GLAAD — the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer media advocacy organization — has been named the recipient of the Television Academy‘s 2023 Governors Award. The honor will be presented during the 75th Annual Primetime Emmys telecast, set to be broadcast live on Fox (after a lengthy Hollywood strikes delay) on January 15.
According to the TV Academy, the org was recognized for its “work over nearly four decades to secure fair, accurate and diverse representation of the LGBTQ community in the media and entertainment industries and to advocate for LGBTQ equality.” Sarah Kate Ellis, who serves as president and CEO of GLAAD, will accept the award on the organization’s behalf at the ceremony.
“Television shapes our society and influences dialogue that increases understanding and acceptance, making GLAAD’s work so important to the LGBTQ community to legislative bodies and to the public,” said TV Academy chairman Frank Scherma. “Through its education and advocacy programs, it has had a culture-changing impact.”
The Governors Award is chosen by the Television Academy’s Board of Governors to honor “an individual, company or organization that has made a profound, transformational and long-lasting contribution to the arts and/or science of television.” Previous recipients include the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, Debbie Allen, Tyler Perry, Star Trek, American Idol, MTVU Campaign for Darfur, PBS, Masterpiece Theater, Hallmark Cards Inc. and Walter Cronkite.
“GLAAD’s diligence and influence are especially critical in today’s world as we’re seeing a flood of anti-LGBTQ legislation being proposed across the country. We are honored to recognize GLAAD’s commitment to equality for all,” said Governors Award selection committee chair Kim Taylor-Coleman.
Ellis has served as president and CEO of GLAAD since 2014, and was named to Time’s list of “Most Influential People of 2023.” GLAAD’s work includes its annual “Where We Are on TV,” which tracks LGBTQ representation on screen. “Where We Are on TV” comes from the GLAAD Media Institute, which works with TV execs, creatives and others in the media to create accurate and inclusive LGBTQ storylines and characters.
GLAAD campaigns, programs and initiatives including Spirit Day, when leaders in entertainment, news, sports and education speak out in support of LGBTQ youth, while its annual GLAAD Media Awards honor LGBTQ-inclusive news and entertainment projects.
“This tremendous honor from the Television Academy is a testament to the historic and impactful work of GLAAD’s founders, board members and staff over the past four decades as well as the LGBTQ executives, creators and talent who are telling authentic LGBTQ stories on television,” Ellis said in a statement. “At a time when our world seems more divided and media plays an outsized role in shaping culture, television has the unique power to tell human stories that grow empathy and acceptance. This honor is just the latest example of how the Television Academy plays a pivotal role in ensuring accurate and diverse storytelling, which educates, entertains and enlightens.”