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GLAAD media awards in New York cancelled as city declares state of emergency over coronavirus

Emma Powys Maurice March 12, 2020
Coronavirus: GLAAD media awards cancelled due to pandemic

Actress and activist Laverne Cox at the 2016 GLAAD Media Awards in New York (Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty)

The GLAAD Media Awards in New York City has been cancelled to keep the public safe amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The star-studded event on March 19 was planned to celebrate those in the media industry for their outstanding representations of LGBT+ people and issues.

It was due to hosted by bisexual comedian Lilly Singh, with honours given to the prolific screenwriter Ryan Murphy and the actress and producer Judith Light. Performances by Adam Lambert and Ben Platt were also planned.

With the number of coronavirus cases continuing to rise, on March 11 New York governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency over the outbreak.

“This is not going away on its own, the spread is not going to stop on its own,” he warned. “It is fully dependent on what we do. We’re going to make our own destiny and like it or not, we’re going to have to make some tough decisions and we’re going to have to start to act united to reduce the density.”

Later that day, GLAAD’s COO Rich Ferraro issued a statement cancelling the event. He said that the decision was made in recognition of GLAAD’s “long-standing commitment to the safety of our members, sponsors and guests”.

“The team at GLAAD has been in communication with the city of New York and is following the latest recommendations from governor Cuomo,” he said.

“We were planning to unveil a historic get-out-the-vote campaign at the event because everything is at stake for LGBT+ Americans this election year, and are hopeful that the program and GLAAD’s ongoing work to fight against anti-LGBT+ discrimination will continue to be supported and funded.

“Since the event is canceled, our advocacy work will experience a loss of funding and we encourage community members and allies to consider becoming a GLAAD member to ensure this work continues.”

Ferraro also advised that GLAAD will be in touch with the 175 nominees shortly with plans for how award categories may be announced. He also promised that an update would arrive “in the coming weeks” regarding the event.

Several other high-profile events have been cancelled due to coronavirus, including the final dates on Madonna’s Madame X tour.  Performances by Queen, Louis Tomlinson, Yungblud, Mariah Carey, Maluma, Green Day and BTS have also been impacted.

RuPaul’s DragCon LA, Coachella, South by Southwest, the SXSW Music, Film and Tech conference, Ultra Music Festival Abu Dhabi and Miami, and Tomorrowland Winter have all been cancelled or postponed until a later date.

More: Andrew Cuomo, Coronavirus, GLAAD, glaad media awards, New York

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