Jonathan Bennett was bowled over by the news that his Hallmark Channel movie “The Holiday Sitter,” which he starred in and produced, has been nominated for a GLAAD Media Award — and then he learned he’s actually been nominated for two more, honoring two other projects he worked on in 2022.
The actor has been posting about his gratitude and shock on social media this week, thrilled to be included among the star-studded list of nominees who helped to create media last year that provided audiences with “fair, accurate, and inclusive representations of LGBTQ people and issues,” per GLAAD.
Jonathan Bennett Says He Never Imagined His Movie Would Receive a GLAAD Nomination
GLAAD announced the nominees for its 34th Annual GLAAD Media Awards on January 18, 2023, in 33 categories honoring movies, TV shows, podcasts, video games, and more from 2022. “The Holiday Sitter,” which premiered in December and was Hallmark Channel’s first movie centered around a gay couple, was nominated in the category for Outstanding Film — Streaming or TV.
In an Instagram post that day, Bennett shared how thrilled he was by the news, thanking Hallmark Channel executives for believing in the movie, which he produced and starred in.
He wrote, “Wow! It is such an honor to be nominated with so many awesome queer film makers! When I first had the idea for The Holiday Sitter I never in my wildest dreams thought we’d end up nominated for a @glaad Award!”
“But it’s because of the unwavering support of @hallmarkchannel and the team that brought this movie to life,” he continued. “Hallmark Channel, this is because you created a safe place for queer people to tell stories. I want to say it again, HALLMARK CHANNEL, YOU HAVE CREATED A SAFE PLACE FOR QUEER PEOPLE TO TELL STORIES! I can not say thank you enough, not just from me, but from every person that messaged and posted about what seeing this story meant to them. This nomination is for all of us! I love every person that supported this movie whole heartedly, I am eternally grateful.”
Many of Bennett’s Hallmark colleagues commented on his post, celebrating the news.
Chelsea Hobbs, who played Bennett’s sister in the movie, posted eight different celebratory emojis and wrote, “YOU had the vision, and that’s why we all had the privilege to do it”
Kimberly Sustad, who appeared most recently in “Lights, Camera, Christmas” on Hallmark Channel, wrote, “Yessssssss! Yes! Yes!!! Yessssssss. love to you all”
Bennett’s co-star, Hallmark newcomer George Krissa, shared his own post about the nomination, writing, “I truly can’t tell you how proud I am to have been a part of this movie.”
The other films nominated alongside “The Holiday Sitter” are:
“Anything’s Possible” (Prime Video)
“B-Boy Blues” (BET+)
“A Christmas to Treasure” (Lifetime)
“Do Revenge” (Netflix)
“The Fallout” (HBO Max)
“Fire Island” (Hulu)
“The Holiday Sitter” (Hallmark)
“Three Months” (Paramount+)
Bennett was also part of Hallmark’s first-ever GLAAD award nomination, for the 2020 movie “A Christmas House,” in which he played one-half of the first LGTBQ+ couple to be part of a Hallmark movie storyline. A second nomination came for the movie’s sequel, “The Christmas House 2: Deck Those Halls” the following year.
According to Cheat Sheet, those nominations marked a big shift in Hallmark’s decision to diversify its casting and storylines after it came under fire for its lack of inclusivity, particularly after the network was widely criticized for pulling an ad in 2019 that featured two women kissing. Since then, the network has also included a same-sex couple in its now-canceled series “Good Witch” and has featured LGBTQ+ characters in multiple movies including “An Unexpected Christmas,” “Every Time a Bell Rings,” and “Mix Up in the Mediterranean.”
Jonathan Bennett Included in GLAAD Nominations for 2 Additional Projects
In addition to the nomination for “The Holiday Sitter,” Bennett also received word that he was part of two additional projects nominated for GLAAD Awards. For starters, the PRIDEcast podcast he co-hosts with his husband, Jaymes Vaughan, is nominated in the Outstanding Podcast category. He and Vaughan interview successful LGTBQ+ figures on the weekly iHeartRadio podcast.
In an Instagram post about the news, Bennett wrote, “When we started this journey last year, we had no idea what we wanted this podcast to be. But thanks to @iheartradio we found a lane that was right for us. We celebrate the LGBTQ+ community by sharing stories of what PRIDE means to each of us. We also wanted a podcast that the whole family could listen to that teaches you something not only about queer culture, but hopefully about yourself.”
“Thank you to EVERYONE that listens and supports PRIDEcast and to the amazing team that produces it every week. This is a nomination for all of us! Thank you Glaad for giving us this honor and always supporting our dreams.”
Bennett was also included in a GLAAD nomination for ABC’s “Soul of a Nation” hour-long special called “PRIDE To Be Seen” because he was one of the celebrities profiled by journalist Robert Zepeda. The special is nominated in the category for Outstanding Journalism — Long Form.
“Getting to be even a small part of this amazing ground breaking special was a gift in itself,” Bennett wrote in a third Instagram post. “But for it’s importance to be recognized by @glaad makes it even more special. Congrats to the team at @abcnews @soulofanation @robertzepeda and the whole cast and team that made this magic happen.”
The GLAAD Awards will be announced at two separate events, with one gala March 30 in Los Angeles and a second on May 13 in New York City.