Scandal star, Kerry Washington was awarded the Vanguard Award at the 2015 GLAAD Media Awards. The award is an honor given to people whose actions and beliefs are in accordance with LGBT support.
The moving speech addressed many current issues in the Hollywood infrastructure, such as gender equality, human rights, and racial diversity. The GLAAD honoree began her speak with a witty introduction to ease award guests toward meaningful statements that would follow.
“When I was told that I was going to get an award for being an ally to GLAAD, it got me thinking. I’m going to say some stuff, and I might be preaching to the choir, but I’m going to say it. Not just for us, but because on Monday morning people are going to click a link to hear what that woman from ‘Scandal’ said at that award show, and so, I think some stuff needs to be said.”
Following her introduction, Kerry Washington went on to describe the acting categories available for minorities. She explains a division that pits different minorities against each other.
“Women, poor people, people of color, people with disabilities, gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, trans people, intersex people — we have been pitted against each other and made to feel there are limited seats at the table for those of us who fall into the category of ‘other.’ As a result, we have become afraid of one another.”
Kerry Washington makes many remarkable statements in her speech that hold many minorities accountable for their views on same-sex marriage. She compares the standing American issue of same-sex marriage to the many years of racial inequality in the United States. Bringing up the 1967 Supreme Court decision that finally made it legal to marry interracial in America, Washington insists that same-sex couples deserve matrimony as well.
“We compete with one another, we judge one another. Sometimes, we betray one another. Sometimes even within our own communities we designate who among us is best suited to represent us and who really shouldn’t even be invited to the part.”
Kerry calls out to those within her own race who experienced years of oppression to recognize the similarities in the black experience and the LGBT experience in America.
“When black people today tell me that they don’t believe in gay marriage.”
Kerry Washington looked to various high profile figures in the audience while giving her speak, according to USA Today. She looked to Ellen DeGeneres and referenced her “coming out” story and looked to Scandal producer Shonda Rhimes when referencing racial equality. Kerry made a final statement about what should be next LGBT and diversity in Hollywood.
“We need more employment of LGBT people in front of and behind the camera.”
The crowd of the GLAAD Media Awards reportedly received Kerry Washington well, giving her a standing ovation.
[Image via The Hollywood Reporter]