With the midterm elections less than a week away, GLAAD is joining forces with You Tube, Lyft, ICM Partners, and Michelle Obama’s “When We All Vote” to produce a telethon aimed at turning out voters for what has been called one of the most important elections in a generation. The Telethon for America, created by comedian/actor and TV host Ben Gleib, is a non-partisan get-out-the-vote initiative that will feature more than 50 top actors, comedians, and online influencers. The telethon will stream live on YouTube, Facebook Live and Comedy Central Online on Monday, November 5, from 6-8 PT & 9-11 ET, on the eve of the election on Tuesday, November 6. The event is powered by “When We All Vote,” a non-partisan, nonprofit campaign launched by Michelle Obama.
“GLAAD is committed to helping ensure the largest-ever midterm election turnout of LGBTQ and ally voters this year. Our lives, our equality, and our humanity are at stake, and it’s more critical than it has ever been before that we elect pro-equality, pro-acceptance candidates up and down the ballot,” said GLAAD Vice President of Programs Zeke Stokes, who is leading GLAAD’s midterm election strategy. In addition to the telethon, GLAAD is recruiting digital doorknockers and has been activating celebrity and influencer voices throughout the year as part of its AMP YOUR VOICE campaign.
The Telethon for America, with the singular goal of taking pledges to increase voter turnout, will feature top celebrity talent, live performances, comedy, music, pre-taped segments, and extensive interaction with a celebrity phone bank, who will be calling fans and potential voters to ensure they will vote the day after the telecast. Talent commitments include Tiffany Haddish, Jessica Alba, Judd Apatow, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Allison Janney, Lil Rel, Chelsea Handler, Ashley Benson, Adam Devine, Ben Gleib, Whitney Cummings, Russell Peters, Alyssa Milano, Jeff Ross, YouTube Stars Lilly Singh & Olga Kay, Sophia Bush, Tom Arnold, Aisha Tyler, Minnie Driver, Erik Griffin, Debra Messing, Jackie Tohn, Connie Britton, Wyatt Cenac, Natasha Leggero, Tone Bell, Iliza Shlesinger, Rory Scovel, Mary McCormack, house DJ Samantha Ronson, Brad WIlliams, Zoe Lister-Jones, Jade Tailor, Milana Vayntrub, Quddus, and many more.
In addition, many YouTube stars and top online influencers, most with millions of followers will be featured, garnering their marketing power to help get the vote out. Each participating performer will have the ability to stream the entire program live on their social media platforms through Transmit Live. That will allow the telethon to be simulcast across dozens of highly influential celebrities’ social media platforms.
The 2016 election was decided by just 77,000 votes, with more than 100 million registered Americans not voting. Additionally, over 7 million people have turned 18 since then, so this event aims to harness that untapped power. The telethon is geared specifically at youth turnout and will feature extensive social media engagement tools, collecting commitments to vote on November 6.
“This is a great opportunity to reach millions of voters the day before one of the most important elections of our lifetime to remind them that their vote is their voice and their vote is their power,” said Kyle Lierman CEO of When We All Vote. “Not only will we encourage voters to go vote and take their friends and families with them, but we’ll arm them with all the tools and information they need to cast their ballot. “The Telethon For America flips the traditional telethon on its head. Young Americans are more motivated than ever before and the Telethon For America is working to build on that momentum to make sure an even higher percentage of young people get out and vote. We are excited to reach them in a brand new way, thanks to our production partners, our performers, and the social platforms of the influencers that they listen to.” Gleib said.
The event is created and led by Executive Producers Ben Gleib, Neil Mandt, Hannah Linkenhoker, Rick Sorkin and Barry Katz and will be produced by Gleib’s Neurotic Gangster Productions, BC Live, Mandt Bros Productions, Barry Katz Entertainment, and YouTube, streamed from their Playa Vista creative studio space, which the platform has donated along with their production equipment and facilities.