Highlights: Watch Debra Messing's Message for Ivanka Trump at 28th Annual GLAAD Media Awards

May 7, 2017

Matt Goodman
Associate Director of Communications, GLAAD
(646) 871-8028

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NEW YORK, Sunday, May 7, 2017 – GLAAD, the world’s LGBTQ advocacy organization, honored Debra Messing, Billy Porter and outstanding LGBTQ images in film and television at the 28th Annual GLAAD Media Awards at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York City. The GLAAD Media Awards recognize and honor media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the LGBTQ community and the issues that affect their lives.

Television host Ross Mathews hosted the event that included a smash performance by DNCE. Whoopi Goldberg, Don Lemon, Janet Mock, Trevor Noah, Tyler Oakley, Zachary Quinto, Christian Slater, Carly Chaikin, Angelica Ross, and Survivor’s Zeke Smith were among the special guests. The 28th Annual GLAAD Media Awards are presented by Delta Air Lines, Hilton, Ketel One Vodka, Liberty Mutual Insurance, and Wells Fargo.

Photographs and video from the 28th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York are available upon request.

Video of Debra Messing’s acceptance speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kx4aNN3D6Tw&t=4s

At the ceremony, Andrew Rannells presented Debra Messing with GLAAD's Excellence in Media Award, which is presented to media professionals who, through their work, have increased the visibility and understanding of the LGBTQ community.

In her speech, which received multiple standing ovations, Messing called on everyone to raise their voices and call the Congressional Switchboard in Washington, D.C. She also spoke directly to Ivanka Trump:

“It’s not enough to simply say that women’s issues are important to you. It’s time to do something. You can change the lives of millions of women and children just by telling your dad stories about real people who are suffering. Don’t let him separate immigrant mothers from their American-born children. Don’t let him take health care away from women who need it. Don’t allow him to make trans kids like Gavin [Grimm] fight in court for their basic human dignity.”

Also at the event, surprise guest Rosie O’Donnell presented Billy Porter with the Vito Russo Award, which is presented to an openly LGBTQ media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equality and acceptance.

In his acceptance speech, Porter called attention to the Presidential administration’s attack on “all of us,” and urged all communities to resist: “From slavery to emancipation, to the 13th Amendment, to Jim Crow to the Civil Rights Movement, from Stonewall to AIDS, to Marriage Equality – remember whose shoulders we stand on.” Porter added “Let’s use the historical strides we’ve made as a nation to empower us as warriors on this battlefield for equality.”

Zachary Quinto and Janet Mock presented the award for Outstanding Talk Show Episode to The Daily Show with Trevor Noah for its interview about transgender issues with Angelica Ross. Trevor Noah and Angelica Ross accepted the award on the show’s behalf and called for transgender equality.

Don Lemon presented the award for Outstanding Documentary to Investigation Discovery’s Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four. Elizabeth Ramirez accepted on the documentary’s behalf, joined onstage by Cassandra Rivera, Anna Vasquez, and director Deborah Esquenazi and producer Sam Tabet.

Christian Slater and Carly Chaikin presented the award for Outstanding Reality Program to Oxygen’s Strut, which followed a group of transgender models Executive producer Whoopi Goldberg and Isis King accepted on the show’s behalf, and were joined onstage by cast members Cecilio “CeCe” Asuncion, Laith De La Cruz, Dominique Jackson, Isis King, Ren Spriggs, and Arisce Wanzer.

GLAAD previously announced that it was acknowledging two web series, Her Story (HerStoryShow.com) and We’ve Been Around (WeveBeenAround.com), and music video "Sin Ir Más Lejos" by Gema Corredera, with Special Recognition Awards.

Additional special guests include: Zachary Quinto (Star Trek Beyond); Rosie O’Donnell (When We Rise); Carly Chaikin, Christian Slater (Mr. Robot); Whoopi Goldberg (The View, Strut); Trevor Noah (The Daily Show with Trevor Noah); CNN anchor Don Lemon; Janet Mock (The Trans List); Andrew Rannells (Girls); Nico Tortorella (Younger); Dan Levy (Schitt’s Creek); AnnaSophia Robb (Mercy Street) Zeke Smith (Survivor); Cecilio “CeCe” Asuncion, Laith De La Cruz, Isis King, Dominique Jackson, Ren Spriggs, Arisce Wanzer (Strut); YouTube personality Tyler Oakley; Angelica Ross (Claws, Her Story); Supreme Court plaintiff Gavin Grimm; and GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis.

Following is a complete list of GLAAD Media Award recipients announced Saturday in New York. Additional awards were presented in Los Angeles at the Beverly Hilton on April 1.

  • Excellence in Media Award: Debra Messing (presented by Andrew Rannells)
  • Vito Russo Award: Billy Porter (presented by Rosie O’Donnell)
  • Outstanding Talk Show Episode: "Angelica Ross" The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (Comedy Central) [accepted by: Trevor Noah, Angelica Ross]
  • Outstanding Reality Program: Strut (Oxygen) [accepted by: executive producer Whoopi Goldberg, and cast members Cecilio “CeCe” Asuncion, Laith De La Cruz, Dominique Jackson, Isis King, Ren Spriggs, Arisce Wanzer]
  • Outstanding Documentary: Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four (Investigation Discovery) [accepted by: Kristie Mayhugh, Elizabeth Ramirez, Cassandra Rivera, Anna Vasquez, and director Deborah Esquenazi and producer Sam Tabet]

The following is a list of other award recipients announced at the 28th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York:

  • Outstanding TV Journalism – Newsmagazine: "Church and States" VICE on HBO (HBO)
  • Outstanding TV Journalism Segment: "Gay Community in U.S. ‘Forged in Fire’” The Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC)
  • Outstanding Newspaper Article: “Permission to Hate” by Elizabeth Leland (The Charlotte Observer)
  • Outstanding Magazine Article: “HIV Mystery: Solved?” by Tim Murphy (The Nation)
  • Outstanding Magazine Overall Coverage: Teen Vogue
  • Outstanding Digital Journalism Article: “After the Orlando Shooting, the Changed Lives of Gay Latinos” by Daniel Wenger (NewYorker.com)
  • Outstanding Digital Journalism - Multimedia: "Unerased: Counting Transgender Lives" by Meredith Talusan and Mic staff (Mic.com)
  • Outstanding Music Artist: Tegan and Sara, Love You to Death (Warner Bros. Records.)
  • Outstanding Blog: Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters (holybulliesandheadlessmonsters.blogspot.com)


  • Outstanding Daytime Program Episode: "Las lesbianitas" Caso Cerrado (Telemundo)
  • Outstanding Television Interview: "Entrevista con Congresista Ileana Ros-Lehtinen y su hijo Rodrigo Lehtinen" Al Punto (Univision)
  • Outstanding Local TV Interview: "Aceptación" Sobre Todos los Géneros (Mira TV [Miami])
  • Outstanding TV Journalism Segment: “Masacre Orlando” Conclusiones (CNN en Español)
  • Outstanding TV Journalism - Newsmagazine: “Siempre fui Xander” Aquí y Ahora (Univision)
  • Outstanding Digital Journalism - Multimedia: Conmovedor video retrata el prejuicio en Puerto Rico" por Marcos Billy Guzmán, Teresa Canino, Adlín González (elnuevodia.com)

In January, GLAAD announced 115 nominees in 21 English-language categories and 41 Spanish-language nominees in 11 categories.  Nominees for the 28th Annual GLAAD Media Awards may be found here:  http://www.glaad.org/mediaawards/nominees.

Several award recipients were previously announced at the Los Angeles event on April 1 at the Beverly Hilton, where GLAAD also presented the Vanguard Award to Patricia Arquette and the Stephen F. Kolzak Award to Troye Sivan:

  • Outstanding Film – Wide Release: Moonlight (A24)
  • Outstanding Drama Series: Shadowhunters (Freeform)
  • Outstanding Comedy Series: Transparent (Amazon)
  • Outstanding Film Limited Release: Other People (Vertical Entertainment)
  • Outstanding TV Movie or Limited Series: Eyewitness (USA Network)
  • Outstanding Individual Episode: "San Junipero" Black Mirror (Netflix)
  • Outstanding Daily Drama: The Bold and The Beautiful (CBS)
  • Outstanding Comic Book: The Woods, written by James Tynion IV (BOOM! Studios)


  • Outstanding Music Artist: Kany García, Limonada (Sony Music Latin)
  • Outstanding Local TV Journalism: "A la calle por quien soy" Noticias 34 (KMEX-Univision 34 [Los Ángeles])
  • Outstanding Newspaper Article: "Las discretas batallas LGBTI ganadas en Guatemala" by Sonia Pérez D. (Associated Press)
  • Outstanding Digital Journalism Article: "6 mujeres transgénero exitosas que rompen moldes en América Latina" by Leire Ventas (BBCMundo.com)

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

The 28th Annual GLAAD Media Awards corporate partners include Presenting Partners Delta Air Lines, Hilton, Ketel One Vodka, Liberty Mutual Insurance, and Wells Fargo. GLAAD is also grateful to: Official Partners Bud Light and Hyundai; Titanium Partners Comcast NBCUniversal and Southwest Airlines, Platinum partners 21st Century Fox, Allstate Insurance Company, AT&T, Disney ABC Television Group, ESPN, Facebook, Google, MetLife, NBA & WNBA, Netflix, Sheppard Mullin, and Turner; Gold partners CBS, iHeartMedia, MLB, Nielsen, Omnicom Group, PwC, Showtime, TLC/Discovery, UM, Univision, and Viacom; and Silver partners BD, Carat, Coca-Cola, Skadden, Tinder, Westfield, and WWE. For a full list of corporate partners and information on how to become a corporate partner, purchase tickets, and place a tribute in the tribute book, please visit www.glaad.org/mediaawards.