Director Brett Ratner will receive the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation’s new Ally award at its upcoming New York ceremony, after being ousted as the producer of last year’s Oscarcast after he made an anti-gay slur.
The selection of Ratner to receive the honor already is triggering some protest in social media, that the organization that condemned the director for his remarks is now a participant in his rehabilitation. But GLAAD cited Ratner’s work in creating a celebrity-filled “Coming Out for Equality” PSA campaign that will launch just before the Supreme Court hears the Prop 8 case later this month. Comcast is contributing $1.5 million in airtime on its Xfinity cable systems for the campaign, which will be launched at the GLAAD award ceremony on March 16.
In 2011, during a Q&A session following the screening of his movie “Tower Heist,” Ratner answered a question about rehearsals by saying, “rehearsal is for fags.” He later apologized for the slur and resigned from the Oscar telecast, and committed to working on anti-bullying campaigns.
GLAAD president Herndon Graddick said in a statement, “From high school jocks to faith leaders, those who follow Brett’s lead are admired and heralded, while anti-LGBT bullies are increasingly ridiculed and marginalized.”
The presence of Comcast in the PSA campaign reflects increasing willingness among media conglomerates to actively participate in efforts for LGBT rights. Charlie Sheen, Jackie Chan, Tamala Jones, Giada De Laurentiis, and Pauley Perrette are participating in the PSAs.
Last week, CBS Corp., Viacom and The Walt Disney Co. were among the media companies that signed on to an amicus brief asking that the Supreme Court overturn key parts of the Defense of Marriage Act, which prevents same-sex couples from receiving federal benefits. The high court will hear arguments on the constitutionality of DOMA on March 27 and on Proposition 8 on March 26.