The “Will & Grace” star noted that the 30th annual event marked “three proud decades of being Mike Pence’s worst nightmare... or wildest dream. We’ll never know.”
The actor also wasn’t afraid to make a quip about Jussie Smollett, the “Empire” actor who prosecutors believe staged a racist and homophobic attack against himself in January. Officials dropped the charges against the actor this week to focus on violent crime, they said.
“I’ve been getting in shape for tonight with the Jussie Smollett workout,” Hayes said. “You hire two trainers and sweat eight weeks.” The joke didn’t go over quite as well as the line about Pence.
Hayes also joked about being the last “Will & Grace” star to be honored by GLAAD, noting that he’s actually “the gay one.”
He did express gratitude for his Stephen F. Kolzak Award, calling it an “incredible honor.” The recognition is given annually to someone who significantly promotes LGBTQ acceptance. Hayes is in excellent company: Ian McKellen, Laverne Cox and Jim Parsons are among the previous recipients.