‘Will And Grace’ Star Sean Hayes Slams Mike Pence And Jussie Smollett At GLAAD Media Awards

Hayes had some cutting remarks for Pence and Smollett while accepting the Stephen F. Kolzak Award.

Sean Hayes accepts the Stephen F. Kolzak Award onstage during the 30th Annual GLAAD Media Awards
Rich Fury / Getty Images for GLAAD

Hayes had some cutting remarks for Pence and Smollett while accepting the Stephen F. Kolzak Award.

Will & Grace actor Sean Hayes was presented with the Stephen F. Kolzak Award at the 30th GLAAD Media Awards on Thursday, and he used the occasion to address a couple of well-known media figures, according to Deadline.

After Hayes accepted the award from his friend and Oscar-winning actress Allison Janney, his acceptance speech got off to a running start with an amusing comparison of TV stars and movie stars.

“A movie star can get a reservation at any restaurant in town. A TV star can actually buy the restaurant,” he said.

The performer continued on to his first target, Vice President Mike Pence, joking that “we will never know” whether the GLAAD Media Awards would be his “worst nightmare or dream come true.”

Hayes moved on to more immediately relevant topics in a bit that started out about dressing and preparing for awards shows. He didn’t hold back for the punchline.

“I’ve been getting in shape for tonight with the Jussie Smollett workout. You hire two trainers and sweat for 8 weeks.”

While the Pence joke was greatly received, the laughs were more hesitant once the topic turned to Smollett.

Overall, Hayes gave an acceptance speech that was clearly thankful and appreciative. But he couldn’t resist leaving the audience with one last parting shot, by remarking that he was the last Will & Grace cast member to receive a GLAAD Media Award.

“The gay one,” he quipped.

Hayes and the rest of the Will & Grace cast are currently enjoying the great success of the show’s revival. It originally enjoyed an award-winning run that lasted from 1998 to 2006, returning in 2017 to much acclaim from viewers and critics.

Before the first season completed airing, NBC had ordered 18 episodes for a third season in fall 2019, making it the Emmy-winning comedy’s 11th season overall, according to Deadline.

The show’s triumphant return also ushered in a renaissance of classic sitcoms revivals, bringing back programs like Roseanne and Murphy Brown.

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Will & Grace has won 16 Emmys, including Outstanding Comedy Series in 2000, and is credited with greatly influencing the representation of LGBTQ characters on TV. It was also the first program to feature openly gay lead characters on a primetime network series.

The Stephen F. Kolzak Award is given to a LGBTQ media professional who has made a “significant difference in promoting LGBTQ acceptance.”

Other Stephen F. Kolzak Award recipients include Sir Ian McKellen, Laverne Cox, Wanda Sykes, Jim Parsons, Chaz Bono and Ellen DeGeneres.