Karine Jean-Pierre Refuses To Accept Outfest’s Achievement Award

Karine Jean-Pierre, White House press secretary, has been set to receive Outfest’s inaugural Achievement Award for Press and Media. This award is the L.A.-based nonprofit’s highest honor and celebrates the representation of the LGBT community in the media.

In solidarity with the Hollywood strike, Jean-Pierre clarified that she would not be present at the ceremony amid the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. She was still honored during the Closing Night of the 41st Outfest LA Summer Festival on July 23, 2023.

Jean-Pierre is the first openly LGBT White House press secretary. Last year, she shared her “coming out” story with the White House press corps in honor of “Coming Out Day.” She and her partner Suzanne Malveaux, a CNN correspondent, have an adopted seven-year-old daughter named Soliel.

A source close to Jean-Pierre stated that she would instead have a statement read at the event, which emphasizes her belief in the importance of fair pay and benefits. This news came shortly after the announcement that Jean-Pierre’s fellow honorees, Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone, backed out of attending.

Outfest Executive Director Damien Navarro said in a statement, “We understand that Melissa and Ben are unable to join us for our closing night due to the strike. We will miss them, as our closing night will be a wonderful celebration of our community.”

Outfest Board Co-President Nii-Quartelai Quartey said, “Outfest is thrilled to recognize the continued contributions of Karine Jean-Pierre for her barrier-breaking and historic achievement in Press and Media.” Qaurtey adds, “Our Outfest Press Fellows have been inspired.”
Actors see their jobs as vulnerable to new technology, such as AI. Artificial intelligence can accurately replicate facial expressions, body movements, and voice. Many would like to see a guaranteed safeguard in place to ensure AI will not be used to replace their duties as actors.
Some famous actors like Keanu Reeves and Tom Cruise have been subject to widely viewed and unauthorized deepfakes. Deepfakes are highly-realistic but fabricated videos generated by artificial intelligence. Jean-Pierre’s decision to skip the closing night event makes a statement about the rights of U.S. actors.