sundays at 8/7 Central on CBS!

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Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
« Reply #44 on: March 25, 2009, 05:00:10 PM »
I just loved wathcing them go sooo slow, and then use the basket to come in second!
 :snicker:

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Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
« Reply #45 on: March 25, 2009, 07:01:39 PM »
Mel/Michael started second, so it is no surprise that they finished second. It was not a difficult ROADBLOCK taking a huge amount of time. That takes nothing away from Mel's performance, which I would rate as good doing this ROADBLOCK. The "Oh, he was fabulous because he beat all the others doing the ROADBLOCK" philosophy should not apply because the real measure of performance was how mmany minutes did it take any contestant to do this ROADBLOCK and CBS was careful to make sure we had no data on that question.

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Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
« Reply #46 on: March 30, 2009, 03:51:20 PM »
Oh, I am going to miss these guys!! A breath of fresh air is gone...

Exit Interview from Oscar Dahl:

Exclusive Interview: Mel and Mike, from 'The Amazing Race 14'
Monday, March 30, 2009
             
Mike White is one of the rare reality show contestants who achieved a modicum of fame outside of the world of reality TV.  Mike is a successful screenwriter/actor in Hollywood, having written films like Orange County and School of Rock.  He's appeared on-screen in TV and film as well, acting on Pushing Daisies and Freaks and Geeks (where he was also a writer), plus many others.  It was a surprise, then, when the cast was announced for The Amazing Race 14 and there Mike was, paired with his father.  We had the supreme honor of speaking with Mel and Mike this morning about their time on the race, and what the future holds for the father/son duo.


Hey, this is Oscar Dahl from BuddyTV and I'm here with Mel and MIke White from The Amazing Race 14.  Mel, Mike how are you two doing?

Mike: Well.


I'm interested as to how you two ended up on the race.  Mike, did you have anything to do with that, Hollywood connections and whatnot, or did you just apply like everyone else?

Mel:  I just applied.  I made a little video with a friend of mine and they called and brought us down there and we made it to the semifinals of season 13 and then my partner kind of freaked out and decided he didn't want to do it and so then the idea came up to do it with somebody in my family and my dad, and that seemed like fun and it worked out for this last season.

Mike: I'm glad he chickened out.


How open to the idea were you when Mike brought it to you, Mel?

Mel: I think I was open to the idea from the beginning, it just seemed like an amazing opportunity.  I got a little more scared after I got to catching up and watching past seasons and realizing how physical it could be and that these kids were going to be...I would be twice as old and three times as old as some of them.  I never once thought "I'm not doing it," though.


How bad was the physical toll that the race took.  They made it seem like you struggled a little bit, especially towards the end.  Was it that bad, and was it as bad as you expected it to be?

Mel:  I think it was much more challenging than I thought it would be. I thought it would be more puzzles and, you know, riddles to solve but the physical stuff, Michael and I traded back and forth and he was really protective and took some hard ones until the camels, and then I struggled over that one. 

Mike:  We really wanted to have a good time and have fun and compete as hard as we could, but you get so hungry and tired after like two weeks on the road.  It's hard to enjoy all of the aspects of it once you start getting really depleted, so that part of it was hard.

Mel:  Mike is a vegan, and there was hardly any food that he could eat along the way and he didn't compromise, so there were times where he hadn't eaten for two days, anything solid.


Jeez.  What was most different about the overall experience than what you two were expecting going into the race?

Mike: You know, the truth is that we thought it was going to be a blast and it turned out to be that and more.  It was actually more fun and it kind of just held up to what all your expectations and hopes would be, and that's rare in life.  The challenging parts, the deprivation of sleep and food, was something that I wasn't expecting to be so impactful, didn't realize that I was actually going to hurt my energy level at times when I needed it.


Did that depletion of food and whatnot hurt you only physically, or did it take a mental toll?  Did that have anything to do with, say, your decision last night to go away from the other teams.

Mike:  Well, yeah, actually that's a good question, because when we saw the teams out there, it's like, we liked the people on our race.  We liked everybody, but as the it got closer to...as the teams whittled down, there was just less of a camaraderie, obviously, amongst the contestants and people were at their most irritating, and so we saw the people running around and they'd all kind of lied to us on the plane, saying they were going to go one place and then they all went to a different place and in that moment you're just kind of like "You know what, let's just take a chance and go our own way and be free of the herd."  And even though in the end it bit us in the ass, in the moment it felt like the right decision. 

Mel: We were supported, though, in the Bangkok airport. When we were flying to Phuket, we asked everyone where this gorilla was and almost invariably they said it was at The Beach.  We were told by all the citizens that were traveling that that's where it was. 


Was there anything edited out over the course of the season which you wish CBS had thrown in there?

Mike: I mean, I thought we had some better one-liners than the ones they chose.  I don't know - to me, I feel like I was happy with what they showed,  There was stuff that I remember being exciting.  When we had to make a connection from one Moscow airport to the other to fly to New Delhi, Tammy and Victor and my dad and I took took the Moscow subway and that was probably the most stressful experience on the entire race and it never was aired. 

Mel:  They couldn't film in the Moscow subway system, they didn't have the permit.

Mike: If we had missed one of the connections, and it was super complicated, we would have totally missed the flight.  So, there was little stuff like that and there's hopes that the other teams will be shown in the way that you remembered them to be.  Sometimes that happens and sometimes it doesn't.


That was actually my next question.  Were there any teams that were portrayed completely differently from what you actually remember the reality of their personalities being?

Mike:  Well, sometimes you think certain teams are being portrayed that are more negative than you remember them and sometimes its the opposite.  I feel like Tammy and Victor were a lot of fun on the race and even when they were competing hard they were enjoying it and so I felt like, sometimes I feel like they're being misrepresented as just sneaky and competitive.  You're not seeing the kind of fun that they also had.  Mike and Mark, too, they're showing them to be cocky but also incompetent in certain moments, but obviously they were good racers too.  But then Margie and Luke, I also feel like they were more sneaky than they are actually being shown to be.  Margie and Luke are awesome, but they were just there to win and there were times when we thought we were in an alliance with them and working together, but watching the show now I realize that wasn't the case. 

Mel: I was afraid that Steve and Linda had been brought on for comic relief and to be made fun of, but actually they turned out to be good, smart folks.


Do you two have any big plans for the future, any movie or TV stuff coming up for you, Mike?

Mike: You know, I'm writing a bunch of stuff and I have a movie that I'm finishing now that I wrote...that I didn't write, that I produced and acted in.  The guy who wrote and directed Napoleon Dynamite and Nacho Libre, it's a movie called Gentleman Broncos.  That's been taking a lot of my time, it should be a pretty funny movie.

Mel:  Michael threw a reunion for all the teams last weekend and we all came to LA.  It was the most exciting time, seeing all these people without all the stress.


All right.  Mel, Mike, I appreciate you taking the time and we wish you luck in the future.

Mel:  Thank you very much.

Mike: Thanks.


Thanks, guys. 


Go here for the full mp3 audio of the interview.>> http://www.buddytv.com/articles/the-amazing-race/exclusive-interview-mel-and-mi-27367.aspx
"Our fans are pretty good. They don't give away too much. Sometimes people love dropping spoilers, but our fans are good. They tend to do it in such a way that doesn't ruin it for fans who don't want to know."--Phil Keoghan

Offline TexasLady

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Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
« Reply #47 on: March 30, 2009, 04:04:50 PM »
I will really miss them and their good humor.  :(
Happy Holidays To My RFF Family!

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Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
« Reply #48 on: March 30, 2009, 05:20:50 PM »
This season will not be the same!  This race will be a very solemn occasion!
 :lol:
We will miss them very dearly!

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Re: ♥♥♥ TAR14: Mel & Michael White - Father & Son
« Reply #49 on: March 30, 2009, 07:47:13 PM »
I will miss them too. They definitely brought something to the race and were very entertaining and easy to love. But still .. I feel like I hardly know them at all! I hope more exit interviews will reveal more.

It's interesting about their views on the other racers and how they are being portrayed on tv, what we don't see, the real scoop. It's what I've been saying all along ............ the editors can portray teams any way they choose which to me isn't fair but oh well .. whats the use of complaining? It ain't going to change but I ask that those that do view keep an open mind that what you see and hear might not be what it seems at all. Don't judge the contestants by their editing  :tup:


 

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