Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, Pariah, Dancing with the Stars & Katy Butler honored at 23rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards presented by Ketel One and Wells Fargo

Lady Gaga, Ricky Martin, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The New York Times, and Anderson Cooper 360 among award recipients

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

March 25, 2012

ABC News with Diane Sawyer, Black Enterprise, and Metro Weekly accept awards at New York event presented locally by Delta Air Lines and Prudential

New York, Sunday, March 25, 2012 – Glee’s Naya Rivera and Cory Monteith hosted as the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) honored producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (Chicago, Hairspray, Smash) and the best in television, film and journalism last night at the 23rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York.  Bernadette Peters, Dakota Fanning, John Stamos, Harvey Weinstein, Megan Hilty, Russell Simmons, Kim Wayans, Carson Kressley, Padma Lakshmi, Vinny Guadagnino, and Tracey Gold were among the special guests.

The GLAAD Media Awards recognize and honor 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.

Photographs from the 23rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York may be found immediately at www.wireimage.com or www.glaad.org/mediaawards.  Video clips of the ceremonies will be released soon at www.youtube.com/glaad.

At the ceremony, Broadway legend Bernadette Peters and actor John Stamos presented the Vito Russo Award to producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron.  The Vito Russo Award is presented to openly LGBT media professionals who have made a significant difference in promoting equality for the LGBT community.

"I want to thank GLAAD for selecting us to be honored, and for their extraordinary work every single day," Zadan said in his acceptance speech.  "When we did The Reagans, we had death threats for telling the truth about that President's outright refusal to acknowledge the growing AIDS crisis in America.  We would not have survived that ordeal, I must point out, without the help of GLAAD.  They got us through the political firestorm leveled against us by the Republican National Committee.  So we got to see first hand what GLAAD's capable of accomplishing when they mobilize the troops, and thank God for them."

Zadan finished his acceptance by thanking his late friend and GLAAD's founder, Vito Russo, "Some people become your heroes and they don't even know it.  [Vito Russo] was mine.  And the lucky thing for me was I got to tell him while he was here.  I want to thank…my guru and inspirational life-force Vito Russo, who is responsible for every aspect of my social consciousness that brought me to this stage tonight to get this award that bears his glorious name.  Thank you so much."

Meron accepted the award by saying, "I just love being gay.  [It's] part of who I am, so it impacts the work that we do, and I love the work that we do.  So it's great."  Pointing to the youth in the balcony, Meron continued, "It's great for you guys to understand that it's really great to be gay.  I really thank GLAAD for this wonderful honor and it's very, very meaningful to me."

Also at the event, The Weinstein Company Co-Chairman and outspoken anti-bullying advocate Harvey Weinstein presented a Special Recognition award to openly gay high school student Katy Butler.  Butler launched a Change.org campaign last month to advocate that the 'R' rating of the upcoming documentary Bully be changed to 'PG-13.' Her Change.org petition has nearly 500,000 signatures.

Accepting the award from Weinstein, Butler said, "This award belongs to every student like me, who has been bullied and beaten just for being who they are.  Please know that we're working hard to make it better.  And judging from what we've already seen tonight, I'm thankful that we have groups like GLAAD on our side.  Stay strong."  She continued, "A few weeks ago, I started a petition on Change.org urging the Motion Picture Association of America to change the rating of Bully from R to PG-13 - so students across America can see this life-changing film.  I want to personally thank each and every one of the nearly half a million people who have signed my petition on Change.org.  Your signatures, stories, and ongoing support have inspired a national dialogue on our nation's bullying epidemic and have given hope to struggling students everywhere."

Zach Wahls, who appeared in a GLAAD Media Award-nominated episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show this year, received a standing ovation as he spoke to the crowd about the impact of his 2011 speech to the Iowa senate in which he spoke about his lesbian moms.  The viral video has received over 18 million views on YouTube.

Pariah stars Adepero Oduye and Kim Wayans with the film's producer Nekisa Cooper accepted the award for Outstanding Film - Limited Release.  Carson Kressley, who with Chaz Bono appeared on the GLAAD Media Award-nominated season of Dancing with the Stars, picked up the statuette on behalf of the show which receive the award for Outstanding Reality Program.  The award for Outstanding TV Journalism Segment was accepted by ABC News Correspondent Josh Elliott for his report "Battle Against Bullying," which aired on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer.  In his acceptance speech, Elliott thanked his father, who came out as a gay man when Elliott was 13 years old.  Openly gay journalists Carolyn M. Brown and Chris Geidner shared the award for Outstanding Magazine Article for their stories in Black Enterprise and Metro Weekly respectively. Brown's article "Black & Gay in Corporate America," explored the increasing presence of openly gay African American employees in the workplace.  Geidner received the award for his four-part series looking back at the passage of the Defense of Marrage Act (DOMA) during the Clinton administration.

Glee’s Naya Rivera and Cory Monteith hosted the evening.  Other guests and presenters at the event included:  Dakota Fanning (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn); hip hop icon Russell Simmons; Megan Hilty (Smash); Padma Lakshmi (Top Chef); MSNBC's Thomas Roberts; Cheyenne Jackson (30 Rock); La La Anthony (La La's Full Court Life); Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir and his husband Victor Voronov; Vinny Guadagnino (Jersey Shore); Ted Allen (Chopped); Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato (Becoming Chaz, Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys); Alex Newell, Emily Vasquez, Marissa Von Bleicken (The Glee Project); Tracey Gold (Starving Secrets with Tracey Gold); Wendy Williams (The Wendy Williams Show); Laverne Cox (Musical Chairs); Jay Manuel, Isis King (America's Next Top Model); the cast of Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys; Janet Mock (People.com); Emil Wilbekin (Essence); Jamie Clayton (Hung); Stephen Karam, Charles Socarides (Sons of the Prophet); Robin Skye (Southern Comfort); Mega TV's Javier Ceriani (Paparazzi Magazine); and GLAAD Acting President Mike Thompson. Attendees enjoyed performances by recording artist Todd Alsup and The Rockettes.   

Now in its second year in New York, Young Adults @ the GLAAD Media Awards allowed over 400 youth and young adults from the greater New York-area to attend the event for free.  Support was provided from corporate partners Madison Square Garden–The Rockettes Company and Major League Baseball.  Additional support from underwriters including Bridgestone Americas, Cirque du Soleil, Dorsey & Whitney LLP, Tom Ford & Richard Buckley, Billie Jean King, Bishop Gene Robinson and Steve Tisch allowed GLAAD to make this program possible.  Students affiliated with the AIDS Center of Queens County, the Creative Arts Team Youth Theater, the City College of New York Straight and Gay Alliance, and the Staten Island LGBT Community Center enjoyed the show, as well as a pre-reception advocacy fair and a private after-party.

Following is a complete list of GLAAD Media Award recipients announced Saturday in New York.  Additional awards will be presented in Los Angeles on April 21 at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites, and in San Francisco on June 2 at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis.  To receive the latest updates on the GLAAD Media Awards, follow @glaad on Twitter and use the hashtag #glaadawards.

•    Vito Russo Award: Craig Zadan & Neil Meron  (presented by Bernadette Peters and John Stamos)

•    Special Recognition Award: openly gay 17-year-old anti-bullying advocate, Katy Butler  (presented by Harvey Weinstein)

•    Outstanding Film- Limited Release: Pariah (Focus Features)  [accepted by: Adepero Oduye, Kim Wayans and producer Nekisa Cooper]
•    Outstanding Reality Program: Dancing with the Stars (ABC)  [accepted by: Carson Kressley]
•    Outstanding TV Journalism Segment: "Battle Against Bullying" ABC World News with Diane Sawyer (ABC)  [accepted by: reporter Josh Elliott]
•    Outstanding Magazine Article:  TIE: "15th Anniversary of the Passage of the Defense of Marriage Act" (series) by Chris Geidner (Metro Weekly)  [accepted by: Chris Geidner] and "Black & Gay in Corporate America" by Carolyn M. Brown (Black Enterprise)  [accepted by: Carolyn M. Brown]

•    Outstanding TV Movie Or Mini Series: Cinema Verite (HBO)
•    Outstanding Talk Show Episode: "Coming Out on the Oprah Show: 25 Years of Unforgettable Guests" The Oprah Winfrey Show (syndicated)
•    Outstanding TV Journalism - Newsmagazine: "The 'Sissy Boy' Experiments" Anderson Cooper 360 (CNN)
•    Outstanding Newspaper Article: "Led by the Child Who Simply Knew" by Bella English (The Boston Globe)
•    Outstanding Newspaper Columnist: Frank Bruni (The New York Times)
•    Outstanding Newspaper Overall Coverage: The New York Times
•    Outstanding Magazine Overall Coverage: The Advocate/Out
•    Outstanding Digital Journalism-Multimedia: "Injustice at Every Turn" (ITLMedia.org)
•    Outstanding Blog: Towleroad (http://www.towleroad.com/) and Mombian (http://www.mombian.com)
•    Outstanding Music Artist: Lady Gaga, Born This Way (Interscope Records)
•    Outstanding Comic Book: Batwoman by J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman (DC Comics)
•    Outstanding Los Angeles Theatre: No Word in Guyanese for Me by Wendy Graf
•    Outstanding New York Theatre: Broadway & Off Broadway: The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures by Tony Kushner
•    Outstanding New York Theatre: Off-Off Broadway:  Southern Comfort book and lyrics by Dan Collins, music by Julianne Wick Davis

SPANISH-LANGUAGE

•    Outstanding Daytime Talk Show Episode: "Lesbianas celebran 10 años" Caso Cerrado (Telemundo)
•    Outstanding Talk Show Interview: "Entrevista con Raquel Gómez y Mony Ruiz Velasco" Al Punto (Univision)
•    Outstanding TV Journalism - Newsmagazine: "Asesino" Primer Impacto (Univision)
•    Outstanding TV Journalism Segment: "Ángeles del cambio" Noticiero 34 (KMEX TV-34 [Los Angeles, Calif.])
•    Outstanding Newspaper Article:  TIE:  "Casamiento e hijos biológicos para pareja gay hispana de EEUU" by Claudia Torrens ( Associated Press) and "Madre hay una sola, no necesariamente" by Virginia Gaglianone (La Opinión)
•    Outstanding Magazine Article: "Nueva York ♥ la igualdad" by Michelle Oyola (People en Español)
•    Outstanding Digital Journalism Article:  "Las 7 señales de un niño transgénero" by Paula Andalo (Univision.com)
•    Outstanding Music Artist:  Ricky Martin, Música + Alma + Sexo (Sony Music Latin)
•    Special Recognition:  El Diario la Prensa

More than 100 corporate partners are showing their support, including National Presenting partners Ketel One and Wells Fargo, New York Presenting partners Delta Air Lines and Prudential, Los Angeles Presenting partner Delta Air Lines, and San Francisco Presenting partner Southwest Airlines.  GLAAD is also grateful to the 23rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards Platinum Underwriter corporate partners: Anheuser-Busch, Inc., Comcast/NBC Universal, Disney-ABC Television Group/ESPN, IBM, Sheppard Mullin and Time Warner, as well as Underwriter corporate partners: Allstate Insurance Company, AT&T, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, David Yurman, Food Network/Cooking Channel, New York City Marriott Marquis & Renaissance Hotel, PricewaterhouseCoopers, VPI Pet Insurance, and Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites.

For a full list of corporate partners and information on how to become a corporate partner, or to become a table host, purchase tickets or place a tribute in the tribute book, please visit www.glaad.org/mediaawards or call (212) 219-0111.