Jennifer Hudson Receives GLAAD Ally Award, 17 Years After Presenting It to Patty LaBelle

The 35th Annual GLAAD Media Awards, honoring fair and inclusive LGBTQ+ representation in the media, took place on May 11 in New York City and saw stars, and shows, celebrated on the night

Published Time: 12.05.2024 - 16:31:09 Modified Time: 12.05.2024 - 16:31:09

The 35th Annual GLAAD Media Awards, honoring fair and inclusive LGBTQ+ representation in the media, took place on May 11 in New York City and saw stars, and shows, celebrated on the night.

Among those honored during the award ceremony was actress and producer Jennifer Hudson, 42, who received GLAAD's Excellence in Media Award for her work promoting allyship and acceptance of LGBTQ+ people and issues.

Marren Morris, Julianne Moore, and Tyra Banks are among others who have received the same award in the past, and in 2007, Hudson herself presented it to legendary singer and actress, Patti LaBelle.

In her acceptance speech, Hudson shared her thanks before telling the audience, "You're beautiful. You're amazing. Do you all know how beautiful you are? Do you know your stories deserve to be told?"

She continued her heartfelt speech talking about how the GLAAD community made her feel welcome and loved, as well as nodding to LaBelle.

"You guys make me feel safe, loved my whole life. Welcome. And so therefore it is my mission to do the same. It's about using your voice," she said, adding, "I remember actually presenting Ms. Patty LaBelle this very same award, I think it was 17 years ago."

Husdon then spoke of "having inspirations like herself and also the late great Ms. Aretha Franklin," explaining that, "they've always been advocates for telling me to use your voice. But that goes beyond a song."

"And I want to say that to all of us in this room. Continue to use your voice. And it is nothing like seeing others being blessed from your blessings. And that is what The Jennifer Hudson Show represents, is bringing everyone together. I want everyone to feel like they matter. Have a safe place. Feel celebrated. Whatever you are going through, if you want to be celebrated, just know you can always, I got you back. Jennifer Hudson is going to cheer you up. Okay?," she continued.

Hudson then noted that the moment had made her think of her late mother, Darnell Donerson."She used to say, 'I could show you better than I could tell you,' " the actress and TV -

host explained of her late mom, adding, "So therefore, sometimes it's good to talk, but it's more about putting in the action, standing behind and beside each other, supporting each other, and helping to represent each other."

"I hope you guys feel my heart. You are family. We are a family," she concluded her speech.

Hudson's show The Jennifer Hudson Show was also nominated for, and won, the GLAAD Media for Outstanding Variety or Talk Show Episode for the episode “Jennifer Hudson Surprises HIV Activist with $10,000.”

In the episode, Ian Haddock, HIV activist and founder of The Normal Anomaly Initiative, which supports Black, queer-identifying people, appeared on the show and was presented with a check for $10,000 from the Gilead Compass Initiative. 

In attendance at the iconic award ceremony was Jennifer Lawrence, who presented the Vito Russo Award to country artist Orville Peck. Ross Matthews, co-host and producer of The Drew Barrymore Show and RuPaul's Drag Race, hosted the award ceremony.

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South African country musician Orville Peck was also honored during the evening's proceedings. He received the Vito Russo Award for his work as an LGBTQ-identifying media professional whose work has significantly aided LGBTQ+ acceptance. Peck joins the ranks of previous recipients like Billy Porter, Anderson Cooper and Ricky Martin.

Pentatonix's Scott Hoying gave a rousing performance at the event, and duetted with Loren Allred on “Come Alive.” Allred also sang “Never Enough” from The Greatest Showman.

Among other awards handed out on the night, Rustin won for Outstanding Film — Streaming Or TV, while Red White & Royal Blue nabbed Queer Fan Favorite award. TV show Heartstopper was awarded with Outstanding Kids & Family Programming or Film — Live Action and The Last of Us picked up Outstanding New Series.

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