The world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer media advocacy organisation, GLAAD, has cancelled its annual awards ceremony in New York City due to Coronovirus concerns.

The LGBTQI media watchdog announced in a statement on Wednesday last week that the 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards, set for March 19, would not go ahead following advice from New York State Governor, Andrew Cuomo, regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Special guests who were set to appear at this year’s GLAAD awards included the creator behind TV hits such as Glee and American Horror Story, Ryan Murphy, who would have received the Vito Russo Award from Sarah Paulson and Matt Bomer.

LGBTQI activist and actress, Judith Light was also set to receive the excellence in media prize, while Bette Midler was to make her first-ever appearance at the GLAAD awards.

Late-night talk show host Lilly Singh was also set to host the ceremony, which would have featured special performances from singers Adam Lambert and Pitch Perfect star, Ben Platt.

In a statement, Chief Communications Officer and an Executive Producer of the GLAAD Media Awards, Rich Ferraro thanked those who were to be involved.

“We are beyond proud to honour Ryan Murphy and Judith Light, two trailblazing beacons of LGBTQ advocacy and inclusion, and we will ensure their game-changing work is rightfully recognised at another time,” he said.

“We are so thankful to our host Lilly Singh, performers Adam Lambert and Ben Platt, and all of the LGBTQ people who were working hard to ensure our stage show would once again send much-needed messages of LGBTQ acceptance around the globe.”

Ferraro also said that despite the cancellation, he hopes GLAAD can continue its advocacy work but urged community members to help the organisation now in its time of need.

“We were planning to unveil a historic get-out-the-vote campaign at the event because everything is at stake for LGBTQ Americans this election year, and are hopeful that the program and GLAAD’s ongoing work to fight against anti-LGBTQ discrimination will continue to be supported and funded.

“Since the event is cancelled, our advocacy work will experience a loss of funding and we encourage community members and allies to consider becoming a GLAAD member to ensure this work continues.”

At this writing there has been no notification regarding rescheduling of the GLAAD ceremony in Los Angeles and the Awards night is still going ahead on April 16 at the Beverly Hilton, Beverly Hills.

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