GLAAD Awards: Glee cast reunites to pay tribute to Naya Rivera as Schitt’s Creek and Sam Smith take top prizes | Ents & Arts News

GLAAD Awards: Glee cast reunites to pay tribute to Naya Rivera as Schitt’s Creek and Sam Smith take top prizes | Ents & Arts News

The cast of Glee have reunited to pay tribute to their former co-star Naya Rivera, who died last year.

The special event took place during the GLAAD Media Awards, which supports LGBTQ+ visibility in TV, film and music.

Singer Demi Lovato, who played Rivera‘s on-screen girlfriend in the later series of the show, introduced the cast, which featured the likes of Matthew Morrison, Amber Riley, Darren Criss and Jenna Ushkowitz.

The reunion took place on the 10th anniversary of Rivera’s character in the show, Santana, coming out as gay.

Rivera died last year after she drowned while on a boating trip with her son in California.

The cast of the musical-comedy reflected on the impact Rivera’s openly-gay character had on the LGBTQ+ community, as well as recalling their favourite memories with the star, including her still-talked about rendition of Nutbush City Limits.

A message from Rivera’s mother Yolanda Previtire, shared by the cast, said she was “honoured” by the tribute from Rivera’s former colleagues.

In a statement, Previtire said: “When Naya was told that Santana would be a lesbian she called me to let me know and I asked her how did she feel about that and she said ‘I feel great about it!’

“Her desire was to always be an advocate to those who did not have a voice. I don’t believe that she realised how important she was to this world.

The cast of Glee will pay tribute to co-star Naya Rivera (second from the right). Pic: Startraks/Shutterstock
Naya Rivera (second from the right) played Santana in Glee. Pic: Startraks/Shutterstock

“I am grateful that my eldest daughter helped to change the landscape of how we view and see each other.

“Thank you GLAAD for keeping my daughter’s legacy alive.”

Elsewhere at the event, which was hosted by comedian and actress Niecy Nash, Schitt’s Creek continued its award season dominance by picking up the gong for outstanding comedy series.

Daniel Levy, who created the show with his father Eugene said the award was an “incredible recognition”.

The Boys In The Band, which was produced by Glee creator Ryan Murphy, took the prize for outstanding film, while Star Trek: Discovery won the outstanding drama series gong.

Sam Smith walked home with the best artist award for their record Love Goes, while best documentary went to Netflix’s Disclosure and Happiest Season was named best film.

Katy Perry was among the A-listers presenting awards at the show, which also featured an appearance from Sarah, Duchess of York.

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