Los Angeles — Actress Kerry Washington, director Roland Emmerich, the film The Imitation Game and television shows Transparent and How to Get Away With Murder have received stamps of approval from a leading advocacy group for gays in the media.
GLAAD is a US-based group that promotes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender presence in the media, and celebrated its honorees at a ceremony on Saturday night.
GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said Scandal star Washington was chosen by the group because, "She's done quite a bit for the LGBT community and she's a phenomenal spokeswoman for us. And she's got our back. And she always has."
In Washington's acceptance speech, the actress reminded the audience, "In 1997, when Ellen DeGeneres made her famous declaration, it took place in an America where the Defense of Marriage Act had just passed months earlier, and civil unions were not legal in any state. But also remember that just 30 years before that, the Supreme Court was deciding that the ban against interracial marriage was unconstitutional.
"Up until then, heterosexual people of different races couldn't marry who they wanted to marry either. So, when black people today say that they don't believe in gay marriage ... the first thing that I say is, 'Please don't let anybody try to get you to vote against your own best interest by feeding you messages of hate.' And then I say, 'People used to say things about that about you and your love.'"
Roland Emmerich is perhaps best known for producing and directing the 1996 blockbuster Independence Day, as well as the 1998 remake of Godzilla and 2004's The Day After Tomorrow.
Now openly gay, Emmerich said he long kept his homosexuality private because he didn't want to be limited to making only films with gay stories, as had happened with other directors in Germany.
Emmerich's gay-themed historical drama Stonewall will be released later this year. And Emmerich said Independence Day 2, due next year, will feature an openly gay character.
More GLAAD awards will be handed out at a ceremony in New York on 9 May.
Among other honorees at the GLAAD Awards were:
— Outstanding Film, Wide Release: The Imitation Game (The Weinstein Company)
— Outstanding Drama Series: How to Get Away with Murder (ABC)
—Outstanding Comedy Series: Transparent (Amazon Instant Video)
— Outstanding Individual Episode (in a series without a regular LGBT character): Identity Crisis — Drop Dead Diva (Lifetime)
— Outstanding TV Movie or Mini-Series: The Normal Heart (HBO)
— Outstanding Music Artist: Against Me!
— Outstanding Daily Drama: Days of Our Lives (NBC)
— Outstanding Comic Book: Rat Queens (Image Comics)
— Outstanding Digital Journalism Article: 31 Days of PrEP (series) (Advocate.com)
— Outstanding Blog: Autostraddle (autostraddle.com)
— Special Recognition Awards: Video game: Dragon Age: Inquisition, Song: Era Diferente, Television program: Glee
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