March 15, 2012 11:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Glee's' Naya Rivera, Cory Monteith, Dianna Agron to Host GLAAD Awards
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation has tapped Glee stars Naya Rivera, Cory Monteith and Dianna Agron as hosts for a pair of its 23rd Media Awards.
The organization on Thursday announced Rivera, who plays newly out lesbian Santana Lopez on the Fox dramedy, and her onetime onscreen foil Monteith as hosts for the March 24 New York portion of its annual awards show. Agron, meanwhile, will host the June 2 portion in San Francisco.
The hosting duties are not a new gig for Rivera, whose Glee alter ego has become a breakout star this season as she battled a public outing and pushback from administrators and classmates alike. The actress hosted last year's GLAAD Media Awards in San Francisco and has repeatedly voiced her support for LGBT equality.
At the New York ceremony, Smash executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron will receive the Visto Russo Award, named after one of GLAAD's funders and presented to an openly LGBT media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting LGBT equality. Broadway great and Smash guest star Bernadette Peters will present the duo with the award.
At this month's San Francisco ceremony, Grey's Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes will receive the Golden Gate Award, presented to media professionals who through their work have increased the visibility and understanding of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. During its eight-season run, Grey's has featured several LGBT characters, including series-regular characters played by Sara Ramirez (Callie) and Jessica Capshaw (Arizona).
In addition, Facebook will receive a special recognition award for its efforts around bullying prevention, and the Weinstein Co.'s Harvey Weinstein will present a special award to 17-year-old Katy Butler for her work in launching a Change.org campaign to overturn the MPAA's R rating for upcoming bullying documentary Bully.
"Each of these honorees has, in their different areas of expertise, helped build support for equality for every American," GLAAD acting president Mike Thompson said. "Whether they bring the stories of LGBT people into living rooms or empower gay and lesbian individuals to take proactive steps in the face of inequality, each honoree is making tremendous strides toward full acceptance of the community."
Guests slated to attend the New York ceremony include Smash's Megan Hilty, Twilight's Dakota Fanning and Raising Hope's Martha Plimpton. Los Angeles guests will include Hot in Cleveland's Betty White, Ellen DeGeneres, True Blood's Anna Paquin, The Hunger Games' Josh Hutcherson and Modern Family's Jesse Tyler Ferguson.
Additional honorees for the April 21 Los Angeles event will be announced at a later date.
The GLAAD Media Awards fund the organization's efforts to bring stories of LGBT people and issues to Americans. Each year, the events raise nearly $3.5 million for the group.
A full list of nominees can be found on GLAAD's website.