GLAAD Media Awards to Honor Billy Crystal and Alan Cumming

News   GLAAD Media Awards to Honor Billy Crystal and Alan Cumming The 16th Annual GLAAD Media Awards will honor Billy Crystal, currently on Broadway in 700 Sundays, and Tony Award winner Alan Cumming during the March 28 ceremony in New York.

The awards, which honor "fair, accurate and inclusive" representations of gay individuals in the media, will be presented at three separate ceremonies: March 28 at the New York Marriott Marquis; April 30 at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles; and June 11 at the Westin St. Francis in San Francisco.

At the New York awards, Emmy winner Crystal will be honored with the Excellence in Media Award, which is given to "individuals in the media and entertainment industries who through their work have increased the visibility and understanding of the LGBT community." Former Cabaret star Cumming will be given the Vito Russo Award, which is presented to "an openly lesbian, gay or bisexual member of the entertainment or media community for outstanding contributions toward eliminating homophobia."

GLAAD Executive Director Joan M. Garry said in a statement, "Billy Crystal and Alan Cumming both share GLAAD's commitment to changing hearts and minds through the power of the media. In 1977, 'Soap' brought American audiences the first regularly occurring gay character on network television. Billy Crystal chose to take that role at a time when most actors would not have touched it with a ten-foot pole. And, as we all know, it most certainly did not hurt his career. Today, 27 years later, Billy Crystal is still telling our stories. In his current critically acclaimed one-man play, 700 Sundays, Billy brings to life his Aunt Sheila as she tells the touching story of her lesbian daughter's San Francisco wedding and her husband's struggle to accept their child.

"In 1999, Alan Cumming appeared on the cover of Out magazine, discussing his relationships with both men and women — making him part of a small group of actors willing to challenge widely held misconceptions about bisexuality. When he's not working, Alan lends his time and support to LGBT organizations such as amfAR, Empire State Pride Agenda, In the Life and GLAAD. It is truly an honor and a privilege to recognize Alan and Billy for their steadfast commitments to visibility, fairness and equality for all."

Nominees for the 16th Annual GLAAD Media Awards were announced Jan. 19. The annual awards honor the best in journalism, film, TV and theatre. This year's nominations include three theatre-related categories: Outstanding Los Angeles Theater; Outstanding New York Theatre: Broadway and Off Broadway; and Outstanding New York Theatre: Off Off-Broadway. For the first time in the awards' history, the ceremony will be televised. LOGO, the new MTV Networks channel, will air the GLAAD Media Awards this summer at a date to be announced. The theatre-related categories follow. For a list of all 2005 nominees, visit www.glaad.org.

Outstanding Los Angeles Theater
Last Summer at Bluefish Cove
Like a Dog on Linoleum
The Paris Letter
Stage Directions
Take Me Out

Outstanding New York Theater: Broadway and Off-Broadway
Bare: A Pop Opera
La Cage aux Folles
The Normal Heart
The Tricky Part
Where Do We Live?

Outstanding New York Theater: Off Off-Broadway
Bald Diva!
The Big Voice: God or Merman?
Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead
Love According to Luc
Us

GLAAD is dedicated to promoting fair, accurate, and inclusive representation of individuals and events in all media as a means of eliminating homophobia and discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.