GLAAD, the nation's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy organization, today announced that Madonna will present journalist, author and talk show host Anderson Cooper with the Vito Russo Award at the 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards at the New York ceremony on Saturday, March 16, 2013 at the New York Marriot Marquis, presented locally by Delta Air Lines. The GLAAD Media Awards are presented nationally by Ketel One and Wells Fargo.
Cooper and Madonna are longtime friends who have both used their careers to raise support for LGBT people around the globe.
For additional information about the GLAAD Media Awards visit http://glaad.org/mediaawards.
"Madonna has been a passionate spokesperson and longtime supporter of gay rights. She has embraced LGBT people around the world on many occasions," said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. "From speaking out against bullying to raising support for marriage equality, Madonna has always been one of our community's strongest allies. We are honored to have her stand with GLAAD and Anderson Cooper."
The Vito Russo Award is presented to an openly lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equality. The Award is named for Vito Russo, a founder of GLAAD and celebrated activist with ACT UP, who chronicled the early images of LGBT people in film and in his book The Celluloid Closet. Previous Vito Russo honorees include Ricky Martin, Rosie O'Donnell, Alan Cumming, Cynthia Nixon, Nathan Lane, Cherry Jones, Elton John, k.d. lang, Brian Graden, and Tom Ford.
"By sharing his own experiences as a gay man, Anderson has reminded millions of Americans that LGBT people are part of their everyday lives and an integral part of our cultural fabric," said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. "He continues to raise the bar and set a new standard for journalists everywhere, and I'm proud to call him a friend."
The anchors of Good Morning America, Lara Spencer, Josh Elliott and Sam Champion are hosting the evening. Special guests include NFL players Brendon Ayanbadejo and Chris Kluwe, director Brett Ratner, Ellen Barkin, MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry and Thomas Roberts, and John Leguizamo. Additional honorees and guests for the New York event will be announced.
For more than 20 years, Anderson Cooper has been an instrumental figure in American journalism. Enticing audiences with his compassionate and fearless coverage, Cooper has won multiple awards for his work, including several Emmy Awards, National Headliner Awards, and Peabody Awards. In 2010, Haiti awarded Cooper the National Order of Honour and Merit, the highest honor the country offers, for his coverage of the earthquake that devastated that country.
In addition to reporting for CNN on Anderson Cooper 360°, Cooper is also a contributor to CBS' 60 Minutes, where he has interviewed cultural icons and newsmakers. In 2011, he became the host of his own nationally syndicated talk show, Anderson Live. Dispatches from the Edge, Cooper's memoirs about covering the South Asia tsunami, Hurricane Katrina and other news events, topped The New York Times Bestsellers List and other bestseller charts.
Never one to shy away from tough topics, Cooper has tackled multiple issues relevant to the LGBT community, including bullying of LGBT youth, families supporting their transgender children, the dangers of so-called "ex-gay conversion therapy," and soldiers forced to serve under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
For his coverage of issues relevant to the LGBT community, Anderson Cooper has received seven GLAAD Media Award nominations, and has been awarded the trophy three times.
Nominees for the 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards were announced in January and are available here: http://www.glaad.org/mediaawards/nominees. The GLAAD Media Awards recognize and honor media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the LGBT community and the issues that affect their lives. They also fund GLAAD's work to amplify stories from the LGBT community that build support for equality. Each year, the GLAAD Media Awards in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco bring together more than 5,000 advocates and allies to raise critical funds for the organization's work.
The GLAAD Media Awards ceremonies will be held in New York on March 16, 2013 at the New York Marriott Marquis; in Los Angeles on April 20 at the JW Marriott; and in San Francisco on May 11 at the Hilton San Francisco - Union Square. Additional Special Honorees for each city will be announced in coming weeks.
The 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards are executive produced by Marc Honaker, Director of Creative Development at GLAAD, and by Josh Wood, founder and president of Josh Wood Productions. "I am very proud that my company is producing the GLAAD Media Awards this year alongside such great collaborators. I have always been a fan of the organization and the important work GLAAD is doing to make the world a better place for the LGBT community. The fight is not over in the United States, or globally, and I admire GLAAD for inspiring and changing opinions through media," said Wood.
Emmy Award winning production designer James Connelly will design this year's set across the three cities. Acclaimed producer and editor Brett Henrichsen will also contribute to this year's GLAAD Media Awards.
To receive the latest updates on the GLAAD Media Awards, follow @glaad on Twitter and use the hashtag #glaadawards.
About GLAAD: GLAAD amplifies the voice of the LGBT community by empowering real people to share their stories, holding the media accountable for the words and images they present, and helping grassroots organizations communicate effectively. By ensuring that the stories of LGBT people are heard through the media, GLAAD promotes understanding, increases acceptance, and advances equality. For more information, visit www.glaad.org or connect with GLAAD on Facebook and Twitter.