Ellen DeGeneres, Kevin Bacon, Anika Noni Rose, Sally Field and More Encourage Inclusion and Acceptance
April 14, 2009, Los Angeles, CA – The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) announced today the launch of the "Be an Ally & a Friend" public education campaign. This year's campaign has 22 public service announcements (PSAs) featuring 32 top entertainers from the world of television, film and music.
"Now, more than ever, we need the support of straight allies in our work towards full equality for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community," says GLAAD President Neil G. Giuliano. "Straight allies play a vital role in fostering a climate of understanding and respect for LGBT people in their communities, helping all of us to recognize the common ground that we share."
The campaign, now in its third year, features two distinct spots: one about the importance of accepting an LGBT friend or family member, the other about standing up for gay and transgender equality. These PSAs encourage the audience to "be an ally and a friend," sending viewers to online resources (www.glaad.org/ally) to give them the tools to support LGBT family, friends, colleagues and fellow students, and find ways to get involved in gay and transgender advocacy in their own communities. There are multiple 20- and 30-second versions of the spots, as well as versions of the PSA in Spanish.
"The diverse group of 32 talented entertainers – gay, straight and transgender – who gave their time and energy to this campaign deserves our deepest thanks for participating in this effort to reach a critical audience," Giuliano continues. "We are so thankful to the networks across the country who have proudly broadcast the 'Be an Ally & a Friend' campaign in both English and Spanish, sending a clear message of acceptance and support to their viewers."
The PSAs feature (alphabetically) actor Kevin Bacon, William Baldwin (Dirty Sexy Money), Candis Cayne (Dirty Sexy Money), Gabrielle Christian (South of Nowhere), comic Kate Clinton, Lauren Collins (Degrassi: The Next Generation), actor Alan Cumming, talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, Loretta Devine (Grey's Anatomy), Sally Field (Brothers & Sisters), Van Hansis (As the World Turns), Cheyenne Jackson (Glee), Paul James (GREEK), T.R. Knight (Grey's Anatomy), Alec Mapa (Ugly Betty), Becki Newton (Ugly Betty), comic Graham Norton, Tony Potts (Access Hollywood), Maeve Quinlan (South of Nowhere), Anthony Rapp (Rent), comic Caroline Rhea, Ron Rifkin (Brothers & Sisters), Anika Noni Rose (The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency), Adamo Ruggiero (Degrassi: The Next Generation), Zoe Saldana (Star Trek), Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer), Jake Silbermann (As the World Turns), singer Joss Stone, Michael Urie (Ugly Betty), Sofia Vergara (Madea Goes to Jail), musician Rufus Wainwright and Eduardo Xol (Extreme Makeover: Home Edition).
The first PSA stars Kyra Sedgwick, Kevin Bacon, Ellen DeGeneres, Anika Noni Rose, Alan Cumming, William Baldwin, Rufus Wainwright, Sally Field and Ron Rifkin. It can be viewed at www.glaad.org.
Additional PSAs will be unveiled approximately every two weeks throughout 2009. The PSAs will also be available through broadcast collaborations with national cable networks including IFC, Lifetime Movie Network, Lifetime Television, Sundance Channel, The N and Comcast Cable systems; local cable systems and network affiliates; online at YouTube and Facebook; and others to be announced.
Media outlets interested in running the PSAs should email a request to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (323) 634-2013.
The PSAs were directed by Nadine Licostie, and produced by Licostie and Connie Grazia for Red Thread Productions.