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GLAAD Honcho Blasts Talkers At Awards

Taking a swipe at what’s become known as the “Jenny Jones murder,” Ellen Carton, executive director of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, told an audience of more than 1,000 supporters on March 16 that talk shows offer a “proliferation of gays as sideshow attractions.”

Although she said some talkers are “educational” she specifically cited GLAAD supporter Phil Donahue – Carton said most “have become irresponsible” in their presentation of gay and lesbian guests.

Carton’s comments were made to a media-heavy contingent of GLAAD supporters at the group’s 1995 media awards in New York City at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. A Los Angeles awards presentation was held March 12 at the Century Plaza Hotel. GLAAD executives say the group raised “just shy of $1 million” through the fundraising events, which included silent auctions and $250-per-plate dinners.

Among the New York award recipients were playwrights Terrence McNally, accepting for his Broadway hit “Love! Valour! Compassion!,” and New York Newsday columnist Gabriel Rotello. A new award named after Donahue and actress wife Mario Thomas was given to Entertainment Weekly for outstanding magazine coverage.

Los Angeles winners included the film “The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert,” and legit productions “The Only Thing Worse You Could Have Told Me” and “Last Summer at Bluefish Cove.” Los Angeles Times columnist Robin Abcarian took a nod for her piece on Gov. Pete Wilson’s veto of California’s domestic partnership bill.

National awards, previously announced, went to furniture store IKEA for its television commercial featuring a gay male couple; television programs “Friends,” “Roseanne,” “Frasier,” “Tales of the City,” “My So-Called Life,” MTV’s “The Real World III – San Francisco,” the NBC Nightly News series “Gay in America,” and HBO film “More Than Just Friends: The Coming Out of Heidi Lieter.”

On the film side, national award winners were “Go Fish” and “Coming Out Under Fire.” Garry Trudeau’s “Doonesberry” comic strip took an award for its storyline about same-sex unions, and Melissa Etheridge won outstanding music vid award for “I’m The Only One.” The Indigo Girl’s “This Train Revised” was an outstanding song, and lesbian singing duo Disappear Fear won for its eponymous album.