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Brett Ratner to receive Ally Award, launch GLAAD PSA campaign at 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York City

Comcast to air 'Coming Out for Equality' PSA campaign featuring Charlie Sheen, Jackie Chan, Tamala Jones, Giada de Laurentiis, Pauly Perrette calling for straight Americans to take action for marriage

Rich Ferraro
Vice President of Communications, GLAAD
(646) 871-8011
ferraro@glaad.org

March 8, 2013

Los Angeles, CA, March 08, 2013 – GLAAD today announced that the organization will present the Ally Award to director Brett Ratner at the 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York City on March 16 and premiere a public service announcement (PSA) campaign helmed by Ratner during the event. The GLAAD 'Coming Out for Equality' PSA series features a diverse group of straight celebrities and athletes "coming out of the closet" as supporters of equality and calling for other Americans to speak out. GLAAD previously announced that Madonna will also present the Vito Russo Award to Anderson Cooper during the ceremony.

Ratner directed and produced the PSA series, donating his time to raise support for LGBT people. Participants include Charlie Sheen (Anger Management), Jackie Chan, Tamala Jones (Castle), Giada De Laurentiis (Food Network), and Pauley Perrette (NCIS). Additional participants and videos will be released later this month. Videos will direct viewers to take action on GLAAD's website.

Comcast will serve as a leading media partner for the PSA campaign, contributing $1.5 million in national airtime on its Xfinity TV cable systems and bringing this important message to more than 20 million homes over the next year.

"Brett Ratner’s dedication and leadership will inspire countless to speak out in support of LGBT friends, family, neighbors and children," GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. "From high school jocks to faith leaders, those who follow Brett's lead are admired and heralded, while anti-LGBT bullies are increasingly ridiculed and marginalized."

“I have long been a supporter of equal rights for everyone," said Ratner. "So, when Herndon and the folks at GLAAD asked me to partner with them on this PSA campaign, I jumped at the opportunity. I have always been an admirer of GLAAD. They do meaningful and effective work in the fight to secure equality for everyone and I am very humbled that they are honoring me with this Ally Award.”

“We are honored to partner with GLAAD to present these powerful, diverse voices speaking up for equality,” Charisse R. Lillie, VP, Community Investment of Comcast Corporation and President of the Comcast Foundation. “Our longstanding dedication to inclusion, respect and equality gives us pride to donate quality air time to promote the core values we share with audiences every day.”

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.

GLAAD would like to thank the following for their contributions in producing the PSAs: Slate PR, CAA, HBO, Blue Collar Productions, Mad Dog Video, Global Cuisine, Linoleum City, SmashBox Digital, The Lot, Company 3, Jingle Punks, PC Prompting Systems, David John, Marlena Robbins, Tobias Schliessler, Ida Random, Peggy Eghbalian, Gabriel J. Saavedra, Jamie Freitag, David Lee Thomason, Shelby Adair, Kasia Nabialczyk, David Gorder, Josh DiMarcantonio, and Kali Londono.

The first videos will be shown to attendees of the GLAAD Media Awards in New York on March 16 when Ratner accepts the Ally Award. In addition, Madonna will present Anderson Cooper with the Vito Russo Award and anchors of Good Morning America, Lara Spencer, Josh Elliott and Sam Champion will serve as hosts. Special guests include NFL players Brendon Ayanbadejo and Chris Kluwe, Ellen Barkin, MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry and Thomas Roberts, and John Leguizamo. Additional special guests for the New York event will be announced.

Nominees for the 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards are available here: http://www.glaad.org/mediaawards/nominees.

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.   They also fund GLAAD's work to amplify stories from the LGBT community that build support for equality. 

The GLAAD Media Awards ceremonies will be held in New York on March 16, 2013 at the New York Marriott Marquis; in Los Angeles on April 20 at the JW Marriott; and in San Francisco on May 11 at the Hilton San Francisco - Union Square.  Additional Special Honorees for each city will be announced in coming weeks.

The 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards are executive produced by Marc Honaker, Director of Creative Development at GLAAD, and by Josh Wood, founder and president of Josh Wood Productions.  Emmy Award winning production designer James Connelly will design this year's set across the three cities. Acclaimed producer and editor Brett Henrichsen will also contribute to this year's GLAAD Media Awards.

To receive the latest updates on the GLAAD Media Awards, follow @glaad on Twitter and use the hashtag #glaadawards.

More than 100 corporate partners are showing their support, including National Presenting partners Ketel One Vodka and Wells Fargo, New York and Los Angeles Presenting partner Delta Air Lines, and San Francisco Presenting partner Southwest Airlines.  GLAAD is also grateful to the 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards Platinum Underwriter corporate partner Anheuser-Busch, Inc., Comcast and NBCUniversal, and Prudential, as well as Underwriter corporate partners: Allstate Insurance Company, AT&T, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, Caesars Foundation, Disney-ABC Television Group/ESPN, New York Marriott Marquis & Renaissance Hotel, PwC and VPI Pet Insurance.  Gold Patron partners include CBS/Showtime, 1800Flowers, and Citi. For a full list of corporate partners and information on how to become a corporate partner, purchase tickets and place a tribute in the tribute book, please visit http://www.glaad.org/mediaawards.