Actress Drew Barrymore hosted the event.
The GLAAD Media Awards recognize and honor media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community and the issues that affect their lives. The GLAAD Media Awards also fund GLAAD’s work to amplify stories of LGBT people and issues that build support for equality.
At the ceremony, Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence and Harvey Weinstein introduced former President Bill Clinton who received the inaugural Advocate for Change Award from his daughter Chelsea Clinton.
In accepting the award, President Clinton called for the end of the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” or DOMA: “I’m very honored to join with Edie Windsor […] and with so many others, including President Obama and Vice President Biden, the whole Obama administration, urging the Supreme Court to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act. I want to keep working on this until not only DOMA is no longer the law of the land but until all people no matter where they live can marry the people they love.”
President Clinton continued, “I want to thank GLAAD for the award and congratulate the other honorees […] I think that the staff, the board of directors, and the most active supporters of GLAAD deserve the award I’m getting because they are the real agents of change. They had this idea, a long time ago, GLAAD did — there would be a lot of people lobbying Congress, but somebody ought to be personalizing and humanizing these issues for the LGBT community. They actually believed you could reach a human heart. They actually believed that people could think and feel differently.”
Leonardo DiCaprio and Charlize Theron presented the Stephen F. Kolzak Award to entertainment attorney Steve Warren. During his acceptance speech, Warren called on the Supreme Court Justices to join the majority of Americans in supporting full equality for all couples: “Four weeks ago, Justice Anthony Kennedy remarked that the court is heading into uncharted waters. It can lead to a wonderful destination, he said, or to a cliff. I almost wept when I heard these words. They are so true. In fact, all of us in the LGBT community have been living our entire lives in uncharted waters. Each time one of us comes out, each time we commit our love, whether privately or publicly, each time we decide to create our own families with children and partners of our own, we plunge head first into those waters and it can be terrifying. But those waters have been calmed and made more welcoming over the past fifty years with greater and greater effectiveness by the work of organizations like GLAAD.”
GLAAD also presented an award to GLAAD co-founder Dean Hansell, who spoke about the organization’s early efforts to change the way LGBT people are portrayed in the media.
Ryan Murphy, the co-creator of The New Normal, accepted the award for Outstanding Comedy Series with cast members Andrew Rannells, Justin Bartha, Georgia King, and Jayson Blair. Murphy also accepted the trophy for American Horror Story: Asylum which received the nod for Outstanding TV Movie or Mini-Series. Writer, director Stephen Chbosky accepted the award for Outstanding Film – Wide Release for his film The Perks of Being a Wallflower. He was joined by cast members Logan Lerman, Johnny Simmons, and Mae Whitman. Raising Hope received the award for Outstanding Individual Episode for “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Me What to Do.” The award for Outstanding Daily Drama went to Days of Our Lives for the second consecutive year.
The capacity crowd enjoyed performances by Kelly Rowland and Glee’s Darren Criss. Guests include: Leonardo DiCaprio (The Great Gatsby); Charlize Theron (Snow White and the Huntsman); Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games); Betty White (Hot in Cleveland); brothers Chris Evans (The Avengers) & Scott Evans (Behaving Badly); Tobey Maguire (The Great Gatsby); Alex Pettyfer (The Butler); Elle Fanning (Ginger & Rosa); Beth Ditto (Gossip); Kirsten Dunst (On the Road); Naya Rivera, Alex Newell (Glee); Matt Bomer (White Collar); Sara Ramirez, Ellen Pompeo (Grey’s Anatomy); Cloris Leachman, Shannon Woodward (Raising Hope); Ted Danson (CSI) and Mary Steenburgen (30 Rock); Lana Parrilla (Once Upon a Time); Eric Dane and Rebecca Gayheart-Dane; Ioan Guffudd and Alice Evans; Ali Larter and Hayes MacArthur; Sara Gilbert (The Talk) and musician Linda Perry; Molly Shannon (Enlightened); Kat Graham (The Vampire Diaries); Trevor Donovan (90210); Thomas Roberts (MSNBC); author and advocate Chaz Bono; Kori Boccumini, Cori McGinn (The Real L Word); Avan Jogia (Twisted); Maria Menounos (Extra); Jane Espenson, Brad Bell (Husbands); LGBT advocates Zach Wahls and Jennifer Tyrrell; GLAAD National Spokespersons, Wilson Cruz and Omar Sharif, Jr..
This year, over 200 youth were able to attend the event at no cost through the Young Adults at the GLAAD Media Awards program. The Young Adults program was presented in Los Angeles by Fox. Students affiliated with Environmental Charter High, Compton High, Fairfax Senior High, Pepperdine University, and Arizona State University joined GLAAD for the event.