FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Pamela GreenwaltSAG-AFTRA Chief Communications & Marketing OfficerPhone: (323) firstname.lastname@example.org
LOS ANGELES (Oct. 8, 2019) – SAG-AFTRA today announced the recipients for the fourth SAG-AFTRA American Scene Awards, honoring producers who realistically portray the American Scene by employing union talent from misrepresented or underrepresented groups. This year’s winners are:
· Belva Davis News & Broadcast Award: NPR for It’s Been a Minute with Sam Sanders
· Entertainment Award: Hulu & A24 for Ramy
· Music & Sound Recordings Award: Columbia Records/Sony Music Entertainment for Old Town Road (Remix) by Lil Nas X featuring Billy Ray Cyrus
Winners were selected for work that exemplifies equal access and full inclusion of diverse backgrounds, people with disabilities, women, seniors and people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender as well as other misrepresented or underrepresented groups. Moreover, the American Scene Awards recognize diverse employment in three main contract categories covered by the union: Entertainment, Music & Sound Recordings, and News & Broadcast.
This year’s call for nominations included major networks and labels, cable and streaming series, independent and studio feature films, public television and radio. The American Scene Awards are the only award given out by SAG-AFTRA that recognizes employers that value diversity in all its forms.
Said Jason George, chair of the SAG-AFTRA Diversity Advisory Committee, “Hands-down, the most difficult selection process we’ve ever had. There were so many worthy projects nominated, it was a brutal decision for everyone involved just to narrow down the submissions to a set of finalists. One of the most impressive aspects this time has to be the powerful perspectives of SAG-AFTRA members who poured their immense talents into creating content for themselves that they weren’t seeing anywhere else. What better way to disrupt tired tropes and overcome traditional obstacles than insisting that there must be a different way? In so many cases, in all categories, SAG-AFTRA members are the driving force in these projects. Our members will continue to shape the future of this industry in profound ways, particularly when it comes to bringing all of our stories into the light.”Added Jenny O’Hara, chair of the SAG-AFTRA Honors and Tributes Committee, “We are so proud to honor this year’s recipients for their remarkable work in these past two years. It’s so encouraging to see how much progress has been made and to see these excellent, authentic and impactful stories. So much diversity was represented, in form as well as content, and from such a wide range of companies and creators. From the long-established to those on the rise, and to those just beginning, all were impressive. The smaller indies and streaming series gave the big-budget features a run for their money and the artists and broadcasters from every community of our membership and our country were showcased in wonderful ways. That’s what these awards are all about: possibilities, stepping up, and taking chances.”
“Not to take anything away from our previous recipients, but I believe these are the most exciting and progressive selections to date. Forget pushing limits, these extraordinary projects have accomplished that rare feat of undoing the boundaries altogether. With so many genre-defying and stereotype-rejecting finalists, I know it was a gut-wrenching experience for the selection group. Congratulations to these committed employers who deserve such accolades for supporting the visions of our phenomenal members Sam, Ramy and Lil Nas X,” said SAG-AFTRA National Director, EEO & Diversity Adam Moore.
The recipients said they were honored to be selected.
"NPR is honored that SAG-AFTRA has recognized It's Been a Minute for this award. The show’s engaging and smart approach to covering news and this cultural moment has brought important range to our podcast and broadcast portfolio," said Anya Grundmann, NPR's SVP for programming and audience development. "Sam Sanders has an infectious ease about him. He’s warm, he’s curious, he tells it like it is. He and his guests help us process the news and bring voices and perspectives you don’t hear elsewhere in this frenetic media environment. We’re gratified that audiences have connected with the show’s spirit and mission so deeply and that Sam and the IBAM team are getting this well-deserved recognition.”
“We’re honored to be recognized by SAG-AFTRA’s American Scene Awards. Our show strives to shine a light on characters and stories that are rarely seen on TV, and none of that could be possible without the diverse and extremely talented people both in front of and behind the camera. We’re excited that such a specifically focused story has resonated with audiences, and we hope that other specific stories are given the opportunity to shine and be heard,” said Ramy co-creator, executive producer and series lead Ramy Youssef.
“The team at Columbia Records is thrilled to receive SAG-AFTRA’s American Scene Award for Music & Sound Recordings. We are incredibly proud of Lil Nas X and the impact he’s made with his history-making hit Old Town Road. This song has crossed many cultural barriers, as well as pre-existing notions of musical genres. We’ve seen countless examples of this song bringing such a diverse span of people from all backgrounds, ages and demographics together in beautiful ways. It’s not just about breaking the No. 1 record, it’s about his ability to open up new avenues both musically and culturally. He's completely changed the game, and he's proven that it's okay to be different, break the rules and push the envelope,” said Columbia Records.
The American Scene Awards are overseen by SAG-AFTRA’s Diversity Advisory and Honors and Tributes committees. The awards will be presented on Friday, Oct. 11, at the Beverly Hilton’s International Ballroom during SAG-AFTRA’s biennial convention. The American Scene Awards presentation will be hosted by Sydelle Noel (GLOW) with an after-party featuring DJ ButchOnTap.
The full list of nominees in alphabetical order are:
BELVA DAVIS NEWS & BROADCAST AWARD
· Al Jazeera English
· America by the Numbers with Maria Hinojosa
· It's Been a Minute with Sam Sanders *WINNER
· Grace and Frankie
· Lucky Grandma
· One Day at a Time
· Ramy *WINNER
· Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
· The Twilight Zone
· This Close
MUSIC & SOUND RECORDINGS AWARD
· This Is America (Single) Childish Gambino (Donald Glover) - (RCA)
· Dirty Computer (Album) Janelle Monáe - (Warner Music Group/Atlantic Records)
· Old Town Road (Remix) by Lil Nas X featuring Billy Ray Cyrus (Columbia Records/Sony Music Entertainment) *WINNER
· Now (War & Leisure Album) Miguel - (Sony Music Group/RCA Records)
· Hurts 2B Human (Album) Pink - (Sony Music Group/RCA Records)
Past recipients of the SAG-AFTRA American Scene Awards include Twentieth Century Fox Television for This Is Us, Amazon Studios for Transparent, Atlantic Music Group for Hamilton (Original Broadway Cast Recording) and The Hamilton Mixtape, NPR for Code Switch, ABC Family and Brenda Hampton of Brendavision! for The Secret Life of the American Teenager, Capitol Records Nashville for Darius Rucker’s Southern Style, Universal Music Group for its entire catalog and roster of artists, San Diego State University Research Foundation for KPBS San Diego, and Detroit Public Television for Arab American Stories.
About SAG-AFTRA’s American Scene AwardsThe American Scene Awards are bestowed on union productions that most intelligently and progressively employ the talents of people of color, people with disabilities, women, seniors, people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer and other misrepresented or under-represented groups to realistically portray the American Scene. The recipients are producers and content creators whose projects exemplify their commitment to employment of our diverse union membership in the following three categories: Entertainment, Music & Sound Recordings, and News & Broadcast. The American Scene Awards are given out biennially at SAG-AFTRA’s national convention.
About SAG-AFTRASAG-AFTRA represents approximately 160,000 actors, announcers, broadcast journalists, dancers, DJs, news writers, news editors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voiceover artists and other entertainment and media professionals. SAG-AFTRA members are the faces and voices that entertain and inform America and the world. A proud affiliate of the AFL-CIO, SAG-AFTRA has national offices in Los Angeles and New York and local offices nationwide representing members working together to secure the strongest protections for entertainment and media artists into the 21st century and beyond. Visit SAG-AFTRA online at SAGAFTRA.org.