Paley Center’s Salute to LGBTQ+ Achievements in Television
The Paley Center presents our 2022 Pride Month celebration with a dynamic and interactive Salute to LGBTQ+ Achievements in Television, spotlighting the creative contributions of legendary icons, influential programs, and extraordinary moments of progress that have shaped LGBTQ+ representation in our culture.
Our celebration will be divided into five genre categories: Drama, News/Talk/Documentary, Comedy, Music/Variety, and Sports. We will salute such pioneering programs as All in the Family, Tales of the City, and That Certain Summer, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year; storytellers including Greg Berlanti, Ilene Chaiken, Lee Daniels, and Ryan Murphy; influential creative talents like Laverne Cox, Ellen DeGeneres, and Sean Hayes, among other important figures from sports, journalism, music, politics, and culture.
Kids & Family Activities: As part of our Pride celebration, kids will have the opportunity to artistically express how they see themselves by making colorful identity clouds they can share with others. Plus work on coloring sheets with their favorite characters from Steven Universe, Danger and Eggs, She-Ra, and The Owl House.
The experience will also include special events and interactive trivia.
Costumes from POSE
We are delighted to feature a selection of the inspired period costumes from the groundbreaking series Pose. Costume creations worn by acclaimed cast members Billy Porter as "Pray Tell," Michaela Jae (MJ) Rodriguez as "Blanca Evangelista," and Indya Moore as "Angel Evangelista" are on display courtesy of Emmy Award–winning producer and costume designer Lou Eyrich and Ryan Murphy Productions.
Screenings at Paley
Wednesdays to Sundays, May 26 to June 26
The Paley Center celebrates the landmark anniversaries of two influential television shows in LGBTQ+ representation: the 50th anniversary of the television movie That Certain Summer and the 25th anniversary of Ellen’s “The Puppy Episode.” Both programs were game changers, inspiring the television community to be more inclusive and bring greater diversity to storytelling. You will get a chance to experience these pioneering works on a large screen, along with other series that continued their legacy of creating complex LGBTQ+ characters and narratives, notably Queer as Folk, The L Word, Pose, and Twenties.
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That Certain Summer
That Certain Summer was a breakthrough television drama presenting a sympathetic portrait of a teenager (Scott Jacoby) learning about his divorced father’s (Hal Holbrook) committed relationship to another man (Martin Sheen). As historian Steven Capsuto has stated, That Certain Summer “was the first television drama to depict a stable, same-gender couple; the first to depict a gay parent; and the first gay-themed show to win an Emmy.” (1972; ABC)
Ellen: "The Puppy Episode"
Ellen DeGeneres playing bookstore owner Ellen Morgan became the first lead character to come out in a series comedy, which was viewed by 42 million people. Then, in April 1997, Ellen declared on the cover of Time magazine that “Yep, I’m Gay.” Tracy E. Gilchrist in The Advocate called Ellen’s announcement in "The Puppy Episode": “a watershed moment in pop culture, and every LGBT person since has benefited in some small way from her bravery.” (1997; ABC)
Queer as Folk: Premiere
Based on a British series, Queer as Folk broke new ground by exploring the day-to-day lives of a circle of LGBTQ+ friends living in Pittsburgh. As Lesley Goldberg noted in the Hollywood Reporter, the series “marked the first hourlong American TV drama to put gay men at its center and helped usher in a new era of programming that put LGBTQ characters front and center.” A new Queer as Folk has just been reimagined for Peacock. (2000; Showtime) Viewer Discretion Advised
The L Word: "Lynch Pin"
The L Word was a trailblazing show, capturing the lifestyles of queer women friends living in West Hollywood. As Alison Glock noted in the New York Times, “women who had rarely seen themselves on the small screen were suddenly able to watch gay characters not only living complex, exciting lives, but also making love in restaurant bathrooms and in swimming pools.” This exemplary episode is from the second season, written by creator Ilene Chaiken and directed by Lisa Cholodenko. (2005; Showtime) Viewer Discretion Advised
Pose: "Love Is the Message"
Pose broke new ground in television drama, exploring New York City’s drag ball culture of the 1980s and 1990s. As Raquel Willis noted on the GLAAD website, Pose “has been credited as giving voice and vision to aspects of Black and Latinx queer life that have largely never been given authentic airtime.” "Love Is the Message" is from the first season, written by Janet Mock, and directed by Mock and creator Ryan Murphy. (2018; FX) Viewer Discretion Advised
Twenties is a semi-autobiographical comedy series written by the acclaimed Lena Waithe following a queer black woman Hattie (Jonica T. Gibbs) trying to make it in the entertainment industry, supported by her straight best friends Marie (Christina Elmore) and Nia (Gabrielle Graham). As Tambay Obenson points out in Indiewire, “Hattie is a younger version of Waithe, a ballsy, swaggerific 24-year-old aspiring television writer whose life in many ways resembles Waithe’s early years in Hollywood.” (2020; BET) Viewer Discretion Advised