LOS ANGELES – Dolly Parton, Colin Farrell, Sean Hayes, Chris Colfer, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Allison Janney, Melissa Etheridge, Joel McHale, Kirsten Dunst, and Chaz Bono were among the celebrities who joined the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) as it honored Kristin Chenoweth, NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt, and the best in television and journalism at the 22nd Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles, hosted by Amy Poehler and Rashida Jones.
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, country music legend Dolly Parton, presented the Stephen F. Kolzak Award to Robert Greenblatt, whose career as a television executive has led to some of the most fair, accurate and inclusive LGBT images ever seen in primetime, including Six Feet Under, Queer as Folk, The L Word, and United States of Tara. The Stephen F. Kolzak Award is presented to an openly lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equality for the LGBT community.
"I’m very grateful to everyone at GLAAD for thinking of me for this honor," Greenblatt said in his acceptance speech. "I salute all the producers, writers, network executives, and actors who took on the issue and broke ground way before I did --- and who continue to do it today. Many of you are in the room tonight. I share this award with you. While we still have a long way to go, we have made great strides both politically and in our media. May that not only continue, but increase in velocity… because we canhelp change the way the world thinks about LGBT people, not to mention how LGBT people think about themselves."
Also at the event, Sean Hayes presented the Vanguard Award to Emmy and Tony Award-winning singer and actress Kristin Chenoweth, who has spoken out repeatedly for full equality for LGBT people. In 2010, Chenoweth publically challenged a controversial Newsweek article which incorrectly asserted that gay actors cannot play straight roles. The Vanguard Award is presented to individuals who, through their work, have increased the visibility and understanding of the LGBT community in the media.
"I want to encourage many people of all faiths to come forward and stand with me," Chenoweth said in her remarks. "Even if you don't believe in Jesus the way I do, he did teach love -- not just tolerance, but acceptance. I'm lucky I had parents who adopted me at birth, conservative Southern Baptists who said, 'You will love everyone the same'…Mostly I would like to thank GLAAD for this amazing, amazing honor. This is the biggest honor I have ever received."
It was a tie in the Outstanding Comedy Series category, with both Fox's Glee and ABC's Modern Family taking home the award. Chris Colfer and Mike O'Malley accepted the award on behalf of Glee, while Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Julie Bowen and Ariel Winter accepted for Modern Family. Season eight contestants Mondo Guerra and Michael Costello, along with producer Jonathan Murray, accepted the award on behalf of Project Runway which received the nod for Outstanding Reality Program. The award for Outstanding TV Journalism Segment was accepted by MSNBC host Lawrence O'Donnell, Fort Worth, Texas City Councilmember Joel Burns and his husband, J.D. Angle, for their interview on The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell.
Kirsten Dunst presented a Special Recognition award to Bianca "Nikki" Peet, a 17-year-old student from Corpus Christi, Texas, for her efforts to organize a Gay-Straight Alliance at her high school after her principal originally prohibited the group. GLAAD also announced that I Love You Phillip Morris received the award for Outstanding Film – Limited Release.
Chaz Bono announced GLAAD's "Amplify Your Voice!" public service announcement campaign to combat anti-LGBT bullying. With the help of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and Jonathan Murray, creator of MTV's The Real World, GLAAD is producing LGBT resource kits for schools across the country as well as PSA videos featuring a range of celebrities. It was also announced that Comcast will serve as a leading media partner for the campaign, contributing $3 million in national airtime and bringing this important message to more than 20 million homes this fall.
Amy Poehler and Rashida Jones, from NBC's Parks and Recreation, hosted the evening, and Cirque du Soleil performed an act from their newest show Iris for the capacity crowd. A complete list of guests and presenters at the event follows:
Jensen Atwood (Noah's Arc), Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato (World of Wonder), Josh Berman (Drop Dead Diva), Chaz Bono (Becoming Chaz), Liz Brixius, Linda Wallem,Stephen Wallem (Nurse Jackie), Chef Jesse Brune (Private Chefs of Beverly Hills), Joel Burns, J.D. Angle (City Councilmember, Fort Worth, TX), Jamie Clayton, Nina Poon(TRANSform Me), Chris Colfer, Mike O'Malley (Glee), Michael Costello, Mondo Guerra, Jonathan Murray (Project Runway), Sarah Drew (Grey's Anatomy), Kirsten Dunst(Melancholia), Omar Epps (House), Melissa Etheridge (singer), Colin Farrell (Fright Night), Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Julie Bowen, Ariel Winter (Modern Family), Javier Fuentes-León (Undertow), Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies), Robert Gant (Queer as Folk), Sean Hayes (Promises, Promises), Amber Heard (Drive Angry), Megan Hilty (9 to 5: The Musical), Maurice Jamal (Glo TV Network), Paul James (GREEK), Allison Janney (Mr. Sunshine), Anne Jeffreys (Falcon Crest), Dan Jinks (Milk), Josh Kilmer-Purcell, Brent Ridge (The Fabulous Beekman Boys), Dave Koz (saxophonist), Janice Langbehn (activist), Peggy Lipton (Twin Peaks), Meat Loaf (Celebrity Apprentice), Marlee Matlin(Celebrity Apprentice), Joel McHale (Community), Stephanie Miller (The Stephanie Miller Show), Shareen Mitchell (Dresscue Me), Shay Mitchell, Lucy Hale, Ashley Benson(Pretty Little Liars), Cameron Monaghan (Shameless), Lawrence O'Donnell (The Last Word on MSNBC), Lu Parker (KTLA), Dolly Parton (singer), Bianca "Nikki" Peet(activist), Craig Robinson (The Office), Jai Rodriguez (Groomer Has It), Ann Rutherford (Gone with the Wind), Adam Scott, Aubrey Plaza, Retta, Jim O'Heir (Parks and Recreation), Shangela, Jessica Wild, Santino Rice, Mike Ruiz (RuPaul's Drag Race), Tori Spelling, Dean McDermott, Bill Horn, Scout Masterson, (Tori & Dean: sTORIbook Weddings), Lisa Vanderpump (Real Housewives of Bev. Hills), Mayor AntonioVillaraigosa, Diane Warren (songwriter), and GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios.
GLAAD's Young Adults Program, now in its fifth year, allowed LGBT youth from Southern California to attend the event. Support from corporate partners like Bridgestone Americas and Cirque du Soleil, and GLAAD supporters Glenn Close, Alan Cumming, Tom Ford & Richard Buckley, Suze Orman, Bishop Gene Robinson, Barbara Walters, and the late Dame Elizabeth Taylor allowed GLAAD to offer free tickets to the event to over 500 youth and young adults. Students affiliated with California State University, Northridge, Lifeworks, and Bell High School enjoyed the show and a private after-party.
In 2011, the GLAAD Media Awards is celebrating GLAAD's 25th anniversary year, looking back at a quarter-century of work to build acceptance and advance equality through fair and accurate LGBT images in the media.
Following is a complete list of GLAAD Media Award recipients announced Sunday in Los Angeles. The final GLAAD Media Awards event will take place in San Francisco on May 14 at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis. The New York GLAAD Media Awards were held on March 19 at the Marriott Marquis Times Square.