The 23rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards, sponsored by Ketel One Vodka, were held on March 24, 2012 at the Marriott Marquis Times Square and Glee's Cory Monteith and Naya Rivera hosted the event.
Other guests and presenters at the event included: Dakota Fanning (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn); hip hop icon Russell Simmons; Megan Hilty (Smash); Padma Lakshmi (Top Chef); MSNBC's Thomas Roberts; Cheyenne Jackson (30 Rock); Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir and his husband Victor Voronov and more.
Tony Kushner received an award for Outstanding New York Theatre: Broadway & Off Broadway for his Off-Broadway play, The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures.
Taking home the award for Outstanding New York Theatre: Off-Off Broadway was the musical Southern Comfort with book and lyrics by Dan Collins and music by Julianne Wick Davis. Wendy Graf won the award for Outstanding Los Angeles Theatre for her play, No Word in Guyanese for Me.
In music, Evita's Ricky Martin received the Spanish-Language Outstanding Music Artist award for his album, Música + Alma + Sexo. Lady Gaga took home the Outstanding Music Artist award for her album, Born This Way.
Among the winners for the television categories was ABC's Dancing with the Stars which won the award for Outstanding Reality Program.
As previously announced, Broadway legend Bernadette Peters and John Stamos presented the Vito Russo Award to film, television, and theatre producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (PROMISES, PROMISES, HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING, 'Chicago', 'Hairspray', 'Smash').
SThe Vito Russo Award, which is named after one of GLAAD's founders, and is presented to an openly LGBT media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting LGBT equality. In a career spanning over two decades, Zadan and Meron's productions have garnered six Academy Awards, five Golden Globes, 11 Emmy Awards, two Peabody Awards, two Tony Awards and a Grammy Award. In addition to producing iconic films such as the Academy Award-winning Chicago, The Bucket List, Hairspray and Footloose, two of their television movies have received GLAAD Media Awards, Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story in 1996 and What Makes a Family in 2002. They also received GLAAD Media Awards nominations in 2004 and 2007 for It's all Relative and Wedding Wars. Their current hit TV series Drop Dead Diva this year received its second nomination in the Outstanding Individual Episode category. Through many of their projects, Zadan and Meron have been trailblazers in telling the stories of the LGBT community. In 1995, their film Serving in Silence, which aired on NBC, recounted the legal battle of Colonel Margarethe Cammermeyer, who challenged "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" following her involuntary discharge under the law. In the 2001 Lifetime movie What Makes a Family, Zadan and Meron recounted the story of a woman who had to fight for the custody of the child she shared with her deceased partner, and in their 2006 Wedding Wars (A&E), they told the story of a gay man who speaks out in favor of marriage equality when he discovers his straight brother, whose wedding he was planning, is behind an anti-gay speech. In 2010, the duo returned to their theater roots with the Tony winning Broadway revival of Promises, Promises starring openly gay actor Sean Hayes and GLAAD Vanguard Award-recipient Kristin Chenoweth. Zadan and Meron’s Tony Award-winning Broadway revival of How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying starred outspoken LGBT equality advocate Daniel Radcliffe. Their current hit series Smash on NBC features a prominent gay character whose dating life is an important part of the show. Previous Vito Russo Award honorees include Ricky Martin, Cynthia Nixon, Suze Orman, Rosie O'Donnell, Alan Cumming, Nathan Lane, Elton John, Liz Smith, k.d. lang, David LaChapelle, Brian Graden, and Tom Ford.