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Knight calls on ‘friends, allies’
‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ ‘Ugly Betty’ stars lend a hand

by Leesha Spayne . Contributing Writer

T.R. Knight’s ‘Be an Ally & a Friend’ PSA can be viewed at YouTube.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — T.R. Knight, the openly gay, Emmy-nominated actor from ABC’s hit drama “Grey’s Anatomy,” is featured in a new public service announcement (PSA) that tells straight viewers how important it is to accept their gay friends and family members.

The release of the 20-second PSA coincides with a watershed personal event for Knight. One year ago, he came out in the October 19, 2006 issue of People magazine. He made television history by being the first actor to publicly come out while appearing on one of the nation’s top-rated shows.

“More and more gay people like T.R. are living their lives openly and honestly,” said Neil Giuliano, president of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). “T.R.’s coming out has had tremendous impact in terms of creating awareness, understanding and acceptance.”

The spot is part of GLAAD’s new “Be an Ally & a Friend” PSA campaign that features 22 entertainers from television, film and sports. The spots encourage people to be allies to LGBT people and to help combat homophobia, directing viewers to GLAAD.org for information on ways to work for equality.

Another PSA that has already been released through the campaign features Knight along with eight other ABC stars (in order of appearance): Ana Ortiz (“Ugly Betty”), Sara Ramirez (“Grey’s Anatomy”), Rebecca Romijn (“Ugly Betty”), Eric Mabius (“Ugly Betty”), Kate Walsh (“Private Practice”), Michael Urie (“Ugly Betty”), Rachel Griffiths (“Brothers & Sisters”) and Becki Newton (“Ugly Betty”).

Approximately every two weeks during the coming year, GLAAD will release multiple 20- and 30-second versions of the PSAs. They will also be available through broadcast collaborations with “Access Hollywood,” national cable networks such as Fox Reality, GSN, IFC, Lifetime, The N, Sci Fi Channel and Sundance Channel, and via local cable systems and network affiliates.
The spots can be viewed online at AOL Video, LiveVideo, MySpace and YouTube, along with other web outlets.

The PSAs were directed by Nadine Licostie, and produced by Licostie and Connie Grazia for Red Thread Productions.

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