The CBC is expected to decide today whether Sook-Yin Lee, host of Radio One's Definitely Not the Opera, will be able to bare all and star in an art-house film by acclaimed U.S. director John Cameron Mitchell.
Lee's radio boss, Jane Chalmers, has apparently been reconsidering a decision, hastily made before Christmas, in which she urged the DNTO host to turn down a role in Mitchell's upcoming, sexually explicit film, Short Bus. Upset by the move, many of Lee and Mitchell's high-profile arts pals weighed in, writing e-mails of support to Lee, a former MuchMusic VJ, musician and actor.
Lee did not return calls yesterday. But sources in Canada's tightly knit arts community said her champions are a veritable who's who of feature film. Apparently, Mitchell's friends such as Yoko Ono, Gus Van Sant, Francis Ford Coppola and Julianne Moore all wrote letters supporting Lee's right to appear in the film, about a pan-sexual community of New Yorkers grappling with relationships, sexuality and their identities. Several well-known Canadians also e-mailed on Lee's behalf, including filmmakers David Cronenberg and Atom Egoyan, authors Ann-Marie MacDonald and Douglas Coupland and singer-songwriter Bruce Cockburn.
Yesterday, CBC spokeswoman Ruth-Ellen Soles said Lee and Chalmers "are still in discussions, and there has been no final decision."
In Short Bus, Lee is cast to play a relationship counsellor whose own marriage is a shambles. Her character lies to her husband, fakes orgasms, and then resolves to achieve the Big O through innovative self-help techniques.
Mitchell, who dazzled critics off-Broadway in 1998 with his rock 'n' roll musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch, also did not return calls yesterday.