The L Word, Prop 8: The Musical receive Special Recognition Awards at Los Angeles event presented by ABSOLUT VODKA
April 19, 2009
Richard Ferraro Director of Communications (646) 871-8011 ferraro@glaad.org Kelly Striewski BWR (310) 550-7776 kstriewski@bwr-la.com

April 19, 2009, Los Angeles, CA – Ellen DeGeneres, Portia de Rossi, Jessica Alba, T.R. Knight, Kate Walsh, Teri Hatcher, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Megan Mullally, Bill Paxton, Jennifer Beals, Alan Cumming and Gus Van Sant were among the celebrities who joined the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) as the organization honored Kathy Griffin, the Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, and the best in film, television and journalism last night at the 20th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles.

GLAAD, the nation's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy and anti-defamation organization, present the GLAAD Media Awards to recognize and honor media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the LGBT community and the issues that affect their lives.

Photographs from the 20th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles may be downloaded immediately at www.wireimage.com or after 5 PM PT on April 19 at www.glaad.org.

At the ceremony, T.R. Knight presented the Vanguard Award to Kathy Griffin, a strong ally of the LGBT community, who regularly includes LGBT people in her Bravo reality program Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List and in her live comedy shows.  In media outlets around the world, Griffin is a vocal advocate for marriage equality for same-sex couples, and regularly supports LGBT community organizations.  The Vanguard Award is presented to individuals who, through their work, have increased the visibility and understanding of the LGBT community in the media.

"This is a thrill and an honor and an awesome night," Griffin said in her acceptance speech.  "You guys have been so good to me.  I appreciate you, I get you, I love you, and I'll keep making you laugh as long as you'll let me!  Thank you!"

Also at the event, Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black and Cleve Jones, creator of the AIDS Memorial Quilt, presented the Stephen F. Kolzak Award to Bishop Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Bishop in the history of the Episcopal church.  The Stephen F. Kolzak Award is presented to an openly lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender person who has made a significant difference in promoting equal rights for the LGBT community in the media.

"It is such an honor to be here, and to be honored by the Board of GLAAD....To have you say thanks in this way just means the world to me," Robinson said accepting his award.  Speaking of the LGBT movement, Robinson continued, "We need to be in this for the long haul…Just because we achieved civil rights in the sixties for African Americans, it doesn't mean racism is gone.  Because we achieved rights for women in the seventies, it doesn't mean sexism is gone....But we can stay in this fight because we know how it's is going to end.  This is going to end with full equality for LGBT people in our churches and in society.  I have no doubt of it."

Alan Cumming presented a Special Recognition Award to The L Word which completed its sixth and final season on Showtime in March.  Show creator Ilene Chaiken accepted the award with cast members Jennifer Beals, Leisha Hailey and Katherine Moenning.  At the 17th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in 2005, The L Word received the award for Outstanding Drama Series.

In her remarks, Chaiken commented on the continuing need to advocate for the inclusion of LGBT characters in the media.  "At this moment in history, when marriage equality is virtually inevitable and maybe even imminent, when we've welcomed new LGBT civil rights legislation in Iowa, Colorado, Washington D.C., New Hampshire and soon New York…how can it be that LGBT people – after years of slow but promising momentum – have careened backwards in terms of representation in mainstream popular entertainment media?" Chaiken said.

Chaiken continued, "GLAAD has been working vigilantly to ensure that the defamation of LGBT people does not go unchecked.  GLAAD's been working to ensure that our lives are visible in the news and in the media.  GLAAD's work is vital and critical to helping us to achieve the milestones that are lifting LGBT people to our rightful place of full, unfettered equality.  Thank you, GLAAD.  And thank you Showtime, for six wonderful years…Thanks for breaking ground and for having the courage of your convictions.  Now let's do it again.  Let's do it more.  Let's do it often.  Let's do it always."

GLAAD also recognized Prop 8: The Musical, a video created for FunnyorDie.com in response to the passage of Proposition 8, a California ballot initiative which eliminated the right to marry for same-sex couples.  Directed by Adam Shankman and written by Marc Shaiman, the video received over one million hits on its first day online.  During the show, Miss Coco Peru and the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles performed the song live onstage.  Shankman accepted the award on behalf of the team of creators.

Milk received the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Film – Wide Release.  The award was accepted by director Gus Van Sant, screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, and producers Bruce Cohen and Dan Jinks.  Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi accepted a GLAAD Media Award for the episode "Ellen & Portia's Wedding Day" from The Ellen DeGeneres Show nominated for Outstanding Talk Show Episode.  Show creator Marc Cherry, along with Teri Hatcher, Dana Delaney, Kyle MacLachlan, Tuc Watkins, Kevin Rahm, Andrea Bowen and Brenda Strong accepted the award for Outstanding Comedy Series for Desperate Housewives.  The episode "Unidentified Funk" from The New Adventures of Old Christine received the award for Outstanding Individual Episode (in a series without an LGBT character), and show creator Kari Lizer, cast members Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Clark Gregg accepted with award with episode guest star Megan Mullally.  Finally, Univision news program Aquí y Ahora received the award for Outstanding TV Journalism – Newsmagazine for its story about the murder of transgender teenager Angie Zapata.  Monica Zapata, Angie's sister, accepted the award with Univision producer Belissa Morillo.

GLAAD Media Award-winning performer Miss Coco Peru hosted the show, and award-winning Broadway stars Cheyenne Jackson and Jennifer Holliday performed for the black tie audience at the Nokia Theatre.

Other celebrity guests at the event included:  Jessica Alba, Chad Allen and Jeremy Glazer, Jensen Atwood, Jennifer Beals, Bebe Zahara Benet, Dustin Lance Black, Andrea Bowen, Ilene Chaiken, Justin Chambers, Marc Cherry, Bruce Cohen and Dan Jinks, Matt Cohen, Jennifer Elise Cox, Wilson Cruz, Alan Cumming, Katelynn Cusanelli, Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, Dana Delaney, Kirby Dick, Ileana Douglas, Randolph Duke, Joely Fisher, Scott Michael Foster, David Furnish, Robert Gant, Rebecca Gayheart, Thea Gill, Spencer Grammer, Clark Gregg, Kathy Griffin, Greg Grunberg, Leisha Hailey, Teri Hatcher, Cheyenne Jackson, Maurice Jamal, Paul James, Cleve Jones, Dan Karaty, T.R. Knight, Rex Lee, Jeff Lewis and Ryan Brown, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jane Lynch, Justina Machado, Camryn Manheim, Alec Mapa, Kyle MacLachlan, Katherine Moenning, Megan Mullally, Mary Murphy, Ryan Murphy, Mandy Musgrave, Nichelle Nichols, Lupe Ontiveros, Cheri Oteri, Peter Paige, Bill Paxton, Miss Coco Peru, Patrik-Ian Polk, Kevin Rahm, Bishop Gene Robinson, Gabriel Romero, Howard Rosenman , Brad Rowe, Adam Shankman, Sean Smith, Darren Star, Darryl Stephens, Amber Stevens, Brenda Strong, George Takei and Brad Altman, Bruno Tonioli, Gus Van Sant, Christian Vincent, Kate Walsh, Tuc Watkins, Trevor Wright, Monica Zapata, and GLAAD President Neil G. Giuliano.

Following is a complete list of GLAAD Media Award recipients announced Saturday in Los Angeles.  Additional awards will be presented in San Francisco on May 9 at the Hilton San Francisco.  Previously awards were presented in New York at the Marriot Marquis on March 28.

  • Vanguard Award:  Kathy Griffin  (presented by T.R. Knight)
  • Stephen F. Kolzak Award:  The Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson  (presented by Dustin Lance Black and Cleve Jones)
  • Special Recognition:  The L Word (Showtime)  [Accepted by: show creator Ilene Chaiken, with Jennifer Beals, Katherine Moennig, and Leisha Hailey]
  • Special Recognition:  Prop 8: The Musical (FunnyorDie.com)  [Accepted by: director Adam Shankman]
  • Outstanding Film – Wide Release:  Milk (Focus Features)  [Accepted by: director Gus Van Sant, screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, and producers Bruce Cohen and Dan Jinks]
  • Outstanding Comedy Series:  Desperate Housewives (ABC)  [Accepted by: show creator Marc Cherry, Teri Hatcher, Dana Delaney, Kyle MacLachlan, Tuc Watkins, Kevin Rahm, Andrea Bowen and Brenda Strong]
  • Outstanding Individual Episode (in a series without an LGBT character):  "Unidentified Funk" The New Adventures of Old Christine (CBS)  [Accepted by: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Megan Mullally, Clark Gregg, and show creator Kari Lizer]
  • Outstanding Talk Show Episode:  "Ellen & Portia's Wedding Day" The Ellen DeGeneres Show (syndicated)  [Accepted by: Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi]
  • Outstanding Spanish-Language TV Journalism - Newsmagazine: "A juzgar por las apariencias" y "En otro cuerpo" Aquí y Ahora (Univision)  [Accepted by: Univision producer Belissa Morillo and Monica Zapata, sister of murdered transgender teenager Angie Zapata]

GLAAD also announced that Brothers & Sisters (ABC) received the award for Outstanding Drama Series and Secrets of the Trade by Jonathan Tolins received the award for Outstanding Los Angeles Theater production.

Support from corporate partners allowed GLAAD to offer free or low-cost tickets to the event to over 1000 youth and young adults from the Southern California area.  Fox television network also sponsored a special youth after-party, which included appearances by the cast and producers of Fox's upcoming series Glee, as well as celebrity attendees from Milk, The L Word, Greek, Grey's Anatomy, and Noah's Arc.

Many of last night's guests wore white ribbons provided by WhiteKnot.org.  These ribbons symbolize support for marriage equality for same-sex couples.

More than 100 corporate sponsors are showing their support, including National Presenting Partner IBM and Local Presenting Partners ABSOLUT® VODKA and Prudential. GLAAD is also grateful to the event's Platinum Underwriters Comcast, TimeWarner and University of Phoenix. AT&T, Allstate Insurance Company, American Airlines, Barefoot Wine, Disney/ABC Television Group, HMS Media, Herb Ritts Foundation, New York City Marriott & Renaissance Hotels, Renaissance New York Hotel, MillerCoors, NBC Universal, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Southwest Airlines, The Terry Watanabe Charitable Trust and Wyndham Hotel Group support the 20th Annual GLAAD Media Awards as Underwriter Partners.

For a full list of corporate sponsors or information on how to become a corporate sponsor, purchase tickets or a tribute journal ad, please visit www.glaad.org/mediaawards or contact Stamp Event Management at (877) 519-7904 or glaad@stampeventco.com.