News - July 1996

GLAAD congratulates best musical winner "Rent"

LOS ANGELES, June 3, 1996 -- GLAAD congratulates multiple Tony winner Rent, the season's most talked about play, for its AIDS positive content and handling of issues dealing with sexual orientation and identity.

Jeffrey Sosnick, GLAAD Board Member and Co-Chair of the organization's Media Awards (held in March of this year), who called the best musical winner Rent "a celebration of life," and noted that it exemplifies what GLAAD is all about. "The characters in this musical illustrate the tremendous diversity within our community, and yet their sexual identities seem very natural parts of their characters, unobtrusive and non-controversial."

"I don't think it's any coincidence that fair and inclusive portrayals of gays and lesbians -- whether its in film, television or on the stage -- have produced not only blockbuster box-office, but critical acclaim as well." says Tamra King, GLAAD's Entertainment Media Director. In addition to the success of Rent, King cited the recent film and television success of The Birdcage, Philadelphia, Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story, episodes of Friends and Roseanne as just a few examples.

Although its star, Julie Andrews, wasn't celebrating her Tony nomination in Victor/Victoria last night, GLAAD applauds the producers of the musical for removing language that was homophobic. In December 1994 the producers of Victor/Victoria removed a song that contained homophobic lyrics at GLAAD's request. The musical has since garnered over $30 million, in addition to Ms. Andrews' controversial Tony nomination.

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