September 4, 2019

Mathew Lasky
Director of Communications, GLAAD

GLAAD previously announced that Schitt’s Creek’s Dan Levy will receive the Davidson/Valentini Award, and Ali Rosenthal, founder of Leadout Capital, will be honored with the Ric Weiland Award

Schitt’s Creek stars Emily Hampshire, Annie Murphy and Noah Reid to present; Garrett Clayton to perform at the annual gala on September 28th

San Francisco, CA, Wednesday, September 4, 2019 – GLAAD, the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, announced today that American  pop star, choreographer, dancer, actress, and producer Paula Abdul will be honored with the Ariadne Getty Ally Award at the 2019 GLAAD Gala San Francisco on September 28th. The GLAAD Gala San Francisco celebrates and features storytellers and tech innovators who accelerate LGBTQ acceptance and helps fund GLAAD’s digital advocacy work to grow LGBTQ inclusion in digital and social media.

The 2019 GLAAD Gala San Francisco is presented by Gilead, Ketel One Family-Made Vodka & Wells Fargo, with official partner Google. The annual event will be held at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco.

The Ariadne Getty Ally Award is named after philanthropist Ariadne Getty, a native of San Francisco. Ariadne Getty is a member of GLAAD’s Board of Directors and announced a $15 million lead gift to support GLAAD’s work to accelerate LGBTQ acceptance at the 2018 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland. The Ariadne Getty Ally Award was presented for the first time ever in 2018 to actor and activist Alyssa Milano.

“Throughout her remarkable career, Paula Abdul has used her platform to raise awareness for issues affecting the LGBTQ community, especially HIV/AIDS,” says GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “Even in times of heavy stigma, Paula demonstrated true allyship by consistently supporting and advocating for the LGBTQ community. Her body of work and philanthropic efforts continue to have a lasting impact on her LGBTQ fans, and we’re proud to honor her contributions to equality and acceptance.”

Global sensation Paula Abdul is best known as a music superstar, with 60 million records sold and 6 number one hits. Known as one of America’s pop music pioneers, she has been recognized with two Emmy® Awards, two GRAMMY® Awards, three American Music Awards and is a multi-platinum recording artist. She recently launched her sensational Las Vegas residency, FOREVER YOUR GIRL, at the famed Flamingo Hotel and Casino Las Vegas.

Abdul has also appeared as a judge on several televised competition series, most notably for eight seasons on American Idol from 2002 to 2009. In addition to serving as executive producer and creative partner for the CBS reality-competition series "Live To Dance," Abdul appeared as a judge on FOX’s “X-Factor” in 2011 and the Emmy® award-winning dance competition show “So You Think You Can Dance” from 2015 to 2016. Abdul also appeared as a guest judge on Season 6 of RuPaul’s Drag Race

Abdul is very active in her community as a spokesperson and advocate for national charity organizations, including the American Humane Association and AIDS Project Los Angeles. In 2014, the Avon Foundation for Women tapped Abdul to become their Avon Global Ambassador for their international #CheckYourself digital campaign in support of Breast Cancer Awareness month. This year, Abdul partnered with Turnaround Arts, a signature program of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities, to adopt a school in Brooklyn, New York and help foster arts education in underprivileged schools across the nation.

Throughout her career, Abdul has been a dedicated ally to the LGBTQ community by bringing awareness to issues affecting LGBTQ people. In 1992, Abdul was featured in an education film titled “Time Out: The Truth About AIDS & HIV,” which helped to bring awareness to HIV/AIDS and address common misconceptions. In 1997, Paula Abdul hosted the AIDS Project Los Angeles’ AIDS Dance-A-Thon, which helped to raise money for the Project’s work to provide services to those living with HIV/AIDS in the Los Angeles region. Throughout her time on American Idol, Abdul also helped to mentor several LGBTQ artists, including Adam Lambert and Adore Delano.

Abdul has also used her social media platform to advocate for LGBTQ acceptance. She spoke out in support of transgender youth on International Transgender Day of Visibility via Twitter and has participated in GLAAD’s Spirit Day to stand up against anti-LGBTQ bullying and send a message of solidarity and acceptance to LGBTQ youth. Abdul has also used her social media platforms to recognize World AIDS Day, encouraging people to learn the facts about HIV/AIDS in order to end stigma. In an interview in with Get Out Magazine in 2018, Abdul also cited the influence of her LGBTQ fans, stating: “I wouldn't have my career if it wasn't for my gay fans. I have always been very close to the community...They have been there with me through thick and thin and stayed with me, always loyal. I love the (gay) community.” This past June, Abdul also headlined the 2019 LA Pride Festival Opening Ceremony.

GLAAD also announced that Schitt’s Creek stars Emily Hampshire, Annie Murphy and Noah Reid will present Dan Levy with the Davidson/Valentini Award at the 2019 GLAAD Gala San Francisco. American singer and actor Garrett Clayton is also set to perform during the event.

GLAAD previously announced that Ali Rosenthal, the founder of Leadout Capital, will receive the Ric Weiland Award. The event will be hosted by RuPaul’s Drag Race and Broadway star Peppermint.

The 2019 GLAAD Gala San Francisco will take place at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco on September 28th. For more information on the event, including how to purchase tickets, visit https://www.glaad.org/events/2019-san-francisco-gala.