RuPaul Charles, host and executive producer “RuPaul’s Drag Race” will be awarded Variety’s Vanguard Awards at MIPCOM 2019. The award recognizes television industry leaders who have made a significant contribution to the global business of entertainment and will be presented to Charles on October 14 at the Palais des Festivals, Cannes, France.
Charles will also be giving a Media Mastermind Keynote at MIPCOM on the same day at the Grand Auditorium.
Charles’ career started in the early Eighties when, after attending drama school in Atlanta, Georgia, he began a music career with his band RuPaul And The U-Hauls, winning notoriety from occasional appearances on local TV show The American Music Show. His outgoing persona and striking appearance led to a fast rise to fame.
Charles has hosted and executive produced the VH1 franchise “RuPaul’s Drag Race” for a decade, winning three consecutive Emmys for host of a reality-competition series. The elimination-style talent competition to find “America’s next drag superstar” has proven to be a hit in key global territories including the U.K., Australia, the Netherlands and Israel. The BBC is preparing to launch a local version of the show, with Charles as host, in October.
“RuPaul Charles has been a force in television for more than a decade, and he’s been an LGBTQ trailblazer throughout his career,” said Michelle Sobrino-Stearns, Variety‘s Group Publisher and Chief Revenue Officer. “‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ not only entertains fans around the world, it also has the power to open minds and touch hearts. He is most deserving of this year’s Variety Vanguard Award.”
About his award, Charles said: “It’s a great honour, and a testament to how our show appeals to creative, sweet, sensitive souls around the globe. My proudest professional achievement has been to help launch the careers of 140 (and counting) beautiful and talented queens onto the world stage.” He added,” ’RuPaul’s Drag Race’ is a show about queer people, by queer people, for queer people. Our message of love, inclusion and acceptance has connected with sweet, sensitive, creative souls around the world.”
The world’s entertainment content market, MIPCOM takes place in Cannes, France, from 14-17 October 2019.