Star Trek actor George Takei had high praise for the organisation which honoured him with a top award for his gay rights activism on Saturday (03May14), insisting officials have given young homosexuals role models and hope. Takei received the Vito Russo Award at the 25th annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York and used his acceptance speech to shine the light on the work of the group.
The openly gay star said, "In the 25 years since its founding, GLAAD has dramatically changed American society for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people. I know, because as a closeted kid growing up in Los Angeles... all I saw of gays and lesbians in movies and television, or heard on radio, were caricatures of people who were mocked and laughed at, or pitied, or hated. "The media stripped us of all humanity and made us into pathetic stereotypes. The media then was a soul-crushing monster. GLAAD took on this formidable beast with its media savvy, political acumen and the power of its advocacy and transformed the media into a powerful force for change."
But he insisted the fight is not over yet - and GLAAD bosses still have a lot of work to do: "As long as LGBT people can be fired from their job for simply being who they are, our work isn’t done yet. As long as young people are kicked out of their families just for being who they are, our work is not done yet. As long as people are being bullied into feeling that their lives are so hopeless that they are driven to self-destructive acts, our work is not done."
Naomi Watts, Kylie Minogue, Emmy Rossum, Boy George, Laura Prepon, Laverne Cox, Swoosie Kurtz and country star Kacey Musgraves were among the special guests who joined Takei at the Waldorf Astoria New York for the gala. Boy George introduced Minogue, who performed Can't Get You Out of My Head, while Grammy Award winner Kacey Musgraves played her LGBT-empowerment anthem Follow Your Arrow, and became the first country act to perform at the GLAAD Media Awards.
Winners included Orange Is the New Black (Outstanding Comedy Series) and Philomena (Outstanding Film), while transgender actress Candis Cayne took the stage to accept the Outstanding Individual Episode award on behalf of U.S. TV drama Elementary. Cayne portrayed Sherlock Holmes' housekeeper Ms. Hudson in the episode, titled Snow Angels.
Former Star Trek icon George Takei is to be honoured with the Vito Russo Award at the 25th annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York next month (May14). The accolade is bestowed on an "openly lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equality".
Previous Vito Russo honourees include Ricky Martin, Alan Cumming, Cynthia Nixon, Sir Elton John, k.d. lang and Tom Ford.
Kylie Minogue will perform at the gala, which will take place at the Waldorf Astoria New York on 3 May (14).
For almost a quarter of a century now, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation has hosted the annual Media Awards ceremony, honoring the pertinent projects and individuals it deems the biggest purveyors of its central message of tolerance and progressive attitudes. Saturday's 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards took to recognizing the likes of public figures Anderson Cooper and the more controversial Brett Ratner, who began working on the "Coming Out for Equality" program following his spotlit use of a homophobic slur in late 2011.
Among the winners was the Oscar nominated documentary How to Survive a Plague, which tackles the unity of the HIV- and AIDS-inflicted community following the outbreak of the deadly virus. Among the network series that earned recognition at the ceremony are NBC's Smash and CBS' reality show The Amazing Race. See the full list below.
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- Vito Russo Award: Anderson Cooper
- Ally Award: Brett Ratner
- Outstanding Drama Series: Smash (NBC)
- Outstanding Documentary: How to Survive a Plague (Sundance Selects)
- Outstanding Reality Program: The Amazing Race (CBS)
RELATED: 'How to Survive a Plague' Earns Dramatic Mini Series
- Outstanding Newspaper Article: "Game Changer" by Andy Mannix (City Pages [Minneapolis, Minn.])
- Outstanding Newspaper Columnist: Frank Bruni (The New York Times)
- Outstanding Newspaper Overall Coverage: The Boston Globe
- Outstanding Magazine Article: "School of Hate" by Sabrina Rubin Erdely (Rolling Stone)
- Outstanding Magazine Overall Coverage: The Advocate/Out
- Outstanding New York Theatre: Broadway & Off Broadway: The Whale by Samuel D. Hunter
- Outstanding New York Theatre: Off-Off Broadway: From White Plains written by Michael Perlman in collaboration with Fault Line Theatre
- Outstanding Talk Show Interview: "Entrevista con Orlando Cruz" Titulares Telemundo(Telemundo)
- Outstanding Magazine Article: "Amor genuino" by Cristina Saralegui (People en Español)
- Outstanding Digital Journalism Article: "Operación tolerancia: la lucha contra la homofobia en los medios hispanos" by Lilia Luciano (voces.huffingtonpost.com)
- Outstanding Digital Journalism - Multimedia: "2013: Año clave para la comunidad gay" by Ramón Frisneda (ElDiarioNY.com)
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[Photo Credit: Will Hart/NBC]
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The actress, who 'came out' as a lesbian after splitting from long-time partner Danny Mozes in 2003, was handed the Vito Russo Award at the ceremony organised by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).
The prize is presented to stars who make a significant difference in promoting equal rights for the gay community.
Other winners at the event, hosted by actor Alan Cumming, included TV drama series Brothers & Sisters and The Oprah Winfrey Show which were saluted for a showing fair, accurate and inclusive representation of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
The View host Joy Behar received the Excellence in Media Award.
The actress, who came out as a lesbian after splitting from long-time partner Danny Mozes in 2003, will be handed the Vito Russo Award at a New York ceremony.
The Vito Russo Award is named after a founding member of gay rights organisation the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), and presented to someone who has made "a significant difference in promoting equal rights for our community."
GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios says, "Cynthia Nixon has been a vocal and visible advocate who has transformed cultural attitudes about our community. She is a perfect example of how sharing your personal story and speaking out for marriage equality can inspire change among fair-minded Americans. It is our privilege to honour her."
The Broadway cast of the musical Hair will also be honoured in New York for its "commitment to raising visibility for marriage equality".
Actor Alan Cumming will host the New York ceremony on 13 March. Ceremonies will also be held in Los Angeles and San Francisco, California.
French film controversy
Ricky on stage
"Weakest Link" video game
Sharon Stone drops restraining order
Sharon Stone (The Quick and The Dead, Basic Instinct, The Muse) has dropped her request for a permanent restraining order against Italian visitor Agostino P'omato, according to reports by People magazine.
Stone was granted a temporary restraining order on March 19 to keep P'omato at least 100 yards away from her, her husband and their son. P'omato allegedly arrived at Stone's house in the Los Angeles area saying that he wanted to "take her and marry her."
P'omato's family convinced him to return to Italy, which prompted Stone to drop the request for a permanent restraining order, said her lawyer.
Redgrave honored at GLAAD media awards
Vanessa Redgrave received the Excellence in Media Award at Monday's 12th Annual Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) Media Awards in New York.
Redgrave's daughter, actress Natasha Richardson, made the presentation. In a report filed by People, Redgrave told the attendees, "If Anne Heche can play a lesbian, so can I. I think I have done my part for heterosexuality." The award honors a member of the entertainment community who has made a significant difference in promoting equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people.
Also at the ceremony, Kathleen Turner presented Liz Smith the Vito Russo Award, which honors a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered member of the entertainment or media community for their outstanding contribution in combating homophobia.
Other guests and presenters included: host Mo Gaffney, Joan Collins, Gina Gershon, Sharon Gless, Florence Henderson, Jill Henessey, Michael Imperioli (The Sopranos), Susan Lucci and Eden Riegal (All My Children), Lou Reed, and John Ritter.
Splittsville for Gary Oldman
Gary Oldman's (Hannibal, The Fifth Element, Lost in Space) wife Donya Fiorentino filed papers to end their marriage due to irreconcilable differences. The AP reports that the couple of four years separated on Friday, the same day the papers were filed.
The Oscar-nominated Oldman (Best Supporting Actor for last year's The Contender) and Fiorentino have two sons together, Gulliver and Charlie. Oldman has had two prior marriages, with Lesley Manville and Uma Thurman (Gattaca, Pulp Fiction, The Avengers). Oldman has a third son with Manville.
Director Michael Ritchie dies
Director Michael Ritchie (Smile, Downhill Racer, The Golden Child) is dead of prostate cancer at the age of 62, says the New York Times.
Ritchie was often unconventional, as evidenced by the Holly Hunter feature The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom, which aired on HBO in 1993. Ritchie also directed major flops, including The Island.
The last film Ritchie completed was last year's The Fantasticks.
French rape film sparks controversy upon arrival in U.S.
The controversial French film Baise-Moi (Rape Me) is set for release in New York and Los Angeles this June, reports Variety.
The film features two stars of the French adult film world, Raffaela Anderson and Karen Bach, and tells the tale of a prostitute and a rape victim who embark on a bloody, violent road trip. The film portrays a violent rape and its effect on the victim, who is spurred to acts of violence.
Censors, according to Variety, banned the film from mainstream movie theaters in France. In England, the film was screened only after the distributor cut 10 seconds of particularly objectionable footage.
The film is based on the novel of the same name, written by Virginie Despentes.
News blackout blankets resumption of WGA talks
No reporters, no cameras, no statements, no photo opportunities.
That is the "cone of silence" surrounding the negotiations between the Writers Guild of America and the movie and TV alliance, as talks resumed at 2:30 p.m. yesterday.
Designed to keep negotiators focused on reaching an agreement, the blackout, according to Variety, allows for only a bare bones account at the end of the day. The arrangement takes the negotiations out of the public arena, where they have been since they began on January 22.
With the May 2 expiration of the current writers' deal, it is imperative that the two sides reach an accord as soon as possible. The last round of talks broke off on March 1, with the parties more than $100 million apart and a strike looming on the horizon.
Ricky's role call
It's curtains for singer Ricky Martin: the Latin heartthrob is in talks to star in Zorro, a stage production to premiere in London's West End, according to Britain's Sun tabloid. The musical, produced by Adam Kenwright, is also attracting singer Robbie Williams, who has expressed an interest in writing some of the show's lyrics.
Country crooners to wed
Two of Nashville's biggest stars--Lorrie Morgan and Sammy Kershaw --announced on Tuesday's Live with Regis and Kelly that they plan to get hitched. The couple has set a wedding date of Sept. 29. Morgan, 41, and Kershaw, 43, have both had previous marriages.
"Weakest Link" video game?
The latest game-show sensation to sweep America could invade stores later this year. According to Variety, British phenomenon The Weakest Link is being converted into a video game by Activision, Inc. The only catch: they're scrambling to get it produced before the hype surrounding the show dies down. Though typical video games take 18 months to produce, Activision is aiming for an October release.