GLAAD Media Awards: Andy Cohen to be Honored for LGBTQ Advocacy

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Andy Cohen

The entertainer became the first openly gay host of an American late-night talk show with the premiere of 'Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen' in 2009.

In recognition of the significant contributions he has made in accelerating LGBTQ acceptance, Andy Cohen will receive GLAAD Media's Vito Russo honor at the 30th annual awards presentation later this month. The award namesake remembers Russo, an activist who co-founded GLAAD in 1985.

"Andy Cohen is a force in the entertainment industry who consistently prioritizes and celebrates LGBTQ stories,” said GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “Both onscreen and behind-the-scenes, Andy’s trademark brand of LGBTQ advocacy has resulted in some of the buzziest and entertaining culture changing moments."

In addition to interviewing a regular rotation of LGBTQ entertainers on his show — such as Sam Smith, Lena Waithe, Billy Porter and Rosie O'Donnell — the Watch What Happens Live host is vocal in speaking about world issues including hate crimes, school bullying, marriage equality and anti-transgender legislation. In particular, Cohen is a strong supporter of LGBTQ youth.

In his SiriusXM program Radio Andy, Cohen also tackles LGBTQ issues within the framework of cultural discussions. Through his book imprint Andy Cohen Books, the entertainer is able to further reach out to the community and share his own experiences. Earlier in his career while working as an executive at Bravo, Cohen played a critical role in sourcing unscripted series that celebrated LGBTQ voices, among them Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and Project Runway

Cohen, who welcomed his first child via a surrogate in February, follows in the footsteps of 2018 Russo recipient Samira Wiley. Previous recipients include Cynthia Nixon, Anderson Cooper, Alan Cumming and WWHL guests Porter and O'Donnell. 

In January GLAAD announced its full slate of nominees, with Crazy Rich Asians, Deadpool 2, Love Simon, Blockers and The Girl in the Spider's Web among the Hollywood titles receiving nods. During the event, Madonna will receive the advocate for change award, joining previously announced honorees Jay-Z, Beyonce and Sean Hayes. 

The 30th annual GLAAD Media Awards, hosted by Ross Mathews and presented by Delta Air Lines, Gilead, Hyundai, Ketel One Family-Made Vodka and Wells Fargo, will take place May 4 at the New York Hilton Midtown. Fellow LGBTQ ally Sarah Jessica Parker will present Cohen with the award.

Also on Wednesday, GLAAD said that the New York ceremony will be broadcast for the first time, airing at 8 p.m. on Logo on Sunday, May 12.

Updated 9:12 a.m. Wednesday, March 20: Added details about the telecast.