When it comes to star-studded events, the Oscars have nothing on the 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards. Admit it, where else will you find former President Bill Clinton with his arm around the last surviving Golden Girl Betty White?
The party (and it definitely felt like a party —celebs mingled with commoners in between the awards give-aways) was held Saturday night at L.A.’s JW Marriott and was hosted by longtime ally Drew Barrymore. The night, which paid tribute to “inclusive representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and the issues that affect their lives, saw queer-inclusive Ryan Murphy productions The New Normal and American Horror Story: Asylum snag trophies, as did daytime drama Days of Our Lives and the acclaimed feature film Perks of Being a Wallflower.
Between breaks in the award handouts, celebrities, such as Justin Bartha, Matt Bomer and Andrew Rannells chatted and posed for photos with the regular folks. Murphy told us he’s a Queerty reader.
Perhaps the highlight of the night was the speech delivered by high-powered entertainment attorney Steve Warren, as he accepted the Stephen F. Kolzak Award presented by his clients Leonardo DiCaprio and Charlize Theron. “Justice Antonin Scalia is an old-fashioned bully,” Warren announced from the podium. “I may not have had the strength to stand up to the bullies who taunted me in the fifth grade, but I do now. We do now. Justice Antonin Scalia, the bully on high, we are speaking to you.”
Yet even in a room that contained the megawatt beauty and star power of DiCaprio, Theron and Jennifer Lawrence, no one generated as much excitement as Clinton.
Introduced by movie exec Harvey Weinstein and recent Oscar-winner Lawrence, who further endeared herself by flubbing Clinton’s name, the former Prez delivered a typically stirring speech. “I want to keep working on this until not only DOMA is no longer the law of the land, but until all people, no matter where they live, can marry the people they love,” he stated. This declaration was followed by a heckler in the back of the room, who shouted, “You signed it!”
It’s a sentiment echoed by many, more polite attendees. Although Clinton received hearty applause and a standing ovation, many people hoped the 42nd president would apologize or disclose just why he signed the discriminatory legislation in 1996. One guest told Queerty she was disappointed in Clinton’s speech and felt there was a huge elephant in the room he failed to acknowledge.
Before guests could filter out of the room in search of the after-party which housed the popular Queerty photo booth, Kelly Rowland closed the show with a rousing rendition of her dance hit “When Love Takes Over.”
Drew Barrymore hosted the 24th annual gala.
After showing a video when he received his own award for his role in the seminal teen saga My So-Called Life in 1995, actor Wilson Cruz, now a spokesperson for GLAAD, encouraged the audience to donate to the media watchdog organization.
Charlize Theron and Leonardo DiCarpio extolled the equality-minded virtues of their friend and attorney Steve Warren, recipient of the Stephen F. Kolzak Award.
Freddie Smith accepted the award for outstanding daily drama on behalf of his series Days of Our Lives.
Trevor Donahue from 90210 was in attendance.
Director Stephen Chbosky accepted the Outstanding Wide Release Film award for Perks Of Being A Wallflower.
Magic Mike star Alex Pettyfer and Betty White auctioned off kisses, with the proceeds going to GLAAD.
Singer Beth Ditto shared a story of having met her fellow Arkansas native as a child.
The photogenic actors/brother Scott and Chris Evans appeared onstage with their mother Lisa.
Queerty fan Ryan Murphy won awards for both The New Normal and American Horror Story: Asylum.
Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence and Glee heartthrob Darren Criss made a photogenic pair.
New father Perez Hilton continued his nice guy makeover as a friendly face in the crowd.
Chelsea Clinton came on stage to hand her father the Advocate for Change award.
Kelly Rowland sent guests to the after-party with a spirited performance of her hit “When Love Takes Over.”