On April 12, the TV academy announced the winners of its 10th annual Television Academy Honors, which will be handed out during a ceremony in Los Angeles on June 8 hosted by actress Dana Delaney. These awards differ from the Emmys in their specific goal of highlighting programs that shed light on social and cultural issues.
Said television academy chairman and CEO Hayma Washington about these awards, “The six honorees have effectively leveraged the medium to raise awareness of complex issues. We are honored to acknowledge storytellers producing meaningful television that provokes important conversations.”
The six programs to be feted by the TV academy are:
“Before the Flood” (National Geographic)
Academy Award-winning director Fisher Stevens teamed with Academy Award-winning actor and environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio to create a film centered on protecting the planet. Hailed as “a rousing call to action,” the film displays a riveting account of the dramatic changes occurring around the world due to climate change and advocates for the actions we can take to prevent its catastrophic disruption.
“Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” (HBO)
This season viewers were entertained by engaging, deeply researched stories presented in unorthodox ways; the series also brought to the forefront topics that might have escaped the audience. One of these topics includes reproductive rights, specifically addressing how availability to safe abortion options for American women has already been dangerously reduced or denied in several states through loopholes and technicalities in the laws.
“The Night Of” (HBO)
This eight-part limited series delves into the intricacies of a murder case in New York City that addresses what happens to suspects in the American criminal justice system whether they committed the crime or not. The series brings the inner workings, flaws and life-changing effects of the justice system into focus and touches on issues of race, religion and class.
This family-centered comedy tells the story of JJ DiMeo, a young man with cerebral palsy, and addresses how his family fights injustices both real and imagined. The show explores life with disability and the challenges and joys that come with it, including searching for independence, respect and finding a voice.
“This Is Us” (NBC)
A provocative ensemble drama, This Is Us follows the stories of a family at different stages in their lives. The emotionally honest, intergenerational drama explores an array of topics including marriage, adoption, racial identity, body image and hurdles of parenting in a way that creates an open dialogue.
“We Will Rise: Michelle Obama’s Mission to Educate Girls Around the World” (CNN)
Former First Lady Michelle Obama, Meryl Streep, Freida Pinto and CNN’s Isha Sesay take an unforgettable journey to Morocco and Liberia, where they meet young women overcoming incredible odds to better their lives. The program creates a platform for these courageous women to tell their stories.
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