Academy Award-nominated and Emmy-winning filmmaker, Ava DuVernay, has been selected to receive the Excellence in Media Award at the 29th annual GLAAD Media Awards.  DuVernay will join previously announced honoree Samira Wiley who will be taking home the Vito Russo Award.

The Excellence in Media prize that DuVernay will be receiving is awarded to “media professionals who have made a significant difference in promoting acceptance of LGBTQ people.”  Past honorees includes Robert De Niro, Kelly Ripa, Patti LaBelle, Debra Messing, Tyra Banks, Julianne Moore, Glenn Close, Barbara Walters, Joy Behar, Billy Crystal, Vanessa Redgrave and Diane Sawyer.

“Ava DuVernay is a tireless and outspoken advocate for inclusion in Hollywood for all marginalized groups, not to mention a personal hero of mine,” said GLAAD’s president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “She is truly changing the entertainment industry for the better, and we could not be more pleased to be honoring her.”

DuVernay has supported careers of LGBTQ talent behind and in front of the camera, in many of her projects including on her OWN drama Queen Sugar.  In Queen Sugar, she developed a storyline with a trans character played by trans actor Brian Michael Smith.  She is also responsible for the hiring of many members of the LGBTQ community both in front of the camera and behind the scenes in the series.


“We’re black. We’re brown. We are native. We are Asian. We are Muslim. We are queer. We are many things that deserve safe spaces and protection,” DuVernay said at a Women in Hollywood event last fall, supporting LGBTQ equality and acceptance. She also supported GLAAD’s Spirit Day by going purple on social media to speak out against bullying.

Congratulations to Ava DuVernay on this prestigious honor!



About The Author

The HBR Media Team is a collective group of black women filmmakers, writers, and studio/network executives who are passionate about bringing visibility to women of African descent working in film and television.

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