Glee, Modern Family, Project Runway, The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell receive awards at annual GLADD awards night
Dolly Parton, Colin Farrell, Sean Hayes, Chris Colfer, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Allison Janney, Melissa Etheridge, Joel McHale, Kirsten Dunst, and Chaz Bono were among the celebrities who joined the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) as it honoured Kristin Chenoweth, NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt, and the best in television and journalism on April 10 at the 22nd Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles, hosted by Amy Poehler and Rashida Jones.
The GLAAD Media Awards recognize and honour media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community and the issues that affect their lives. The GLAAD Media Awards also fund GLAAD’s work to amplify stories of LGBT people and issues that build support for equality.
At the ceremony, country music legend Dolly Parton, presented the Stephen F. Kolzak Award to Robert Greenblatt, whose career as a TV executive has led to some of the most fair, accurate and inclusive LGBT images ever seen in primetime, including Six Feet Under, Queer as Folk, The L Word, and United States of Tara. The Stephen F. Kolzak Award is presented to an openly lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equality for the LGBT community.
“I’m very grateful to everyone at GLAAD for thinking of me for this honour,” Greenblatt said in his acceptance speech. “I salute all the producers, writers, network executives, and actors who took on the issue and broke ground way before I did … and who continue to do it today… While we still have a long way to go, we have made great strides both politically and in our media. May that not only continue, but increase in velocity… because we can help change the way the world thinks about LGBT people, not to mention how LGBT people think about themselves.”
Also at the event, Sean Hayes presented the Vanguard Award to Emmy and Tony Award-winning singer and actress Kristin Chenoweth, who has spoken out repeatedly for full equality for LGBT people. In 2010, Chenoweth publically challenged a controversial Newsweek article that incorrectly asserted gay actors cannot play straight roles. The Vanguard Award is presented to individuals who, through their work, have increased the visibility and understanding of the LGBT community in the media.
“I want to encourage many people of all faiths to come forward and stand with me,” Chenoweth said. “Even if you don’t believe in Jesus the way I do, he did teach love –not just tolerance, but acceptance. I’m lucky I had parents who adopted me at birth, conservative Southern Baptists who said, ‘You will love everyone the same’… Mostly I would like to thank GLAAD for this amazing, amazing honour. “
It was a tie in the Outstanding Comedy Series category, with both Fox’s Glee and ABC’s Modern Family taking home the award. Chris Colfer and Mike O’Malley accepted the award on behalf of Glee, while Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Julie Bowen and Ariel Winter accepted for Modern Family. Season eight contestants Mondo Guerra and Michael Costello, along with producer Jonathan Murray, accepted the award on behalf of Project Runway, which received the nod for Outstanding Reality Program. The award for Outstanding TV Journalism Segment was accepted by MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell, Fort Worth, Texas City Councilmember Joel Burns and his husband, J.D. Angle, for their interview on The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell.
Kirsten Dunst presented a Special Recognition award to Bianca “Nikki” Peet, a 17-year-old student from Corpus Christi, Texas, for her efforts to organize a Gay-Straight Alliance at her high school after her principal originally prohibited the group. GLAAD also announced that I Love You Phillip Morris received the award for Outstanding Film – Limited Release.
Chaz Bono announced GLAAD’s “Amplify Your Voice!” public service announcement campaign to combat anti-LGBT bullying. With the help of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and Jonathan Murray, creator of MTV’s The Real World, GLAAD is producing LGBT resource kits for schools across the country as well as PSA videos featuring a range of celebrities. It was also announced that Comcast will serve as a leading media partner for the campaign, contributing $3 million in national airtime and bringing this important message to more than 20 million homes this fall.
– For more information, please visit www.glaad.org.