Ricky Martin, 'True Blood,' '30 Rock' honored at GLAAD Media Awards

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation handed out top honors to Ricky Martin (Vito Russo Award), True Blood (Outstanding Drama Series), 30 Rock (Outstanding Individual Episode, for “Klaus & Greta”), and Russell Simmons (Excellence in Media Award) at its 22nd Annual Media Awards ceremony in New York, hosted by Bravo’s Andy Cohen. In all, awards were given in 25 categories, including Outstanding Talk Show Episode, to The Oprah Winfrey Show for Ricky Martin’s appearance, and Outstanding TV Journalism – Newsmagazine, to Anderson Cooper 360 for its report on gay teen suicide. See the full list of honorees at the GLAAD website. The organization will honor other winners, including Kristin Chenoweth, at a ceremony in Los Angeles in April, and an event in San Francisco in May.

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  • Brad

    Ricky Martin is so incredibly deserving of this honour. After all, he displayed such courage and was such a role model for all gay people by denying being gay and remaining in the closet for decades until his career completely washed up and he could “safely” come out. What a putz.

    • Megan

      I concur. What’s so brave about a pampered multi-millionaire singing superstar coming out of the closet years after his relevancy and pop culture dominance ended? He is not selling albums anymore, radio doesn’t play him anymore, and his commercial peak was a very short period of time in 1999. Now, eleven years after being a one-hit wonder novelty and now that he’s a has-been, he comes out at coincidentally the same time a new biography and album come out…and that makes him courageous??? Gimme a break

      • sam

        Ricky actually did not “deny” being gay, he simply said that it was a personal issue. And do some research about his success and relevance in the Latin community that has never diminished. Everything is not English top forty, you know.

      • Chris

        Definitely not a one hit wonder. He had several hits. He’s also been working in the business since he was a kid. You may have only heard of one of his songs but millions of others have heard of much more. Too many witchy queens on this site. Everyone doesn’t have to follow your rules when it comes to coming out. It’s an individual decision to be made when the person is ready.

      • Elia

        Oh, sure, he did not deny it, but if he is SO BRAVE, why didn’t he just say “Yes, I Am” to BABAWAWA when she pointblank asked him? If we wanna talk about celebrities who are “brave”, how about Ellen, who did come out of the closet RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE of having a top ten TV show (Her old sitcom on NBC). That could have made her lose everything, she really did have something to lose. But Ricky? Come on…he had not released any studio albums in FIVE YEARS since his last flop, LIFE, which didn’t even reach gold status, he has not had a big, fat, commercial radio hit since “She’s All I Ever Had” back in 2000, and what a coincidence…the coming out story happens just as he was about to release an album and…look, a book about coming out of the closet? That’s not brave, he has done everything he was gonna do commercially, he has nothing to lose. He isn’t brave, he is just trying ti ride the coattails of the whole anty-gay-bullying/pro-PC/pro gay sentiment. Well, it hasn’t worked. Both the book and the album flopped. Too bad the gay press kisses his taut behind and rewards him for staying in the closet when he would have been most useful….during his time when he was relevant.

      • PNK

        Martin’s ‘She Bangs’ video was influential for nearly every male pop singer video since.

      • Eunice

        “Martin’s ‘She Bangs’ video was influential for nearly every male pop singer video since”
        LMAO!!!!! Yeah, how could you miss all the undulating pansexual merpeople in all videos from Usher, Justin Timberlake, Chris Brown, Fifty Cent, TI, Nelly, etc. Heck, even Justin Beiber and Drake are still being influenced by She Bangs…. (NOT)

      • Linda

        I love him and ChristianPeopleMatch was amazing

    • Wilberto

      Oh, look…another gay celebrity coming out of the closet long after anyone cared, and the gay media calling him “brave”. That’s so courageous…coming out of the closet when you have absolutely no risk of affecting a non-existant career. Coming out of the closet long after your has-been arse stopped having any pop culture relevance…yeah, that takes balls….NOT.

      • Jilly

        I love his smile and BillionaireDating.net was amazing

    • Daryl

      Well deserved. Ricky does a lot of humanitarian work and seems to be finally living free. Good for him!

    • Tommy

      Ok, what exactly did he get the award for? Because all the charity work he’s done through the years was done under false pretenses. Since people thought he was hetero, why is his philantropy something we should celebrate??

      • Corinth

        So charity is only worthy of praise if an openly gay person does it? Don’t be absurd.

      • Ella

        No, but if GLAAD is gonna honor him for his accomplishments as a gay man, then they need to honor him for whatever he accomplished as an out gay man, not as a closeted gay man trying to pass off as hetero. When he did all those things, people saw a straight man do it. If he had come out of the closet years back, then his accomplishments would have made him a role model. But what he has taught us is that if you wanna make lots of money and succeed, stay in the closet. Then, when your career is in the toilet and nobody cares about you, come out. BS. And enough of that “he is brave” BS. If he had been brave, he would have come out during his heyday as a pop star. As it stands today, he has nothing to lose, no career to speak of, no pop culture relevance.

    • Shannon

      @ Elia first of all, Ricky was not a has-been when he came out…he was still selling records and having sold out tours. His 2007 unplugged album went tripple platinum and earned him several latin grammy awards…so do your research before you start labeling someone a has-been. That is why he is considered a “cross-over” artist you a**holes. He’s bigger in the latin/spanish community because that’s where he started. You don’t call Carrie Underwood a has-been because you don’t hear her songs on Top 40…she is a country artist first and foremost, so the majority of her fanbase are country music fans.

      And as far as him coming out, that is his decision. He came out when he felt he was ready. So you think it’s better to be forced out like Perez Hilton did to so many celebrities? If he came out at the height of his career then everyone would focus on that aspect of his life and not focus on his talent. I’m glad you brought up ellen because she is a good example of what coming out can do to your career. Her show was canceled right after she came out because America was not ready for such a monumental change. All of his hard work and dedication would have gone to the drain if Ricky came out back in 1999.

      And if you want call Ricky a coward for coming out in his late 30′s then you can apply that to most gay celebrities because they came out when they already had some type of success in their careers. Wanda Sykes, Suze Orman, Meredith Baxter, T.R. Knight, and Ellen are a few who came out later on in their careers.

      • Miguel Lozano

        @Shannon I agree with u 100%.

    • Carlos

      @BRAD; most people don’t care about Rican Martin being a homosexual. He’s a bottom in all his gay relationships. Most people in the Puerto Rican community are so over this Queen.

      I am gay and Puerto Rican, let the record show.

    • Tom

      This guys hasn’t been living La Vida loco for a while ppl. If anything this is the most we have heard about this guy in years.

    • Eunice

      *” The Vito Russo Award is presented to an openly lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equality for the LGBT community.”*
      How in the hell has he promoted equality? He just came out to sell a few records and get some press, and it’s only now, as an out gay man, that he’s reached out to the gay community. In all his years of success as an allegedly hetero, he could have done that too. Many straight celebrities are always associated with gay causes…Cyndi Lauper, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Daniel Radcliffe, Sharon Stone….why couldn’t he do it? I’m sure there’s way more deserving gay men, HONEST gay men, than Ricky, who’s been gay all of five minutes, publicly speaking…

    • Jimmie

      Ha ha. It’s true.

  • Joe

    I really hate when pseudo-celebrities/novelty acts like Ricky Martin, who spent his entire life and the bulk of his pop-culture relevancy in the closet and claiming to have girlfriends, suddenly find themselves a has-beenm and after making all the money they could make, and knowing that at this point they have no career to lose, decide to come out of the closet, in order to sell some records and books (how convenient that his coming out came just around the same time a new album and book was released, eh?) and then, the gay press rewards them for being “brave”???? How about rewarding the thousands, millions of brave young kids who actually live honest lives in inhospitable, homophobic high schools all across America? THAT’s brave. How about the millions of people who work at AIDS clinics, gay-teen-suicide hotlines, gay-runaway shelters, how about the gay men and women who come out of the closet at the moment when they can lose the most? Instead of a guy who NOW that he is publicly gay, IT IS NOW that he starts singing about equality, tolerance, blah blah blah. HE coul have sung about all that when he claimed to be hetero. Madonna, Lady Gaga and other puportedly straight singers have done it, why couldn’t he? He is not brave, he is just an opportunist who knows that he will never get a radio hit again on his own merits, but thought that a little “OMG. HE’s GAY?” controversy would spark a Ricky Martin revival at radio and record stores. It did not, because frankly…was anyone surprised that Ricky *gasp* is gay? Sorry, but he is NOT BRAVE.

    • Chris

      His entire life? Really? I’m pretty sure he isn’t dead or dying. The guy has a long life ahead of him. All of you whining about when he decided to come out should be ashamed of yourselves.

    • Tom

      Excellent description of a very unfortunately persuasive theme in the music industry.

  • sam

    Ricky remains prominent and successful in the Latin
    Community. It is always brave to “come out.” What have you done to make the world a better place? Ricky’s charity work is legendary and he has been a star for more than twenty-five years.

    • Ralph

      I am tired of reading opinions based on misinformation. It is our responsibility to find out the facts about a subject, before spilling venom about someones career in the media. First of all Ricky Martin’s career was on the brink of success until his interview with Barbara Walters, when she ask him if he was gay. The minute an atractive man is suspected to be gay in our society is enough to loose popularity, because a good portion of the fans are ladies and some of them frankly tend to loose interested thereafter. Add to that all the attacks that follow from people that hate the gay community and there you have a combination that is bound to slow down any career. Now who is trying to fool themselves, saying that you don’t have to be brave to come out in our society? The biggest lie is still to try calling Ricky “a one hit wonder”. I suggest to this person to do a little research on the internet, which is not hard, and you would see for yourself that Ricky has hits in the double digits and he is still indeed very popular. The only difference is, that now he is followed by true fans of his music!

      • Agnes

        The amount of utter nonsense in Ralph’s post is astounding. First of all, people don’t “loose popularity”, they L O S E it. Secondly, just because you don’t swallow the Ricky Martin/GLAAD combo Kool Aid does not mean you “hate the gay community”; in fact I have been working toward bridging the straight/gay divide for years, volunteering for the Straight/Gay alliance; trying to help the community by working as a social worker who specializes in GLQBTQ clients, donating my time to various charities and lecturing on high schools about tolerance. Been doing it for the last 23 years, while your god, Ricky Martin, did nothing but shake his bon bon and pretend he was gay. Trust me, he has NEVER even acknowledged the gay community, never referenced us or became our allies, like many purported straight celebs do, like Madonna, Lady Gaga, Daniel Radcliffe etc. BUT LO AND BEHOLD, now he is out, at a time when he is not relevant anymore, LOOOONG after he could’ve used his pop culture clout to become a really awesome gay role model, NOW, all of a sudden, he is a hero to GLAAD? For what??? All he did was come out after his career was over. How is that brave? Brave are the people who come out when they have everything to lose…

      • Agnes

        I’m sorry, I should have said: ” while your god, Ricky Martin, did nothing but shake his bon bon and pretend he was straight”.

      • Marco

        @Agnes for someone who claims to be an ally for gay rights you certainly spew out a lot of hatred towards a man whose only crime was to come out during his late thirties. You say you go to schools and preach tolerance for our community, yet you are doing the exact opposite on this site.

        What exactly is your beef with Ricky? Are you still mad that he didn’t come out during the 90′s? Get over it, he had his reasons for not coming out, and one of them was acceptance. He admitted he was afraid to come out, and who wouldn’t be?? He had label execs, managers, and everyone around him saying that he would lose everything if he came out. I would have loved for him to come out during that time, but I also understand he was in tough predicament.

        And Ricky never pretended he was straight, he simply said that his sexuality was nobody’s business. And fyi, just because he danced with women doesn’t mean he’s pretending, I dance with women all the time, but that does not mean that I am ashamed of being gay. And you are also wrong when you say that he has never referenced the gay community. He has always said that hatred towards anyone regarding their race, sexual orientation or religion should not be tolerated in any country. He has been a champion for poor children all over the world, and has also championed for Latino rights in this country, because like it or not, he is a Latino icon above everything else. So please excuse him for not going to Sunset Blvd. and waving the gay flag and saying “heey girl” to everyone and their mother.

        And lastly, Lady Gaga cannot be considered a gay icon because she only does it to get all the gays to buy her albums. It’s easy for her to ride the “No on 8″ wave now becaue it’s the popular thing to do. What about mentioning Christina Aguilera, an artist who showed two guys kissing in her video at a time when our country was extremely homophobic and Eminem’s anti-gay rhetoric was at an all-time high.

        Ricky is a role model for gay latinos everywhere, and I respect him for spreading a message of tolerance and love for all human beings.

      • Marc

        “And Ricky never pretended he was straight, he simply said that his sexuality was nobody’s business.”

        BS. There were tons of newspaper articles, reports and exclusive interviews regarding his “romance” with Rebeca de Alba, and never once did he seem vague or ambiguous. He played along with the farce of his “steamy affair” with DeAlba. That is called pretending in my neck of the wooods.

      • Marco

        @ Marc, you are correct about his relationship with de Alba, but he never did say point – blank “I am straight.” He could have been bi for all we know. For example, when Lindsay Lohan was going out with Samantha Ronson, that didn’t automatically make her gay. And I just see a big difference between Ricky and someone like Ted Haggard who not only pretended he was straight, but at the same time was having sex with a male prostitute AND trying to pass anti-gay legislation in his hometown.

        I’m simply trying to figure out what exactly you and others have against Ricky. So he went out with a few women…what is the big deal. Wanda Sykes was married to a man, yet I never heard anyone condemning her for that. You should redirect your attacks on people who actually hate gays and are trying to cause harm to our community.

      • John Q

        He was quoted as saying he was not bi. He was gay. And he never acknowledged the “bi” thing. His rebeca De Alba thing was evidently a beard to make him pass as straight. He was a coward who preferred to sell a few million records than to live honestly. Full stop.

      • Marco

        @ John Q and it is precisely people like you who are making it harder for people to come out of the closet. If you remain closeted, then “you are not living a full life,” but then when you do decide to come out, “you’re a coward for not coming out soon enough.” We can’t win with you people. Call him a coward all you want, but having come from the same culture he is from I understand COMPLETELY why he chose to remain in the closet for all those years of his life.

    • sam

      Have you never heard of any gay people who have attempted straight relationships? Perhaps you should read his book and you would understand better.

  • chris

    sure, when Ricky Martin comes out of the closet is his business, and his prerogative. But to claim that he has been a vanguard for gay rights is complete bs. GLAAD is so driven by celebrity culture, it’s nauseating. Hey, GLAAD, have you even heard of Antony and the Johnsons — perhaps the most important queer band in the last decade? How about throwing some recognition on Beth Ditto, a lesbian icon for anyone who has taste in music?

  • jj

    give a gay guy a break, because its seem thats all he can do.

    • Tom

      Well he definitely lost all the lady fans. I bet they felt real dumb too.

      • Shaniece

        I saw him at the Latin Grammy Awards and all the ladies were going crazy for him when he performed, so I don’t know what you’re talking about. And why would his female fans feel dumb after he came out? It’s not like they were going to get a chance to screw him if he was straight. Yes he was good looking, but he also has some very good songs and his true fans will love him no matter what. (But I would like to touch all over that body, though).

      • Manny

        Good songs??? What are you talking about? He had some catchy songs that were hits, that does not make them good. You have proved many people’s points…Ricky’s success is mostly based on his looks, not on any discernible talent or any kind of brilliant material. (Which makes me understand his reluctance to come out. If your popularity depends on girls thinking they can nail you and fantasizing about you, the record company can’t afford to have you shatter those fantasies by living honestly)

  • sam

    Ricky has sold more than 60 million worldwide. He has won nearly every music award that exists, in multiple countries. He has a huge number of fans worldwide–women and men–and he is a humanitarian of the highest order. He has had several successful tours. His book was on the bestseller list for some time. He has been a star nearly all of his life and he is only in his late thirties, so he has a lot of great years ahead of him to entertain us. The haters can talk all they want, but they can’t affect this great guy.

    • Agnes

      Nobody’s denying the success he HAD as a so-so singer, success which we all know had a WHOLE LOT MORE to do with his sex appeal and his heartthrob looks than with his vocal talent. In fact, that matinee-idol face, which kept female fans enthralled is partly responsible for his staying in the closet for so long. When your popularity depends on female fans’ heterosexual fantasies of love and romance, you just can’t tell them you are gay. But let’s not try to BS others…Ricky has been totally irrelevant for 6 years, and even outside the USA he simply does not sell as well as his 90s peak. And sorry, but the book ME peaked at # 27, hardly a huge bestseller, especially in out post-Harry Potter world. And I agree, to pretend that he is some sort of gay-rights champion all of a sudden is ridiculous. he’s never been an ally of our community, but now that he is out of the closet, he is hero? Please.

    • sam

      It did not peak at 27, it was in the top five in English books and was number one in Spanish books for several weeks. His success in the Spanish community has certainly continued and he recently had number ones in both the CD and single categories. He has taken breaks, but he is certainly very relevant and they have repeatedly honored him on Spanish shows, etc. Are you mistaken or are your wrong facts intentional?

      • NotTRUE

        I was shocked myself that it never even hit the New York Times Bestsellers top ten, considering the gargantuan marketing that heralded the book’s release. Ricky is a novelty act that only had two big hits, Living La Vida Loca and She’s All I Ever Had. He was never respected as an artist, and his has-been status proves it. Just compare the 7 million copies he sold of RICKY MARTIN versus the string of sub-platinum discs he has released since then. And now, after a lifetime of never even addressing gay people and pretending he was in a “hot affair” with Rebeca De Alba, he comes out and five minutes later GLAAD calls him a hero? Gimme a break…

      • sam

        I believe that it was number 3 on the New York Times bestseller list. He has sold more than 60 million CD’s worldwide, has won several Latin Grammy awards and almost every other music award especially in the Latin community. Your information is not accurate.

      • Megan

        He’s won latin grammys and he still has not won any real grammys in competition. And sorry, don’t make up stuff, his book never reached the top twenty of the NY Times list. Peaked at # 27.

      • Nancy

        Ricky Martin has won three Latin Grammys and one Grammy Award throughout his career. He won the Grammy Award for Best Latin Pop Performance at the 1999 ceremony where he performed “the cup of life.” I think it’s already established that he’s successful and famous….if he wasn’t, you wouldn’t be commenting on him.

      • Tom

        grammys don’t mean anything anymore megan. get real!

      • sam

        You are absolutely wrong. It was in the top five the first week of release and the top ten for at least one more week. Stop making stuff up.

      • sam

        It was the hardcover nonfiction list of the NY Times. It was number one for several weeks in Spanish in many countries.

      • sam

        The first Grammy that he won was at the “regular” show (very insulting of you not to recognize the competitive validity of Latin Grammy awards, but that is another subject). She Bangs video also won a Grammy. He has been nominated for a bunch more.

  • SaraS

    I don’t judge Ricky for not coming out until now – that’s a personal decision and one that I’m sure affected his career. However I think it’s stupid for GLAAD to award him for coming out now, when not only it would be impossible to stay in the closet b/c of paparazzi everywhere, and it’s actually trendy to come out (it’s much more accepted now than it was 20, even 10 years ago).
    It doesn’t seem brave to me, and I think GLAAD is just reaching.

    • Marco

      It seems like a very brave thing to me because the Latino community is still very chauvinistic and homophobic, so it’s a big deal that someone of his magnitude came out to the public. There aren’t any latin stars of his stature that are openly gay. To give you a glimpse of how homophopic our culture is, there is a successful Mexican singer who is in his late sixties and he still refuses to come out and say “I’m gay.” Everyone knows who he is and he has been pictured with other men, yet he prefers to stay in the closet and allow people to gossip and crack jokes about him. It may not seem like a big deal to you, but as someone who has experienced discrimination first hand as a gay man and as a latino, I can say that it is very brave for Ricky to come out.

      • Gabby

        You are certainly not comparing a mediocre pop figurehead like Ricky with a legend like Juan Gabriel, right? A man who is one of latin America’s most esteemed singers, songwriters, producers and arrangers, who’s had an amazing career not only with his labums but producing career-defining albums for Isabel Pantoja, Rocio Durcal, Daniela Romo and other luminaries, right? Juan Gabriel is a legend, Ricky Martin is a talentless pop heartthrob that would never have succeeded if it were not for his hunky good looks.

      • Ana

        Exactly. Coming out in the Latin community is still a HUGE deal, seeing as Latinos are EXTREMELY homophobic. I am puerto rican, and I’ve heard the comments that came when he came out; they were not nice. I think it WAS brave of him to come out now, as much as it would have been if he came out before. Not everything revolves around US pop culture. I think that deep down Ricky would care more about the acceptance in his patria than whatever else was said in the US.

    • Ana

      I agree with you. The fact that he came out when he came out is inconsecuential to me, because it doesn’t change anything. He was gay before, he is gay now, and I respect him for it. I do think that he didn’t really deserve the GLAAD award, just because his merits do not completely apply to the things the award commends.

  • Marco

    I am not trying to compare the two, and they are both very talented in their own right. However, you missed my point. The point I was trying to make is that Mexico’s chavinistic and homophobic culture has prevented a legend like JG to come out openly as a gay man. You are right, he is one of the BEST, and it is a shame that he will lose some fans if he comes out. If more die-hard JG fans such as yourself actually took the time to write him letters of love and support, then maybe he will one day gather the courage to come out. I can tell you that it would be a big step in the right direction if he decides to do this.

    • SaraS

      Okay, but what kind of “fans” will Ricky lose by coming out at this point? It’s a positive thing nowadays when your music career is nowhere — this gives him guaranteed press for a while.

    • Toby

      ” it is a shame that he will lose some fans if he comes out”

      You mean he has fans left to lose?
      The dude hasn’t had a hit in 11 years, he isn’t even relevant anymore. What fans does he have left to lose???

      • sam

        Maybe you should research Latin music. Ricky has had many hits in the past few years and has sold 60 million during his career. Everything is not in English, you know.

  • jasin

    I thought being brave meant running into a burning house to save a kid or dog or something.

    • Wally

      Jasin, I agree. And in Ricky’s case, the heroic qualities that could be applied to his coming out don’t even apply. He came out long after he peaked commercially, his career is in the toilet, and he’s way past his shelf life to be a heartthrob in mexican “telenovelas” like he used to be (and by the way, he was TERRIBLE at acting, even by soap opera acting standards), and he basically has nothing to lose, career-wise, by coming out. Now, if he had come out in 1999-2000, when he was uber-hot commercially, that would have been brave, because it could have meant the ruining of his career, being a teen idol and all that. In fact, he came out just as he was about to release a new album and a biography book. Convenient, eh? Brave my a s s…

  • Woot

    On a lighter note glad 30 Rock got some love. That episode was really great.

  • tom

    shame on anyone who supports this charity event. according to glaad’s 2009 990, they spent $2.5 million on hair, makeup, lighting etc. on the media awards and raised $2.2 million – meaning that not 1 cent went towards ensuring full equality for GLBT people.

  • Joey

    As much as I love “True Blood” and its gay characters, I find it hard to understand why it gets praised for painting homosexuals in a good light. Lafyaette is promiscuous drug dealer and ocassional prostitute; Russell was a sociopath; Talbot was a sterotypical limp-wristed interior decorator… How is that NOT Defamation, GLAAD? (Reminds me of the Onion headline: “Gay Pride Parade Sets Back Gay Rights Movement by 50 Years”

  • My little world

    Ricky is super sexy!! I love him.

  • Aussie Pete

    O.M.G. I am 72 and still haven’t fully come out! I never realised what a coward I was, I just thought that it was nobody else’s business. After all do we ask straight people to “declare” their heterosexual state? And besides, coming out is so boring as you sometimes have to do it every day. The hate nut on this page should take a cold shower, get a life, and let Mr Martin have his.
    Aussie Pete

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