GLAAD, the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, today announced that it will honor award-winning screenwriter, producer, and director Ryan Murphy with the Vito Russo Award at the 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards at the Hilton Midtown in New York on Thursday, March 19.

The 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards honor media for fair, accurate, and inclusive representations of LGBTQ people and issues. The 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards are presented by Delta, Gilead, Hyundai, and Ketel One Family-Made Vodka. GLAAD previously announced over 175 nominees in 30 categories. Taylor Swift will receive the Vanguard Award and Janet Mock will receive the Stephen F. Kolzak Award at the 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles on Thursday, April 16.

The Vito Russo Award is presented to an openly 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 Billy Porter, Anderson Cooper, Ricky Martin, Andy Cohen, Cynthia Nixon, RuPaul, Rosie O'Donnell, Tom Ford, Samira Wiley, Thomas Roberts, George Takei, Alan Cumming, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, among others.

“Ryan Murphy is a talented trailblazer behind some of the most innovative and popular LGBTQ projects in television, theater and film history, and he continues to bring underrepresented LGBTQ voices to the table in ways that raise the bar in Hollywood,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “Ryan’s unique and gifted brand of storytelling has not only entertained the masses, but provided LGBTQ youth with characters who inspire them to live boldly and proudly.”

Ryan Murphy is an Emmy, Golden Globe, Tony and Peabody Award-winning screenwriter, producer and director who continues to accelerate acceptance for LGBTQ people in Hollywood.

This year, Murphy is nominated for GLAAD Media Awards in Outstanding Comedy Series for The Politician and in Outstanding Drama Series for Pose. Previously, he received GLAAD Media Awards for projects including Pose, The Normal Heart, American Horror Story: Asylum, The New Normal, Popular, and the Assassination of Gianni Versace – American Crime Story. Murphy also received six nominations and two wins for Glee. His other GLAAD Media Award nominated projects include Feud: Bette and Joan, Glee Project, American Horror Story: Cult, American Horror Story: Apocalypse, and the film Running With Scissors.

His most recent Netflix series, The Politician, received two 2020 Golden Globe nominations, including Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy; Pose was nominated for two 2019 Emmy Awards, winning Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for Billy Porter, and received several Golden Globe Nominations. The show has made history by featuring the largest transgender series regular cast and the largest LGBTQ cast ever for a scripted series.

On stage, he recently produced the Tony Award-winning Broadway hit of the seminal LGBTQ story The Boys in the Band, starring LGBTQ cast members including Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto and Matt Bomer. Murphy also directed the HBO movie The Normal Heart, which centers on LGBTQ advocates during the AIDS episdemic. The movie received Emmy and Golden Globe awards, including the Emmy for Outstanding Television Movie.

He recently co-wrote, directed and produced the upcoming series Ratched and Hollywood for Netflix. Next, Murphy will direct the feature adaption of the Broadway hit, The Prom, the story of a gay high school teenager who stands up against anti-LGBTQ discrimination in her small town. The cast includes Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman and James Corden. Murphy has also produced a film version of The Boys in the Band for a 2020 release.

In 2018, Murphy announced that all the profits from Pose would be donated to charitable organizations working with LGBTQ people, including the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, and Callen-Lorde Community Health Center. In April 2019, Murphy hosted a special benefit performance of Broadway’s The Prom, in which proceeds from the show went to LGBTQ organizations including the Hetrick-Martin Institute, GLAAD, and The Trevor Project.

Throughout his career, Murphy has used his platform to elevate LGBTQ and minority voices. In 2016, Murphy launched an initiative called Half, which aims to create equal opportunities for women and minorities behind the camera in Hollywood. Less than one year after launching Half, Ryan Murphy Television’s director slate hired 60% women directors and 90% were either women and/or minorities.

Murphy has also been recognized for his trailblazing accomplishments and impact. In 2018, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and in 2019, he was selected as a ‘Titan’ for the Time Magazine’s annual 100 Most Influential People list.

GLAAD recently announced over 175 nominees in 30 categories for the 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards, including the returning category for Outstanding Broadway Production. The Outstanding Kids & Family Programming category expanded to ten nominees as a result of an increase in LGBTQ images across the kids and family television programming and an increase in GLAAD’s work to advocate for inclusion in this genre. GLAAD also announced Special Recognition honors for Netflix’s Special and for pioneering LGBTQ journalists Karen Ocamb and Mark Segal. For a full list of nominees for the 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards, click here.

To purchase tickets for the 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards, please visit here.

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