The prolific producer will receive the award at Variety‘s annual showrunners’ dinner, taking place Sept. 17 in Los Angeles, Calif.
“For nearly 40 years, Norman Lear’s People For the American Way has stood for social justice, compassion and transparency in the way our democracy works, shining a beacon signalling how to move toward our ideals and away from our prejudices, our fears, our greed. Norman’s position as a giant of the industry was established decades ago, but his stature has only grown through the decades while his example of engaged citizenship has shone brighter,” said Variety‘s executive vice president, content and executive editor Steven Gaydos.
As a television producer, Lear is known for sitcoms and variety series dating back to 1954’s “The Martha Raye Show.” Some of his best known properties include “Maude,” “Good Times,” “All in the Family,” “The Jeffersons,” “Sanford and Son” and “One Day at a Time.” He currently serves as executive producer on the revival of “One Day at a Time,” whose first three seasons streamed on Netflix but whose upcoming fourth season will air on Pop TV. Recently he also executive produced “Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s ‘All in the Family’ and ‘The Jeffersons.'” Up next, Lear will return to executive produce two more “Live in Front of a Studio Audience” specials for ABC, and he is also executive producing a documentary about Rita Moreno.
The Creative Conscience Award was created to recognize an individual in the entertainment world who personifies the industry’s dedication to humanitarian, cultural and charitable causes. To that end, the work of Lear’s that is being celebrated with this award includes his political activism and focus on education and mentorship.
Lear founded People for the American Way (PFAW), a progressive advocacy organization, in the early 1980s, and more than two decades later also founded Declare Yourself, a nonpartisan, nonprofit campaign aimed at encouraging young people to register to vote. On the education front, in the late 1980s Lear founded Business Enterprise Trust, an educational program that shined spotlights on social innovations in American business, and in 2000 he provided an endowment for a multidisciplinary research and public policy center that explored the convergence of entertainment, commerce and society at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. (That has subsequently been named in Lear’s honor and provides scholarship, research, public events and publications.)
Additionally, Lear and his wife Lyn founded the Lear Family Foundation in 1997 to support a wide range of nonprofit organizations across the country. It makes annual commitments to the Norman Lear Center at USC Annenberg School for Communication, PFAW, the Environmental Media Association, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), the Sundance Institute, ACLU, Ballet Hispanico, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Friends of the Saban Free Clinic, Global Green, Heal the Bay, Imagen Foundation, Institute for America’s Future, Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, Martin Marty Center at University of Chicago, Natural Resources Defense Council, Pal-O-Mine Equestrian and Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles.
Previous Creative Conscience Award recipients include Martin Scorsese, Halle Berry and Troye Sivan.