Outrage‘s Kirby Dick Incensed Over GLAAD Award Snub. But Really, Who Cares About the GLAAD Awards?

After Queerty first noted that Kirby Dick’s political outing film Outrage was snubbed by the GLAAD Media Award, despite being the year’s most talked about piece of gay cinema (yes, there was more dialogue about Outrage than A Single Man), GLAAD found itself defending its decision not to nominate the film. And now Dick has having his chance to enter the fray — and condemn the increasingly irrelevant media watchdog.

Dick says in a statement:

While I was understandably disappointed that Outrage did not receive a GLAAD Media Award nomination, I know that awards are subjective and am happy that attention is being brought to all the excellent LGBT media projects that were nominated.

However, I take issue with GLAAD’s statement explaining the reasoning behind their decision to not award the film a nomination. Their claim that Outrage “does not fit the criteria of the GLAAD Media Awards” is untrue. In fact, the film meets all four criteria listed on their website: “Fair, Accurate and Inclusive Representations” of “the LGBT Community”, “Boldness and Originality”, “Impact”, and “Overall Quality”.

More troubling is their position that the subject of my film – the hypocrisy of closeted politicians and the harm they do the lives of millions of LGBT citizens – is inappropriate for the GLAAD awards. By taking this position, GLAAD is playing into the same philosophy that has kept the closet in place in politics for decades and has caused so much damage. Like the mainstream media which has been silent on this hypocrisy, GLAAD seems to think that by avoiding this complex subject it will go away. Just the opposite, the longer attention is not brought to the subject, the more the damage of the closet will continue, both in politics and in Hollywood.

The Supreme Court has just issued a ruling that exemplifies this country’s long history of keeping LGBT concerns in the closet by voting to not allow cameras to cover our country’s most urgent civil rights trial. Isn’t it time for GLAAD to stop protecting the closet as well?”

He’s right. But to get upset about the snub is to misunderstand the purpose of the GLAAD Awards entirely. Despite its stated goal about “elevating and promoting the fair, accurate and inclusive stories of LGBT issues, people and allies that have increased awareness, understanding and respect for our lives and our pursuit of equality,” the GLAAD Media Awards are, like any other gala invent that courts press coverage, an exercise in branding and a way to throw a party for your corporate donors. GLAAD so understands the importance of these awards for its sustenance that it’s throwing three of them: one in LA, NYC, and San Francisco. (That’s down from the Awards’ usual four ceremonies.) Make no mistake: These are fun parties, which staffers at this website have attended, because who doesn’t enjoy an open bar and the company of famous people? But handing out awards to LGBT-related entertainment properties is at least equally about recognizing positive contributions as it is about making a publicity splash.

By excluding Outrage from its list of nominees, GLAAD only shows how it remains out of touch with the way gay America is moving. But hey, that’s nothing when they can get Neil Patrick Harris and Cynthia Nixon to walk the red carpet.