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Ava DuVernay has booked an excellent trip to the Big Apple.
The visionary filmmaker has been selected to receive the Excellence in Media Award at the 29th annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York on May 5 at the New York Hilton Midtown. At the ceremony, DuVernay, coming off the release of her A Wrinkle in Time for Disney, will be seen onstage during a program that will also feature previously announced honoree Samira Wiley taking home the Vito Russo Award presented by The Handmaid’s Tale co-star Alexis Bledel.
Ross Mathews is also headed to the East Coast to serve as the host after delivering a series of well-received outings at the podium for GLAAD in years past, in both New York and L.A. Other special guests will include Halsey, Laverne Cox, Lea Michele, Tituss Burgess, Nyle DiMarco, Wrabel, Blair Imani and Asia Kate Dillon.
Back to DuVernay. The Excellence in Media honor is presented to “media professionals who have made a significant difference in promoting acceptance of LGBTQ people,” according to the organization. She joins a roster of previous recipients that includes Robert De Niro, Kelly Ripa, Patti LaBelle, Debra Messing, Tyra Banks, Julianne Moore, Glenn Close, Barbara Walters, Joy Behar, Billy Crystal, Vanessa Redgrave and Diane Sawyer.
An Academy Award nominee and Emmy winner, DuVernay is credited for her activism in support of LGBTQ talent in front of and behind the camera. On her hit OWN drama Queen Sugar, she created a storyline with a trans character that is played by a trans actor. She has also worked queer directors into the rotation on the show. Furthermore, GLAAD noted in its announcement that DuVernay “is an outspoken supporter of LGBTQ acceptance, denouncing homophobia online and calling for marginalized communities to stand together.”
By honoring her, the organization has positioned the award to fall in line with its “Together” movement, “which seeks to unite marginalized communities in a stand against those that seek to divide.” “Ava DuVernay is a tireless and outspoken advocate for inclusion in Hollywood for all marginalized groups — not to mention a personal hero of mine,” said GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “She is truly changing the entertainment industry for the better, and we could not be more pleased to be honoring her.”
The news comes on the heels of the 29th annual GLAAD Media Awards in Beverly Hills, which went down April 12 at the Beverly Hilton. A full list of nominees for the New York awards can be found here. The 29th annual GLAAD Media Awards are presented by Delta Air Lines, Gilead, Ketel One Family-Made Vodka and Wells Fargo.