LGBTQ icon Debra Messing to be honored at the 28th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York City for trailblazing #Resist activism

Ross Mathews to Host and Whoopi Goldberg, Don Lemon, Rami Malek, Janet Mock, Trevor Noah, and Christian Slater to Appear at Largest LGBTQ Awards Show
April 17, 2017

Matt Goodman
Associate Director of Communications, GLAAD
(646) 871-8028
mgoodman@glaad.org

NEW YORK  – GLAAD, the world’s LGBTQ media advocacy organization, announced today that it will honor Debra Messing with the Excellence in Media Award at the 28th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York City at the New York Hilton Midtown on May 6, 2017. The GLAAD Media Awards recognize and honor media for fair, accurate, and inclusive representations of the LGBTQ community. Television host Ross Mathews will host the event for the fourth time. Special guests will include Whoopi Goldberg, Don Lemon, Rami Malek, Janet Mock, Trevor Noah, Christian Slater, and Survivor’s Zeke Smith.  

The 28th Annual GLAAD Media Awards are presented by Delta Air Lines, Hilton, Ketel One Vodka, Liberty Mutual Insurance, and Wells Fargo. At the event, attendees will be asked to wear blue “&” pins for GLAAD’s Together movement – representing GLAAD’s work on intersectional issues including immigration, racial justice, women’s rights, and LGBTQ acceptance. This symbol showcases the power of solidarity and great accomplishments that occur when marginalized community groups – including women, Muslims, immigrants, and LGBTQ people – resist together.

Messing will receive GLAAD's Excellence in Media Award, which is presented to media professionals who have made a significant difference in promoting equality and acceptance of LGBTQ people. Previous Excellence in Media Award honorees include Robert De Niro, Russell Simmons, Kelly Ripa, Patti LaBelle, Tyra Banks, Julianne Moore, Glenn Close, Barbara Walters, Bob and Harvey Weinstein, and Diane Sawyer.

Debra Messing is an Emmy Award-winning actor and longtime ally to the LGBTQ community. She starred in the groundbreaking Will & Grace, which was instrumental in changing hearts and minds of countless Americans and earned seven GLAAD Media Awards during its eight seasons on air. The show’s far-reaching impact was notably highlighted by Vice President Biden, who credited Will & Grace with moving him to support marriage equality and launched a wave of high-profile support. The series, among the first on primetime network television to feature out gay lead characters, will return to NBC during the 2017-18 season. She has also appeared in LGBTQ-inclusive projects such as Smash, which also received a GLAAD Media Award.

A steadfast supporter of the LGBTQ community on social media, Messing is a voice not only on LGBTQ issues, but against discrimination of any kind. Messing has consistently shown commitment to LGBTQ youth, participating in Spirit Day, GLAAD's annual anti-bullying campaign, by 'going purple' in October for LGBTQ youth.

Messing will next be seen in ABC’s musical remake of 1980s classic Dirty Dancing, premiering on May 24

“Debra Messing is a champion of the LGBTQ community and many marginalized groups today,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, president & CEO of GLAAD. “Through laughter, warmth and pure heart both on and off-screen, she accelerates acceptance and inspires everyone to raise their own voices.”

Additional special guests and honorees for the GLAAD Media Awards in New York will be announced.

In January, GLAAD announced 115 nominees in 21 English-language categories and 41 Spanish-language nominees in 11 categories. Nominees for the 28th Annual GLAAD Media Awards can be found here: http://www.glaad.org/mediaawards/nominees. Several award recipients were announced at the Los Angeles event on April 1 at the Beverly Hilton, where GLAAD also presented the Vanguard Award to Patricia Arquette and the Stephen F. Kolzak Award to Troye Sivan.

The 28th Annual GLAAD Media Awards are presented by Delta Air Lines, Hilton, Ketel One Vodka, Liberty Mutual Insurance, and Wells Fargo. The GLAAD Media Awards recognize and honor media for fair, accurate, and inclusive representations of the LGBTQ community and the issues that affect their lives. The GLAAD Media Awards also fund GLAAD's work to amplify stories from the LGBTQ community and issues that build support for equality and acceptance.

To receive the latest updates on the GLAAD Media Awards, follow @glaad on Twitter and use the hashtag #glaadawards.

The 28th Annual GLAAD Media Awards corporate partners include Presenting Partners Delta Air Lines, Hilton, Ketel One Vodka, Liberty Mutual Insurance, and Wells Fargo. GLAAD is also grateful to: Official Partners Bud Light and Hyundai; Titanium Partners Comcast NBCUniversal and Southwest Airlines, Platinum partners 21st Century Fox, Allstate Insurance Company, AT&T, Disney ABC Television Group, ESPN, Facebook, Google, MetLife, NBA & WNBA, Netflix, Sheppard Mullin, and Turner; Gold partners CBS, iHeartMedia, MLB, Nielsen, Omnicom Group, PwC, Showtime, TLC/Discovery, UM, Univision, and Viacom; and Silver partners BD, Carat, Coca-Cola, Skadden, Tinder, Westfield, and WWE. For a full list of corporate partners and information on how to become a corporate partner, purchase tickets, and place a tribute in the tribute book, please visit www.glaad.org/mediaawards.