The Television Academy has unveiled recipients of its 14th Television Academy Honors, including HBO’s “I May Destroy You” and Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.” The seven honorees also include “For Life,” “I Am Greta,” “Little America,” “The Social Dilemma” and “Welcome to Chechnya.”
“During one of the most challenging years in television history, these seven extraordinary programs illuminated and championed some of the most critical issues facing our communities,” said Television Academy Chairman and CEO Frank Scherma. “We are thrilled to be honoring programs and producers who are influencing social change around the globe.”
The Television Academy Honors are meant to single out “programs across numerous platforms and genres that elevate complex issues facing society,” the org said, Topics addressed in this year’s crop of programs include issues of racism, criminal justice, social justice, sexual assault, LGBTQ+ persecution, immigration and climate change.
Howard Meltzer, CSA, Governor for the Academy’s Casting Peer Group, chaired this year’s Television Academy Honors selection committee, with Jill Sanford, Governor for the Children’s Programming Peer Group, serving as vice chair.
“The Academy Honors Committee was pleased to receive many worthy submissions for this award. In a year defined by a significant social justice movement, it was inspiring to see so many compelling stories highlighting the important issues of our day,” said Meltzer. “It is so gratifying to see our community of groundbreaking writers, producers, directors and actors take on empowering stories that have such a profound and positive impact on viewers.”
The Television Academy Honors will recognize these recipients via a virtual program this summer.
Recipients of the 14th Television Academy Honors are:
“For Life” (ABC)
“‘For Life’ is a fictional serialized legal and family drama inspired by the life of Isaac Wright, Jr., imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit. The series’ protagonist, Aaron Wallace, becomes a lawyer while in prison, litigating cases for other inmates while fighting to overturn his own life sentence. Through the window of Wallace’s ferocious struggle and complicated relationship with a progressive female prison warden, the flaws and challenges in our penal and legal systems are exposed.” (ABC Studios in association with Sony Pictures Television)
“I Am Greta” (Hulu)
“The story of teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg is told through compelling, never-before-seen footage in this intimate documentary from Swedish director Nathan Grossman. Starting with her one-person school strike for climate action outside the Swedish Parliament, Grossman follows Greta—a shy student with Asperger’s—in her rise to prominence and her galvanizing global impact as she sparks school strikes around the world. The film culminates with her extraordinary wind-powered voyage across the Atlantic Ocean to speak at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York City.” (BR-F)
“I May Destroy You” (HBO)
Michaela Coel stars in this fearless, frank and provocative series that explores the question of sexual consent in contemporary life and how, in the new landscape of dating and relationships, we make the distinction between liberation and exploitation.” (HBO in association with BBC)
“Little America” (Apple TV Plus)
“Inspired by true stories featured in Epic Magazine, ‘Little America’ goes beyond the headlines to look at the funny, romantic, heartfelt, inspiring and surprising stories of Immigrants in America, when they’re more relevant now than ever.” (Apple/Universal Television)
“The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” (Comedy Central)
“As countless social justice crises played out against the backdrop of a global pandemic, ‘The Daily Show with Trevor Noah’ marked these tragedies as chances to elevate marginalized perspectives and help audiences make sense of the world’s many contradictions. Alongside the most diverse news team in late-night, Trevor harnesses his unique ability to calmly analyze, skillfully explain and provide crucial commentary on complex social issues including race, equity and social justice—all while deftly balancing humor with advocacy for underrepresented points of view.” (Comedy Central)
“The Social Dilemma” (Netflix)
Digital platforms have increasingly become our lifelines to stay connected. In ‘The Social Dilemma,’ key tech insiders question the consequences of our dependence and show how social media is reprogramming civilization by exposing what’s hiding on the other side of your screen. (An Exposure Labs Production in association with Argent Pictures for Netflix)
“Welcome to Chechnya” (HBO)
“Directed by acclaimed writer and Oscar-nominated director David France, ‘Welcome to Chechnya’ shadows a group of brave activists risking their lives to confront the ongoing anti-LGBTQ campaign in the Russian republic of Chechnya. With unfettered access and a commitment to protecting anonymity, this documentary exposes these underreported atrocities, while highlighting an extraordinary group of people confronting deadly brutality.” (HBO Documentary Films presents a Public Square Films production, a David France & Joy A. Tomchin film in association with Ninety Thousand Words, Maylo Films and BBC Storyville)