How to Survive a Plague, Smash, The Amazing Race among award recipients at New York event presented locally by Delta Air Lines
March 17, 2013

Rich Ferraro
Vice President of Communications, GLAAD
(646) 871-8011

New York, Sunday, March 17, 2013 - Good Morning America's Sam Champion, Josh Elliott and Lara Spencer hosted as GLAAD honored journalist, author and talk show host Anderson Cooper and the best in television, film and journalism last night at the 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York.  Madonna, Bernadette Peters, Dan Stevens, Russell Simmons, Milla Jovovich, Jake Shears, Chris Kluwe and Brendon Ayanbadejo were among the special guests.

Photographs from the 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York may be found immediately at or  Video clips are now available at

The GLAAD Media Awards recognize and honor media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community and the issues that affect their lives.  The GLAAD Media Awards also fund GLAAD's work to amplify stories of LGBT people and issues that build support for equality.

At the ceremony, Madonna presented the Vito Russo Award to her longtime friend, Anderson Cooper.  The Vito Russo Award is presented to openly LGBT media professionals who have made a significant difference in promoting equality for the LGBT community.

Madonna wore a Cub Scout uniform and expressed her support for GLAAD's year-long campaign to end the Boy Scouts' ban on gay scouts and scout leaders, saying "I think they should change their stupid rules, don't you?"

Anderson Cooper accepted the Vito Russo Award from Madonna, saying "I've had so many blessings in my life, and being gay is certainly one of the greatest blessings.  It has allowed me to love and to be loved and to help open my head and my heart in ways I could never have predicted. The ability to love one another, the ability to love another person is, in my opinion, one of God's greatest gifts, and I thank God every day for enabling me to give and share love with the people in my life - my family, and my friends, and my partner Benjamin.  Thank you very much, and thank you for being here."

Also at the event, hip hop mogul Russell Simmons presented the Ally Award to director Brett Ratner, in advance of GLAAD's premiere of a public service announcement (PSA) campaign helmed by Ratner.  The GLAAD "Coming Out for Equality" PSA series features a diverse group of straight celebrities and athletes "coming out of the closet" as supporters of equality and calling for other Americans to speak out.

Accepting the award, Ratner said, "In my life I've spent a lot of time searching deep into my heart for what my true values and beliefs are, and I know that I have love in my heart for everyone.  But it doesn't count for much if a word has been said by me that helps to perpetuate and validate the people out there that are truly bigoted and hateful.  After some examination I have taken some steps that I hope will stamp out thoughtless bigotry.  Together, with a number of my friends, we made some PSAs with the hope of changing people's behavior and helping them become allies for all equality. It's been truly rewarding and I'm grateful and humbled to receive this honor from GLAAD."

After a speech calling for greater efforts to end discrimination against transgender people, GLAAD President Herndon Graddick was joined onstage by 12-year-old transgender girl Jazz and her family, and by 6-year-old transgender girl Coy Mathis and her family.  Graddick urged everyone to visit to sign a petition calling on Coy's school to treat transgender students equally.

Director David France accepted the award for Outstanding Documentary for his film How to Survive a Plague.  He was joined by ACT UP co-founder Peter Staley, who appeared in the film.  Executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron were joined by cast members Bernadette Peters, Christian Borle, Andy Mientus, Wesley Taylor, and Krysta Rodriguez as they picked up the statuette on behalf of Smash,which received the award for Outstanding Drama Series.  Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge (aka The Fabulous Beekman Boys) accepted the award for The Amazing Race in the Outstanding Reality Program category.

Good Morning America's Lara Spencer, Josh Elliott, and Sam Champion hosted the event.  Guests enjoyed performances by the Scissor Sisters' Jake Shears and by the Vogue Evolution dance crew.  Other guests and presenters at the event included:  Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey); Bernadette Peters,Christian BorleAndy MientusWesley TaylorKrysta RodriguezCraig ZadanNeil Meron (Smash); music producer Russell SimmonsMilla Jovovich (The Three Musketeers); John Leguizamo (Kick-Ass 2); NFL players Chris Kluwe & Brendon AyanbadejoAnnie ClarkCristine Prosperi (Degrassi); Laverne CoxSusan Seidelman (Musical Chairs); David France, Peter Staley (How to Survive a Plague); Nigel Barker (The Face); authors Augusten BurroughsAndrew SullivanDavid MixnerAndrew Solomon,Helen Boyd and Jennifer BoylanBrent RidgeJosh Kilmer-Purcell (The Amazing Race); Melissa Harris-PerryThomas Roberts (MSNBC); Avan Jogia (Twisted); Mo Rocca (My Grandmother's Ravioli); Joan KoplanDennis Croft (Small Town Security); Carmen Carrera (RuPaul's Drag Race); "Mama June" Shannon (Here Comes Honey Boo Boo); Nicole "Snookie" PolizziJennifer "JWoww" FarleyVinny Guadagnino (The Jersey Shore); Anthony CarinnoJohn Colaneri (Kitchen Cousins); radio host Elvis Duran; GLAAD National Spokesperson Wilson Cruz and GLAAD President Herndon Graddick.

Now in its third year in New York, the Young Adults at the GLAAD Media Awards program allowed over 200 youth and young adults from the greater New York area to attend the event for free.  Support from corporate partners Major League Baseball and Bridgestone Americas allowed GLAAD to make this program possible.  Students affiliated with Bucknell University, the AIDS Center of Queens County, New York University and the Hetrick-Martin Institute enjoyed the show, as well as a pre-reception advocacy fair and a private after-party.

Following is a complete list of GLAAD Media Award recipients announced Saturday in New York. Additional award recipients will be announced in Los Angeles on April 20 at the JW Marriott, and in San Francisco on May 11 at the Hilton San Francisco - Union Square.

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

  • Vito Russo Award:  Anderson Cooper  (presented by Madonna)
  • Ally Award:  Brett Ratner  (presented by Russell Simmons)
  • Outstanding Drama Series:  Smash (NBC)
  • Outstanding Documentary:  How to Survive a Plague (Sundance Selects)
  • Outstanding Reality Program:  The Amazing Race (CBS)
  • Outstanding TV Journalism - Newsmagazine:  "Being Transgender in America" Melissa Harris-Perry (MSNBC)
  • Outstanding TV Journalism Segment:  "Obama Endorses Marriage Equality" Good Morning America (ABC)
  • Outstanding Newspaper Article:  "Game Changer" by Andy Mannix (City Pages [Minneapolis, Minn.])
  • Outstanding Newspaper Columnist:  Frank Bruni (The New York Times)
  • Outstanding Newspaper Overall Coverage:  The Boston Globe
  • Outstanding Magazine Article:  "School of Hate" by Sabrina Rubin Erdely (Rolling Stone)
  • Outstanding Magazine Overall Coverage:  The Advocate/Out
  • Outstanding New York Theatre: Broadway & Off Broadway:  The Whale by Samuel D. Hunter
  • Outstanding New York Theatre: Off-Off Broadway:  From White Plains written by Michael Perlman in collaboration with Fault Line Theatre


  • Outstanding Talk Show Interview:  "Entrevista con Orlando Cruz" Titulares Telemundo(Telemundo)
  • Outstanding Magazine Article:  "Amor genuino" by Cristina Saralegui (People en Español)
  • Outstanding Digital Journalism Article:  "Operación tolerancia: la lucha contra la homofobia en los medios hispanos" by Lilia Luciano (
  • Outstanding Digital Journalism - Multimedia:  "2013: Año clave para la comunidad gay" by Ramón Frisneda (

More than 100 corporate partners are showing their support, including National Presenting partners Ketel One Vodka and Wells Fargo, New York and Los Angeles Presenting partner Delta Air Lines, and San Francisco Presenting partner Southwest Airlines.  GLAAD is also grateful to the 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards Platinum Underwriter corporate partners Anheuser-Busch, Inc., NBCUniversal/Comcast, Prudential and Sheppard Mullin, as well as Underwriter corporate partners: Allstate Insurance Company, AT&T, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, Caesars Foundation, Disney-ABC Television Group/ESPN, Kirkland & Ellis, New York Marriott Marquis & Renaissance Hotel, PwC and VPI Pet Insurance.  Gold Patron partners include 1800Flowers, CBS/Showtime, Citi and Viacom. 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

For a full list of corporate partners and information on how to become a corporate partner, or to become a table host, purchase tickets or place a tribute in the tribute book, please visit