On Saturday night, the beloved Andrew Ahn-directed film won the final award of the evening for Outstanding Film – Streaming/TV at the GLAAD Media Awards in New York, tying with Billy Porter’s Anything’s Possible. Star and writer of the film, Joel Kim Booster accepted the award from Idina Menzel and was joined on the stage by Ahn as well as his castmates Bowen Yang, James Scully, Matt Rogers, Torian Miller, Nick Adams, Zane Phillips, and Michael Graceffa.
“Holy shit. I’ll be quick, I know we all have other parties we want to get to,” Booster said, gratitude filling his voice as he accepted the trophy. “Thank you so much to GLAAD, this is such a huge honor. We are in the midst of a wave of such incredible representation in the media right now for queer stories so being to be included amongst all the stories being told tonight and honored tonight is such a huge, huge honor.”
Fire Island was released on Hulu in June 2022 and was a watershed moment for queer Asian representation. Set in the titular Fire Island Pines, Booster’s script was loosely based on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, centering around two best friends who set out to have a legendary week-long summer vacation with the help of cheap rosé and a cadre of eclectic friends. The film was written, directed and starred a multitude of queer talent which also included actors Tomás Matos, Margaret Cho, and Conrad Ricamora.
“I have to thank everybody who made this movie possible our incredible crew who worked tirelessly to make this movie a reality…my beautiful cast who became my family,” said Booster. He turned to Ahn saying, “it was an honor getting to create an Asian American gay story with an Asian American gay man.”
More emotions bubbled up as Booster added, “Thank you to my partner, who is my rom-com happy ending every day. I love you, babe.”
As a WGA member, Booster took the opportunity to share his thoughts on the current landscape and writer’s strike impacting the film and TV industry. “I have to say that writing this movie was the greatest honor of my life. The thing I’m most proud of than I am so proud to be a member of the Writers Guild of America. I thank them for giving me and creating a framework that made this movie not only just a hobby, but life changing for me economically. I hope that you all stand in solidarity with us as we move forward and the labor issues are queer issues.”
He punctuated it with “corporate greed is real” and “pay us!” before pointing out: “They want to replace us with AI but I can tell you now definitively that AI does not have the trauma, the joy of the lived experience.”
And before he dismissed the room to the GLAAD Media Awards afterparty he gave a piece of advice: “If you take half an adderrall with an edible it’s kind of like molly.”