News - February 1996

GLAAD Commends "Sisters" for Storyline

LOS ANGELES -- January 26, 1995 -- The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) would like to commend the producers of "Sisters" for a storyline that involves a transgender character by the name of Chardonnay LeBlanc (K. Todd Freeman). The storyline, which began last Saturday, begins with Reed Halsey Philby (Noelle Parker) having to do community service in an AIDS hospice. While volunteering, she befriends LeBlanc, an African American drag queen.

In the episode that aired Jan. 27 on NBC, LeBlanc and Reed realize that, while very different, they have many things in common. Reed introduces LeBlanc to her Aunt Teddy (Sela Ward) who is LeBlanc's favorite designer. LeBlanc tells her that he wants to be buried in one of her dresses. Reed then learns an important lesson about mortality.

"'Sisters' has a great track record with gay themes," says Tamra King, GLAAD's Entertainment Media Director, "The character of Norma Lear, played by Nora Dunn, is one of the most well rounded lesbian characters on network television. We are happy to see they are continuing in their spirit of inclusion with the transgender character Chardonnay LeBlanc." "Sisters" garnered a GLAAD Media Award in 1994 for Outstanding Dramatic Series.

"They treat the character very respectfully," continues King, "and the episode illustrates that even though two people are very different, they can reach a common understanding and care for each other."

GLAAD is a national organization that promotes fair, accurate and inclusive representation of individuals and events as a means of challenging discrimination based on sexual orientation or identity.

GLAAD encourages viewers to write letters of support to: Warren Littlefield, President NBC, at entertainment@nbc.com or nbcshows@msn.com.

General information: Jeff Walsh
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