WWE SUPERSTARS AND DIVAS SPEAK OUT AGAINST ANTI-GAY BULLYING IN NEW PSA TO DEBUT 12/13 ON USA NETWORK

WWE stars join Shaquille O'Neal, Russell Simmons, Rev. Al Sharpton, Naya Rivera, Chaz Bono, others as participants in GLAAD's 'Amplify Your Voice' PSA series

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

December 13, 2011

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), the nation’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy and anti-defamation organization, today announced a new anti-bullying PSA featuring WWE Superstars and Divas Eve Torres, Kelly Kelly, Alicia Fox, Sheamus and Kofi Kingston. The “Amplify Your Voice” PSA, produced with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), will debut on December 13, 2012 on USA Network as part of the WWE “Tribute to the Troops” special. The new PSA is viewable here: www.glaad.org/amplifyyourvoice.

The PSA urges viewers to take a stand against anti-LGBT bullying and direct viewers to GLAAD.org for resource kits offering best practices to parents, teachers and students. The free kits feature resources from the American Federation of Teachers, GLSEN, the National Center for Transgender Equality and The Trevor Project, among others.

"Tides continue to shift as more and more athletes, celebrities and sports leagues speak out in support of equality for everyone,” said Mike Thompson, Acting President of GLAAD. “By taking a stand against anti-LGBT bullying, WWE is sending a clear message that homophobia is unacceptable both in and outside of the ring.”

In 2011, WWE began work with GLAAD to help address LGBT issues in its programming. GLAAD has since met with talent and editorial staff to discuss LGBT inclusion and the harms of anti-LGBT language. In April, GLAAD also became one of the first members of WWE and Creative Coalition’s anti-bullying “Be a STAR” alliance.

In October 2011, GLAAD unveiled its “Amplify Your Voice” PSA series featuring dozens of celebrities speaking out against anti-LGBT bullying. Participating talent includes NBA Legend Shaquille O’Neal, Russell Simmons, Vinny Guadagnino, Rev. Al Sharpton, Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Chaz Bono, Tori Spelling, Naya Rivera, Mario Lopez and Dustin Lance Black, among several others.

Videos from GLAAD’s “Amplify Your Voice” PSA series are available at www.glaad.org/amplifyyourvoice

The launch of the WWE PSA comes just days after the NBA announced plans to expand the league’s non-discrimination protections to include sexual orientation.  GLAAD partnered with the NBA earlier this year to combat homophobia on the court after a number of high-profile players were caught using anti-gay slurs. Both the NBA and stars from the WWE showed their support for LGBT youth this year by ‘going purple’ on Spirit Day, October 20 to symbolize support for LGBT youth.

For more information about GLAAD’s Sports initiatives, please visit: www.glaad.org/sports.