BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — The 34th GLAAD Media Awards featured a surprise Jennifer Coolidge appearance, honors for Bad Bunny and Christina Aguilera and, of course, jokes about Donald Trump’s indictment — the news of which broke just hours before Thursday’s show.
Coolidge was greeted with a standing ovation as she opened the show at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California. The star of “The White Lotus” was later surprised herself when her “Best in Show” co-star Jane Lynch appeared onstage beside her.
The GLAAD Media Awards show, intended to honor “fair, accurate and inclusive representation of LGBTQ individuals and issues,” will land on Hulu on April 12. The host, comedian Margaret Cho, cheered the former president’s indictment.
“What a wonderful way to celebrate that,” Cho said on the red carpet before the event. “I think it’s just so incredible. I never thought I would see it happen. I’m so glad, too. And I can’t wait to see how it goes down.”
Christina Aguilera was presented with the Advocate for Change award by Club Q survivor Michael Anderson, a bartender at the popular Colorado Springs nightclub the night of the deadly shooting in November 2022. He later made headlines after quoting Aguilera’s lyrics when he testified before the U.S. House Oversight Committee on violence against the LGBTQ+ community.
On Thursday, Anderson quoted Aguilera’s lyrics once again during his introduction of the pop star.
The show also paid tribute to the late Leslie Jordan with a performance from country music star Orville Peck. Peck’s performance was introduced by actor Cheyenne Jackson, who reminisced about Jordan’s time on the set of “American Horror Story.”
Cheers erupted when Ricky Martin took the stage to present Bad Bunny with the Vanguard Award for his LGBTQ+ allyship. The reggaeton artist asked the crowd in English if he could give his acceptance speech in Spanish, which was met with an enthusiastic “yes” from the crowd.
Bad Bunny thanked the LGBTQ+ community for embracing and inspiring him.
“I believe that following my heart is what has led me to where I am, and following my heart is what has led me to be here receiving this award, being surrounded by so many beautiful people,” he said in Spanish.
Gabrielle Union presented her “The Inspection” co-star Jeremy Pope with the Stephen F. Kolzak award for promoting LGBTQ+ visibility and acceptance.
“I played Jeremy’s mom in the movie, and we developed an incredibly close bond,” Union said. “And, you know, I know a little something about raising a Black queer child in this world and all I wanted to do was advocate for Jeremy in every way that I could. I mean, his undeniable talents, his innocence, his peace, his peace and his very soul. I wanted to protect it.”