The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation presented the first batch of its annual Media Awards Sunday night, honoring the TV programs ABC’s “Spin City” and CBS’ “Chicago Hope,” the ABC telepic “Two Mothers for Zachary” and the Gramercy-distribbed film “Bound.”
With a lineup of presenters that included Ellen DeGeneres, Cher, Ed McMahon, Garry Marshall, Gregory Peck and Lily Tomlin, the event, which raised more that $1.2 million for GLAAD, honors “those whose work exemplifies the tremendous improvements that have been made in the media coverage of the gay and lesbian communities.”
“Bound,” a noir thriller directed by Larry and Andy Wachowski that features a lesbian relationship at its center, took honors in the film (wide release) category.
Film documentary nod went to “It’s Elementary,” an examination of school children’s attitudes toward homosexuality, produced by Debra Chasnoff and Helen S. Cohen.
Honors for TV comedy series went to “Spin City,” which features Michael Boatman in the regular role of Carter Heywood, a gay character who is the mayor’s liaison of minority affairs.
The drama series nod went to “Chicago Hope,” which also features a recurring gay character and broached gay, lesbian and transgender issues several times last year.
HBO’s “Tracey Takes On” was cited for individual episode of a TV series for a segment about a lesbian pro golfer (Julie Kavner) and her longtime lover (Tracey Ullman).
“Two Mothers for Zachary,” starring Valerie Bertinelli, Vanessa Redgrave and Colleen Flynn, and based on the true story of a lesbian mother’s battle with her own mother for custody of her child, won the nod for made-for-TV movie.
The Actors Forum Theatre’s production of “Box 27,” Michael Norman Mann’s play about homosexuals in the military, received the award for outstanding L.A. theater production.
GLAAD’s Stephen F. Kolzak Award, recognizing a gay or lesbian individual in the media for contributing to combating homophobia, was presented to writer Bruce Vilanch, Emmy-winner for his work on two Oscarcasts.
Among the best-received celeb presenters were DeGeneres, who joked about “researching the role” for the much-discussed upcoming “outing” of her sitcom character, and Cher, who greeted her extended standing ovation with the quip, “I guess when you get older this happens.”
The awards presentation will continue March 26 in D.C., where nods for music album, new media and comic will be handed out, and March 31 in New York, where GLAAD will present its honors for TV news, print news, New York theater, advertising, magazine and daytime series.