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GLAAD MEDIA AWARDS ADDRESS RISE OF ANTI-LGBTQ BILLS WITH HONORS FOR TEXAS NATIVES MAREN MORRIS AND JONATHAN VAN NESS IN NEW YORK CITY ON MAY 13
- Last updated: May 24, 2023
JONATHAN VAN NESS BECOMES FIRST NONBINARY RECIPIENT OF GLAAD’s VITO RUSSO AWARD; MAREN MORRIS FIRST COUNTRY MUSIC STAR TO RECEIVE GLAAD’s EXCELLENCE IN MEDIA AWARD
Special guests include Joel Kim Booster, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Tamron Hall, Amrit Kapai & Nicholas Kouchoukos, L Morgan Lee, Raquel Willis and Karine Jean-Pierre slated to attend
Los Angeles ceremony honoring Bad Bunny, Christina Aguilera and Jeremy Pope available to stream on Hulu tonight at 10pm ET / 7pm PT
New York, NY – Wednesday, April 12, 2023 – GLAAD, the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, today announced that Grammy Award-winning country music superstar Maren Morris will receive GLAAD’s Excellence in Media Award at the 34th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York at the New York Hilton Midtown on Saturday, May 13, 2023. Emmy-nominated television personality, two-time New York Times best-selling author, comedian and podcast host Jonathan Van Ness will receive the Vito Russo Award. Both have recently worked with GLAAD and other organizations to speak out against anti-LGBTQ legislation in Texas, Tennessee, and other states. During the New York ceremony, GLAAD will also announce award recipients for LGBTQ representation in categories that span film, TV, news, and Spanish-language media.
Special guests at the ceremony also include Joel Kim Booster (Fire Island), Jasmin Savoy Brown (Scream, Yellowjackets), Tamron Hall (Tamron Hall Show), Amrit Kapai & Nicholas Kouchoukos (Family Karma), L Morgan Lee (A Strange Loop), Raquel Willis (Logo’s Trans Youth Town Hall), Karine Jean-Pierre and others.
GLAAD’s Excellence in Media Award is presented to allies who have made a significant difference in promoting acceptance of LGBTQ people. Previous Excellence in Media Award honorees include Judith Light, Ava DuVernay, Patti LaBelle, Debra Messing, Tyra Banks, Julianne Moore, Barbara Walters, and Diane Sawyer.
The Vito Russo Award is presented to a LGBTQ media professional who has made a significant difference in accelerating LGBTQ acceptance. The Award is named after Vito Russo, a founder of GLAAD and celebrated ACT UP activist, who pushed open the door for news and entertainment industries to include LGBTQ performers and stories. Previous Vito Russo honorees include WIlson Cruz, Billy Porter, Anderson Cooper, Ricky Martin, Andy Cohen, RuPaul, Cynthia Nixon, Samira Wiley, and George Takei, among others.
The 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.
About Maren Morris’ Excellence in Media Award:
Maren Morris is a Grammy-award winning country music superstar, based in Nashville, TN. An artist whose career spans decades, Morris is a dedicated longtime activist, advocating for equality within the country music genre, as well as using her influence to raise awareness and funds for issues including racial justice, food security, and LGBTQ rights.
Most recently in Nashville, Morris headlined Love Rising, a concert benefitting local LGBTQ organizations fighting against recent anti-LGBTQ legislation in Tennessee that include restrictions on books, drag performances, and healthcare for transgender youth. Flanked by queer music artists and allies across country music, Morris boldly showed the LGBTQ community that they belong, from the heart of country music itself.
Through multiple mediums, Morris has spoken out in support of LGBTQ people and issues and garnered national attention for her defense of transgender people. When right-wing media branded her a “Lunatic country music person” for her allyship, Morris turned around and raised over $200,000 for Trans LifeLine and GLAAD’s Transgender Media Program through sales of a t-shirt brandishing that same phrase. Later, Morris created another t-shirt in partnership with GLAAD to fundraise for Spirit Day, a purple tee printed with the phrase, “You Have a Seat at This Table.” All proceeds went to GLAAD’s work to safeguard LGBTQ youth.
At the start of 2023, Morris appeared as a guest judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race, where, in a heartfelt moment backstage, she issued an apology to the show’s contestants for country music’s treatment of LGBTQ people. “Coming from country music and its relationship with LGBTQ-plus members, I just want to say I’m sorry.” In response, multiple outlets, including Billboard, Deadline, Entertainment Weekly, People, and USA TODAY highlighted Morris’ support. Rolling Stone reported: “Maren Morris has been a staunch supporter of LGBTQ+ issues, and she’s staying true to that commitment.”
About Jonathan Van Ness’ Vito Russo Award:
Jonathan Van Ness is one of the most visible nonbinary media personalities and uses their platform to raise awareness for a range of LGBTQ+ and HIV issues. JVN is a fierce advocate for social justice, trans lives and elevating queer voices and experiences.
JVN first stepped in front of the camera in 2013 starring in the hit web series, Gay Of Thrones, for the web comedy outlet Funny of Die. The series went on to receive three Primetime Emmy nominations for Outstanding Short Form Variety Series, the first of which was in 2016 when the category was first introduced.
In 2015, JVN launched their passion project, Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness, a weekly podcast exploring all the things JVN is curious about which recently celebrated its 300th episode. With a wide range of topics from queer identity, to hair science, to politics and social justice, JVN interviews experts in their respective fields.
As of 2018, JVN has been a member of the new Fab Five in Netflix’s Queer Eye. The series, highlighting the need for acceptance, understanding and positive cultural change in society, for LGBTQ people has garnered 29 Emmy nominations and 10 Emmy wins. Queer Eye also took home the GLAAD Award for Outstanding Reality Program in 2019 at the 30th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles.
Determined to live authentically, JVN brought the realities of living with HIV into a global spotlight and conversation, revealing their HIV status in their memoir, Over The Top: A Raw Journey To Self-Love. JVN’s decision to share their status openly without shame has helped shift the cultural narrative around HIV for the millions of people living with an HIV-positive and undetectable status. In April 2022, JVN released Love That Story: Observations From A Gorgeously Queer Life, which covered topics ranging from the HIV social safety net and TERFs, to the queer backstory behind JVN’s hometown of Quincy, Illinois.
Most recently, they’ve joined forces with Equality Texas in Austin to bring awareness to the hundreds of anti-LGBTQ bills being drafted and passed, galvanizing support of the Texas community against anti-LGBTQ agenda.
About the 34th Annual GLAAD Media Awards
This year, GLAAD announced 295 nominees across 33 categories including two new categories: Outstanding Podcast and Outstanding Live TV Journalism – Segment or Special. For the first time ever, the Outstanding Reality Program category was also split to nominate both reality competition series and non-competition series independently. The Outstanding Kids & Family Programming category was also split to nominate animated and live action programs independently. This year also includes ten nominees in the Outstanding Film – Wide Release category for the first time.
Earlier this year, GLAAD hosted the Los Angeles ceremony of the 34th Annual GLAAD Media Awards, announcing winners in 15 categories, including Outstanding Film – Wide Release, Outstanding New Series, Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Documentary, and Outstanding Music Artist. Christina Aguilera received the Advocate for Change Award (video here), Bad Bunny received the Vanguard Award, presented by Ricky Martin, and Jeremy Pope received the Stephen F. Kolzak Award presented by Gabrielle Union, at the star-studded ceremony at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles. The evening was hosted by Emmy and Grammy nominated comedian and actress Margaret Cho, and featured special performances from FLETCHER and Orville Peck. The ceremony is available to stream on Hulu starting today at 10pm ET/7pm PT..
The Executive Producers of the 34th Annual GLAAD Media Awards are GLAAD President & CEO, Sarah Kate Ellis and GLAAD’s Rich Ferraro and Anthony Allen Ramos.
The 34th Annual GLAAD Media Awards are presented by Gilead Sciences, Inc., Google, Hyundai, and Ketel One Family Made Vodka. GLAAD is also grateful to Major Sponsor Delta Air Lines and Official Sponsor Sony Music Group. For more information on how to become a corporate sponsor, please contact: Melissa Harris, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at email@example.com.
To purchase tickets for the 34th Annual GLAAD Media Awards, please visit: www.glaad.org/mediaawards/tickets.
To apply for credentials to cover the GLAAD Media Awards New York, please click HERE
On socials please follow @GLAAD and #glaadawards
About GLAAD: GLAAD rewrites the script for LGBTQ acceptance. As a dynamic media force, GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change. GLAAD protects all that has been accomplished and creates a world where everyone can live the life they love. For more information, please visit www.glaad.org or connect with GLAAD on Facebook and Twitter.
For GLAAD Media Institute Alum Kevin Anderson, interviews with journalists have become increasingly prevalent in…