When I first think of Los Angeles, I immediately think about Hollywood and the glitz and glamour of movie stars. Awards shows such as the Oscars and the Grammys are the way many Americans get to interact with stars. I had the privilege of attending a different sort of awards show the previous Saturday in Westwood. I attended the GLAAD awards. According to their website, “The GLAAD Media Awards recognize and honor media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and the issues that affect their lives.”. The awards ceremony was a very interesting experience. Adam Lambert, the former American Idol contestant, performed, and Wanda Sykes and Drew Barrymore received awards. I think its important that Hollywood, which undoubtedly plays a huge role in shaping public opinions on social issues, recognizes and appreciates the queer community in media. As we have seen in class through the film “Killer of Sheep” and the discussions about “Superfly,” media has a great influence over how minorities are portrayed to the nation at large. Hollywood has in fact took charge in the fight against Proposition 8 last fall and continues to raise money and campaign while the Perry vs. Schwarzenegger trials (federal court accepting challenge of prop 8) are being held in San Franscisco. For example, director Rob Reiner and his wife, film producer Bruce Cohen (who produced “Milk” and “American Beauty”), and Dustin Lance Black (the screenwriter of “Milk”) all sit on the board of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, which is dealing heavily with the Prop 8 trial. Since so many people in this nation, for better or for worse, admire celebrities and respect their opinions, it means a lot for them to support queer rights.
The GLAAD media awards official website can be accessed here: http://www.glaad.org/mediaawards