The Ariadne Getty Foundation Announces Historic $15 Million Glaad Pledge As Annual Study From Glaad And The Harris Poll Finds Alarming Erosion Of Lgbtq Acceptance



GLAAD and Ariadne Getty Foundation unveil new GLAAD Media Institute and approach to global social impact at World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland

Davos, Switzerland, January 25, 2018 – GLAAD, the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, today announced findings of its fourth annual Accelerating Acceptance report, a national survey among more than 2,100 U.S. adults conducted on GLAAD’s behalf by The Harris Poll during an panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. GLAAD also announced the launch of the GLAAD Media Institute and a $15 million lead pledge from the Ariadne Getty Foundation to fund the Institute along with investments in LGBTQ ventures, including media and small businesses, that have social impact worldwide.

GLAAD and The Harris Poll Results Show LGBTQ Acceptance Dropping

GLAAD and The Harris Poll’s Accelerating Acceptance report, which measures American attitudes toward LGBTQ people and issues, shows a drop in the number of non-LGBTQ U.S. adults who were “very” or “somewhat” comfortable with LGBTQ people. This is the first time in the report’s four year history that the number has decreased.

  • Less than half of non-LGBTQ adults (49 percent) reported being “very” or “somewhat” comfortable with LGBTQ people across seven situations. This is a significant decline from 53 percent in 2017 and the first time the Accelerating Acceptance report has shown a drop in acceptance for LGBTQ people.

  • GLAAD and The Harris Poll found that 55 percent of LGBTQ adults reported experiencing discrimination because of sexual orientation or gender identity. This number is a significant 11 percentage point increase from the previous year (44 percent).

  • More than 80 percent of respondents report knowing someone who is LGBTQ, with 20 percent reporting knowing someone who is transgender.

  • Even though significantly more people know someone who is LGBTQ, there was a decline in nonLGBTQ adults’ comfortability, particularly in more personal situations. Compared to last year’s results, significantly more respondents noted that they would be uncomfortable learning a family member is LBGTQ (30 percent vs. 27 percent), having their child’s teacher be LGBTQ (31 percent vs. 28 percent), and learning their doctor is LGBTQ (31 percent vs. 28 percent).

The Harris Poll was conducted online November 16-20, 2017 among a total of 2,160 US adults. 1897 are classified as non-LGBTQ adults.

“There has been a swift and alarming erosion of acceptance in just one year of LGBTQ people in the United States and around the world,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President and CEO. “The front lines to stopping and reversing this rollback is personal stories that humanize our community and a culture that move hearts and minds to support LGBTQ acceptance.”

“An unseen casualty of a tumultuous year has been the LGBTQ community,” said John Gerzema, CEO of The Harris Poll. “In a single year, we’ve seen significant declines from what had been an increasingly accepting America to one now less supportive. And this lost ground of acceptance cuts across many in American society”.

The Ariadne Getty Foundation Pledges $15M to Accelerate LGBTQ Acceptance

To combat the rising threats to LGBTQ acceptance, GLAAD launched the GLAAD Media Institute today during a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Panelists The Institute is a groundbreaking new training, consulting, and research venture that builds upon and furthers GLAAD’s successful legacy of leveraging media, business and cultural institutions to effect positive change with advocates around the world.

The Ariadne Getty Foundation is a founding partner of the GLAAD Media Institute and announced a $15 million pledge to build the Institute as well as invest in GLAAD’s work to accelerate global LGBTQ acceptance.

“The time is now for world leaders and all of us to stand by marginalized communities and promote equality and diversity,” said Ari Getty, President of the Ariadne Getty Foundation and current member of GLAAD’s Board of Directors. “GLAAD has always been the leader in creating a better world for LGBTQ people. This lead gift will not only ensure that work continues, but will hopefully inspire others to join us in our pursuit of 100 percent acceptance.”

Ari Getty continued: “My family has long stood alongside individuals who are too often left behind as social justice progresses. Now more than ever we must join hands and raise our voices to combat oppression and move forward towards a world of equality, regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, or creed.”

The Foundation, under the leadership of Ari Getty, improves the lived experiences of marginalized individuals and communities through large-scale investments and hands-on advocacy.

“This important lead gift continues Ari’s legacy of strategic philanthropy to improve the lives of countless people around the world,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “We will not stop until 100 percent LGBTQ acceptance is the norm around the world. Though these results show the tide is turning against LGBTQ people, this critical lead gift will enable GLAAD to both leverage the media to change the world, and invest in the best storytelling to bring to life the importance and value of achieving 100 percent LGBTQ acceptance.”

GLAAD’s panel “Progress in Peril: How Business, Philanthropy and Media Can Lead to Achieve 100% Acceptance for LGBTQ People” during the World Economic Forum is moderated by CNN International’s Richard Quest and includes panelists:

  • Beth Brooke-Marciniak: Global Vice Chair, Public Policy, EY

  • Serge Dumont: Vice Chairman, Omnicom Group Inc., Chairman, Omnicom Asia Pacific

  • Jim Fitterling: President and Chief Operating Officer, Dow Chemical Company

  • Franz Paasche: Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Paypal

  • Bozoma Saint John, Chief Bran Officer, Uber

  • Brad Smith, President and Chief Legal Officer, Microsoft

Research Method

The fourth annual Accelerating Acceptance survey was conducted by GLAAD and The Harris Poll among a nationally representative sample of 2,160 US adults of whom 1,897 are classified as non LGBTQ adults. The online survey was administered November 16-20, 2017.

The researchers on this study from GLAAD were President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis, Grant Schneider, Chief Strategy Officer, and Rich Ferraro, Chief Communications Officer. Researchers from The Harris Poll were David Krane, Research Director, John Gerzema, CEO, and Tawny Saez, Head of PR.


GLAAD rewrites the script for LGBTQ acceptance. As a dynamic media force, GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change. GLAAD protects all that has been accomplished and creates a world where everyone can live the life they love. For more information, please visit or connect with GLAAD on Facebook and Twitter.

About The Harris Poll

The Harris Poll is one of the longest running surveys in the U.S. tracking public opinion, motivations and social sentiment since 1963 that is now part of Harris Insights & Analytics, a global consulting and market research firm that delivers social intelligence for transformational times. We work with clients in three primary areas; building twentyfirst-century corporate reputation, crafting brand strategy and performance tracking, and earning organic media through public relations research. Our mission is to provide insights and advisory to help leaders make the best decisions possible.

To learn more, please visit and connect with The Harris Poll on Twitter and LinkedIn. Media Contacts For more information about this study, please reach out to: Rich Ferraro Chief Communications Officer, GLAAD

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