Miramax Films’ “Down in the Delta,” CBS’ “The Promised Land,” NBC’s “ER” and ABC’s “Sports Night” were among the winners Tuesday of the Prism Awards, which champion accurate depictions of drug use and addiction in movies and on television.
Other winners included Showtime’s dramatic special “Floating Away”; Paramount’s syndicated talk show “Leeza”; two of NBC’s syndicated series, “Hang Time” and “One World”; the animated children’s series “Pinky and the Brain,” produced by Steven Spielberg for Warner Bros.; and E! Entertainment’s reality show “Mackenzie Phillips: E! True Hollywood Story.”
Phillips (“American Graffiti,” “NYPD Blue”) told reporters before the awards show at the Beverly Hills Hotel that, 20 years ago, when she was struggling with her own addictions, “we young people were fired, and told to just ‘go get well.’ ” These days, she said, most entertainment companies refer addicts to employee assistance programs.
“I don’t think they’re more tolerant or understanding,” she said of the industry’s bosses; “they’re just more educated.”
At her side, actor Henry Winkler said it was imperative “to get the message out to young people who seem to have no sense of future that it’s OK to be well.”
The third annual Prism event was held under the auspices of the Entertainment Industries Council, the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Prism’s Community Service Award went to NBC’s “The More You Know” campaign. The Larry Stewart Leadership and Inspiration awards went to actress Suzanne Somers, who detailed her fight against alcoholism in an autobiography; Michael Greene, president of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, for launching school anti-drug programs; and talkshow host Montel Williams, for his public efforts to reduce adolescent drug abuse.
“We need to get away from negative youth behavior,” Williams said in an emotional acceptance speech. “We need to give them something to say ‘yes’ to.”
Prism’s Heritage Award was given to Andy Garcia and Meg Ryan — he was present, she was not — for their performances in “When a Man Loves a Woman,” which showed a family’s struggle to face the emotional impact of alcoholism.
Actors Gerald McRaney, Michele Lee, Roseanna Arquette, Wendy Phillips, Camryn Manheim, Mariette Hartley and Anthony Stewart Head also attended.