Hollywood: ‘Don’t Wait Until You’re in the Hot Seat’

Hollywood: ‘Don’t Wait Until You’re in the Hot Seat’

Sarah Kate Ellis GLAAD
Amy Mayes
After the public gaffe for Disney Co. — regarding its silence over Florida’s incendiary “Don’t Say Gay” law — the GLAAD Awards used its annual show to caution Hollywood about the perils of ignoring the LGBT community.

“Don’t wait until you’re in the hot seat,” the media watchdog’s president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis told the crowd on Saturday. “There’s no more time to sit on the sidelines. We need Hollywood on the front lines, fighting for our rights and telling our stories.”

GLAAD would not let the Disney debacle go unchecked. Ellis said she will call on Hollywood “to take meaningful action and will soon convene the biggest brands, agencies, studios and streamers together with two goals.

Two Goals

One, to commit to improving the quantity, quality and diversity of LGBTQ images, especially in kids and family programming. Two, to speak out against anti-LGBTQ legislation in favor of rights like the Equality Act.”

Gay Directors, Gay Films? By Emanuel Levy (Columbia University Press, August).

Don’t Say Gay Bill

Ellis also spoke plainly about attacks on human rights across the country. “In just one day, on March 8, the Florida Senate passed the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, which was signed into law this past week. The South Dakota Senate passed a bill that bans discussion of ‘divisive concepts’ like race and sex in college courses. The Idaho House of Representatives passed a bill that would send librarians to jail if they let minors check out books that include LGBTQ topics. And the New Jersey Supreme Court denied an appeal that would bar a religious organization from offering so-called ‘conversion therapy,’” she said.

“This all happened not in one month, not in one week, but in one day,” she concluded.

As leadership and talent from every single mainstream content creator looked on, Ellis delivered a final shot across the bow: “I expect every industry executive in this room to join us. GLAAD will give you the playbook. But we won’t give you a pass.”