Last night, hip hop mogul Russell Simmons presented Hollywood director Brett Ratner with the Ally Award at the 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York. The Hollywood Reporter just debuted video of Ratner's acceptance remarks. Check it out below:
Ratner has worked with GLAAD, in partnership with Comcast, over the past two years, donating his time, to produce and direct the new "Coming Out for Equality" PSA campaign series, featuring a diverse group of straight celebrities and athletes "coming out of the closet" as supporters for equality and calling for other Americans to speak out. In 2012, Ratner and director Tom Ford partnered with the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN), the Ad Council and Talenthouse on a PSA that addressed the prevalent use of anti-gay language among teens as part of GLSEN's “Think Before You Speak” PSA campaign.
"I learned a valuable lesson: a word can matter, whether it's said with malice or as a joke," Ratner said during his acceptance, alluding to a 2011 incident during which he used an anti-gay slur. "In my life, I spend a lot of time searching deep into my heart for what my true values and beliefs are, and I know that I have love in my heart for everyone. But it doesn't count for much if it helps to perpetuate and validate the people out there that are truly bigoted and hateful."
Ratner and Simmons joined hosts Lara Spencer, Josh Elliott and Sam Champion (Good Morning America); Jake Shears (Scissor Sisters); NFL players Brendon Ayanbadejo (Baltimore Ravens) and Chris Kluwe (Minnesota Vikings); Christian Borle, Andy Mientus, Krysta Rodriguez (Smash); Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey); Jenni "JWOWW" Farley, Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi (The Jersey Shore, Snooki & JWoww); Annie Clark, Cristine Prosperi (Degrassi); Straight But Not Narrow founder Avan Jogia; Milla Jovovich (Resident Evil); John Leguizamo (Ice Age, Moulin Rouge); Laverne Cox (Musical Chairs); GLAAD's Strategic Giving Officer Wilson Cruz (My So-Called Life); producing dream team Neil Meron and Craig Zadan and others at the GLAAD Media Awards in New York, which helps fund GLAAD's work to amplify stories from the LGBT community that build support for equality.
For a complete list of winners, click here.
The 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards series will continue in Los Angeles on April 20, 2013, and later in San Francisco on May 11, 2013. For a complete list of nominees, special guests and ticket information, click here.
The GLAAD Media Awards recognize and honor media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the LGBT community and the issues that affect their lives.
The 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards were presented nationally by Ketel One and Wells Fargo, and presented locally in New York by Delta Air Lines.