LGBTQ ICON WILSON CRUZ TO RECEIVE THE VITO RUSSO AWARD AT THE 33RD ANNUAL GLAAD MEDIA AWARDS IN NEW YORK ON MAY 6

April 27, 2022

LGBTQ ICON WILSON CRUZ TO RECEIVE THE VITO RUSSO AWARD AT THE 33RD ANNUAL GLAAD MEDIA AWARDS IN NEW YORK ON MAY 6

DOVE CAMERON TO OPEN CEREMONY WITH  LGBTQ ANTHEM “BOYFRIEND”

MICHAEL R. JACKSON TO PERFORM SONG FROM HIS PULITZER PRIZE-WINNING BROADWAY MUSICAL “A STRANGE LOOP”

ARIANA DEBOSE TO PRESENT THE EXCELLENCE IN MEDIA AWARD TO JUDITH LIGHT WITH HOSTS CODY RIGSBY AND PEPPERMINT

SPECIAL GUESTS INCLUDE IVORY AQUINO, DYLLÓN BURNSIDE, LAVERNE COX, TOMMY DORFMAN, MURRAY HILL, STARS OF UPCOMING “QUEER AS FOLK” REBOOT JESSE JAMES KEITEL AND DEVIN WAY, CAST OF “RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE ALL STARS 7,” RAFAEL SILVA, NYLE DIMARCO, CYNTHIA NIXON, ANTHONY RAPP, AMBER TAMBLYN, AND GLAAD PRESIDENT & CEO SARAH KATE ELLIS 

New York, NY  - April 27, 2022 - GLAAD, the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, today announced that it will honor award-winning actor, producer, and activist Wilson Cruz with the Vito Russo Award during the 33rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards at the Hilton Midtown in New York on Friday, May 6, 2022. The GLAAD Media Awards honor media for fair, accurate, and inclusive representations of LGBTQ people and issues.

During the 33rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York, singer/songwriter, Emmy-Award winning actress, and rising superstar Dove Cameron will perform her new single ‘Boyfriend.’ Her hit single, ‘Boyfriend’ which was released in February and has accumulated over 130 million streams on Spotify can be best described as an empowered piece of noir-pop turned massively beloved queer anthem. Playwright and composer Michael R. Jackson will also appear in a special performance from his Pulitzer Prize-winning musical “A Strange Loop,” which opens on Broadway this week. GLAAD previously announced that Academy Award-winning actress Ariana DeBose will present Judith Light with GLAAD's Excellence in Media Award, which is presented to allies of the LGBTQ community who have made a significant difference in promoting LGBTQ acceptance. GLAAD previously honored Kacey Musgraves and Michaela Jaé Rodriguez earlier this year during the GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles.

The Vito Russo Award is presented to a LGBTQ media professional who has made a significant difference in accelerating LGBTQ acceptance. The Award is named after Vito Russo, a founder of GLAAD and celebrated ACT UP activist, who pushed open the door for news and entertainment industries to include LGBTQ performers and stories. Previous Vito Russo honorees include Billy Porter, Anderson Cooper, Ricky Martin, Rosie O’Donnell, Andy Cohen, RuPaul, Cynthia Nixon, Samira Wiley, Tom Ford, George Takei, Thomas Roberts, Alan Cumming, and Suze Orman, among others.

“When books are written about actors coming out, Wilson Cruz belongs on the front cover,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “Wilson has dedicated his life and career to breaking down walls for LGBTQ and Latinx actors and has not only entertained audiences as a triple threat, but educated the world about LGBTQ people and issues. He raises the bar for how actors can and should play roles in social justice by always using his voice loudly to demand acceptance of LGBTQ people and Black and Latinx communities.”

The GLAAD Media Awards in New York will be hosted by celebrity Peloton Instructor Cody Rigsby and transgender recording artist, actress, GLAAD Board Member, and RuPaul's Drag Race alum Peppermint. Special guests include Ivory Aquino (Batgirl, When We Rise), Dyllón Burnside (Pose), Laverne Cox, Tommy Dorfman, Murray Hill (Somebody Somewhere, Life & Beth), as well as creator and stars of Peacock’s upcoming reboot of “Queer As Folk,” Jesse James Keitel, Devin Way, and Stephen Dunn, cast members of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 7 and Rafael Silva (911:Lone Star). They join previously announced special guests Nyle DiMarco, Cynthia Nixon, Anthony Rapp, Lily Rose, Amber Tamblyn, and GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis.

 

About Wilson Cruz, recipient of the 2022 Vito Russo Award:

Wilson Cruz currently stars as Dr. Hugh Culber on the CBS All Access series “Star Trek: Discovery,” which received the GLAAD Media Award in 2021 for Outstanding Drama Series. In 1994, he made history by becoming the first openly gay actor to play an openly gay role on network television when he starred as Rickie Vasquez on ABC’s My So-Called Life. Wilson’s critically acclaimed performance of the beloved character became a cornerstone for LGBTQ representation for years to come. His long career spans television, film, and theatre, with appearances on ER, Grey’s Anatomy, He’s Just Not That Into You, Noah’s Arc, Party of Five, Party Monster, Red Band Society, Shameless, Thirteen Reasons Why, The West Wing, as well as the first national tour of “Tick, Tick, Boom!” and as Angel in the west coast premiere of “RENT,” for which he earned a Los Angeles Ovation Award and then became the first replacement for Angel on Broadway. He voiced Prince Andrew on Hulu’s The Bravest Knight, which won the GLAAD Media Award for Kids & Family Programming in 2020. He is also the Executive Producer of the acclaimed 2019 Apple+ docuseries Visible: Out on Television, which chronicles the history of LGBTQ images on television.

Cruz has simultaneously been on the frontlines of LGBTQ advocacy during his entertainment career. He has served as Director of Entertainment Industry Advocacy and National Spokesperson for GLAAD and currently serves on the Board of Directors of GLSEN. He was a leading voice in remembering the victims and survivors of the Pulse nightclub shooting, after losing his relative Brenda Lee Marquez McCool in the national tragedy. Forever proud of his Puerto Rican heritage, Cruz has advocated for LGBTQ and Latinx actors throughout his long career via frequent media appearances and speeches during events such as the TV Critics Association Press Tour, the Sundance Film Festival, and the Millennium March for Equality. For his activism, he has served as the Grand Marshal of NYC Pride, appeared on the cover of Entertainment Weekly’s 50 Years of Pride Issue, and received awards including: the OUT 100, the Los Angeles LGBTQ Center’s Rand Schrader Distinguished Achievement Award, Outfest’s Fusion Achievement Award, the California Legislative Caucus’ Latino Spirit Award for Achievement in Entertainment and Advocacy, and ADCOLOR’s Advocate Award.

 

About the 33rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards

The GLAAD Media Awards honor media for fair, accurate, and inclusive representations of LGBTQ people and issues. Since its inception in 1990, the GLAAD Media Awards have grown to be the most visible annual LGBTQ awards show in the world, sending powerful messages of acceptance to audiences globally.  The 33rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards are presented by Gilead Sciences, Inc., Google Pixel,  Hyundai, and Ketel One Family Made Vodka. GLAAD is also grateful to Major Sponsor Delta Air Lines, Official Sponsors Nike and Sony Music Group, and Titanium Sponsors Comcast NBCUniversal Telemundo and Netflix.

The nominees for the 33rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards were published, released, or broadcast between January 1, 2021 and December 31, 2021. For a full list of nominees, click here.

The GLAAD Media Awards ceremonies fund GLAAD's work to accelerate LGBTQ acceptance. At the Los Angeles ceremony on April 2, Kacey Musgraves received the Vanguard Award from Ben Platt, and Michaela Jaé Rodriguez received the Stephen F. Kolzak Award from Andrew Garfield. The GLAAD Media Awards’ Los Angeles ceremony is currently streaming on Hulu. The full list of awards presented at the Los Angeles ceremony is available here.

GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis serves as Executive Producer of the GLAAD Media Awards, alongside Rich Ferraro and Anthony Allen Ramos. Producers of the event include Crystal Butler, Melissa Harris, John McCourt, Johanna Osburn, and Matthew Zaccagni. Juana Guichardo and Jose Useche serve as Associate Producers and Wendy Shanker is Headwriter.

To purchase tickets for the 33rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards, please visit: www.glaad.org/mediaawards/tickets.

On socials please follow @GLAAD and #glaadawards.

For media credentials to cover the NYC event, please fill out this application.