GLAAD Announces First Research Initiative Awards

Scholars To Focus On "Will & Grace"

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) recently announced grants for scholars who are researching gay characters and themes in entertainment media. GLAAD's Center for the Study of Media & Society awarded six grants of $1,000 and two grants of $500 to scholars who will study cultural aspects of NBC's award-winning comedy "Will & Grace."

Grant recipients include: Denis M. Provencher (University of Wisconsin); Melinda Kanner (Antioch College); Christopher Castiglia (Loyola University); Christopher Reed (Lake Forest College); Thomas Linnemen (The College of William and Mary); Wendy Hilton-Morrow and Kathleen Battles (University of Iowa); and David A. Tschida (University of Missouri-Columbia). Scholars who received honorable mentions include: Henry Rogers (University of Toronto); Ron Smyth (University of Toronto); Greg Jacobs (York University); Carol A. Atkinson (Central Missouri State University); Carol L. Benton (Central Missouri State University); and Jim M. Schnoebelen (Central Missouri State University).

"This initiative is a new benchmark in studies of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues and characters on television," said GLAAD Executive Director Joan M. Garry. "The scholars' findings will inform GLAAD's work around entertainment production and will encourage other scholars to participate in similarly groundbreaking research."

GLAAD launched the Center's research initiative to build an alliance between scholarly LGBT study and media activism. The grants will be used to analyze gay characters and story lines as well as audience reactions to them. For example, one scholar will examine the elements of gay life that are included in and excluded from "Will & Grace." This information will allow GLAAD to better understand the marketing of gay characters on TV and the attitudes of people viewing them.

GLAAD's Center for the Study of Media & Society will fund two other research initiatives this year, including an examination of ABC's "All My Children."

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