The Television Academy Honors celebrated its seventh annual event Sunday night at the SLS Beverly Hills honoring seven programs, including CBS’s “Mom” and ABC Family’s “The Fosters,” that use television to generate awareness and create change regarding social issues.
The pilot episode of “The Fosters” was honored for bringing and unconventional family to television with lesbian mothers raising biological, adopted and foster children.
“I know first hand the value of seeing yourself reflected in the media,” said “Fosters” co-creator Peter Paige, who was once on “Queer as Folk.” “We are a society obsessed with our own reflection and our reflection is not a mirror — it’s that plasma on the wall in our living rooms and when you don’t see yourself there you feel invisible.”
“We’ve got these fans who are just so die hard,” said star Sherri Saum. “This woman tattooed a picture of me and Teri (Polo) on her arm,” she said. “It’s a little shocking, but it just shows the depth of feeling people have for this. There’s nothing like this on TV, really.”
Dana Delany hosted the event for the sixth time and presented Chuck Lorre the honor for his “Mom” episode “Zombies and Cobb Salad,” saying this may be the first-ever sitcom honoree.
“To do a show about people trying to redeem their lives and to salvage and repair the damage they’ve done, for me, it’s an opportunity to apologize for ‘Two and a Half Men,’” Lorre deadpanned.
“Mom” follows Allison Janney as an alcoholic who falls off the wagon in this episode and tries to get her life back in order.
“It’s a dark area. It destroys lives, it destroys families, and if you’re as cavalier about it, that’s not right, but if you can’t laugh at it maybe that’s not exactly right either,” Lorre told Variety about the episode. “Somewhere in the middle there is a balance between the two. There is comedy to be had, it just takes a little time to find it.”
Also honored was HBO’s “Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God,” a documentary following the first-known protest against clerical sexual abuse on four deaf boys in the United States.
“It’s a triumphant story of four deaf boys that actually had their message heard, that was a message that needed to be told for centuries,” said executive producer Lori Singer.
Showtime documentary “Comedy Warriors: Healing Through Humor,” Glamour Magazine’s webseries”Screw You Cancer,” HBO’s “Vice” and Showtime’s “The Big C: Hereafter” were also honored.
“I really appreciate ‘The Big C,'” said Maury McIntyre, newly named president and COO of the Television Academy. “I come into this position after Lucy Hood passed away earlier this year from cancer, so any type of cancer awareness we can bring I’m really all for.”
“Scandal’s” Joe Morton attended the event to show his support. He said this event is “talking about how positivity within the human spirit can overcome adversity.” Which is just opposite of what his “Scandal” character represents, he joked.
“Most of my career I’ve played good guys, but I had been actually actively looking for a very smart, very articulate bad guy. So it is literally a dream come true.”