Toasts

Comedy and TV Trailblazer Margaret Cho to Toast Best Comedy Series

Cho to Toast Best TV Comedy Series at Dorians TV Toast 2020

Margaret Cho was born Dec. 5, 1968 and raised in San Francisco. “It was different than any other place on Earth,” she says. “I grew up and went to grammar school on Haight Street during the ’70s. There were old hippies, ex-druggies, burnouts, drag queens, and Chinese people. To say it was a melting pot – that’s the least of it. It was a really confusing, enlightening, wonderful time.”

Ignoring the traditions of her patriarchal culture, her mother bravely resisted an arranged marriage in Korea and married Margaret’s father a Korean joke book writer. “Books like 1001 Jokes for Public Speakers – real corny stuff,” Cho says. “I guess we’re in the same line of work. But we don’t understand each other that way. I don’t understand why the things he says are funny and the same for him.”

What Margaret did know is that being a kid was hard. Racing toward adulthood as fast as she could to escape the constant bullying she endured, Margaret began writing jokes at 14 and professionally performing at age 16. Getting picked on, and not having a feeling of belonging, is a subject that’s not only near to Margaret’s heart, but something she still feels very deeply despite all of her successes. In that sense, Margaret has gladly and graciously become the “Patron Saint for Outsiders,” speaking for those who are not able to speak for themselves, and encouraging people who can to use their voice to promote change.

Soon after starting her Stand Up career, Margaret won a comedy contest where first prize was opening for Jerry Seinfeld. She moved to Los Angeles in the early ’90s and, still in her early twenties, hit the college circuit, where she immediately became the most booked act in the market and garnered a nomination for “Campus Comedian of The Year.” She performed over 300 concerts within two years. Arsenio Hall introduced her to late night audiences, Bob Hope put her on a prime time special and, seemingly overnight, Margaret Cho became a national celebrity.

Her groundbreaking, controversial, and short-lived ABC sitcom, All-American Girl (1994) soon followed. Oddly, while chosen because of who she was – a non-conformist Korean American woman with liberal views – the powers-that-be decided they preferred for Margaret to “tone it down” for the show. She soon realized that though she was an Executive Producer, this would be a battle she could not win. “For fear of being too “ethnic,” the show got so watered down for television that by the end, it was completely lacking in the essence of what I wanted to accomplish.”

The experience was a traumatic one, bringing up unresolved feelings left over from childhood, and Margaret developed an eating disorder as a response to criticism about her body. She was so obsessive in her goal to try to be what she thought others wanted, that she landed in the hospital with kidney failure. Through out this period of self-abuse, Margaret continued performing to sold-out audiences in comedy clubs, theaters, and college campuses, working to channel her anger in to something more positive.

In 1999, her groundbreaking, off Broadway one-woman show, I’m The One That I Want, toured the country to national acclaim and was made into a best-selling book and feature film of the same name. After her experience with All-American Girl, Margaret wanted to make sure she would only ever have to answer to herself, putting herself in charge of the distribution and sales of her film, which garnered incredible reviews and broke records for “Most Money Grossed per Print”. In 2001, after the success of her first tour, Maragaret launched Notorious C.H.O., a smash-hit 37-city national tour that culminated in a sold-out concert at Carnegie Hall. Notorious C.H.O., hailed by the New York Times as “Brilliant,” was recorded and released as a feature film. Both films were acquired by Showtime, and produced by Margaret’s production company, a testament to the success of Margaret’s business model.

In March of 2003, Margaret embarked on her third sold-out national tour, Revolution. It was heralded by the Chicago Sun Times as “Her strongest show yet” and the CD recording was nominated for a Grammy for Comedy Album of the Year. In 2005, she releasedAssassin, with The Chicago Tribune stating “(Assassin) packs passion in to each punch.” The concert film premiered in select theatres and on the gay and lesbian premium channel Here! TV.

In 2007, Margaret hit the road with Cyndi Lauper, Debbie Harry and Erasure, along with indie faves The Dresden Dolls and The Cliks, to host the True Colors Tour, benefiting the Human Rights Campaign. An entertainment pioneer, Margaret also created and starred in The Sensuous Woman, a live variety show featuring vaudevillian burlesque and comedy, which she took for an extended off-Broadway run in the fall.

Margaret returned to TV in 2008 with the VH1 series, The Cho Show. Describing it as a ‘reality sitcom,’ Margaret said at the time, “It’s the closest I’ve been able to come on television to what I do as a comic.” The Cho Show followed Margaret, her real parents, and her eccentric entourage through a series of bold and outrageous experiences, shaped by Margaret’s ‘anything goes’ brand of stand-up.

The aptly titled Beautiful came next, exploring the good, bad and ugly in beauty, and the marketers who shape our world. The concert premiered in Australia at The Sydney Theater, marking the first time Margaret debuted a tour abroad. While touring through the US, the concert was filmed at the Long Beach theatre, aired as a special on Showtime in 2009, and then released as both a DVD and a book.

In 2009 Margaret nabbed a starring role in the comedy/drama series Drop Dead Diva, which aired for six seasons on the Lifetime network. Margaret enjoyed not having the sole responsibility for keeping things afloat. “(Drop Dead Diva) was a very fulfilling experience. It let me taking about the things I talk about, like body image, and women feeling good about themselves.”

Never one to shy away from a challenge, Margaret stepped right up to the plate when asked to do Season 11 of the highly- rated Dancing with the Stars. Paired with pro Louie Van Amstel, Margaret was on the show’s most controversial seasons. Margaret got a very strong reaction to her Rainbow Dancing Dress during a time when the issue of bullying, especially among gay teens, was being heavily covered in the media. “I am very proud to have been able to wear a gay pride dress on a show that is so conservative.”

2010 culminated with another high honor, a second Grammy Award nomination for “Comedy Album of the Year” for Cho Dependent, her incredibly funny collection of music. Featuring collaborations with Fiona Apple, Andrew Bird, Grant Lee Phillips, Tegan & Sara, Ben Lee and more, the album received critical acclaim. The album is funny, but also quite musical, featuring not only her surprisingly strong singing voice, but her skill on the guitar, banjo and dulcimer. “I was inspired to make beautiful music with a comic edge. I took this very seriously, taking vocal and guitar lessons while I was touring.”

Margaret self released Cho Dependent on her own Clownery Records, and was encouraged by the acclaim, since there are only a handful of artists putting out true albums of comedy music – “Weird” Al Yankovic, Flight of the Conchords, The Lonely Island, to name a few – yet no women. In 2011, Margaret released the live concert film of Cho Dependent, which also had its cable network debut on Showtime. Shot at the Tabernacle in Atlanta, GA, she remained uncensored, with a characteristically no-holds-barred show.

In 2012, Margaret spent whatever free time she had crafting her all new standup show, the uproariously and aptly named MOTHER, which kicked off with both a US and European tour. According to Margaret, “MOTHER offers up an untraditional look at motherhood and how we look at maternal figures and strong women in queer culture.”

Margaret’s creative side moved ahead at full speed with an Emmy nomination for “Best Guest Performance” on Thirty Rock. After the death of her mentor, Robin Williams, overwhelmed her, a mutual friend told her not to grieve Robin, but to ‘Be Robin’. The hashtag #BeRobin was born, as Margaret began setting up shop in different places around San Francisco in an effort to raise money for the Homeless community. “All I do and create a distraction – comedy and music – for several hours and collect goods and donations for people who need them.” The GoFundMe page Margaret set up has raised over $20,000.00 in donations.

In 2015, Margaret was one of the hosts of TLC’s All About SEX, a late night call-in talk show with Margaret covering sex toys and alternative sexuality. “I wanted to remove the stigma of women not only buying sex toys, but experimenting with what makes them feel good.” 2015 also brought Margaret back to the stand up stage, where she filmed her Showtime special/DVD psyCHO at the historic Gramercy Theatre in New York City. Called “wildly kinetic” by the New York Times, psyCHO “is about insanity, about the anger I feel about everything happening in the world, from police brutality to racism to the rising tide of violence against women.” In keeping with the show’s theme, the artwork, a portrait she commissioned from artist Vincent Castiglia made entirely of her own blood.

There’s no break for Margaret in 2016: The three-time Grammy and Emmy nominee will release her next studio album, American Myth, on April 29th on her Clownery label. The follow up to Cho Dependent, it’s the first collection of new music from Margaret in 6 years. She has already debuted three music videos: “Ron’s Got a DUI”, “Fat Pussy”,  and the song that set the Internet on its ass (take that, Kardashians), “(I Want To) Kill My Rapist”. Salon magazine called the song “A new anthem” and UK’s The Guardian reminded anyone who was offended that “Cho is famed for her boldness, her taboo-breaking humour.” Margaret spoke to Billboard about the song saying, “I’m a victim, and now a survivor, of sexual abuse and rape, and I think it’s really hard to talk about it. I think having a song to perform live will allow others to talk about it. It’s a huge issue, and this was cathartic for me.”

American Myth, made with her longtime collaborator Garrison Starr, also showcases Margaret’s first efforts as a composer. Margaret says the album is “my glamorous and glittering tribute to family, comedy, anger, fame, gayness, grief, fat pride, love and hate.”

In what is a fitting tribute, Margaret has also been named special co-host of E!’s Fashion Police, covering the biggest award shows of 2016. Since Joan Rivers was not only a friend, but also a vocal supporter of Margaret, this has a unique significance. “Although I am not quite a fashionista, I would love to look at it like I am changing it up – Fashion Police: Special Victims Unit. It makes me happiest to spend time with Melissa (Rivers), and when I see her laugh at my jokes, I feel like Joan is smiling.”

And in typical “go-go-go” style, Margaret has signed on to develop Highland, a dramedy for Amazon. The hour long show follows Margaret, who after court-0rdered rehab, gets a chance to start over by moving in with her (dysfunctional) family who run a pot dispensary. Co-created by Margaret and writer Liz Sarnoff (“DeadwoodLostAlcatraz) Margaret is set to star and executive produce as well.

With so much success in her artistic life, Margaret has never turned away from the causes that are important to her. She is incredibly active in anti-racism, anti-bullying, advocating for the homeless and gay rights campaigns, and has been recognized for her unwavering dedication. She was the recipient of the Victory Fund’s Leadership Award and the first-ever “Best Comedy Performance Award” at the 2007 Asian Excellence Awards. She also received the “First Amendment Award” from the ACLU of Southern California, and the “Intrepid Award” from the National Organization for Women (NOW). Margaret has been honored by GLAAD, American Women in Radio and Television, the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF), the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), PFLAG and LA Pride, who gave Margaret a “Lifetime Achievement Award” for leaving a lasting imprint on the LGBT community.

Through her hard work, Margaret has had the opportunity to be heard, to extend her point of view and become regarded as a true pioneer in her field. She takes none of it for granted. “It’s a wonderful thing to be known as a ‘safe haven’ for people. People come to see me, or buy my records and/or DVDs because my point of view satisfies a lot of what needs to be said out there. More than anything, that makes me really proud.”

Laverne Cox to Toast TV Actress at the “Dorians TV Toast 2020”

Laverne Cox to Stop by Virtual Pub and Toast Best Actress

In 2007 something happened that changed the course of my life and career — the ABC drama called “Dirty Sexy Money” premiered.  What was remarkable for me about the prime time soap was Candis Cayne playing the role of Carmelita. That debut made Candis the first openly transgender actor to have a recurring role on a prime time television show.

That moment was so pivotal for me: after being in New York City pursuing a career as an actress for many years, I now knew it was possible to be openly trans and have a career.  That possibility model shifted my belief system.

I have been a performer my whole life. I started studying dance when I was 8 years old in Mobile, Alabama and was performing in dance recitals and talent shows by the time I was in 3rd grade. My childhood was filled with dreams of fame and performing in television and movies, and on Broadway and the great stages of the world.

I got a scholarship to study at the Alabama school of Fine Arts (ASFA) in Birmingham, Alabama and spent my high school years at that boarding school. I began my serious study of classical ballet while at ASFA. After graduating from ASFA I accepted a dance scholarship to Indiana University at Bloomington and eventually transferred to Marymount Manhattan College where I graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance.

It was at Marymount that the acting bug bit me. My first week there a guest teacher saw me in the hall and thought I would be perfect for a play he was doing in the theater department. This was the first of many plays I did with the theater department even though I was a dance major. While this was frowned upon, I never played by the rules. I did my first film during my senior year at Marymount. I was spotted on the subway sporting long box braids, too much make-up with long lashes, a paisley vintage coat with a faux fur collar, platform shoes, and a mini dress.

During my college years, I went from being gender nonconforming to being more and more femme. I would soon start my medical transition and living and identifying as female. As I started my transition, I knew I wanted to continue to perform and I often found myself performing in drag shows in the nightclub scene.  I never really identified as a drag queen but it provided an outlet for my desire to perform.

By the time Candis Cayne made history in 2007, I had done a number of student films and independent films often to get experience on camera and footage for my acting reel.  I had acted in off-off Broadway shows for free just so I could perform more.  I usually auditioned for trans roles and those were mostly the work I got. At the same time, I found myself auditioning for agents and casting directors and not disclosing that I am trans. In retrospect I believe many of them probably knew. But I didn’t want to lead with being trans; I wanted to lead with my talent. I also had a lot of shame still around being trans.

That shame started to lift when Candis Cayne came onto the scene. I didn’t think it was possible to be openly trans and have a career as an actress. Candis proved that it is possible.  After the premiere of “Dirty Sexy Money”, I made postcards with photos of me declaring, “Laverne Cox is the answer to all your acting needs.” I sent that postcard to about 500 agents and casting directors, and it led to four meetings. One of those meetings was with Paul Hilepo, who is still my manager. The next year I booked my first appearance in an episode of “Law and Order” (a rite of passage at the time for a New York City actor), then a second “Law and Order” appearance. Then I did my first pilot for HBO’s “Bored To Death,” followed by a reality show called “I Wanna Work for Diddy” which lead to me producing and starring in my first show on VH1 called “TRANSform Me”.  In 2012 I booked the show that would change my life, “Orange is the New Black.”

WE ARE BORN AS WHO WE ARE

the gender thing is something that is imposed on you.



With various ‘firsts’ in her already impressive career, the Emmy-nominated actress, documentary film producer and prominent equal rights advocate, Laverne Cox, continues to make history in her career and significant strides in her activism. Debuting on the scene in the groundbreaking role of Sophia Burset, in the critically acclaimed Netflix original series “Orange is The New Black,” Laverne is the first trans woman of color to have a leading role on a mainstream scripted television show.

Laverne has earned numerous honors and award nominations for her work and advocacy, from being featured on the cover of TIME Magazine, to an Emmy nomination for “Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series,” to a SAG Award for “Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series.”

An advocate with an empowering message of moving beyond gender expectations to live more authentically, she was also named as one of Glamour magazine’s 2014 Women of the Year, one of The Grio’s 100 Most Influential African Americans, one of the Top 50 Trans Icons by the Huffington Post, and honored with the Courage Award from the Anti-Violence Project, and the Reader’s Choice Award from “Out” Magazine, among other accolades.

Bruce Vilanch Classes-up the Basement of Campiness!

Comedy Legend To Present Campiest TV Show at the “Dorians TV Toast 2020 on Revry”

Writer, comic, actor and all-around great guy Bruce Vilanch is going to class up the place as he explains the meaning of Camp in his presentation of the Campiest TV Show of the year for the Dorians TV Toast 2020 on Revry.

One of the most sought-after jokesmiths in the entertainment industry, Bruce Vilanch has become a recognizable face in his own right, thanks to the feature-length documentary “Get Bruce!” (1999) and his one-time stint as a regular on “Hollywood Squares” (1998 ), for which he also served as head writer.

Mr. Vilanch was born in New York on November 23, 1948, but was adopted by the Vilanch’s–his late father, Jonas, an optometrist and his mother, Henne, a former Broadway show girl–and then grew up in Patterson, New Jersey. He has a very special bond with Henne and according to him, gets a lot of his show biz humour from her.

“She’s as obsessed with image as famous people,” Vilanch says of his mother, his hands making the kind of hyper motions that indicate adoration of the stage veteran. “When I was little, the house had what she called the showcase room. The furniture was all wrapped in plastic and nobody except company could go into it. Of course she took the plastic off then. A few years ago, the dog discovered the room, ripped through the plastic and ruined the upholstery. She called me and said she was going to redecorate it. And when I asked her what excuse she would use, she said, ‘I’m telling people it’s because Sonny Bono died.”

Known for his eclectic eyewear and collection of unique T-shirts, he began as a child model for Lane Bryant, but when his initial efforts as an actor came to naught, he became an entertainment writer for the Chicago Tribune instead. Impressed by his review of her cabaret performance in 1970, Bette Midler hired him to punch up her act where he gave birth to Midler’s famed Sophie Tucker jokes. He later moved to Los Angeles where he wrote for variety shows like the original “Donny and Marie” and “The Brady Bunch Hour” (both ABC) and provided material for Richard Pryor, Lily Tomlin and Joan Rivers. He has maintained his connection with Midler through the years, working on such projects as the feature “Divine Madness” (1980) and the TV special “Bette Midler–Diva Las Vegas” (HBO, 1997), as well as writing for her short-lived but lively sitcom, “Bette!” (CBS, 2000 ).

He made his feature debut as a dress manufacturer in “Mahogany’ (1975), starring Diana Ross, and also contributed material to her live act. Mr. Vilanch put his Muppet-like persona to excellent use as Santa’s number one helper in the syndicated TV-movie “It Nearly Wasn’t Christmas” (1989). On the heels of “Get Bruce!”, Vilanch performed his comedy stylings Off-Broadway in “Bruce Vilanch: Almost Famous” (2000). After a first act reminiscing on his odd path to almost famousness, he opened up the floor to questions in Act II, displaying his amazing ability for off-the-cuff one-liners. As he told US WEEKLY (June 12, 2000), there is a downside to celebrity: “Now, I get knocked if someone tries something that doesn’t work. Before it was the fault of these anonymous people, ‘the writers.'”

Vilanch began contributing to Academy Awards telecasts in 1989, collaborating with the likes of Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg and David Letterman, and graduated to head writer in 2000. He has roasted celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor and President Clinton. The Whoopi connection led to his providing the notorious material Ted Danson performed in blackface at a certain 1993 Friars Club roast of his then-girlfriend Goldberg, but his resume also includes “You Made Me Watch You”, the touching Emmy-winning valedictory Midler crooned as a send-off to Johnny Carson.

He scripted most of the Academy Awards telecasts over the last decade, two of which won Emmys, including the one featuring Billy Crystal’s Hannibal Lecter entrance. Mr. Vilanch has also written for The Tony’s, The Grammy’s, The Emmy’s, and just about every other award show to brighten your television screen. He also participates and volunteers at almost every charity function, especially those dealing with GLBT issues.

Mr. Vilanch just capped off his 14th writing gig for the Oscars in 2003. Currently he is writing for Bette Midler’s 2003 Fall Tour and in September he will debut in the popular Broadway hit, “Hairspray”. He will be in the touring company which opens in Baltimore, September 9, 2003 at the Mechanics Theatre.

For the part of Edna Turnblad, Mr. Vilanch will have to shave off his famous 30 year old beard. No telling what’s lurking in there…but one thing it has never been able to hide….TALENT!!!

Chad Michaels Glams-up “Dorians TV Toast 2020 on Revry”

Female Impersonation superstar Chad Michaels

RuPaul Drag Race Superstar Impersonator To Present In Two Categories at Dorians TV Toast 2020

Drag Race Superstar Impersonator Chad Michaels will be the first presenter of the Inaugural Dorians TV Toast 2020 On Revry as he raises a glass to the Most Visually Stunning TV Show. Then, Chad will come back as favorite Moira Rose and Present Best Supporting Actor

Chad Michaels’ career as one of the world’s premier Cher Impersonators now spans over two decades! Chad has collaborated with and entertained for Industry favorites such as David Foster, Bruce Roberts, Michael Patrick King, Elton John, Christina Aguilera, Cyndi Lauper, Gene Simmons, RuPaul, and even the Diva Herself, Cher. For Chad Michaels, the “Beat Goes On”, and on!

In 2011, Chad competed in RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 4 and achieved a Top 3 position in the Race. Chad was praised by RuPual for “…elevating this competition forever…”  and was cast as Professor Chad Michaels in RuPual’s Drag U Season 3! In 2012, Chad ultimately took the title of “Queen of Queens” in the RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars, winning the competition and earning the first spot in The Rupaul’s Drag Race Hall of Fame.

Currently, Chad produces and performs with the longest running Female Impersonation show in California, The Dreamgirls Revue, and travels extensively touring nationally and internationally as a proud representative of Rupaul’s Drag Race!

Dorians TV Toast 2020 On Revry Superstar Virtual Pub Hosted By Karel Sept 13 8pm EST/5pm PST

Dorians TV Toast 2020 Superstar Event Coming!

The Inaugural Dorians TV Toast 2020 from Karel.Media and GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Critics is coming !  The Toast to TV will feature a don’t-miss all star lineup!

karel

Karel to Host the Dorians TV Toast 2020 On Revry

The show will be a “virtual pub” experience, according to producer and Host Karel.

“The theme of the Dorians, an homage to Oscar Wilde and Dorian Gray, has always been a toast, in a pub, a celebration, a gay Golden Globes in a happening watering hole, one Oscar would have been proud to attend,” Karel stated. “Even when they weren’t held in actual pubs, the free-wheeling spirit and camaraderie a pub conjures has always been the goal.”
So, how to capture that virtually?
“That’s the challenge all shows are facing in this day, isn’t it,” he continue. “We have yet to see how Emmy handles it, although I’ve heard they’ve asked all nominees to film an acceptance speech, can you imagine! The DNC was watched by 122 plus million people, and I wonder if many tuned in to see how they were going to do it as much as the what they were going to do. It’s a creative challenge, and it feels good to be challenged in a positive way.”
Karel.Media’s team will again include head of production, cinematography and editing, Brandon Riley Miller. Miller, who completed 60 episodes of “Karel’s Life In Segments” for Karel.Media and Free Speech TV, will handle all the video assembly. “He’s really like an air-traffic controller right about now,” Karel laughed.
It’s a family affair this year, because of the situation according to Karel. So that means calling upon friends of his own and GALECA’s to get the job done in time.
RuPaul Drag Race Superstar Chad Michaels is presenting, comedy and TV icon Margaret Cho, award-show legend Bruce Vilanche and more videos come in every day. Winners will be announced during the telecast, but for obvious reasons, have been made aware before hand and, according to Karel, “the response from the TV community to the Dorians, to GALECA, has been overwhelming. Our talent booker, Makiko Ushiyama, has been met with such cooperation and spirit of participation for the Toast and the Dorians by the nominees and winners, their studios and PR people. It’s truly amazing, we have A-list superstars any Toast would blush to get,” he added.
Karel is hosting, or as he puts it, “I’m the person that’s there with the live feed in case something goes wrong, throwing the show from video to video like a MTV VJ in the 1980s. The stars of the show will truly be the winners, the nominees, presenters and the incredible panel of GALECA members that will be talking about each award as well. This isn’t a typical Toast, or award. It’s more fun, like a party that you learn a lot at, meet fun people, see a few stars. “
A list of nominees can be found here. 

Dorians TV Toast 2020: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics TV Honorees Are….

The Good Fight, Schitt’s Creek, Mrs. America, 

Watchmen, Normal People Stand Out in ‘Best TV’ Categories

Cate Blanchett, Regina King, Trevor Noah, Ramy Youssef Also Earn Nods

Tuesday, June 30, 2020 – Hollywood, CA – Capping Pride Month with a nod to the power of the “small” screen, GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics today announced the nominees for its first separate Dorian TV Awards. The Pop network comedy Schitt’s Creek leads the pack with 7 nominations, while Hollywood — Netflix’s ambitious, star-studded reimagining of Tinseltown’s early days — says hooray to six nods. HBO’s fact-based TV movie Bad Education and daring miniseries Watchmen have four Dorian nominations each.

“With a global pandemic, severe economic strife, the gut-punches of racism and police brutality proverbially hitting us all—this might not seem like the right time for fluffy showbiz awards,” said GALECA President Diane Anderson-Minshall, CEO and Editorial Director of Pride Media (The Advocate, Out, Pride, Plus). “But it may be more important than ever now to embrace and champion quality stories and push the real Hollywood’s entitled writers, producers, executives and PR reps out of their bubble and into truly reflecting America’s diversity for a change. They have so much power, and entertainment journalism groups like GALECA can make them accountable.”

Added GALECA Executive Director John Griffiths, “Stereotypical, or worse, depictions of LGBTQs and People of Color have greatly contributed to the pain America is in right now. GALECA and its partner organization CGEM: Critics Groups for Equality in Media are determined to press media companies to take more responsibility and hire more underrepresented voices, voices that might say, ‘Hey, why, in 2020, is every single character on this show white, rich and straight except for the token Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian and/or Queer baddie or comic foil?’”

One series that definitely breaks the mold is CBS All Access’ The Good Fight, the tense, socially relevant and increasingly inventive drama set at a Black-run law firm in Chicago. Fight is up for Best TV Drama (as well as Best Unsung TV Show) alongside Netflix’s ever-polished Brit royals opus The Crown and tricky-couple crime drama Ozark, and two other twisty morality tales, AMC networks’ Killing Eve and Better Call Saul.

In addition to Creek — a previous Dorian Award winner when GALECA combined its film and TV kudos in one package — the Best TV Comedy contenders include three past Dorian Award nominees: Insecure (HBO), Better Things (FX) and The Good Place (NBC). Competing against them are Netflix’s gallows-humored, female-powered mystery-comedy Dead to Me (stars Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini vie for Best TV Performance — Actress) and FX’s bloody-fun vampire comedy, What We Do in the Shadows (which counts two additional nods).

The Best TV Movie or Limited Series race is lively, with each nominee offering a bold, controversial approach to an ever-burning topic. HBO’s comic book fantasy Watchmen aggressively tackles themes of white supremacy and police brutality, the same network’s fact-based TV film Bad Education exposes greed and corruption (in public schools, no less), and FX’s ‘70s-set historical drama Mrs. America, produced by and starring double-nominee Cate Blanchett, shows how far we have not come, baby, in regards to advancing women’s rights. Also in the mix: Hulu shows Little Fires Everywhere (dealing with inherent racism) and Normal People (sex—lots of it).

Although the miniseries Hollywood, from bad boy producer Ryan Murphy, didn’t make that short list, it did nab four acting nominations as well as ones for LGBTQ Show of the Year and Visually Striking Show. Other cinematic eye-fillers in the latter race include the likes of Disney+’s The Mandalorian and HBO’s Westworld.

And no Dorian Awards list would be complete without GALECA’s trademark category, Campiest TV Show. Vying for that cheeky honor are Hulu’s royal romp The Great, perennial members favorite RuPaul’s Drag Race (VH1), and Netflix hmmm-inducers AJ and the QueenDolly Parton’s Heartstrings and a certain expose of some exotic Oklahomans and Floridians, Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.

“We’re again proud of our members’ eclectic choices,” said Executive Director Griffiths. But he noted that GALECA, with 20 percent of its membership female and about 16 percent Indigenous or People of Color, itself needs to bolster its diversity. “America is more than 50-percent women, and BIPOC unite to make up about 40 percent of the country, so we have some work to do,” said Griffiths, adding that the Society does include a “strong” 5 percent of transgender members. “Our Board has been discussing actionable-now steps to bolster representation of People of Color, women, trans, non-binary and genderqueer professional journalists in our ranks — for the vital big picture and to make our Dorian Awards as rich and reflective of the LGBTQ eye as possible.”

Added Griffiths, “GALECA is an all-volunteer group in a very rocky media landscape, exacerbated not just by the COVID fallout but by anti-freelancers legislation like California’s AB-5 bill. So we urge engaged entertainment writers to get in touch with us. Numbers are what raise a voice.”

Via its original banner Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, GALECA’s Dorian Awards have gone to the best of all of film and TV — not only LGBTQ-themed — since 2010. While this year marks the inaugural Dorian TV Awards, this is actually the 11th go-around for members voting on their best-loved TV programs and stars. Come first-quarter 2021, the Society will add to its choices for the finest in theatrical releases for the first separate Dorian Film Awards.

TV winners will be announced August 21, when the Society will also name the recipient of its first “You Deserve an Award!” Award, going to what the group deems “a uniquely talented TV icon (they) adore.”

GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics’ Dorian Awards, started in 2009, go to both mainstream and LGBTQ-centric content, helping remind bullies, bigots and at-risk youth that the world has a history of looking to “the Q eye” for tips on what’s great across all of entertainment. After all, how would the world fare without knowing what’s campy? A nonprofit professional organization, GALECA consists of over 260 active critics and journalists who write for legitimate media outlets in the United States, Canada, Australia and the U.K.  Visit GALECA.org for more info, and support us @DorianAwards on Twitter and Facebook and @Dorian_Awards on Instagram.

2019-20 DORIAN TV AWARDS NOMINEES — FULL LIST*

BEST TV DRAMA

Better Call Saul (AMC)

Killing Eve (BBC America/AMC)

Ozark (Netflix)

The Crown (Netflix)

The Good Fight (CBS All Access)

BEST TV COMEDY

Better Things (FX)

Dead to Me (Netflix)

Insecure (HBO)

Schitt’s Creek (Pop)

The Good Place (NBC)

What We Do in the Shadows (FX)

BEST TV MOVIE OR LIMITED SERIES

Bad Education (HBO)

Little Fires Everywhere (Hulu)

Mrs. America (FX/Hulu)

Normal People (Hulu)

Watchmen (HBO)

 

BEST TV PERFORMANCE – ACTRESS

Christina Applegate, Dead to Me (Netflix)

Cate Blanchett, Mrs. America (FX/Hulu)

Linda Cardellini, Dead to Me (Netflix)

Jodie Comer, Killing Eve (BBC America/AMC)

Regina King, Watchmen (HBO)

Laura Linney, Ozark (Netflix)

Catherine O’Hara, Schitt’s Creek (Pop)

BEST TV PERFORMANCE – ACTOR

Hugh Jackman, Bad Education (HBO)

Eugene Levy, Schitt’s Creek (Pop)

Paul Mescal, Normal People (Hulu)

Jeremy Pope, Hollywood (Netflix)

Ramy Youssef, Ramy (Hulu)

BEST SUPPORTING TV PERFORMANCE – ACTRESS

Uzo Aduba, Mrs. America (FX/Hulu)

Julia Garner, Ozark (Netflix)

Allison Janney, Bad Education (HBO)

Patti LuPone, Hollywood (Netflix)

Annie Murphy, Schitt’s Creek (Pop)

Jean Smart, Watchmen (HBO)

BEST SUPPORTING TV PERFORMANCE – ACTOR

Billy Crudup, The Morning Show (Apple TV+)

Harvey Guillén, What We Do in the Shadows (FX)

Dan Levy, Schitt’s Creek (Pop)

Joe Mantello, Hollywood (Netflix)

Josh O’Connor, The Crown (Netflix)

Jim Parsons, Hollywood (Netflix)

BEST TV MUSICAL PERFORMANCE

Cynthia Erivo, “Stand Up”, 92nd Academy Awards (ABC)

Jake Gyllenhaal, “Music, Music Everywhere!”, John Mulaney & the Sack Lunch Bunch (Netflix)

Jennifer Lopez & Shakira, Halftime Show, Super Bowl LIV (Fox)

Janelle Monáe & Billy Porter, Opening Number, 92nd Academy Awards (ABC)

Noah Reid, “Always Be My Baby”, Schitt’s Creek (Pop)

BEST LGBTQ TV SHOW

Bad Education (HBO)

Hollywood (Netflix)

RuPaul’s Drag Race (VH1)

Schitt’s Creek (Pop)

Vida (Starz)

We’re Here (HBO)

Work in Progress (Showtime)

BEST CURRENT AFFAIRS PROGRAM

Cheer (Netflix)

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (Comedy Central)

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee (TBS)

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

The Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC)

Visible: Out on Television (Apple TV+)

BEST UNSUNG TV SHOW

Everything’s Gonna Be Okay (Freeform)

Gentified (Netflix)

The Good Fight (CBS All Access)

Mrs. Fletcher (HBO)

One Day at a Time (Pop)

Vida (Starz)

What We Do in the Shadows (FX)

Work in Progress (Showtime)

MOST VISUALLY STRIKING SHOW

Hollywood (Netflix)

The Crown (Netflix)

The Mandalorian (Disney+)

Watchmen (HBO)

Westworld (HBO)

CAMPIEST TV SHOW

AJ and the Queen (Netflix)

Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings (Netflix)

The Great (Hulu)

RuPaul’s Drag Race (VH1)

Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness (Netflix)

WILDE WIT AWARD

(Honoring a performer, writer or commentator whose observations both challenge and amuse)

Dan Levy

Randy Rainbow

Hannah Gadsby

Cate Blanchett

Trevor Noah

SERIES AND NETWORK COUNTS

Programs with multiple nominations:

Schitt’s Creek – 7 

Hollywood – 6 

Bad Education – 4 

Watchmen – 4 

The Crown – 3

Dead to Me – 3

Mrs. America – 3 

What We Do in the Shadows – 3

The Good Fight – 2 

Killing Eve – 2 

Normal People – 2 

Ozark – 3

Ramy – 2 

RuPaul’s Drag Race – 2 

Vida – 2 

Work in Progress — 2

Network with multiple nominations:

Netflix – 21

HBO – 13

Hulu, Pop – 8

FX – 7

AMC – 3

ABC, Apple TV+, BBC America, CBS All Access, Showtime, Starz, VH1 – 2

* GALECA members are asked to list their three favorite choices per category in order of preference, with three points going to their first choice, two to the second and one to the third. Programs and performances with the highest tallies earn nominations. More than five nominations in a category is the result of an actual or virtual tie (the latter being a difference of one point).

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