Today HRC announced that the critically acclaimed television series “Empire” will be honored at the 2016 HRC Los Angeles Gala Dinner. HRC also announced that producer Nina Jacobson, whose work includes the blockbuster hit “The Hunger Games” and FX’s “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” will be honored with the HRC Visibility Award. Jacobson will be presented with the award by Ryan Murphy, creator of Glee and American Horror Story.
“Empire has undeniably changed hearts and minds in the fight for LGBT equality,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “This groundbreaking series has especially helped to raise the visibility of LGBT people of color, whose stories have been underrepresented in the media. We are proud to honor Empire at this year’s HRC Los Angeles Gala Dinner for the profound difference it has made in the lives of so many across America.”
A drama about a family dynasty set within the world of music, glamour, danger and power, Empire has dominated television ratings and was just renewed last month for a third season on Fox. The LA Times said the show sends a “powerful LGBT message” and makes a bold statement with its openly gay character, Jamal Lyon. The Advocate praised the show, pointing out it has been “lauded for shining a spotlight on a range of LGBT issues, among them child abuse, coming out, and homophobia in the world of hip-hop.” Out Magazine said the show’s success is evidence of an “increasingly diverse embrace of LGBT visibility.”
Celebrated film and television producer Nina Jacobson will be honored with the HRC Visibility Award at the event.
“Nina Jacobson is one of the most influential and enterprising women in the entertainment industry,” said Griffin. “Living her life openly and honestly as an out and proud lesbian, she uses her incredible platform to be a vocal advocate for LGBT equality, and sets the stage as an example for others to follow. We are thrilled to honor her at this year’s HRC Los Angeles Gala Dinner with the HRC Visibility Award.”
The HRC Visibility Award recognizes the efforts of those who use their incredible talent and visibility to help better the lives of LGBT people. In the early 90’s, Jacobson co-founded an organization for openly LGBT entertainment personnel called “Out There,” and she has consistently used her voice to advocate for equality. NPR called her “one of the most powerful women in the business,” and Variety called her “a vocal supporter of gay rights and an advocate for greater diversity in the entertainment industry.”
Jacobson will be presented with the HRC Visibility Award by her “Out There” co-founder, acclaimed screenwriter, producer and director Ryan Murphy. Throughout his career Murphy has consistently brought the stories and struggles of LGBT people to the forefront, with groundbreaking programs like Glee and the Normal Heart. Earlier this month, he launched Half, a foundation that is committed to addressing the lack of diversity in Hollywood, by ensuring that fifty percent of director slots on his shows are held by women, people of color and members of the LGBT community.
The HRC Los Angeles Gala Dinner, which is expected to draw over 1,000 guests, will be held on Saturday, March 19, 2016, at the JW Marriott LA Live. Tickets and more information are available at http://www.hrcladinner.com/