The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), the nation’s lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy and anti-defamation organization, announced Thursday it will honor film and television producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (Chicago, Hairspray, Smash), writer and producer Shonda Rhimes (Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Scandal), financial services company Wells Fargo and Facebook at the 23rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards presented by Ketel One and Wells Fargo.
Broadway legend Bernadette Peters will present the Vito Russo Award to Zadan and Meron at the New York award ceremony on March 24, 2012 at the Marriott Marquis Times Square, presented locally by Delta Air Lines and Prudential. Peters will guest star on next week’s episode of Smash.
Glee’s Cory Monteith and Naya Rivera will host the event. GLAAD previously announced that Weinstein Company Co-Chairman and outspoken anti-bullying advocate Harvey Weinstein will present a Special Recognition Award to high school student Katy Butler.
17-year-old Katy Butler launched a Change.org campaign last month to advocate that the ‘R’ rating of the upcoming documentary Bully be changed to ‘PG-13.’ Last week Butler delivered more than 200,000 signatures to the Motion Picture Association of America’s (MPAA) Los Angeles office. Today the Change.org action counts nearly 300,000 signatures. Butler, a high school student from Michigan, came out in middle school and experienced bullying. She has since garnered the attention of many well-known public figures including Justin Bieber, Ellen DeGeneres, Johnny Depp, and Meryl Streep. Representative Mike Honda of California also issued a letter to the MPAA in support of the rating change, which was signed by 20 additional Members of Congress. The Weinstein Company has set up a Resource Guide for all fans who want to stay informed and support the movement against bullying.
Glee’s Dianna Agron will host the event in San Francisco on June 2 at the Marriott Marquis, presented locally by Southwest Airlines. Rhimes will receive the Golden Gate Award, Wells Fargo will receive the Corporate Leader Award and Facebook will receive a Special Recognition Award at the ceremony.
Special guests for the New York event include: Dakota Fanning (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2); Martha Plimpton (Raising Hope); Megan Hilty (Smash); Carson Kressley (Dancing with the Stars); Padma Lakshmi (Top Chef); MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts; Kim Wayans (Pariah); Vinny Guadagnino (Jersey Shore); Ted Allen (Chopped); Tracey Gold (Starving Secrets with Tracey Gold); Wendy Williams (The Wendy Williams Show); Laverne Cox (Musical Chairs); Jay Manuel, Isis King (America’s Next Top Model); journalist Chris Geidner; writer Janet Mock; and Emil Wilbekin (Essence).
Special guests for the Los Angeles event include Betty White, Wendie Malick, Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves (Hot in Cleveland); Ellen DeGeneres (The Ellen DeGeneres Show); Josh Hutcherson (The Hunger Games); Anna Paquin (True Blood); Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family); Gilles Marini (Switched at Birth); Fran Drescher (Happily Divorced); Ali Larter (The Asset); Mario Lopez (Extra); Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato (Becoming Chaz, The Strange History of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell); Mike Mills (Beginners); and Josh Berman (Drop Dead Diva). Additional names to be announced.
The GLAAD Media Awards ceremonies will be held in New York on March 24, 2012 at the Marriott Marquis Times Square; in Los Angeles on April 21 at the Westin Bonaventure; and in San Francisco on June 2 at San Francisco Marriott Marquis.
Nominees for the 23rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards were announced in January and are available here. The GLAAD Media Awards recognize and honor media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the LGBT and the issues that affect their lives.