Tuesday, March 31, 2009

GLAAD Honors Tyra

On March 28th, Tyra Banks was presented with the 'Excellence in Media Award' at the 20th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in NYC. Her good friend, Clay Aiken, had the honor of introducing her.

Here is the video of both the speech Clay wrote for presentation of the award to Tyra and Tyra's acceptance speech.

Transcript of Clay's Speech:
Very few women in media ever reach the level of single-name recognition: Madonna, Celine, Dolly, Cher -- all also gay icons. Tonight we honor with the Excellence in Media Award a woman who fits into both categories, Tyra. [inaudible] breaking down barriers from the very start of her career. She made history on the covers of some of the fashion industry's most influential magazines. Who among us didn't want to be with her or ... be her (laughter) when she graced the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue as the very first African American in that position. Her model portfolio has been surpassed only by her extensive multi-media portfolio. Her transition from runway and print to broadcast brought some of America's favorite guilty pleasures in the form of America's Next Top Model -- which has a very good episode next week [points at self] (laughter). It's a show that she both created and executive produces, and she uses it as a platform, not only to help young women achieve their dreams, but also to reinforce the value and importance of hard work and determination in achieving success all the while celebrating outer and inner beauty.

That show is nominated tonight in the category for outstanding reality programing in large part due to Tyra’s refusal to shy away from including diverse models and judges in its cast. Her emmy award wining talk show The Tyra Banks Show has expanded her opportunity to speak to a large an influential audience about self-image and self-worth and countless other causes important to society.

This year that talk show has won 3 out of 5 nominations for outstanding talk show this year bringing the total nominations to 7 in the just 3 years. Nobody would expect less from someone who has been a trailblazer from the start: model, tv host, creator, executive producer. She's one of the hardest working people in the entertainment industry and (something) recognized for it. She was honored by the Hollywood Rreporter as one of the 100 most powerful women in entertainment. Entertainment Weekly called her one of their 25 Smartest in Television and Glamour magazine named her one 2008's Women of the Year alongside Hillary Clinton. And tonight the GLAAD Excellence in Media Award.

This award is given each year to a media professional who increases visibility and understanding of the LGBT community, folks like Glenn Close, Billy Crystal, Diane Sawyer and Phil Donahue. Knowing Tyra, I know that she probably doesn’t think she deserves a recognition like this. Her American’s Next Top Model showcases people like Miss Jay, Jay Manuel, Isis King -- or that guy on next week's show. Yes, her talk show gives air time to some of the issues that our community cares about most, like marriage equality, gay and lesbian people of faith, and transgender people, but Tyra doesn’t necessarily do these things just to make a statement. She doesn’t just address these issue for the impact. She includes, embraces and celebrates because that’s just how she is. Cause she knows it’s right. She doesn’t marginalize, she normalizes. She never sensationalizes or exploits, she just cherishes the value of every human being. Because the only thing bigger than her influence is her heart. Her deep respect for the value of all people has led her to make it part her mission to educate the mainstream public about the lives of gay and transgender people, reaching millions of young people nationwide with her message of inclusion and acceptance.

Technorati Tags:


At 5:23 PM, Blogger Ashes said...

Lawdy, but Clay is a gorgeous hunk O'man to gaze at! Love the slide show and reading Clay's speech for Tyra again.
hugs, Ashes


Post a Comment

<< Home