'Sesame,' 'Door to Door' feted along with individuals

The Producers Guild of America has tapped Salma Hayek, John Singleton, Phil Roman, George Sunga and Christine Walker as honorees at its second annual Celebration of Diversity, to be held Oct. 1 at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills.

The event, presented in association with Daily Variety and sponsored in part by the Oneida Indian Nation, is aimed at recognizing producers whose work has broadened the industry’s cultural horizons.

“The reception to last year’s Celebration of Diversity was one of the most gratifying moments I’ve been able to enjoy as president of the PGA,” said PGA prexy Kathleen Kennedy. “It’s truly heartening to recognize the number of people in our industry who aren’t only willing to recognize the need for diversity, but who also are willing to step up and do something about it. Our industry still has a long way to go before our product truly reflects the rich diversity of our audience. But with the Celebration of Diversity now an annual PGA event, I’m proud to say that our guild will be lending its weight to that struggle year by year and day by day.”

Also due to be honored are “Sesame Street”; telepic “Door to Door,” based on the story of a door-to-door salesman with cerebral palsy; and the Sundance Institute’s Native American Initiatives Program. The event will be produced by George Sunga and directed by Spike Jones Jr., with Joanne Curley-Kerner, Tracey Edmonds and Bruce Kerner serving as dinner chairs.

PGA exec director Vance Van Petten said, “I think that what will surprise most of the people attending this year’s celebration is the sheer breadth of its scope. In every measure except running time, this is going to be a bigger and broader event. For the PGA and the team behind the celebration, the heart of diversity is the notion of inclusiveness.”

Van Petten said proceeds from the event will fund five scholarships for minority students.

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