Executive Committee of the GLAAD Board of Directors Speaks Out to Address False Information by Former Board Co-Chair

Regarding the Michelangelo Signorile Show broadcast Tuesday, June 7, 2011 on Sirius OutQ 108
June 7, 2011

Rich Ferraro
Director of Communications, GLAAD
(646) 871-8011

June 07, 2011, New York, NY - Members of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of GLAAD, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, strongly condemn the factually inaccurate, uninformed and misleading comments about GLAAD broadcast today as part of the Michelangelo Signorile Show. Comments made by former GLAAD Board Co-chair Laurie Perper, who failed to complete her term as co-chair and resigned in October 2009, were a distortion of the truth, both when she resigned a year and eight months ago, and today. The truth is that GLAAD’s financial condition has improved significantly, dynamic leaders continue to join the GLAAD Board, and the organization has achieved outstanding results in its mission to advance equality.

Her revenue and expense numbers were just wrong. Gross revenues in 2010 grew by approximately $657,213 over 2009. Gross expenses were down by approximately $125,108—for an increase in net revenues of about $782,321, or 63% increase. This year, revenues continue to grow and expenses are less—in fact, our 2011 Media Awards series was produced at approximately 30% less the cost than the 2009 awards, and surpassed their goal by more than $180,000.

Corporate support is breaking records in 2011. Contrary to Ms. Perper’s claims that several major sponsors had withdrawn their support, IBM has agreed to sponsor our Spanish-language project, American Airlines has expanded support beyond the GLAAD Media Awards to our fall fundraising events and the GLAAD Media Awards in Advertising, ABSOLUT continues to support our TGIF series, in addition to new projects, and ROKK has signed on to be our national presenting sponsor in 2012.

Thirty-one dedicated activists currently serve on the GLAAD Board. Our new board members include transgender author and educator Jenny Boylan, education union leader Randi Weingarten, film industry executive Michele Edelman, political and legal figure Moises V. Vela, Jr., entertainment industry lawyer Steve Warren, real estate professional Craig Zodikoff and entertainment industry executive Alan Keith (CFO of Disney Animation), among other standout leaders.

Finally, GLAAD is accomplishing extraordinary results in its programmatic work. AT&T and Time Warner Cable pulled advertising after GLAAD and the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) asked advertisers to drop advertisements from Jose Luis Sin Censura, a Spanish-language talk show where the audience frequently chants the word f*ggot and violently assaults LGBT guests. This campaign is continuing. We are now working with the NBA, Major League Baseball and World Wrestling Entertainment to combat homophobia in sports and training announcers, coaches and players to be LGBT inclusive.

Much of GLAAD’s work does not make headlines such as our People of Color Media Institute where 30 LGBT people of color and allies were trained on ways to speak to Americans about LGBT issues and GLAAD’s hard-working and dedicated staff are now getting them national attention. And GLAAD is working with local organizations to amplify powerful stories of LGBT couples and allies in New York, Minnesota, Oregon and many states where our equality is being debated – these are the voices that Americans need to hear from and who are at the heart of GLAAD’s mission.

All of this comes under the dedicated and dynamic leadership of GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios, whom we wholeheartedly support. We are saddened and shocked that Laurie Perper would distort the truth to this degree. She is entitled to her opinion, but she cannot change the facts, including the fact that GLAAD is much healthier today than while she was at the helm.