Kristin Chenoweth at GLAAD Awards: "Love Everyone the Same"
A teary-eyed Kristin Chenoweth accepted the Vanguard Award at Sunday”s 22nd Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles for her work to increase the visibility and understanding of the LGBT community in the media. Last year, Chenoweth, a devout Christian, wrote a lengthy response to a Newsweek article that claimed gay male actors couldn”t successfully play straight men, instigating a media debacle that led “Glee” creator Ryan Murphy to call for a boycott of Newsweek and the article”s author to briefly resign from the magazine.
Accepting her award, the actress, who is also an Emmy and Tony Award winner, said, “I want to encourage many people of all faiths to come forward and stand with me. Even if you don”t believe in Jesus the way I do, he did teach love — not just tolerance, but acceptance. I”m lucky I had parents who adopted me at birth, conservative Southern Baptists, who said, “You will love everyone the same.”"
Watch Sean Hayes present Chenoweth with the 22nd Annual GLAAD Media Award”s Vanguard prize:
Last summer, Chenoweth slammed writer Ramin Setoodeh for his claims in an article entitled “Straight Jacket” that her “Promises, Promises” co-star Sean Hayes, one of several actors cited in the article, couldn”t effectively play a straight man. Setoodeh claimed Hayes performance in “Promises” “devolves into unintentional camp” when he tried to pick up a woman at a bar, and that when openly gay “Glee” actor Jonathan Groff “smiles or giggles [on the show], he seems more like your average theater queen, a better romantic match for Kurt than for Rachel.”
“This article offends me because I am a human being, a woman and a Christian. For example, there was a time when Jewish actors had to change their names because anti-Semites thought no Jew could convincingly play Gentile,” she wrote. “Setoodeh even goes so far as to justify his knee-jerk homophobic reaction to gay actors by accepting and endorsing that “as viewers, we are molded by a society obsessed with dissecting sexuality, starting with the locker room torture in junior high school.” Really We want to maintain and proliferate the same kind of bullying that makes children cry and in some recent cases have even taken their own lives”
Chenoweth”s response set off a series of events that led “Glee” creator Ryan Murphy and GLAAD president Jarrett Barrios to call for a boycott of the magazine. “I would like to join my good friend Kristin Chenoweth on her condemnation of a recent Newsweek article written by Mr. Ramin Setoodeh, in which Setoodeh basically says that out gay actors should go back into the closet and never attempt to play straight characters,” Murphy wrote in an open letter. “What is the most shocking of all is that Newsweek went ahead and published such a blatantly homophobic article in the first place … and has remained silent in the face of ongoing (and justified) criticism.”
Murphy had strong ties to several of the actors cited in the Newsweek article: Groff was at the time of publication a guest star on “Glee” and Hayes was starring opposite Chenoweth, who has appeared twice on the show, in “Promises, Promises” on Broadway.
In an op-ed for PopEater, GLAAD President Barrios responded to the controversy, saying, “I certainly hope it doesn”t mean that a gay kid pursuing any career will take from this piece that they are worth less than their straight counterparts, because openly gay people today are not only successful actors — we”re also CEOs, parents, senators, athletes, blue collar workers and even contributors to Newsweek.”
Other winners at the GLAAD Media Awards included “Glee” and “Modern Family” (tie) for Outstanding Comedy Series, “Project Runway” for Outstanding Reality Program and MSNBC”s “The Last Word with Lawrence O”Donnell” for Outstanding TV Journalism Segment for host Lawrence O”Donnell”s interview with Fort Worth City Councilmember Joel Burns and his husband, J.D. Angle.
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