During the 32nd Annual GLAAD Media Awards on Thursday, the cast of Glee reunited for a special tribute to the legacy of the late Naya Rivera’s character Santana Lopez. The tribute honored the ten-year anniversary of Santana’s coming out on the GLAAD Media Award-winning series and spotlighted the character’s impact on LGBTQ teens and Latinx LGBTQ representation on television.
Watch the special tribute below:
Global superstar Demi Lovato, who played Santana’s girlfriend on Glee, introduced the special tribute, which featured Glee cast members Jacob Artist, Chris Colfer, Darren Criss, Jessalyn Gilsig, Dot-Marie Jones, Vanessa Lengies, Jane Lynch, Kevin McHale, Heather Morris, Matthew Morrison, Alex Newell, Lauren Potter, Amber Riley, Harry Shum Jr., Becca Tobin, and Jenna Ushkowitz.
In her introduction, Lovato said: “I will always cherish the chance I got to play Naya’s girlfriend, Dani, on Glee. The character Naya played, Santana Lopez, was groundbreaking for closeted queer girls, like I was at the time. And her accomplishments and ambition inspired Latina women all over the world.”
The cast of Glee spoke intimately about their personal relationships with Naya and how much they admired her talent, kindness, and uplifting spirit. On the character of Santana, Chris Colfer noted that “Santana basically got disowned by her family and as a lot of us know, that’s a feeling too many LGBTQ kids know too well.” Alex Newell continued, “With the exception of our show, there were almost no LGBTQ teens on television at the time,” with Harry Shum Jr. adding, “especially young LGBTQ Latina women.” Heather Morris continued, “And as ally, Naya was so honored to represent them.”
Yolanda Previtire, Naya’s mother, also sent in a special message for the reunion. Check out the heartwarming words below:
During its run, Glee was nominated six times for Outstanding Comedy Series at the GLAAD Media Awards, winning the award in both 2010 and 2011. Naya Rivera also hosted the GLAAD Media Awards twice.
During the virtual ceremony, Sam Smith accepted the award for Outstanding Music Artist, Disclosure took home the award for Outstanding Documentary, Schitt’s Creek received the award for Outstanding Comedy Series for a second year in a row, Star Trek: Discovery won for Outstanding Drama Series, Happiest Season took home the award for Outstanding Film – Wide Release, The Boys in the Band received the award for Outstanding Film – Limited Release, We’re Here won for Outstanding Reality Program, The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo took home the award for Outstanding Children’s Programming, and “Lilly Responds to Comments About Her Sexuality,” a segment of Lilly Singh’s late-night talk show A Little Late With Little Singh, won for for Outstanding Variety or Talk Show Episode. Prior to the virtual ceremony, GLAAD announced the winners of the remaining GLAAD Media Awards categories on Twitter. Check out the full list of winners here.
Watch the ceremony for the 32nd Annual GLAAD Media Awards on GLAAD’s YouTube here. The ceremony is also available to stream on-demand on Hulu now until the end of June. For a full recap of the ceremony’s appearances, performances, and acceptance speeches, click here.
The 32nd Annual 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 32nd Annual GLAAD Media Awards are presented by Gilead, Hyundai, and Ketel One Family Made Vodka. GLAAD is also grateful to: Major Sponsors Google and YouTube; Official Sponsor TikTok; Titanium Sponsors Bud Light, Comcast NBCUniversal Telemundo, Disney, Facebook, HBO Max, Omnicom, Sony Music Group, and Starz; Platinum Sponsors Amazon Studios, Facet Records, Hallmark Channel, MGM/Orion Pictures, Netflix, Sheppard Mullin, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Viacom CBS; and Gold Sponsors Edelman, Ketchum, Nickelodeon, and Sephora. Special thanks to Kevin Burke & Jeff Ferguson.