Genesis honors ‘Willy,’ ‘Simpsons’

Warner Bros.’ “Free Willy”, Fox’s “The Simpsons” and Paul McCartney will be honored at the eighth annual Genesis Awards, which recognizes those who spotlight animal issues with “courage, creativity and integrity.”

The awards are the creation of the Ark Trust, a national non-profit humane organization dedicated to animal rights issues. Winners will be given their awards at a dinner gala March 12 at the Century Plaza.

Other recipients include producer Stanley Kramer for the 1972 film “Bless the Beasts and Children” and the producers of the TV series “Golden Palace.”

“Free Willy” was honored for examining the ethics of holding marine mammals captive, and “The Simpsons” for taking to task Springfield’s annual snake-whacking festivities.

McCartney will receive the group’s Doris Day Award, recognizing his song “Looking for Changes,” about stopping animal testing, and Dr. Jane Goodall will get the Lifetime Achievement Award for her advocacy of animal rights and the examination of chimpanzee behavior in the PBS docu “Among the Chimps.”

KABC-TV news anchor Christine Lund will be recognized for her series on charro rodeos, the practice of making horses run and then tripping them, and the ABC newsmagazine “Day One” will get a nod for its investigation of how some zoos encourage poaching of pandas in China.

The ceremony will be taped for TV and broadcast on the Discovery Channel June 30 and July 3.