The 31st GLAAD Media Awards have officially been canceled due to COVID-19. Last week, the LGBTQ+ organization canceled the New York City ceremony that had been set for this Wednesday, March 19. On Monday, they announced that the Los Angeles ceremony on April 16 is also canceled.
“In accordance with guidelines put in place by Governor Gavin Newsom, the GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles are no longer taking place in April and we are working to reschedule the event to the fall,” Rich Ferraro, GLAAD’s Chief Communications Officer and Executive Producer of the GLAAD Media Awards, said in a statement.
The GLAAD Media Awards are the largest and most visible LGBTQ+ awards show in the world. The L.A. ceremony planned to honor ally and advocate celebrities, including Janet Mock and Taylor Swift. In New York, Ryan Murphy and Judith Light were honorees.
Over 1000 guests planned to attend the L.A. ceremony, and another 800 guests planned to attend in New York. Both cities are now limiting public gatherings due to the coronavirus pandemic.
GLAAD took a $2 million financial hit by canceling these events, according to the organization’s president and CEO, Sarah Kate Ellis. Thankfully, many of the corporations that sponsor the event are still honoring their financial commitments.
“We called them individually and the majority of them without even having to ask offered and said they would turn it into a donation. It is amazing. It is phenomenal,” Ellis said. “Same with our major ticket buyers. These are expensive tickets and we said, ‘Instead of being a ticket buyer, we’d love to turn into one of our major donors.’ Over 90% of them said, ‘Yes, please.’”
Last week, GLAAD joined over 100 other LGBTQ+ and ally organizations in signing an open letter about the LGBTQ+ community’s increased vulnerability to COVID-19.