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Partner in respect: HBO
Throughout its programming history, Home Box Office, Inc. (HBO®) has demonstrated a strong commitment to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community through its unwavering support to organizations like GLSEN, as well as film festivals and community nonprofits dedicated to LGBT causes.
In 2009, GLSEN honored HBO with a Respect Award for Corporate Role Model, calling attention to the network’s promotion of diversity both on camera and as a corporate leader.
“HBO’s body of work is second to none with its portrayals of the LGBT community through their exceptional series and movies,” said Executive Director Eliza Byard. “HBO’s partnership with GLSEN embodies its commitment to diversity. Through its inclusive programming, HBO has helped educate this country about the truth of the LGBT experience. GLSEN is proud to partner alongside a company that continues to offer depictions that affirm and build empathy for difference.” HBO’s commitment is also amplified through the volunteer leadership of executives like Michael Lombardo, President, HBO Programming, who has served on GLSEN’s board of directors since 2009. “As a communications and entertainment company, we take our role seriously and recognize our moral and social responsibility to also be key players in broadcasting information that helps raise awareness,” Lombardo said.
Those familiar with HBO’s acclaimed original programming know that what the network does best is storytelling. HBO programming has shed light on important issues like AIDS, hate crimes, family dynamics and more that face the community through award-winning and critically-acclaimed original series, miniseries, films and documentaries. Some examples of the network’s achievement in this area include Angels in America, If These Walls Could Talk 2, The Laramie Project, Normal, Oz, Sex and the City, Six Feet Under, True Blood, When I Knew, Southern Comfort, All Aboard! Rosie’s Family Cruise, Celluloid Closet, A Family is a Family is a Family and The Strange History of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell among many others.
“Storytelling is the foundation of our business. We have used this approach to address pressing LGBT issues over the last few decades,” Lombardo said. “These programs include some of the most dynamic, groundbreaking and inspiring stories that put the human faces behind the issues front and center and show that as much as we are different, we are all alike. We are incredibly proud of these programs because they have been instrumental in serving, valuing and respecting the LGBT community.”
In 2013, HBO will present a number of compelling, timely and thought-provoking programs including Valentine Road, a powerful and disturbing documentary that unravels the tragic murder of a young teenager who had begun exploring his gender identity; Fall to Grace, a documentary that traces former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey’s transformational journey from politics to the pulpit; The Battle of amfAR, a documentary which chronicles the organization’s history and continuing importance in the fight against HIV/AIDS; as well as Normal Heart, an HBO Films production starring Julia Roberts as Dr. Emma Brookner, the paraplegic physician who treats several of the earliest victims of AIDS, and Mark Ruffalo as Ned Weeks, who witnesses first-hand the mysterious disease and starts to seek answers as AIDS begins to claim the lives of many in his gay community.
With HBO service offered in over 70 countries, programming sold in over 150 countries and over 100 million subscribers worldwide, HBO has presented stories that inform and influence as well as praise human differences, allowing positive messages on diversity and inclusion to be spread globally.