On Wednesday, GLAAD announced the latest star to receive a 2019 GLAAD Media Award: Andy Cohen. The first openly gay host of an American late-night talk show will be honored with the Vito Russo Award at the 30th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York City on May 4. Cohen’s close friend and LGBTQ ally, actress Sarah Jessica Parker, will present the Watch What Happens Live host’s award. In a press statement, the organization explained why Cohen is an excellent fit for the award.
“[Cohen] consistently speaks out on LGBTQ issues on the show including marriage equality, anti-transgender legislation, and hate violence against LGBTQ people,” the statement read, per E! News.
The Vito Russo Award is presented to an openly LGBTQ media professional who strives to make a difference in “accelerating LGBTQ acceptance.” The award is named after Vito Russo, one of GLAAD’s founders, who paved the way for entertainment industries to include LGBTQ performers and stories.
Cohen has made an effort to bring several LGBTQ entertainers onto his show, such as Sam Smith, Lena Waithe, Billy Porter, and Rosie O’Donnell. In addition, the father of one often advocates for LGBTQ youth on Watch What Happens Live, and speaks out against bullying and hate crimes.
The television personality has also taken his voice to radio. He hosts SiriusXM program Radio Andy, where he dives into LGBTQ discussions in a cultural framework, according to The Hollywood Reporter. His book series has also allowed Cohen to share his own experiences, in the hopes of resonating with others.
“Andy Cohen is a force in the entertainment industry who consistently prioritizes and celebrates LGBTQ stories,” GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said. “Both onscreen and behind-the-scenes, Andy’s trademark brand of LGBTQ advocacy has resulted in some of the buzziest and entertaining culture changing moments.”
Previous Vito Russo recipients include Anderson Cooper, Cynthia Nixon, Samira Wiley, Ricky Martin, Alan Cumming, Rosie O’Donnell, and Billy Porter.
The GLAAD Media Awards in New York City will air live for the first time on Logo on Sunday, May 12. The show airs at 8 p.m. EST, and will be hosted by Ross Matthews. Madonna will also be honored at the ceremony, as the first woman to receive GLAAD’s Advocate for Change Award. Other guests include Samantha Bee, CNN journalist Don Lemon, and cast members from FX’s Pose.
Another ceremony will be held in Los Angeles on March 28, where hip-hop couple Beyonce and Jay-Z will be honored — as well as actor Sean Hayes — according to The Los Angeles Times.