AceShowbiz - Kerry Washington was among the honorees at the 26th annual GLAAD Media Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles. The "Scandal" actress delivered a powerful message on human rights and gender equality after accepting Vanguard Award from Ellen DeGeneres.
"When I was told that I was going to get an award for being an ally to GLAAD, it got me thinking," she told the crowd that included Channing Tatum and Zoe Saldana. "I'm going to say some stuff and I might be preaching to the choir, but I'm going to say it. Not just for us, but because on Monday morning people are going to click a link to hear what that woman from Scandal said at that award show, and so I think some stuff needs to be said."
"Women, poor people, people of color, people with disabilities, gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, trans people, intersex people - we have been pitted against each other and made to feel there are limited seats at the table for those of us who fall into the category of 'other.' As a result, we have become afraid of one another," she said.
The actress went on, "We compete with one another, we judge one another. Sometimes, we betray one another. Sometimes even within our own communities we designate who among us is best suited to represent us and who really shouldn't even be invited to the party."
Washington said she was baffled by black people who didn't believe in gay marriage since she felt their fight for racial equality years ago mirrored the current struggles faced by the LGBT community.
"We need more diverse LGBT representation [in the media]," she said. "We need more employment of LGBT people, in front of and behind the camera." She added, "We can't say that we believe in each other's fundamental humanity and then turn a blind eye to the reality of each other's existence and the truth of each other's hearts."
Other winners included "How to Get Away With Murder" as outstanding drama series, "Transparent" as outstanding comedy series, and "The Imitation Game" as outstanding film. Director Roland Emmerich, whose upcoming film "Stonewall" narrates the riots staged by New York's gay community in 1969, received the Stephen F. Kolzak Award.
GLAAD will hold another ceremony for this year's awards on May 9 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York.