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Television Academy Honors Shows That Inspire Social Change

The Television Academy Honors paid tribute to TV shows that power and inspire social change at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills. Honorees included Showtime drama “Homeland;” A&E’s “Born This Way,” which focuses on the lives of young adults with Down’s Syndrome; the Netflix documentary “Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom”; the HBO Scientology documentary “Going Clear”; Cinemax’s “The Knick” and its examination of drug addiction; and the Smithsonian Channel documentary “Mississippi Inferno” which examines the role of black landowners in the Civil Rights movement.

Hosting the award ceremony for her eighth year in a row, Dana Delany said, “This is one of my favorite things I do every year. I find there’s a theme that reflects what’s going on in the world. This year, it’s bucking the system, reversal of power, and fighting back. Which I like.”

Television Academy chairman Bruce Rosenblum shares Delany’s affection for the Honors, saying, “This is one of my favorite nights of the year because while the Emmys recognize creative achievement at the highest level, the shows we get to honor with our Academy Honors do more than entertain; they move people to emotion and action and make people aware of causes they might not otherwise be aware of, and that’s the power of television.”

Accepting the award for “Homeland,” executive producer Alex Gansa talked about the challenge of crafting season six: “‘Homeland’ is a show about terrorism and American foreign policy. What message should we be putting out in the world? What’s a thriller like “Homeland” to do, especially now that we’re bringing our story home to New York next season? One thing we can’t do is dramatize threats that don’t actually exist or stoke the wildfire of fear and xenophobia that is sweeping our country. So that’s my pledge to you tonight, we won’t. We’ll find another way to tell the story.”

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