Tuesday, January 27, 2009

GLAAD announces nominees for 20th Annual Media Awards

LOS ANGELES, California (Observer Update) - Nominees, dates and venues for the 20th Annual GLAAD Media Awards, presented by IBM, have been announced, reported pageoneq.com.

The Academy Award-nominated film Milk, BBC America series Torchwood and Skins, ABC's Brothers & Sisters and Ugly Betty, HBO's True Blood, and MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann and The Rachel Maddow Show are among the English-language nominees. Spanish-language nominees include Aquí y Ahora, Ventaneando América, Noticiero Telemundo, Hoy and Paparazzi TV. Print media outlets up for honors include Newsweek, The Advocate, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, The Denver Post, and The Des Moines Register. There are a total of 186 nominees in 41 categories, with categories ranging from film and television to digital journalism and comic books.

Such honorees have been chosen for their roles in furthering positive LGBT visibility through their characters and the real-life stories of, and issues facing, LGBT people.

"The 20th anniversary of the GLAAD Media Awards is an excellent opportunity to reflect on how media representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community have evolved over the past two decades, clearly helping shape and evolve people's hearts and minds about LGBT people," said GLAAD President Neil A. Giuliano. "GLAAD's media advocacy and anti-defamation work as a resource for media professionals, combined with enabling LGBT people and allies to be compelling storytellers, has played a significant role in stories about our lives achieving greater visibility and being more compelling, honest, and real than ever before. We are proud to recognize all of this year's GLAAD Media Awards nominees."

Talk show host Tyra Banks and finance guru Suze Orman are among this year's honorees. "Tyra Banks and Suze Orman have used their positions of power within the media to become strong advocates on behalf of the LGBT community," Giuliano added. "They are changing hearts and minds, opening people's eyes to our common humanity, and it is our privilege to honor them."

Banks is recognized with the Excellence in Media Award for her strong commitment to educating the public about the lives of gay and transgender people, especially with the inclusion of transgender woman Isis King in the most recent editions of America's Next Top Model. Banks, a model during the 1990s, is celebrated as an "international media icon," having made history as the first African-American model on the covers of GQ and the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition and receiving a "Supermodel of the Year" Michael Award before moving on to producing television, her accomplishments including hosting and producing the Emmy Award-winning The Tyra Banks Show and creating America's Next Top Model.

Orman, an out lesbian, will be honored with the Vito Russo Award, named after the author of The Celluloid Closet and a founding GLAAD member. The six-time New York Times best-selling author and two-time Emmy winner has established herself as a powerhouse of financial advice and expertise. "Throughout her impressive career," GLAAD noted, "Orman has raised the profile of LGBT Americans by using her position in the public eye to convey that financial planning is a concern for all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity."

Ceremonies will be held March 28, 2009 at the Marriott Marquis in New York City, on April 18 at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, and on May 9 at the Hilton San Francisco.

A full list of English-language nominees is available at GLAAD. Spanish-language nominees, as well, are listed here.

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