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Paley Celebrates Pride: A Salute to LGBTQ+ Achievements in Television

Saturday, June 1, 2024 – Sunday, June 30, 2024
Wednesdays to Sundays, 12:00 to 6:00 pm
The Paley Museum, 25 West 52 Street, NYC

The Paley Center presents our 2024 Pride Month celebration with A Salute to LGBTQ+ Achievements in Television, spotlighting the creative contributions of legendary icons, influential programs, and extraordinary moments that have shaped LGBTQ+ representation in our culture. Come to The Paley Museum in New York to watch selections from the LGBTQ+ collection in the Paley Archive on the big screen, with arts and crafts for kids in the library. And everyone can watch and enjoy a curated playlist on YouTube of Paley events, including Griffin Matthews in the discussion of National Geographic’s Genius: MLK/X; Andy Cohen on his own Watch What Happens Live; Laverne Cox and Alan Cumming on some of the history of LGBTQ+ characters on TV from the 2019 Paley Honors, and many other great moments from the Paley Archive.  

The twenty-first century is a moment when stories that include LGBTQ+ performers and characters are becoming the norm, rather than the exception, and television has played a crucial role in helping to bring about a more inclusive society. We will be spotlighting programming genres in which this change has been especially noteworthy, including Kate & Allie, Ellen, Will & Grace, Modern Family, and more.

Screenings

Tickets

For a digital experience, we are excited to share the unique insights, perspectives, and personal experiences of RuPaul, Andy Cohen, Alexandra Billings, Billy Porter, Noah Galvin, Laverne Cox, Alan Cumming, and others, below.

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Screenings: Pride on TV through the Years

June 1 to 30, 2024
Second Floor Theater

Over the years television portrayals of LGBTQ+ characters have had a profound impact on American culture. Over time, gay, lesbian, and transgender characters have greatly evolved, helping viewers gain a deeper and more multi-dimensional understanding of the LGBTQ+ community. This screening schedule will survey significant series from different eras to shed light on how LGBTQ+ representation has become more inclusive.

12:30 pm

Kate & Allie: “Landlady”

Kate & Allie was a 1980s comedy about two single mothers, played by Susan St. James and Jane Curtin, setting up a household in Greenwich Village, considering themselves an alternative family. The women face a considerable rent increase when their landlady assumes a dual family living arrangement. Kate and Allie decide to challenge this violation by posing as a lesbian couple. But their plan backfires when their landlady introduces them to her girlfriend. The ending was a surprise to audiences forty years ago. As Steven Capsuto in Alternate Channels notes, “the episode ends with the two pairs agreeing that a family is defined by love alone. Kate and Allie’s friendship with the lesbian couple, now grounded in honesty, seems strong, and they all go off to a dance at the Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center.” (1984; CBS)


 
12:55 pm

Roseanne: “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

Thirty years ago, this episode of Roseanne became a cause célèbre, getting the entire country talking about “the lesbian kiss.” Comedian Roseanne Arnold challenged her network’s Standard and Practices Department by having her character visit a lesbian bar with friends and receive an impulsive kiss from a pal played by Mariel Hemingway. The network was worried about possible preemptions and boycotts, but Roseanne persisted, especially because of her commitment to the gay community. GLAAD took a full-page ad supporting the show and millions of Americans tuned in, and it was the week’s highest-rated show. (1994; ABC)

 

1:25 pm

My So-Called Life: “So-Called Angel”

The 1990s series My So-Called Life, starring Claire Danes, trailblazed new LGBTQ+ storytelling by featuring a three-dimensional gay high school student, Richie Vasquez (Wilson Cruz) with his own narrative arc. As media historian Steven Capsuto has noted, Richie “was the first gay teenage regular on an American television series, the first gay Latino regular, and probably the first gay regular played by an openly gay actor.” In this moving episode from thirty years ago, Richie is abused and kicked out of his own home because of his sexuality, winding up in an abandoned warehouse populated by runaway teenagers. (1994; ABC)

 

2:15 pm

Ellen: “The Puppy Episode”

Ellen DeGeneres as bookstore Ellen Morgan became the first lead character to come out in a comedy series, viewed by 42 million people on April 30, 1997. In this episode, Ellen comes to terms with her sexual orientation. She goes on a date with her old friend Richard, a television news reporter. She meets Richard’s producer, Susan (Laura Dern), and the two hit it off. As she describes her emotions to her therapist, she realizes she has feelings for Susan. Also, in April 1997, Ellen declared on the cover of Time Magazine that, “Yep, I’m Gay.” Tracey 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)

 

3:15 pm

Will & Grace: “Oh Dad, Poor Dad, He’s Kept Me in the Closet and I’m So Sad”

A groundbreaking series originally running from 1998–2006, Will & Grace has been widely applauded with acclaim for the way in which it improved the public’s view on the LGBTQ+ community. In this episode, Will’s father, George (Sydney Pollack) is being given an award and comes to the city to visit his son. The two have a supportive and close relationship, so it came as a surprise to Will when he learns his father has told people he’s married to Grace. Feeling hurt and confused by his father’s actions, Will confronts him. Remorseful for how he has hurt his son, George’s acceptance speech turns into a public declaration of love for his son as he declares, “I’m the proud father of a proud gay man.” (2000; NBC)

 

3:40 pm

Modern Family: “The Wedding” Parts 1 & 2

Ten years after the first televised same-sex wedding on The Real World, this special two-part episode of Modern Family celebrates Mitchell Pritchett (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and Cameron Tucker’s (Eric Stonestreet) wedding. Each member of the Pritchett and Tucker families faces obstacles arriving at the wedding, which is threatened by a rapidly growing wildfire. While supportive of Mitchell and Cameron, Jay (Mitchell’s father) struggles to understand why they want to have a wedding, causing a rift between him and his son. After being forced to relocate the wedding twice due to unforeseen circumstances, the resolution comes from a surprising source. Mitch and Cam’s wedding has been celebrated as one of the best sitcom weddings in television history, broadcast eight months before the U.S. Supreme Court struck down all state bans on same-sex marriage. (2014; ABC)

 

4:45 pm

Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word

Ten years ago, Laverne Cox hosted and produced the groundbreaking special on MTV and LOGO, Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word. This moving documentary looks at seven transgender youth from around the country and their determination to fearlessly live authentic lives.   The film explores the struggles of coming out, bullying, and anti-transgender violence, that Cox hoped “will send the message to other trans youth that it’s okay to be who you are.” Cox received a Daytime Emmy Award in Outstanding Special Class Special as executive producer making her the first trans women to receive the award. (2014; MTV and LOGO)

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Paley Members attend screenings for free with a guest, included in Paley Museum admission, plus priority access to ticketed events, once-in-a-lifetime VIP experiences, and more.

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Already a Paley Member? Thank you! Input your unique membership ID (including dashes) or the temporary code in your confirmation email into the access key field when choosing your entrance date and time.

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  • From June 1 to 30. Screenings are included in general admission. Paley Members, for free admission enter your Member ID (including dashes) or code in the access key field, then click the UNLOCK key.

Location:
25 West 52 Street, New York City
Visit Us for more info on Enhanced Covid-19 Safety Measures

Events, dates, and participants are subject to change.​

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Diversity and Inclusion Programming Initiative Donors

The Paley Center thanks the donors who have contributed to the Diversity and Inclusion Programming Initiative:

Amazon
AMC Networks
Apple, Inc.
Banijay
Berlanti Productions
BET Networks
Campbell Brown
CAA
CBS / Paramount+
Agnes Chu
End of Episode Productions
FOX Entertainment
Fremantle

FTI Delta
FX Networks & FX Productions
HBO/MAX Content
Hearst
James P. Jimirro
Ronald S. Lauder
The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation
Isaac Lee, Exile Content
Lionsgate Television Group
Erik Logan
MACRO
Kirk McDonald
MediaLink

MGM+
NBCUniversal Entertainment
Netflix
Nielsen
OWN TV Network & OTT Streaming
Paramount
Mary Parent
Sony Pictures Entertainment
Tyler Perry Studios
Warner Bros. Television Group
WME

As of January 2024

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