It’s a Sin, Framing Britney Spears, ZIWE, Drag Race, Big Mouth and Love, Victor Also Score
Mj Rodriguez and Bowen Yang Accept Special Accolades
AUGUST 29, 2021 – HOLLYWOOD, CA – Venerable actress Jean Smart, Saturday Night Live wit Bowen Yang, rising satirist Ziwe, Pose co-creator Steven Canals, teen heartthrob Michael Cimino of Hulu’s Love, Victor, and revered British TV writer Russell T Davies (Queer as Folk, Dr. Who) were some of the notables expressing gratitude in GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics’ Dorians TV Toast 2021, a mix of award reveals, interview segments and entertainment that subscription channels Here TV and YouTube’s PlanetOut broke from custom to air free tonight. Veteran West Coast radio personality and LGBTQ rights activist Karel was the pre-recorded special’s lively host.
Multi-award winning actress Patricia Arquette, Jennifer Beals (currently starring in Showtime’s The L Word: Generation Q), iconic actress-singer Olivia Newton-John, Tituss Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), The Nanny’s Fran Drescher, rapper and reality star Big Freedia (Big Freedia Bounces Back), SNL cast member Punkie Johnson, Pose costar Leyna Bloom (recently the first transgender woman to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated’sswimsuit issue), Big Sky’s Jesse James Keitel, Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman (of the new Disney+ sitcom update, Doogie Kameāloha, M.D.), ABC entertainment reporter Karl Schmid, actor-comic John Lehr (Hulu’s Quick Draw) and TV icon Jim J. Bullock (Too Close for Comfort) all helped present this latest Dorians program. The awards, voted upon by GALECA’s 320 members in the U.S. and beyond, go to all of film and TV, mainstream to LGBTQ (the film awards are held in spring).
The Society chose the highly emotional final season of FX’s groundbreaking Pose—about an LGBTQ clique navigating AIDS, bigotry and drag-ball culture in ‘80s and then ‘90s New York—as Best TV Drama. This marks the series’ third Dorian win in the category.
Best LGBTQ TV Show went to the HBO Max miniseries It’s a Sin, creator-producer Davies’ not dissimilar tale of a group of London friends also facing the onset of the AIDS crisis. In a special segment in the toast, Davies expressed the wish that people would take all pandemics more seriously. Sin costars Stephen Fry, Callum Scott Howells and Nathaniel Curtis also made appearances.
Smart won Best TV Performance, as did, in a rare tie, Michaela Coel, star-creator of HBO’s semi-autobiographical I May Destroy You. The star’s sly performance in Hacks as a sitcom ingénue turned jaded, if super-rich, standup comic dovetailed with her freshman HBO Max hit’s win for Best TV Comedy. The actress, beloved in series from Designing Women to Legion, made a point to give special thanks to her on-screen foil Hannah Einbinder—who later made a surprise appearance in the virtual toast.
Destroy, meanwhile, slayed the likes of Marvel’s ambitioussuperhero fantasy WandaVision and HBO’s Kate Winslet-driven mystery Mare of Easttown to earn Best TV Movie or Miniseries. Accepting on behalf of Destroy’s team was the drama’s Dorian-nominated costar Paapa Essiedu.
In a special segment, fresh comedian Ziwe discussed the impetus behind her Showtime series ZIWE, a topical hybrid of sketch comedy and issue-minded talk shows. The star opened up about her influences and how she hopes to inform and bring disparate sides together via humor.
Yang, who scored big laughs on SNL last season personifying the (somewhat bitter) iceberg that sank the Titanic and helping skewer corporate America’s appropriation of Pride Month, won the Society’s special Wilde Wit accolade, presented by his NBC series costar Punkie Johnson. Yang, who tied in the category with Coel, said he happened to be a major fan of the award’s namesake, Oscar Wilde, so his Dorian Award win felt “a little too on-the-nose.”
Accepting RuPaul’s Drag Race’s Best Reality Show win, season 13 contestant Kade Gottlieb—without the elaborate makeup and glitter of his drag persona Gottmik—attested in a chat to just how wild and real the VH1 phenomenon’s backstage drama is.
Nick Kroll, co-creator and starring voice of Netflix’s animated series Big Mouth, joined trans actress Josie Totah (Saved by the Bell)—who guest-voices as a trans teen on the hit—for a talk about the importance of representation and how “cartoons” can be more unbridled than live-action shows in addressing societal issues.
As previously announced, actress-singer Michaela Jae (Mj) Rodriguez received GALECA’s second-ever LGBTQIA Trailblazer Award “for creating art that inspires empathy, truth and equity.” In her interview segment, Rodriguez, the first transgender actress to be nominated for a leading-actress Emmy ® (for Pose), embraced her status as a role model. “There’s a generation behind me that needs to know what transness looks like,” she said. “I’m going to keep trying my best and instill hope.”
Host Karel, for one, was quite affected by this latest Dorian Awards. “To hear Russell T Davies speak of the real, incurable virus looming—Trumpism—or to hear Michaela Jaé Rodriguez talk about how she learned so much about AIDS to get her character right, well, I’m so glad I can help produce and host a show that amplifies such important voices,” said Karel. “When Michael Cimino from Love, Victor—our Best Unsung TV Show winner—calls the Dorians a ‘safe space,’ I nearly cried.”
“We are elated to part of tonight’s show and hope that audiences worldwide on Here TV and PlanetOut got as much of a kick out of the celebration as we did,” added Paul Colichman, CEO of Here Media, which has made the Dorians TV Toast 2021 available to view any time on the Here TV app (here.tv) and the PlanetOut YouTube channel.
Additional Dorians Toast highlights:
• Olivia Newton-John presented the Campiest TV Show race, with the Dorian going to the latest edition of the outlandishly lavish European pop performance battle Eurovision Song Contest, which aired in May on Peacock.Back in 1974’s Eurovision, Newton-John noted with a cheeky smile, “I placed fourth—fourth!” (ABBA won).In accepting the affectionately-given honor via video, the contest’s cohost, Dutch pop starEdsilia Rombley, invited fans to come to host-country Italy for next year’s installment.
• The New York Times’ Samantha Stark, director and a producer of Best TV Documentary or Documentary Series winner Framing Britney Spears, talked about why she thinks so many members of the LGBTQ community support the troubled pop star.
• WandaVision’s three wins—for Most Visually Striking TV Show, Best Supporting TV Performance (Kathryn Hahn) and Best TV Musical Performance (Hahn and backup singers’ rendition of the TV theme-spoofing “Agatha All Along”)—were revealed by comic John Lehr in the guise of MSNBC’s fast-talking polling expert Steve Kornacki.
• In a video paying homage to MTV’s early days, The Voice season five contestant Morgan Mallory sang “Flickering Light,” a catchy original pop all about the power of television. Music by Mallory, lyrics by host Karel and Mallory.
• Various GALECA members shared about how shows such as Buffy The Vampire Slayer, the ‘70s sitcom Soap and bilingual family comedy ¿Que Pasa, USA? Impacted their lives.
The Dorians TV Toast 2021 was produced by Karel Media and Brandon Riley Miller Productions with GALECA, with Karel and John Griffiths serving as Executive Producers.
COMPLETE LIST OF DORIAN TV AWARD WINNERS:
BEST TV DRAMA
* Pose (FX)
BEST TV COMEDY
The Flight Attendant
* Hacks (HBO Max)
BEST LGBTQ TV SHOW
I May Destroy You
* It’s A Sin (HBO Max)
BEST TV MOVIE OR MINISERIES
* I May Destroy You (HBO)
It’s a Sin
Mare of Easttown
The Queen’s Gambit
BEST UNSUNG TV SHOW
A Black Lady Sketch
* Love, Victor (Hulu)
We Are Who We Are
BEST TV PERFORMANCE (TIE)
* Michaela Coel, I May Destroy You (HBO)
Kaley Cuoco, The Flight Attendant
Thuso Mbedu, The Underground Railroad
Elisabeth Olson, WandaVision
Billy Porter, Pose
MJ Rodriguez, Pose
* Jean Smart, Hacks (HBO Max)
Jason Sudeikis, Ted Lasso
Anya Taylor-Joy, The Queen’s Gambit
Kate Winslet, Mare of Easttown
BEST SUPPORTING TV PERFORMANCE
Gillian Anderson, The Crown
John Boyega, Small Axe
Paapa Essiedu, I May Destroy You
* Kathryn Hahn, WandaVision (Disney+)
Marielle Heller, The Queen’s Gambit
Callum Scott Howells, It’s a Sin
Dominique Jackson, Pose
Julianne Nicholson, Mare of Easttown
Jean Smart, Mare of Easttown
Bowen Yang, Saturday Night Live
BEST TV MUSICAL PERFORMANCE
Lady Gaga, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” Biden-Harris Inauguration
Jonathan Groff, “You’ll Be Back,” Hamilton
* Kathryn Hahn and singers, “Agatha All Along,” WandaVision (Disney+)
Elton John & Years & Years, “It’s a Sin,” BRIT Awards 2021
Punkie Johnson, Anya-Taylor Joy, Lil Nas X, Kate McKinnon, Bowen Yang,
“Pride Month Song,” Saturday Night Live
Bowen Yang (as The Iceberg That Sank the Titanic), “Loverboy,” Saturday Night Live
BEST TV DOCUMENTARY OR DOCUMENTARY SERIES
* The New York Times Presents: Framing Britney Spears (FX)
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark
Pretend It’s a City
BEST CURRENT AFFAIRS SHOW
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
The Amber Ruffin Show
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
* ZIWE (Showtime)
BEST ANIMATED SHOW
* Big Mouth (Netflix)
South Park: The Pandemic Special
BEST REALITY SHOW
* RuPaul’s Drag Race (VH1)
The Great British Bake Off
MOST VISUALLY STRIKING TV SHOW
* WandaVision (Disney+)
CAMPIEST TV SHOW
At Home with Amy Sedaris
Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square
* Eurovision Song Contest (Peacock)
WILDE WIT AWARD (TIE)
To a performer, writer or commentator whose observations both challenge and amuse
* Michaela Coel
* Bowen Yang
GALECA LGBTQIA+ TRAILBLAZER AWARD
For creating art that inspires empathy, truth and equity
Michaela Jaé Rodriguez
GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics sponsors the Dorian Awards, honoring the best in film and TV, mainstream to queer+. The Society helps to remind bullies, bigots and the community’s at-risk youth that the world loves the Q eye on great and unique entertainment. An all-volunteer nonprofit professional organization, GALECA consists of over 300 critics and journalists who write for a variety of influential media outlets in the United States, Canada, Australia and the U.K. Support the group and keep up with its doings @DorianAwards on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. For more information, visit GALECA.org.
ABOUT KAREL AND KAREL MEDIA
Karel, a groundbreaking personality in mainstream radio and TV, first made his mark hosting popular programs on two of the top talk radio outlets in the country, LA’s KFI AM 640 and San Francisco’s KGO AM 810. A noted journalist and LGBTQ rights activist, he later worked for CBS radio and ABC radio before founding Karel Media. In addition to producing and hosting GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics’ Dorian Awards specials (first aired on Revry and then Here.TV/Planet Out), he stars in and produces the docuseries Life In Segments on Free Speech TV, which returns for a fifth season in 2022, and his thrice-weekly podcast, The Karel Cast podcast.
ABOUT HERE MEDIA
Here Media is a leading LGBTQ+ media and entertainment company that produces and distributes premium content from a rainbow-wide array of filmmakers and storytellers through its consumer brands Here TV and PlanetOut. Here TV launched in 2004, making it the world’s first SVOD LGBTQ+ video service, and is available on all major U.S. cable operators including Xfinity, Spectrum, Cablevision, FiOS, U-Verse, Cox, as well as Amazon, Roku, Sling and the Here TV app, where it can be viewed on all iOS and Android mobile devices. Here TV reaches millions of viewers each month and has produced Academy Award®-winning films in addition to receiving a Daytime Emmy® award and four Daytime Emmy® award nominations.