This week, the LGBT advocacy organization GLAAD announced the nominees for the 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards, which honor media for their fair, accurate, and inclusive representations of the LGBT community and the issues that affect their lives. Three Fox series were among the nominees.
FOX Broadcasting's comedies Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Glee, along with Twentieth Century Fox Television's Modern Family, received nominations for Outstanding Comedy Series. All three series were nominated last year, and Glee and Modern Family have each won twice before.
"This year's nominees... reflect the widening diversity of LGBT images and storylines that are closing the gap to full acceptance," said GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis.
The 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards will be held on March 21 at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles and in New York on May 9 at the Waldorf Astoria New York. For more information on GLAAD and a full list of nominees, visit GLAAD.org.
For 40 years, the organization Humanitas has awarded its Humanitas Prize to film and television writers whose works demonstrate effective social messaging and powerful insights into human life. The winners of the 2014 Humanitas Prize were announced at a luncheon in Los Angeles on Friday, and three of the ten projects honored were Fox productions.
In the Feature Film category, John Ridley won for the screenplay to Fox Searchlight's 12 Years a Slave, also the winner of the 2014 Academy Award for Best Picture. "This is very special to me, that an incredible community of writers would recognize my work and the work of Solomon Northup," Ridley said at the ceremony. "When people look at storytelling as a means to convey emotion, touch people, and try and change the world, that's kind of awesome."
Fox was also a winner in the television categories. Writers Alex Gansa and Meredith Stiehm won for "The Star" episode of Homeland, produced by Fox 21 Television Studios, and Elaine Ko won for the "Under Pressure" episode of Modern Family, produced by Twentieth Century Fox Television.
"We are so proud and honored to add this year's Humanitas Prize winners to the long list of writers whose work has both entertained and inspired us for the past four decades," said Humanitas executive director Cathleen Young. "It is a formidable group."
Over the course of the evening, Humanitas awarded more than $100,000 across 10 categories of writers whose works "entertain, engage, and enrich the viewing public." Six of the twenty film and television productions nominated in the content categories were produced and/or distributed by Fox, and previous Fox winners include Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin for Beasts of the Southern Wild, Ryan Murphy for Glee, David Shore for House, and Steve Levitan for Modern Family.
Father Ellwood Keiser founded the prize in 1974 as a means of recognizing the powerful effect that film and television can have on audiences. "By bringing into our living rooms human beings who are very different from ourselves in culture, race, lifestyle, political loyalties, and religious beliefs, we can dissolve the walls of ignorance and fear that separate us form one another," he said.
For a recap of the event, including the complete list of winners, visit the New York Observer.
In 2013, STAR India's popular channel Life OK launched Mahadev Ganga Mahotsav, an awareness campaign to preserve the ailing River Ganga, also known as the Ganges. The channel hosted live events in eight cities across the country, and its media campaign reached upwards of 100 million Indians. As a result, state and central governments announced new commitments to the health of the river, which supports the more than 400 million Indians who live along its basin.
In addition to being one of the most populated river basins in the world, the River Ganga is also one of the most polluted, with sewage runoff and industrial waste contaminating the water on a daily basis. The river bears religious significance in the Hindu community, and hundreds of millions of Indians depend on its water for their daily lives. The pollution disrupts religious life, and the water scarcity puts lives in danger. Mahadev Ganga Mahotsav is an effort to combat this pollution, and restore the health of this important natural resource.
The campaign consisted of three initiatives to engage viewers: the Samvaad School Contact Program provided children with creative activities that educate them on the issues facing the river; the Mohalla & Door to Door Contact Program engaged families directly; and the Ghat Contact Program enlisted the help of students to clean the steps leading down to the river. These initiatives were implemented in approximately 200 schools across seven cities.
Life OK also organized live events detailing the problems facing Ganga, such as the panel discussion in Haridwar consisting of Shri Vijay Bahuguna, Honourable Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, Shrimati Amrita Rawat, Environment & Tourism Minister, Uttarakhand, and Shri BD Tripathi, environmentalist & member of National Ganga River Basin Authority. Similar events were held in eight cities across the states of Urrarkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Delhi, and West Bengal between January and May 2013. Combined with the awareness campaign on television, in print, and online, STAR estimates that they were able to reach 100 million people with the message of conservation.
As a result of the Mahadev Ganga Mahotsav campaign, state and central governments introduced new policies on restricting sewage discharge and penalizing polluting industries. The governments also granted additional enforcement authority to the Pollution Control Board. Currently, the nonprofit Parmarth Seva Samiti and the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation are constructing multiple facilities along Ganga to incinerate industrial waste rather than dump it in the river.
Learn more about Mahadev Ganga Mahotsav.
On Thanksgiving Day, November 27th, FOX Broadcasting will present Cause for Paws: An All-Star Dog Spectacular, a two-hour special from executive producer Michael Levitt and two-time Academy Award winner Hilary Swank. The special will raise awareness for dog shelters and rescue groups around the U.S. and will feature appearances from top Hollywood talent. Viewers will also receive information regarding adoptable animals in their local communities. Swank and Emmy Award winner Jane Lynch are set to co-host.
FOX's Cause for Paws will include awards and celebrity presentations showcasing a variety of canine categories, including Cutest Puppy, Best Celebrity/Dog Lookalike, Funniest Dog, Most Talented Dog, Best Talking Dog and Best Viral Dog Video. Celebrities also will introduce the audience to rescue dogs, giving viewers the opportunity to foster or adopt a new pet. Kristin Chenoweth, Whitney Cummings, Max Greenfield, Kathy Griffin, Julianne Hough, Randy Jackson, Cesar Millan, Jerry O'Connell, Kelly Osbourne, Sharon Osbourne, P!nk, Amber Riley, Rebecca Romijn, Emmy Rossum, Jenna Dewan Tatum, Paula Abdul, Kristen Bell, Josh Duhamel, Fergie, Carrie Ann Inaba, Scarlett Johansson, Kesha, Miranda Lambert, LeAnn Rimes, and Betty White are all scheduled to appear.
"Every year more than four million animals are euthanized because of overcrowding in shelters," said Swank. "We are so fortunate to have an animal advocate in the FOX network that not only sees the need for more awareness surrounding this issue, but is willing to set aside a two-hour block for this important cause. This partnership will change the path of a soul for thousands of animals looking for their forever home."
PEDIGREE Food for Dogs will be presenting the "Shelter Hero of the Year" award to honor an individual who has dedicated his/her life to caring for rescue dogs. In addition, viewers will have the opportunity to make donations to the Petfinder Foundation, an independent nonprofit that supports animal shelters nationwide. Since 2003, the organization has given more than $20 million to shelters and rescue groups in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
Each year, the HUMANITAS Prize is awarded to film and television writers whose projects explore the human experience in a way that both entertains and enlightens, and this year, eight Fox writers are among the thirty-one finalists across eight categories. Of the twenty film and television productions nominated in the content categories, six were produced and/or distributed by Fox. The winners will be announced at a luncheon on January 16 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles, an event that also marks the 40th anniversary of the HUMANITAS Prize.
The Fox writers nominated this year include John Ridley for 12 Years a Slave, Misan Sagay for Belle, Elaine Ko for Modern Family, Alex Gansa & Meredith Stiehm for Homeland, Carter Bays & Craig Thomas for How I Met Your Mother, and Veena Sud for The Killing. Previous Fox winners include Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin for Beasts of the Southern Wild, Ryan Murphy for Glee, David Shore for House, and Steve Levitan for Modern Family.
"Every year, I am amazed by the talent of the HUMANITAS finalists," said Executive Director Cathleen Young. "They make me laugh and cry. They show me my world and help me understand my place in it. They explore the kinds of demons most of us have felt as well as the comforts and joys that make life worth living. They show me what is possible and they do it with words. Always with words. Words that move us all forward into a more fully examined life."
Twentieth Century Fox Television is also a key partner in HUMANITAS's New Voices program, the purpose of which is to discover and empower the careers of talented emerging writers who have a fresh voice and a unique worldview. Each year, TCFTV and other studios grant four $25,000 grants to these emerging writers, who then write a pilot script under the supervision of a HUMANITAS trustee/Showrunner.
Since 1974, the Humanitas Prize has awarded over $3 million to more than 320 film and television writers. Consult the press release for more information on the Humanitas Prize, including the full list of this year's finalists.