GLAAD, the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, today announced that it will honor award-winning actress, producer, and activist Judith Light with the Excellence in Media Award at the 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York.
GLAAD also announced that Lilly Singh, openly bisexual executive producer and host of NBC’s “A Little Late with Lilly Singh,” will serve as host of the Awards, which will take place at the Hilton Midtown in New York on Thursday, March 19. GLAAD previously announced that Ryan Murphy will receive the Vito Russo Award at the New York ceremony.
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.
GLAAD’s Excellence in Media Award is presented to media professionals who have made a significant difference in promoting acceptance of LGBTQ people. Previous Excellence in Media Award honorees include Ava DuVernay, Robert De Niro, Kelly Ripa, Patti LaBelle, Debra Messing, Tyra Banks, Julianne Moore, Glenn Close, Barbara Walters, Joy Behar, Billy Crystal, and Diane Sawyer.
“Judith Light stood up for and with LGBTQ people when others in media and entertainment refused to speak up, and she has never left our side,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “When the GLAAD Media Awards first started and was a small event with little visibility, she was one of the few entertainers who would join us in calling for LGBTQ representation, so it is only fitting to now honor her advocacy on what has become the largest LGBTQ stage in the world. From standing alongside LGBTQ people during the AIDS crisis, to fighting for marriage equality, to now uplifting transgender people and issues, Judith advocates with a unique passion and an unending dedication that uplifts.”
Multiple Tony and Emmy award-winning actress Judith Light is known for her extensive body of television, film, and stage work, for which she recently received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Currently, Light is starring opposite Bette Midler and Ben Platt in Ryan Murphy’s Netflix series The Politician, which is nominated for a GLAAD Media Award.
On screen, Light has portrayed many pivotal roles that have helped to advance LGBTQ acceptance and elevate LGBTQ stories and issues. In 1989, Light starred as Ryan White’s mother in The Ryan White Story, a film based on the true life story of teenager Ryan White who contracted HIV and was expelled from his middle school. More recently, Light starred in Transparent, Amazon Prime’s Golden Globe–winning series, for which she received a Golden Globe nomination and multiple Emmy and Critics’ Choice nominations. During its run, Transparent earned three GLAAD Media Awards and helped to bring mainstream attention to issues related to the transgender community. Light has also appeared in several other films and shows that have helped to elevate LGBTQ issues and people, including the 2007 film Save Me about the dangers of gay conversion therapy, and Ryan Murphy’s FX series The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, which received a GLAAD Media Award and garnered her an Emmy and Critics Choice nomination. Light is also known for her variety of award-winning roles in the theater and won two consecutive Tony Awards.
Throughout her career, Judith Light has been a fearless advocate for LGBTQ people and has helped to bring awareness to numerous LGBTQ issues and causes. During the 1980s, Light was one of the few prominent celebrities who helped to bring draw attention to the AIDS epidemic and fight stigma towards LGBTQ people and people living with HIV/AIDS. During this time, Light worked with many different LGBTQ organizations to help accelerate acceptance for the LGBTQ community, including the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, GLAAD, NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, Project Angel Food, and Elton John AIDS Foundation. Throughout the 1990s, Light continued to advocate for LGBTQ issues by participating in various events and campaigns, including the LGBT March in Washington in 1993, the California AIDS Ride in 1995, and the display of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt with Elizabeth Taylor in 1996. In 2002, Light also traveled to South Africa for the AIDS walk to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS in the country and help drive greater research initiatives in the United States. Light has also served on the boards of the Matthew Shepard Foundation and the Point Foundation.
Light was honored with the 2019 Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award for her extensive philanthropy work, especially in fighting to end AIDS and championing LGBTQ and human rights.
“As she continues to break new ground for LGBTQ people of color on mainstream television, Lilly Singh inspires so many young LGBTQ people who feel like they have never seen themselves represented,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “Lilly is hilarious, authentic, and perfectly captures the celebratory spirit of the GLAAD Media Awards.”
Lilly Singh is a multi-faceted entertainer, actress, producer, writer and creator. She is the host of “A Little Late with Lilly Singh,” her NBC late-night talk show that premiered in September 2019. In addition to being the only woman to currently host a late-night talk show on a broadcast television network, Singh is also the first openly bisexual person, as well as the first person of Indian descent, to do so. She is also an executive producer as part of her company, Unicorn Island Productions.
A leading force in the digital world, she has amassed a global audience of over 32 million followers on YouTube and across her other social media channels, where she writes, produces and stars in comedic and inspirational videos. Singh was named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Hollywood & Entertainment list, Fast Company’s Most Creative People, and TIME named her one of the most influential people on the internet.
Singh is nominated for her first ever GLAAD Media Award this year for her segment “Lilly is Struggling to Date Women,” which is nominated for Outstanding Variety or Talk Show Episode. Singh also participated in GLAAD’s Spirit Day, the largest annual anti-LGBTQ bullying campaign.
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.
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