Variety won 26 National Art and Entertainment Journalism Awards, including entertainment publication for its 115th anniversary issue “Gamechangers” and two journalist of the year awards: senior vice president Tim Gray for print and deputy music editor Jem Aswad for online.
The venerable entertainment publication received 98 nominations.
The awards, presented by the Los Angeles Press Club for work created from July 2020 through June 2021, were handed out virtually Feb. 17 after an in-person event scheduled for Feb. 5 was canceled due to ongoing concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic.
Aswad picked up so many awards, presenters remarked on it throughout the event. He ended up with six more awards in addition to his online journalist of the year award. He won two awards for his story “Inside the Dirty Business of Hit Songwriting,” and one each for “Jason Derulo Cracked TikTok’s Code and Resurrected His Career,” “Learning to Be OK With the Word ‘Vinyls,’” “These George Harrison Promotional Gnomes Are a New Peak in Record Company Swag,” and “Lights Out: Live Entertainment Business Struggles to Find a Way Forward Amid Pandemic” alongside executive editor Brent Lang and international editor Manori Ravindran.
Along with his print journalist of the year honor, Gray, who is in his 41st year at Variety, took home two other awards, one for his commentary “Oscar & Box Office: Once a Happy Couple, Now Living Apart” and the feature “Looking Back on the Legacy of ‘All in the Family.” In awarding Gray the print journalist award, the judges said: “Tim Gray holds the entertainment industry accountable when it comes to its record on civil rights and portrayals of the oppressed. He raises questions about whether films about people with disabilities are properly represented in awards shows and looks back on the debates around civil rights and racism in the 1960s and 1970s. At a time when the industry has never had to take a harder look at itself, Gray is helping to point the way to a more equitable future.”
Variety’s chief film critic Owen Gleiberman was named top film critic and freelancer A.D. Amorosi was honored for his music criticism.
Other winners include Chris Willman for “Downtown L.A.’s First Talkie Theater Becomes a Spectacular Apple Store, and Preservationists Are Talking It Up,“ as well as deputy TV editor Michael Schneider for his podcast interview with John Boyega, talking about “Small Axe,” Black Lives Matter and Steve McQueen and Ravindran for her soft news TV/streaming story “ITV Journalist Who Covered Capitol Insurrection in Viral Footage Reflects on ‘Clear, Historic Moment That Needed to Be Documented.’”
Angelique Jackson won for online soft news with “Riz Ahmed, Pillars Fund, USC Annenberg & Ford Foundation Unveil the Blueprint for Muslim Inclusion.”
Editor-at-large Kate Aurthur’s first-person account “What It’s Like to See ‘Tenet’ in a Movie Theater” was honored for commentary analysis/trend film as was chief TV critic Caroline Framke’s diversity/gender commentary “How Hollywood Is Complicit in the Violence Against Asian Americans.”
Senior culture and events editor Marc Malkin’s exclusive “How Casting Director Jeffrey Drew, HIV Positive for 34 Years, Is Helping to Discover a Potential Cure” was named the top TV/movie industry feature.
Executive editor and incoming co-editor-in-chief Ramin Setoodeh picked up a trophy for his feature “Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins Reunite for ‘Silence of the Lambs’ 30th Anniversary.”
Features editor Malina Saval’s “Too Jewish for Hollywood: As Antisemitism Soars, Hollywood Should Address Its Enduring Hypocrisy in Hyberbolic Caricatures” won for commentary diversity/gender.
International freelancer Nick Vivarelli won an award for diversity reporting for his article “Indigenous Filmmakers Gaining Greater Visibility by ‘Telling Our Own Stories.’”
Variety’s former creative director Raul Aguila was honored alongside illustrator Francesco Muzzi for the cover of the “Death of Cable” issue.
Former intern Janet Woojeong Lee’s feature “Why a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Isn’t Enough to Honor James Hong” picked up an award, as did deputy awards and feature editor Jenelle Riley’s “’Tenet’ Star Elizabeth Debicki on Her Enigmatic Persona and Keeping the Secrets of Christopher Nolan’s Thriller.”