Disney Channel's Andi Mack wins inaugural GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Kids & Family Programming at the GLAAD Rising Stars Luncheon

GLAAD Commits to Increasing LGBTQ Inclusion in Kids & Family Entertainment
April 11, 2018

Los Angeles, CA, Wednesday, April 11, 2018 – GLAAD, the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, today announced that Disney Channel’s Andi Mack received the GLAAD Media Award in the inaugural Outstanding Kids & Family Programming category. The announcement came during the GLAAD Rising Stars Luncheon at the 29th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles. The Rising Stars event empowers and invests in the next generation of LGBTQ change makers, whose advocacy is changing their local communities and the culture at large. GLAAD also presented Rising Stars grants to three LGBTQ college students during the event. GLAAD will host the 29th Annual GLAAD Media Awards tomorrow, Thursday, April 12, and will announce additional GLAAD Media Awards recipients.

The Outstanding Kids & Family Programming category was introduced to the GLAAD Media Awards this year following a rise of LGBTQ images in Kids & Family television. The stars of Love, Simon - Keiynan Lonsdale and Alexandra Shipp - announced the award recipient. “Andi Mack” was nominated alongside “Danger & Eggs” (Amazon), “The Loud House” (Nickelodeon), “Steven Universe” (Cartoon Network), and ‘The Emergency Plan’ episode of “Doc McStuffins (Disney Channel). The GLAAD Media Awards recognize and honor media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of LGBTQ community and the issues that affect their lives.

Accepting the award were Peyton Elizabeth Lee, Joshua Rush, Lilan Bowden, Lauren Tom, Stoney Westmoreland. During the acceptance speech, Lee shared an inspiring message: “Keep fighting. Keep loving. Keep being you. And, we’ll keep trying to tell the stories that matter.”

Terri Minsky, the EP of Andi Mack, also gave a quote exclusively to Variety: "Our teen girl characters, 'Andi' and 'Buffy,' are on a journey to figuring out who they are and I decided that 'Cyrus' should go on that kind of journey too, and his starts with a couple of friends who make him feel safe, they don't judge him, they protect him. Unlike when my generation was growing up, kids today are lucky to live at a time when the world is more accepting – more and more people don't feel the need to hide who they are. That's what we all need, no matter who we are -- people who love us, and in the case of 'Cyrus,' people who love him before he even fully loves himself. I know there's a lot of kids out there who think they are weird and different for similar reasons, and I want 'Buffy' to say it to all of them. I want them all to see they are loved and affirmed."

GLAAD added the Kids & Family Programming category to the GLAAD Media Awards as part of the organization’s work to increase the quality and quantity of LGBTQ characters and stories in Kids & Family entertainment. Over the past year, GLAAD worked with the Disney Channel on an episode of “Doc McStuffins” featuring two moms as the heads of a household, and with “Andi Mack,” on the story of a young teenager, Cyrus, coming out. Additionally, GLAAD co-hosted the first ever LGBTQ panel during the Kidscreen Summit, which included GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis alongside an esteemed panel of writers, producers, and programming executives at PBS Kids, Nickelodeon, Disney Channel, and Marvel Entertainment.

“GLAAD is committed to advancing representation of LGBTQ people and stories at every stage of our lives, and the groundbreaking addition of the “Outstanding Kids & Family Programming” category will raise the bar for current and future LGBTQ inclusion in this hugely popular and impactful genre,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD. “It’s vital that my two kids see their LGBTQ family portrayed in entertainment and media, and that young people, who are coming out earlier and in greater numbers, see their lives and experiences reflected in thoughtful, loving, and affirming ways.”

The GLAAD Rising Stars program was presented by Barilla, Comcast NBCUniversal | Telemundo, Delta Air Lines, Turner, and Wells Fargo.

Actor Tommy Dorfman hosted the event, with a performance by Superfruit, and appearances by Keiynan Lonsdale and Alexandra Shipp from Love, Simon, One Day at a Time star Isabella Gomez, Black Lightning’s Nafessa Williams, fashion designer August Getty, and Jazz Jennings from I Am Jazz. At the Luncheon, GLAAD also announced the college students who will receive Rising Stars Grants for projects that use media to accelerate LGBTQ acceptance. The 2018 recipients of the Rising Stars Grants in Los Angeles included diverse, intersectional artists and activists Gio Bravo, Leah Juliett, and Shayna Maci Warner.

The GLAAD Rising Stars Luncheon commences the 29th Annual GLAAD Media Awards which will occur on April 12th in Los Angeles. GLAAD has previously announce that it would be honoring Britney Spears and Jim Parsons at the 29th Annual GLAAD Media Awards, hosted by Wanda Sykes with special appearances by Ryan Murphy, Halle Berry, Chloe Grace Moretz, Lena Waithe, Wilson Cruz, Anthony Rapp, Rachel Bloom, Ben Feldman, and Adam Rippon.

In January, GLAAD announced 125 nominees in 21 English-language categories and 16 Spanish-language nominees in 4 categories. The nominees for the 29th Annual GLAAD Media Awards were announced during the Sundance Film Festival by actors Wilson Cruz (“13 Reasons Why,” “Star Trek: Discovery”) and Trace Lysette (“Transparent”). Nominees across entertainment and news media included This Is Us, Call Me by Your Name, Lady Bird, Battle of the Sexes, A Fantastic Woman, Billions, The Voice, Will & Grace, Andi Mack, Halsey, Kesha, Kehlani, Teen Vogue, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, NBC Nightly News, HuffPost, and CNN en Español. GLAAD announced a Special Recognition Award for Jay-Z’s song and music video “Smile” featuring his mother Gloria Carter who used the song to come out as a lesbian as well as a Special Recognition Award to the animated short film In A Heartbeat. Nominees can be found here: www.glaad.org/mediaawards/nominees.

To receive the latest updates on the GLAAD Media Awards, follow @glaad on Twitter and use the hashtag #glaadawards.