Ryan Murphy to Be Honored at GLAAD Media Awards for LGBTQ and Inclusion Efforts

Ryan Murphy poses in the press room during the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Getty-H 2019
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The groundbreaking creator will take home the Vito Russo Award, name for one of GLAAD's founders, after tributes by Sarah Paulson and Matt Bomer.

Ryan Murphy, Hollywood's leading champion of LGBTQ inclusion onscreen and gender equality on set, is being recognized for his work by the very organization that monitors such efforts. GLAAD announced today that Murphy will be honored with the Vito Russo Award at the 31st annual GLAAD Media Awards on March 19 at New York's Hilton Midtown. His longtime collaborators Sarah Paulson and Matt Bomer will take the stage and present the award to Murphy. 

The event singles out media and top personalities for "fair, accurate and inclusive representations of LGBTQ people and issues," and Murphy joins a roster of previously announced honorees Taylor Swift (Vanguard Award) and Janet Mock (Stephen F. Kolzak award), who will be feted by GLAAD in Los Angeles on April 16. Specifically, per the organization, the Vito Russo Award is "presented to an openly LGBTQ media professional who has made a significant difference in accelerating LGBTQ acceptance" and is named for the GLAAD founder and Act Up activist. Said GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis: “Ryan’s unique and gifted brand of storytelling has not only entertained the masses, but provided LGBTQ youth with characters who inspire them to live boldly and proudly.” 

The award is the latest honor for Murphy, who is an Emmy, Golden Globe, Tony and Peabody Award-winning screenwriter, producer and director. He's also been honored by GLAAD many times. His shows The Politician and Pose are currently nominated for the GLAAD Media Awards and he's already in possession of trophies for Pose, The Normal Heart, American Horror Story: Asylum, The New Normal, Popular and the Assassination of Gianni Versace — American Crime Story. Murphy also received six noms and two wins for Glee.

Though Murphy broke ground with many of the aforementioned projects, it was Pose that made history by featuring the largest transgender series regular cast and the largest LGBTQ cast ever for a scripted series. In 2018, Murphy announced all the profits from the FX hit would be donated to charitable organizations working with LGBTQ people, including the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund and Callen-Lorde Community Health Center.

Throughout his career, Murphy has used his platform to elevate LGBTQ and minority voices. In 2016, Murphy launched an initiative he dubbed Half, aiming to create equal opportunities for women and minorities behind the camera. Less than one year after its launch, Ryan Murphy Television’s director slate hired 60 percent women directors and 90 percent were either women and/or minorities. 

His other recent credits include the Tony-winning Broadway hit The Boys in the Band, starring LGBTQ castmembers including Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto and Matt Bomer (for which he directed a film version) and the upcoming Ratched, Hollywood and The Prom for Netflix.