Tyra Banks, Suze Orman Honored at 20th Annual GLAAD Media Awards Presented by IBM

Phil Donahue receives Special Recognition Award at New York event presented by Prudential
March 29, 2009
Richard Ferraro Director of Communications (646) 871-8011 ferraro@glaad.org Kelly Striewski BWR (310) 550-7776 (o) kstriewski@bwr-la.com

March 29, 2009, New York, NY – Vanessa Williams, Stockard Channing, Cherry Jones, T.R. Knight, Keith Olbermann, Judith Light, Clay Aiken and S. Epatha Merkerson were among the celebrities who joined the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) as it honored Tyra Banks, Suze Orman, Phil Donahue and the best in film, television and journalism last night at the 20th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York.

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 New York may be downloaded immediately at www.wireimage.com or at www.glaad.org/mediaawards/20thAnnual/MANYphotos.php. For a complete recap of the event, visit www.glaad.org/mediaawards/20thAnnual/MANYrecap.php.

At the ceremony, singer Clay Aiken presented the Excellence in Media Award to Tyra Banks, who has shown a strong commitment to educating the public about the lives of gay and transgender people on her talk show, The Tyra Banks Show, and on her reality series, America's Next Top Model. The Excellence in Media Award is presented to individuals who, through their work, have increased the visibility and understanding of the LGBT community in the media.

"[The LGBT community] empowered me," Banks said in her acceptance speech. "And in turn, when I finally had a platform, and a power, and a voice – no longer just a face, but a voice – to get across the points and the messages that were important to me, I brought you along with me. Because you embraced me and now I embrace you in front of millions to show how beautiful you are, how absolutely amazing you are, how giving you are. And I will continue to do that as long as I have a platform. I will continue to get the message out about gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people."

Also at the event, actor T.R. Knight presented the Vito Russo Award to Suze Orman, personal finance expert and host of CNBC's The Suze Orman Show. The Vito Russo Award is presented to an openly lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equal rights for the LGBT community.

"I want every single one of you in this room to take note of what corporations put their time and money behind gays, behind lesbians – behind you," Orman said accepting her award.  "Do you want to continue to give your money to people in corporations that oppress us, that keep us down? Or do you want to give your money to the corporations who can help us rise and change what needs to be changed in the United States of America today." Orman continued, "I ask you to honor those corporations not only with your support but with your money as well.  We can do this - and here's how you're going to do it. You are going to think about every single penny you spend from this day forward.  And the only think I ask of you is to spend it and invest it in those companies that invest in you."

Actress Cherry Jones presented a Special Recognition Award to Phil Donahue, who was the honoree at the first GLAAD Media Awards in 1990.

"It's unbelievable to think about the power and the warp speed of this revolution," Donahue said during his acceptance.  "Twenty years ago when I proudly accepted the first GLAAD Media Award...it was a very small crowd. There are more photographers here tonight than there were people then…. And now, we look up in 2009, and [the LGBT community] is popular. The majority of the people in the nation agree with us. Our job now is to summon these people to stand up and say so out loud. To tell them to join us. To march the lavender line with us down Fifth Avenue, and to remind them, when they do join us, they're going to meet a lot of nice people."

Noah's Arc: Jumping the Broom tied with Shelter for the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Film – Limited Release. The awards were accepted by Patrik-Ian Polk, Jensen Atwood, and Darryl Stephens and Brad Rowe, Trevor Wright and Paul Colichman, respectively. Keith Olbermann accepted a GLAAD Media Award for the segment, "Special Comment: Gay Marriage is a Question of Love," which aired on MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann.  Producer Sandi DuBowski and director Parvez Sharma accepted the award for Outstanding Documentary for A Jihad for Love. ESPN journalist LZ Granderson was honored with the Outstanding Digital Journalism Article award for his piece, "Gay Athletes Are Making Their Mark." And People En Español was awarded Outstanding Spanish-Language Magazine Overall Coverage, accepted by Angel Linares, Judith Torrea and Ernesto Sanchez.

A Special Recognition Award was also presented to The Laramie Project, 10 Years Later – The Lasting Legacy of Matthew Shepard, a two-hour radio documentary which aired on Sirius XM Radio.  The award was presented by actress Stockard Channing and was accepted by Romaine Patterson and Derek Hartley, hosts of The Derek and Romaine Show on Sirius XM Radio, with Katie Castellano who produced the documentary.

At the event, GLAAD also unveiled their new GLAAD Media Awards statuette. GLAAD worked with David Moritz at Society Awards to create the new trophy – the first time the organization has re-designed their statuette since the inception of the GLAAD Media Awards.

Comedian Kate Clinton hosted the show, and singer Jennifer Holliday performed for the capacity crowd. Other guests and presenters at the event included: Chris Noth; Ana Ortiz and Michael Urie (Ugly Betty); Jonathan Adler, Simon Doonan (Top Design); Daniel Sunjata; Heather Matarazzo; Tim Gunn, Christian Siriano (Project Runway); Van Hansis and Jake Silbermann (As the World Turns); Hannah Storm; Jane Velez-Mitchell; Jasika Nicole; Jay Manuel; Jenny Shimizu; Brad Boles; Jack Mackenroth; DeMarco Majors; Tarell Alvin McCraney; Joshua Cruz; Michelle Clunie; New York State Senator Eric Schneiderman; David Mixner; and former GLAAD Executive Director, Joan Garry. Guests at the after-party enjoyed the music of renowned DJ Junior Vasquez.

Following is a complete list of GLAAD Media Award recipients announced Saturday in New York. Additional awards will be presented in Los Angeles on April 18 at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live, and in San Francisco on May 9 at the Hilton San Francisco.

  • Excellence in Media Award:  Tyra Banks  (presented by Clay Aiken)
  • Vito Russo Award:  Suze Orman  (presented by T.R. Knight)
  • Special Recognition Award:  Phil Donahue (presented by Cherry Jones)
  • Special Recognition Award: The Laramie Project, 10 Years Later - The Lasting Legacy of Matthew Shepard (presented by Stockard Channing)
  • Outstanding Film – Limited Release:  TIE: Noah's Arc: Jumping the Broom (Logo Features/New Open Door Productions) and Shelter (Regent Releasing)
  • Outstanding Documentary:  A Jihad For Love (First Run Features)
  • Outstanding Daily Drama: As the World Turns (CBS)
  • Outstanding TV Journalism Segment:  "Special Comment: Gay Marriage is a Question of Love"Countdown with Keith Olbermann (MSNBC) 
  • Outstanding Newspaper Article: "Owning His Gay Identity – at 15 Years Old" by Theresa Vargas (The Washington Post)
  • Outstanding Newspaper Columnist: Leonard Pitts, Jr. (The Miami Herald)
  • Outstanding Newspaper Overall Coverage: The New York Times
  • Outstanding Magazine Article: "Let God Love Gene Robinson" by Andrew Corsello (GQ)
  • Outstanding Magazine Overall Coverage: Newsweek
  • Outstanding Digital Journalism Article: "Gay Athletes Are Making Their Mark"  by LZ Granderson (ESPN.com)
  • Outstanding Digital Journalism – Multimedia: "Is Gay the New Black?" by Jessica Bennett and Jennifer Molina (Newsweek.com)
  • Outstanding Music Artist: k.d. lang, Watershed
  • Outstanding Comic Book: Buffy the Vampire Slayer by Drew Goddard, Jeph Loeb and Joss Whedon (Dark Horse Comics)
  • Outstanding New York Theater: Broadway & Off-Broadway: Wig Out! by Tarell Alvin McCraney
  • Outstanding New York Theater: Off-Off Broadway: Arias with a Twist by Joey Arias and Basil Twist


  • Outstanding Novela: Alma de Hierro (Telefutura)
  • Outstanding Drama Series: Capadocia (HBO Latino)
  • Outstanding Individual Episode (in a series without a regular LGBT character): "Duerme, mi bien" Mujer, Casos de la Vida Real (Univision)
  • Outstanding Daytime Talk Show Episode: "Juntos hasta el final" Caso Cerrado (Telemundo)
  • Outstanding Talk Show Interview: "La primera boda de pareja de transexuales" Don Francisco Presenta(Univision)
  • Outstanding Celebrity News Segment: "La Proposición 8" Paparazzi TV (Mega TV)
  • Outstanding TV Journalism Segment: "Drama de jóvenes hispanos gay: Rechazados por ser gay"Noticiero Telemundo (Telemundo)
  • Outstanding Newspaper Article: "Confesiones de padre: Hombres gay revelan su orientación a sus hijos" by Lucero Amador Miranda (La Opinión [Los Ángeles])
  • Outstanding Newspaper Columnist: Roberto Hernández (Alianza Metropolitan News [San Jos#233;, CA])
  • Outstanding Newspaper Overall Coverage: La Opinión [Los Ángeles]
  • Outstanding Magazine Article: "Contra viento y marea" by Isis Sauceda and Judith Torrea (People en Español)
  • Outstanding Magazine Overall Coverage: People en Español
  • Outstanding Digital Journalism Article: "Cuba discutirá derechos gay" by Fernando Ravsberg (BBCMundo.com)
  • Outstanding Music Artist: Giovanni Falchetti, Junto a tí

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.