NEW YORK, NY - GLAAD, the nation's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy organization, today announced it will honor Emmy-nominated journalist Thomas Roberts at the 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York at the Waldorf Astoria New York on May 9, 2015.
The 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards are presented by Delta Air Lines, Hilton, Ketel One Vodka, and Wells Fargo; and Official Presenting Partners Amazon and Bud Light. The GLAAD Media Awards recognize and honor media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the LGBT community and the issues that affect their lives. The GLAAD Media Awards also fund GLAAD's work to amplify stories from the LGBT community and issues that build support for equality.
Roberts will receive GLAAD's Vito Russo Award, which is named after one of GLAAD's co-founders and the author of The Celluloid Closet. The award is presented to an out LGBT media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equality for the LGBT community. Previous Vito Russo Award honorees include George Takei, Anderson Cooper, Ricky Martin, Rosie O'Donnell, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, Alan Cumming, Tom Ford, and Cynthia Nixon.
As the anchor of MSNBC Live with Thomas Roberts and a fill-in host on NBC’s TODAY, Roberts has put LGBT issues front and center of his news coverage, often bringing attention to stories overlooked by other national news outlets. His coverage of LGBT issues has earned him multiple GLAAD Media Awards nominations and he received the award in the Outstanding TV Journalism Segment category at the 25th Annual GLAAD Media Awards for a story about the lack of legal employment protections for LGBT workers.
Through his reporting, Roberts has highlighted stories of LGBT people in the South, LGBT athletes, marriage equality, and discrimination within the Boy Scouts of America. He has given a voice to many transgender advocates and dedicated several segments to the bullying faced by LGBT youth.
In addition to reporting on LGBT issues, Roberts recently made history with OUT@NBCUniversal, the first LGBT and ally employee groups in the entertainment industry and corporate America, to march under an LGBT-inclusive banner in the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Click here to watch Roberts’ participation and report on his web-only Shift show “Out There.”
In 2013, Roberts hosted the 62nd Annual Miss Universe Competition in Moscow, Russia and spoke out against the country’s brutal anti-LGBT laws. “I choose to offer my support of the LGBT community in Russia by going to Moscow and hosting this event as a journalist, an anchor and a man who happens to be gay,” Roberts wrote on MSNBC.com. “Let people see I am no different than anyone else.”
Roberts has also participated in GLAAD’s Spirit Day campaign to raise awareness about the disproportionate rates of bullying facing LGBT youth. In 2006, he became the first national cable news anchor to come out as gay; and in 2012, he became the first national cable news anchor married to a same-sex spouse when he wed longtime partner Patrick Abner.
Prior to anchoring MSNBC Live, Roberts hosted MSNBC’s Way Too Early and was a contributor on Morning Joe. He has also served as a news anchor for CNN Headline News and was a correspondent for CBS News, Entertainment Tonight and The Insider.
"Thomas Roberts isn't afraid to put a spotlight on injustices faced by LGBT people that all too often go unreported," said GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. "As a journalist and anchor with millions of viewers, he brings stories to national attention, leading the conversation and accelerating acceptance of the LGBT community."
The GLAAD Media Awards recognize and honor media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the LGBT community and the issues that affect their lives. The GLAAD Media Awards also fund GLAAD's work to amplify stories from the LGBT community and issues that build support for equality.
GLAAD previously announced that comedian Ross Mathews will host the New York event. Other guests announced include: Jeffrey Tambor, Judith Light (Transparent); Jonathan Groff (Looking); Laverne Cox (Orange Is the New Black); Tituss Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt); out NBA player Jason Collins; GLAAD National Spokesperson Omar Sharif, Jr., and GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. Additional guests for the New York event will be announced.
In January, GLAAD announced 104 nominees in 21 English-language categories, and 40 Spanish-language nominees in 10 categories. Nominees for the 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards can be found here: www.glaad.org/mediaawards/nominees. Several award recipients were announced at the Los Angeles event. A list of award recipients is available here: http://www.glaad.org/mediaawards/26/recap. GLAAD presented the Vanguard Award to actress Kerry Washington and the Stephen F. Kolzak Award to out director Roland Emmerich at the Los Angeles GLAAD Media Awards on March 21 at the Beverly Hilton.
To receive the latest updates on the GLAAD Media Awards, follow @glaad on Twitter and use the hashtag #glaadawards.
The 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards is presented by Delta Air Lines, Hilton, Ketel One Vodka, and Wells Fargo; and Official Presenting Partners Amazon and Bud Light. GLAAD also thanks this year's corporate partners, which include: Titanium Partners- 21st Century Fox, ABC-Disney Television Group and Southwest Airlines; Platinum Partners- Allstate Insurance Company, AT&T, Coca-Cola, Comcast/NBC Universal, Facebook, HBO, NBA, WNBA, PwC, Sheppard Mullin, Time Warner and Viacom; Gold Partners- CBS/Showtime, Nielsen, Omnicom, UM Worldwide, Univision, Westfield, and WWE; and Silver Partners- Bloomberg, Carat, Citi, Discovery Life, MLB, NFL, Skadden and US Bank. For a full list of corporate partners and information on how to become a corporate partner, purchase tickets, and place a tribute in the tribute book, please visitwww.glaad.org/mediaawards.
About GLAAD: GLAAD rewrites the script for LGBT acceptance. As a dynamic media force, GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change. GLAAD protects all that has been accomplished and creates a world where everyone can live the life they love. For more information, please visit www.glaad.org or connect with GLAAD on Facebook and Twitter.