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Larry Kramer Accepts First-Ever Lifetime Achievement Award Named for Him By GMHC: FULL VIDEO

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At a ceremony last night, longtime activist, author and playwright Larry Kramer received the first-ever Larry Kramer Activism Award, named for him by GMHC. Kramer helped found GMHC (Gay Men's Health Crisis) in his living room, and his landmark play The Normal Heart tells the story of its founding in the early days of the AIDS epidemic in New York City.

Said Kramer in his acceptance speech:

"Genocide is the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or ethnic group. Such as gay people. Such as people of color. To date, around the world, an estimated 78 million people have become infected, 39 million of whom have died. When we first became acquainted with HIV there were 41 cases. The main difference between the Larry Kramer who helped to start Gay Men’s Health Crisis in his living room in 1982 and ACT UP in 1987 and the Larry Kramer who stands before you now is that I no longer have any doubt that our government is content, via sins of omission or commission, to allow the extermination of my homosexual population to continue unabated.

"It is talk like this that got the original GMHC board to boot me off and out. It is also talk like this that enabled ACT UP to succeed in getting us our own treatments. These treatments are not good enough but have been good enough to extend our lives. Unfortunately they still come with side effects and they reward their greedy manufacturers with more money than they would make locating the cure that would end this plague."

Mark Ruffalo and Joe Mantello spoke before Kramer came to the podium.

Watch the speech (Kramer begins at 9:30) and read the transcript, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Gay Men's Health Crisis to Honor Larry Kramer with Lifetime Achievement Award Bearing His Name

Larry Kramer is set to receive a lifetime achievement award bearing his name from the Gay Men's Health Crisis next month, The New York Times reports:

Kramer1Mr. Kramer, a writer who dramatized the early deaths from AIDS and the struggles of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis in his landmark play “The Normal Heart,” will be the first recipient of the Larry Kramer Activism Award; in subsequent years it will be given to advocates who reflects his “spirit, passion and fearlessness,” said Roberta A. Kaplan, co-chair of the organization’s board.

Back in 1981 Kramer helped found the volunteer AIDS organization in his living room. Disagreements over Kramer's confrontational style, however, led to his resignation. He went on to found ACT UP as a more direct action alternative.

Kaplan added that the award will be a permanent recognition of Kramer's contributions to the organization, as well as an attempt “to bring a sense of closure and healing” between Kramer and the group. 

A new documentary on Kramer's life “Larry Kramer: In Love and Anger,” is scheduled to air on HBO in June. Watch director Jean Carlomusto discuss the upcoming film, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Kim Kardashian Meets Larry Kramer: PHOTO

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At tonight's 19th annual ACRIA Holiday Dinner in New York City, activist, playwright, and author Larry Kramer and photographer Bruce Weber were honored for their commitments to the fight against AIDS.

Judith Light presented the award to Kramer. Kim Kardashian presented the award to Weber.

ACRIA (The AIDS Community Research Initiative of America) was founded in 1991 to provide community based clinical drug trials for people living with AIDS.

photo: Vincent Gagliostro for Towleroad.


President Obama Called Ryan Murphy After Watching 'The Normal Heart'

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President Obama called Ryan Murphy on Monday to tell him he "loved" The Normal Heart and "found it incredibly moving" according to Deadline.

Obama reportedly asked how the movie came together, and Murphy told Deadline: “The whole movie is about Larry trying to get the attention of Washington and 30 years later, to get a call from the President is a full-circle moment.”


Larry Kramer Warns Jane Pauley of AIDS Crisis in 1983 'Today' Show Interview: VIDEO

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Those of you who caught last night's premiere of The Normal Heart on HBO will want to watch this 1983 interview Larry Kramer did on the Today show with Jane Pauley during the earliest days of the crisis.

The world clearly, tragically, had no idea what was coming.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

What did you think about The Normal Heart?

Deadline reports on the film's ratings:

HBO Films‘ The Normal Heart delivered a solid 1.4 million viewers across two plays Sunday night. Debuting nearly three decades after Larry Kramer’s play premiered off-Broadway, the Ryan Murphy-directed project premiered at 9 PM with an average of slightly less than 1 million viewers tuned in; an additional 434,000 thousand watched at 11:15 PM. That puts it fifth in viewership among the 17 HBO Films that have premiered on the network since 2010.

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Watch Three New Clips and a Featurette from 'The Normal Heart': VIDEO

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The HBO film adaptation of Larry Kramer's iconic play The Normal Heart premieres this Sunday and if you'd like an advance taste, the network has put out three new clips plus a featurette on making the film featuring an interview with Kramer in which he talks about how anger is the only way to get things done, and how he became "a screamer":

"Aggressive, obnoxious, a pain in the ass. I'm all of those things."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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