GLAAD to lose $2 million over Media Awards cancellations

Mon. March 23, 2020 11:44 AM by Carlos Santoscoy

GLAAD's decision to cancel its yearly awards show over coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns is expected to cost the LGBT advocacy group $2 million.

GLAAD's Media Awards take place in New York City and Los Angeles over two months.

(Related: GLAAD Media Awards in New York canceled over coronavirus.)

The group canceled its New York event scheduled for March 19 but said it will hold its April 16 Los Angeles ceremony in the fall.

(Related: GLAAD cancels Media Awards in Los Angeles.)

Speaking with Variety, GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said that GLAAD could be looking at a loss of $2 million.

"This is a $2 million implication to our bottom line," she said. "They are our biggest fundraising events and they help support a lot of our programming."

Ellis said that corporate sponsors, which include Gilead Sciences, Hyundai, and Ketel One, as well as individual donors have agreed to honor their financial commitments.

"[T]he majority of them without even having to ask offered and said they would turn it into a donation. It is amazing. It is phenomenal," Ellis said.

Revenue from other fundraising activities such as auctions and last-minute ticket and table buys would be lost. Ellis said that many of the items up for auction are cruises and trips, which under the current environment of travel restrictions and "stay at home" orders are worthless.

Ellis added that 90 percent of major ticket buyers have agreed to donate the cost of the tickets.

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