When it comes to LGBTQ advocacy, Judith Light is still the boss.
GLAAD, the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, has announced that it will honor actor and activist Judith Light with the Excellence in Media Award at the 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards. Light will accept the award March 19 at the Hilton Midtown in New York City.
GLAAD has also announced that Lilly Singh, bisexual host and executive producer of NBC’s A Little Late With Lilly Singh, will host the New York ceremony. Singh’s segment “Lilly is Struggling to Date Women” is nominated this year for Outstanding Variety or Talk Show Episode.
The Excellence in Media Award is presented to media professionals who have made a significant difference in promoting acceptance of LGBTQ people. Previous honorees include Ava DuVernay, Robert De Niro, Kelly Ripa, Patti LaBelle, Debra Messing, Tyra Banks, Julianne Moore, Glenn Close, Barbara Walters, Joy Behar, Billy Crystal, and Diane Sawyer.
.@JudithLight will be honored at the #GLAADawards in NYC. From standing with LGBTQ people during the AIDS crisis to uplifting trans people and issues, Judith advocates with a unique passion and an unending dedication that uplifts others. https://t.co/1V1RFGYlO5 pic.twitter.com/CmLdCqoWh2
— GLAAD (@glaad) January 22, 2020
“Judith Light stood up for and with LGBTQ people when others in media and entertainment refused to speak up, and she has never left our side,” said GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis in a statement. “When the GLAAD Media Awards first started and was a small event with little visibility, she was one of the few entertainers who would join us in calling for LGBTQ representation, so it is only fitting to now honor her advocacy on what has become the largest LGBTQ stage in the world. From standing alongside LGBTQ people during the AIDS crisis, to fighting for marriage equality, to now uplifting transgender people and issues, Judith advocates with a unique passion and an unending dedication that uplifts.”
An Emmy-winning television icon best known for the ’80s sitcom Who’s the Boss?, Light, 70, later earned Tonys for her performances in The Assembled Parties and Other Desert Cities.
Last year Light received the Tony Awards’ 2019 Isabelle Stevenson Award, presented to theater community members in recognition of their humanitarian contributions. The honor acknowledged her tireless advocacy for LGBTQ rights and the fight against HIV/AIDS, from her involvement with the AIDS Memorial Quilt to her continued work with organizations such as GLAAD, HRC, and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
“The HIV/AIDS and LGBTQ+ communities are inspirations and demonstrations of how to be and live in the world; courageous, honorable, and uplifting,” said Light in a statement. “They inspire me and it is my privilege to be of service to them. I am humbled by this recognition from my theater family, whom I so respect, honor, and love.”
Light’s activism began in earnest when she played the mother of Ryan White, a poster child for the AIDS crisis, in the 1989 TV movie The Ryan White Story.
“I felt I had a responsibility,” she told The Advocate in 2015. “When I met my manager, Herb Hamsher, in 1979, I’d been teetering on leaving the business. I was doing One Life to Live, and I thought, What difference is my life making? I told Herb, ’If I ever get any notoriety, I need to find a way to make a difference.’… Whether I’m involved with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS while doing a play or working with Project Angel Food when I’m shooting in Los Angeles, it’s always been about where I can do the most good.”
— A Little Late With Lilly Singh (@latewithlilly) January 22, 2020
Light memorably starred as Shelly Pfefferman, the ex-wife of a trans woman, in the Amazon streaming series Transparent. Her other TV credits include The Politician, Ugly Betty, and The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.
The GLAAD Media Awards, which celebrate fair and accurate LGBTQ representation in media, currently recognize nominees in 30 English and Spanish-language categories.
GLAAD announced earlier this month that Ryan Murphy will be honored with the Vito Russo Award in New York. Taylor Swift will accept the Vanguard Award and Pose writer-director Janet Mock will accept the Stephen F. Kolzak Award April 16 at the Los Angeles ceremony.
The 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards will be held March 19 in New York and April 16 in Los Angeles.