Talk about a turn of the tide. In November 2011, Brett Ratner found himself under fire for using a gay slur at a screening of his film Tower Heist. That widely publicized choice of words cost him his gig producing the 2012 Oscars. Fast forward 16 months, and Ratner is getting an award from the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. GLAAD announced today that the organization will honor Ratner with their inaugural Ally Award.
The new award will honor Ratner for directing and producing the GLAAD “Coming Out for Equality” PSA series, which features straight celebrities advocating equal rights for the LGBT community. Participating celebrities include Charlie Sheen, Jackie Chan and Tamala Jones. The videos, along with the reveal of other participants, will be released later this month.
“Brett Ratner’s dedication and leadership will inspire countless to speak out in support of LGBT friends, family, neighbors and children,” GLAAD President Herndon Graddick said in a press release. “From high school jocks to faith leaders, those who follow Brett’s lead are admired and heralded, while anti-LGBT bullies are increasingly ridiculed and marginalized.”
Previously, following Ratner’s public apology for his gay slur, GLAAD issued a statement saying, “This apology is a good start, but we’re working with Ratner’s people for more action, to clearly send a message to Hollywood that the anti-gay slurs used by bullies and bigots have no place in the world of entertainment, or anywhere else.”
Regarding the PSAs and the Ally Award, Ratner said in a statement, “I have long been a supporter of equal rights for everyone. So, when Herndon and the folks at GLAAD asked me to partner with them on this PSA campaign, I jumped at the opportunity. I have always been an admirer of GLAAD. They do meaningful and effective work in the fight to secure equality for everyone and I am very humbled that they are honoring me with this Ally Award.”
GLAAD tells EW that the organization plans to present the Ally Award to others in the future, when appropriate. The award is similar to the Special Recognition Award Harvey Weinstein presented last year to gay teen Katy Butler, who started a petition to change the MPAA rating of Bully (produced by The Weinstein Company) from and R to PG-13.
Ratner will receive the award on Saturday, March 16 at the 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York City. Check out the full list of nominees here.