At GLAAD Media Awards, Debra Messing Urges: 'Someone's Got to Take Down Mother Pence!'

May 8th, 2017 2:42 PM

The media are getting political – and aren’t afraid to boast about it. At least when it comes to President Trump.

On Saturday, GLAAD (formerly Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) hosted its 28th annual media awards ceremony in New York City. In addition to handing out 34 media awards, GLAAD featured media figures who focused their energy on attacking “very bad” President Trump – beginning with actress Debra Messing.

At the event, GLAAD hosted Messing and actor Billy Porter as “honorees.” Several media personalities attended as “special guests”: Ross Mathews, Whoopi Goldberg, Don Lemon, Rami Malek, Janet Mock, Trevor Noah, Christian Slater and Zachary Quinto. But the big names didn’t just attend – they got political.

While accepting her “Excellence in Media Award,” Messing (Will & Grace) demanded the media play a larger role in advocacy. 

“Entertainment and news media shape not only culture, but also decisions made in courtrooms, classrooms, and yes, even voting booths,” she said. “The country needs excellence in media.” That’s because, she added, after announcing the revival of Will & Grace, “It is time to make America gay again!”

“Someone’s got to take down ‘Mother Pence,’” she said of the vice president, a “low-hanging fruit.” As far as the president, Messing called Trump “a very bad and very orange white man in our White House.”

But she saved her “direct appeal” for Ivanka. “It is not enough to simply say that women’s issues are important to you,” she began before adding:

Ivanka, you can change the lives of millions of women and children just by telling your dad stories about real people who are suffering. Don’t let him separate immigrant mothers from their American-born children. Don’t let him take healthcare away from women who need it. Don’t allow him to make trans kids like Gavin fight in court for their basic human dignity. Ivanka, please, please, stop blindly defending your father and start defending what you say you believe in.

But Messing didn’t let that keep her from partying. At one point, she had an odd moment where she “tweaked” the nipples of a performer from the band DNCE.



She wasn’t the only to talk politics. As the evening’s host, Ross Mathews asked Messing if she could “bring back Obama” in addition to Will & Grace. After remembering that the awards ceremony took place where President Trump delivered his election night victory speech, Mathews lit sage on fire to “sage the room!” and clear the air.



Rosie O’Donnell, as a joke, wrote a text to Trump on stage, “'F–k you, Donald. From the gays.' Sent.” While, at another point, Billy Porter criticized the administration and demanded “resist!” 



For an idea of who else showed up at the event, here are the 34 media awards presented by GLAAD:

GLAAD awarded the following media figures and projects:

  1. Excellence in Media Award: Debra Messing
  2. Vito Russo Award: Billy Porter
  3. Outstanding Talk Show Episode: “Angelica Ross,” The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (Comedy Central)
  4. Outstanding Reality Program: Strut (Oxygen)
  5. Outstanding Documentary: Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four (Investigation Discovery)
  6. Outstanding TV Journalism – Newsmagazine: “Church and States,” VICE on HBO (HBO)
  7. Outstanding TV Journalism Segment: “Gay Community in U.S. ‘Forged in Fire,” The Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC)
  8. Outstanding Newspaper Article: “Permission to Hate” by Elizabeth Leland (The Charlotte Observer)
  9. Outstanding Magazine Article: “HIV Mystery: Solved?” by Tim Murphy (The Nation)
  10. Outstanding Magazine Overall Coverage: Teen Vogue
  11. Outstanding Digital Journalism Article: “After the Orlando Shooting, the Changed Lives of Gay Latinos” by Daniel Wenger (
  12. Outstanding Music Artist: Tegan and Sara, “Love You to Death” (Warner Bros. Records)
  13. Outstanding Blog: Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters (
  14. Outstanding Film – Wide Release: Moonlight (A24)
  15. Outstanding Film – Limited Release: Other People (Vertical Entertainment)
  16. Outstanding Comedy Series: Transparent (Amazon)
  17. Outstanding Drama Series: Shadowhunters (Freeform)
  18. Outstanding Individual Episode (in a series without a regular LGBT character): “San Junipero,” Black Mirror (Netflix)
  19. Outstanding TV Movie or Limited Series: Eyewitness (USA Network)
  20. Outstanding Daily Drama: The Bold and The Beautiful (CBS)
  21. Outstanding Comic Book: The Woods by James Tynion IV (Boom! Studios)

Spanish-Language Winners:

  1. Outstanding Daytime Program Episode: "Las lesbianitas," CasoCerrado (Telemundo)
  2. Outstanding Television Interview: "Entrevista con Congresista Ileana Ros-Lehtinen y su hijo Rodrigo Lehtinen," Al Punto (Univision)
  3. Outstanding Local TV Interview: "Aceptacion," Sobre Todos los Generos (Mira TV [Miami])
  4. Outstanding TV Journalism Segment: "Masacre Orlando," Conclusiones (CNN en Espanol)
  5. Outstanding TV Journalism-Newsmagazine: "Siempre fui Zander," Aqui y Ahora (Univision)
  6. Outstanding Digital Journalism-Multimedia: "Conmovedor video retrata el prejuicio en Peurto Rico" por Marcos Billy Guzman, Teresa Canino, Adlin Gonzalez (
  7. Outstanding Music Artist: Kany Garcia, Limonada (Sony Music Latin)
  8. Outstanding Local TV Journalism: "A la calle por quien soy," Noticias 34 (KMEX-Univision 34 [Los Angles])
  9. Outstanding Newspaper Article: "Las discretas batallas LGBTI ganadas en Guatemala" by Sonia Perez D. (Associated Press)
  10. Outstanding Digital Journalism Article: “6 mujeres transgenero exitosas que rompen moldes en America Latina" by Leire Ventas (

Special Recognition:

  1. Her Story ( 
  2. We've Been Around (
  3. Sin Ir Mas Lejos by Gema Corredera