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Joy Behar to Be Honored at 21st Annual GLAAD Media Awards Presented in New York by IBM and Prudential

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Gabourey Sibide, Sigourney Weaver, Rosie Perez, Other Special Guests to Appear

Richard Ferraro
Director of Communications
(646) 871-8011
ferraro@glaad.org

February 25, 2010

February 25, 2010, Los Angeles, CA – The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) announced today that Daytime Emmy® award-winning talk show host and comedian Joy Behar will receive the Excellence in Media Award at the 21st Annual GLAAD Media Awards Presented in New York by IBM and Prudential on March 13, 2010 at the Marriott Marquis.

The GLAAD Media Awards elevate and promote fair, accurate and inclusive stories of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues, people and allies that have increased awareness, understanding and respect for the lives of LGBT people. The GLAAD Media Awards also fund GLAAD’s work to amplify stories of LGBT people and issues that build support for equality.

Joy Behar will receive the Excellence in Media Award which is presented to media professionals who have increased the visibility and understanding of the LGBT community. Ms. Behar, a longtime stand-up comedian, has been a co-host of The View since it premiered in 1997. For over a decade, Ms. Behar has used this nationally televised platform to voice her support for LGBT equality on a number of issues. Ms. Behar also hosts her own talk show, The Joy Behar Show, which premiered on HLN in 2009. A number of episodes have featured discussion of LGBT issues and LGBT guests, including a segment featuring Academy Award®-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black speaking about his Mormon upbringing as a gay man. The episode is nominated for a GLAAD Media Award this year for Outstanding Talk Show Episode. Past recipients of the Excellence in Media Award includeBilly Crystal, Julianne Moore, Diane Sawyer, Glenn Close, Patti LaBelle, Vanessa Redgrave, Tyra Banks and Phil Donahue.

“For bringing stories of our community that build understanding and acceptance into the homes of millions of Americans, we are proud to honor Joy Behar this year with the Excellence in Media Award,” said GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios.

GLAAD had previously announced that Emmy®, Tony® and Grammy Award®-winning actress Cynthia Nixon will be honored with the Vito Russo Award at the New York ceremony. Michael Patrick King (Executive Producer, Sex and the City) will present the Award onstage to Nixon. The Vito Russo Award is named after a founding member of GLAAD and is presented to an openly LGBT media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equal rights for our community. In 2009, Nixon played Penny Arcade opposite John Hurt's portrayal of Quentin Crisp in An Englishman in New York, nominated for Outstanding TV Movie at the 21st Annual GLAAD Media Awards. In 2006, Nixon publicly announced that she was in a relationship with Christine Marinoni. She has actively campaigned for marriage equality and was a speaker at the National Equality March in Washington, D.C. in October 2009. This year, she spoke out against Florida state’s ban on adoption by gay and lesbian couples. Previous Vito Russo Award honorees include Suze Orman, Rosie O'Donnell, Alan Cumming, Nathan Lane, Cherry Jones, Elton John, Liz Smith, k.d. lang, David LaChapelle, Brian Graden, and Tom Ford.

Tony Award-winning actor Alan Cumming will host the event. Gabourey Sibide (Precious) will open the show to introduce the Youth Pride Chorus, a New York City choir of LGBT youth. Other guests and presenters scheduled to attend include: Sigourney Weaver (Prayers for Bobby); Bryan Batt (Mad Men); Sarah Paulson (Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip); Rosie Perez (Lipstick Jungle); Sandra Bernhard (Dare); Nigel Barker, Jay Manuel, Isis King (America's Next Top Model); Jill Zarin (The Real Housewives of New York City); former President of Entertainment at MTV Networks, Brian Graden; and GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios. Corey Craig will be the guest DJ during the VIP celebrity after-party. More names to be announced.

Awards scheduled to be presented onstage include the following categories: Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding TV Movie or Mini-Series, Outstanding TV Journalism Segment, and Outstanding Digital Journalism Article. A complete list of this year's 152 nominees is available at www.glaad.org/mediaawards.

Each year, the GLAAD Media Awards in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco bring together more than 4,000 supporters to raise funds for the organization's work.

More than 100 corporate partners are showing their support, including New York Co-Presenting corporate partners IBM and Prudential, Los Angeles Presenting corporate partner ABSOLUT® Vodka and San Francisco Presenting corporate partner Southwest Airlines. GLAAD is also grateful to the 21st Annual GLAAD Media Awards Platinum Underwriter corporate partners: AT&T, Anheuser-Busch, Inc., Time Warner, Lexus and University of Phoenix, as well as Underwriter corporate partners: Allstate Insurance Company, American Airlines, Comcast, Delta Air Lines, Harrah's Foundation, Herb Ritts Foundation, MillerCoors, New York City Marriott & Renaissance Hotels, NBC Universal, The Palette Fund, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Terry K. Watanabe Charitable Trust and UBS.

Balcony tickets for the New York event are $350 and general tickets are $500. 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 call (877) 519-7904 or visit
http://www.glaad.org/mediaawards

Additional GLAAD Media Awards ceremonies will take place in Los Angeles on April 17, 2010 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, and in San Francisco on June 5, 2010 at the Westin St. Francis. At the Los Angeles event, Drew Barrymore will receive the Vanguard Award and Wanda Sykes will receive the Stephen F. Kolzak Award.

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21st ANNUAL GLAAD MEDIA AWARDS SPECIAL HONOREE IN NEW YORK

Joy Behar
Excellence in Media Award

Daytime Emmy® award-winner Joy Behar, one of the two original co-hosts of ABC's The View, along with Barbara Walters, is among today's leading comic talents. Whether performing standup comedy or interviewing politicians and artists, she is a comedic original and a leading woman on both stage and screen.

Armed with an MA in English education from SUNY at Stony Brook, Ms. Behar originally began a career in teaching. She then set out to pursue comedy professionally and immediately received bookings from such famous New York clubs as Caroline's and Catch a Rising Star.

In 1997, Barbara Walters invited Behar to become part of the original cast of The View. The View is the recipient of 28 Daytime Emmy® awards, numerous Daytime Emmy award nominations, including 11 consecutive nominations for Outstanding Talk Show and 12 consecutive nominations for Outstanding Talk Show Host. In August 2009, Daytime Emmy awards history was made when Ms. Behar and her fellow co-hosts Barbara Walters, Whoopi Goldberg, , Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Sherri Shepherd were named Outstanding Talk Show Host. This marked the first time in the 36 year history of NATAS that multiple talk show hosts received this honor.

For over a decade, Ms. Behar has used this nationally televised platform to voice her support for LGBT equality on a number of issues, particularly during the show's "Hot Topics" segment at the start of every show. Her no-frills, common sense approach to these issues has won her numerous supporters in the LGBT community.

Ms. Behar also hosts her own talk show, The Joy Behar Show, which premiered on HLN in 2009Ms. Behar often addresses LGBT-specific issues like marriage equality, gay adoption, and coming out, and consistently features LGBT media personalities to join in on the conversation on The Joy Behar Show. The show sheds light on the hardships that face the LGBT community and works towards equality by addressing topics that many talk show hosts choose to ignore.

The Joy Behar Show is nominated at the 21st Annual GLAAD Media Awards for Outstanding Talk Show Episode for a segment titled "Mormon Church & Gays" which featured Dustin Lance Black, the Academy Award®-winning screenwriter of Milk, discussing his Mormon upbringing as a gay man.

Ms. Behar's television appearances include the voice of a hilariously neurotic patient on Dr. Katz, which won the CableACE Award, Real Time with Bill Maher, It's Gary Shandling's Show, Comic Relief 2006, Last Comic Standing, Bette, , All My Children, One Life to Live, Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, and Ugly Betty. Her film appearances include Cookie, with Peter Falk, This Is My Life, directed by Nora Ephron, Woody Allen's Manhattan Murder Mystery and a cameo in Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail. In November 2005, Ms. Behar performed to a sold out crowd at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center as part of the annual New York Comedy Festival and, during her one woman show Bitchin' With Behar at New York's Zipper Theater.

Ms. Behar is also a celebrated author with two children’s books “Sheetzucacapoopoo” (NY Times Best-Seller) and “Sheetzucacapoopoo: Max Goes to the Dogs,” “When You Need A Lift: But Don’t Want to Eat Chocolate, Pay a Shrink, or Drink a Bottle of Gin” and her New York Times best-seller “Joy Shtick: or What Is the Existential Vacuum and Does It Come with Attachments.”

In 2000, Ms. Behar was awarded the New York City Public Advocate’s Special Advocate Award for her outstanding friendship to the LGBT community.

For being an outspoken and consistent supporter of the LGBT community throughout her professional career, GLAAD is pleased to present Joy Behar with the Excellence in Media Award.

The Excellence in Media Award is presented to media professionals who, through their work, have increased the visibility and understanding of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Past recipients include Billy Crystal, Julianne Moore, Diane Sawyer, Glenn Close, Patti LaBelle, Vanessa Redgrave, Tyra Banks and Phil Donahue.