GLAAD, the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, today announced that global media leader, producer, philanthropist, actress and author Oprah Winfrey will receive GLAAD’s Vanguard Award and Emmy Award-winning actress and producer Niecy Nash-Betts will receive the Stephen F.Kolzak Award, which goes to members of the LGBTQ community, at the 35th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles.

Hosted by Wayne Brady, special guests include: Alexandra Shipp (Anyone But You), Daniel Franzese (Mean Girls, Looking), Heather Dubrow (The Real Housewives of Orange County), Jason Sudeikis, and the cast from “Ted Lasso,” Jonathan Bailey (Fellow Travelers), Matt Bomer (Fellow Travelers), Meredith Marks (The RealHousewives of Salt Lake City), Michaela Jaé Rodriguez (Loot), Michelle Visage (RuPaul’s Drag Race), Victoria Monét (3x Grammy-Winning Artist), the cast from “RuPaul’sDrag Race,” and Outstanding Breakthrough Music Artist nominee David Archuleta will perform at the official GLAAD Media Awards After-Party.

GLAAD’s Vanguard Award is presented to allies who have made a significant difference in promoting acceptance of LGBTQ people and issues. Previous honorees include Bad Bunny, Beyoncé and JAY-Z, JenniferLopez, Britney Spears, Kerry Washington, Cher, Janet Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor,Kacey Musgraves and Antonio Banderas.

GLAAD’s Stephen F. Kolzak Award is presented to a LGBTQ media professional who has made a significant difference in raising visibility and promoting acceptance of LGBTQ people and issues. It is named in honor of the Los Angeles casting director who devoted the last part of his life to fighting homophobia and HIV stigma within the entertainment industry. Previous recipients of the Stephen F. Kolzak Award include: Jeremy Pope, Laverne Cox, Wanda Sykes, Jim Parsons, Ruby Rose, Chaz Bono, Melissa Etheridge, Ellen DeGeneres, MichaelaJae Rodriguez and more.

The 35th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles is presented by Gilead Sciences, Google Pixel and Hyundai Motor America, with Major Sponsor, Hornitos Tequila, Official Sponsors Delta Air Lines and Sony Music Group. The 35th Annual GLAAD Media Awards Los Angeles official after-party musical performance by David Archuleta is presented by Hyundai Motor America.

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 and fundraiser in the world, sending powerful messages of acceptance to audiences globally.

About Oprah Winfrey’s Vanguard Award

Oprah Winfrey is a global media leader, producer, philanthropist, actress and author who for decades has used her platform and popularity to shed light on important LGBTQ issues and uplift the LGBTQ community. Over the course of her esteemed career, she has created an unparalleled connection with people around the world, making her one of the most respected and admired figures today.

For 25 years, Winfrey was host and producer of the award-winning talk show “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” where the talk shows potlighted a multitude of LGBTQ issues including homophobia and gay marriage time and time again.

Winfrey was nominated at the first GLAAD Media Awards in 1990 for The Women of Brewster Place, a TV mini-series that she executive produced and starred in. The Oprah Winfrey Show received 15 nominations in GLAAD’s “Outstanding Talk Show Episode” category and won the award 9 times. Other GLAAD-nominated films and TV projects that she executive produced include When They See Us and Precious. OWN documentary Becoming Chaz also received the ‘Outstanding Documentary’ award in 2012. OWN’s Oprah’s Next Chapter received two GLAAD Media Awards and her interview with Janet Mock on Super Soul Sunday received the GLAAD Media Award for “OutstandingTalk Show Episode” in 2016. Most recently, in 2022, Winfrey won the GLAAD MediaAward in the same category for her interview with actor Elliot Page on AppleTV+’s The Oprah Conversation.

In the interview, Winfrey interviewed actor Elliot Page in his first television interview since coming out as transgender in a candid conversation where hespoke about life saving health care and warned of deadly consequences of legislative attacks on the rights of people who are transgender.

Currently, Oprah oversees Harpo Productions, serves as Chairman and CEO of OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, is the founder of O, TheOprah Magazine and digital site OprahDaily.com. In 1996, Oprah’s Book Club launched, serving as a catalyst for the creation of book clubs around the world and millions of books sold across genres.

Through Harpo Productions, Winfrey oversees scripted and unscripted programming. Recent projects include the GLAAD Media Award nominated musical feature “The Color Purple,” for Warner Bros. Discovery and Hulu drama series adaptation of Charmaine Wilkerson’s novel, “Black Cake,” which is also nominated for a GLAAD Media Award this year.

Winfrey is also a dedicated philanthropist. During a December 2002 visit with Nelson Mandela, she pledged to build a school in South Africa and has thus far contributed more than $200 million towards providing education for academically gifted girls from disadvantaged backgrounds. Winfrey is a founding donor of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History andCulture. Winfrey’s Morehouse Scholars Program has supported over 600 men graduate from college. In 2020, Winfrey donated over $20 million in vitalCOVID-19 relief support to cities around the country, including her hometowns of Nashville, Chicago, Baltimore, Milwaukee, Los Angeles and Kosciusko, MS.

In a graduation speech to Tennessee State University’s (TSU) Class of 2023, Winfrey decried the relentless GOP campaign to dismantle the rights of LGBTQ people. “You’ve witnessed the storming of the Capitol and the death of civility,” she began. “You’re acutely aware that voting rights are being gutted. Women’s rights are being dismantled, books are being banned, history is being rewritten. The Supreme Court is being corrupted… the LGBTQ community is under attack,” she said.

“At a time when it was potentially career-ending to support LGBTQ people, Oprah Winfrey did what’s right and championed our community’s stories,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “A pioneer for diverse and inclusive media, she shines a powerful light on HIV, coming out, LGBTQ people, our families and the challenges we face which educated and moved countless around the world. When Oprah speaks, the world listens and our community cherishes her as an unapologetic ally, especially to transgender people. Winfrey’s commanding career will forever align her on the right side of history.”

About Niecy Nash-Bett’s Stephen F. Kolzak Award

Niecy Nash-Betts is a multi-talented Emmy Award-winning actress and producer who continues to captivate audiences with her shining talent and infectious energy both in front of and behind the camera.

Nash-Betts recently won an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie for her portrayal of “Glenda Cleveland” in Ryan Murphy’s Netflix limited series, DAHMER-MONSTER: THE JEFFREY DAHMER STORY, based on the life of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. Her role has also garnered her Critics Choice and NAACP Image Awards, as well as Golden Globe and SAG Award nominations.

Released January 19, Nash-Betts currently stars in Ava DuVernay’s feature film, ORIGIN, an adaptation of Isabel Wilkerson’s book, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent. The film features Nash-Betts as “Marion” alongside Aunjanue Ellis, Jon Bernthal and Vera Farmiga.

In 2021, Nash-Betts hosted the GLAAD Media Awards and in 2023,Nash-Betts was honored with the Visibility Award by Family Equality for her work with the organization to support and protect LGBTQ families.

From 2022 to 2023, she led the ABC series, THE ROOKIE: FEDS, where she played an out LGBTQ character, Special Agent Simone Clark, the oldest rookie in theFBI Academy assigned to support the Los Angeles field office. The show was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding New TV Series.

In 2022, Nash-Betts and her wife, singer/songwriter Jessica Betts, made history as the first same-sex couple to appear on the cover of Essence magazine. The cover story received a nomination for a 2023 GLAAD Media Award in the category of “Outstanding Print Article.”

Nash-Betts’ diverse career includes roles inHBO’s GETTING ON, which earned her two Emmy nominations, and Netflix’s limited Ava DuVernay series, WHEN THEY SEE US based on the exonerated Central ParkFive. She played a mother of a young trans woman, which earned Nash-Betts a third Emmy nomination and an NAACP Image Award. She has also held leading roles in FOX’s SCREAM QUEENS, Showtime’s MASTERS OF SEX and TV Land’s THE SOUL MAN. In February 2022, Nash-Betts finished headlining TNT’s drama, CLAWS.

Nash-Betts is well-known for her role as “Officer Raineesha Williams” on the Comedy Central hit, RENO 911!, a half-hour unscripted spoof of COPS that aired for six seasons. She is developing various television and film projects through her production company, Chocolate Chick, Inc.

Nash-Betts resides in LA with her wife, where she is devoted to church and participating at charitable functions in support of causes that are close to her heart, including the prevention and awareness of HIV, breast cancer, school violence and domestic abuse, among others.

“Opening doors both as a Black and queer woman, Niecy Nash-Bett’s outstanding legacy as a performer gives new meaning to the term trailblazer, said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “Her decades-long career is owed to her empathy, talent, and authenticity, which undoubtedly inform each move she makes as an activist and every role she portrays onscreen. Nash has redefined and expanded the role ofBlack queer women in entertainment and, along with her wife Jessica, has become a possibility model to queer women everywhere.”
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