2017 American Scene Awards Takes Place Friday During the Union’s Biennial Convention
SAG-AFTRA today announced the recipients for its third SAG-AFTRA American Scene Awards: Twentieth Century Fox Television for This Is Us, Atlantic Music Group for Hamilton (Original Broadway Cast Recording) andThe Hamilton Mixtape, as well as the San Diego State University Research Foundation for KPBS San Diego. Winners were selected for their work that exemplifies equal access and full inclusion of diverse ethnicities and backgrounds, people with disabilities, women, seniors, people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender and other misrepresented or underrepresented groups.
This year’s call for nominations included major network, cable and streaming series, independent and studio feature films, public television and radio as well as local and national news and was the largest entry pool since the awards’ inception. The American Scene Awards are the only award given out by the union that recognizes employers that value diversity in all its forms.
Jason George, chair of the SAG-AFTRA Diversity Advisory Committee, said of this year’s recipients, “I am extremely pleased to announce the three recipients of this year's American Scene Awards. With its multi-generational story of a multiracial family, This Is Us is a television standout this season and incredibly deserving of this year's award in the Entertainment category. However, it's worth noting how difficult it was to choose one winner. A perusal of that nominee list speaks volumes about how much more inclusive television and film have become in recent years. More work definitely still needs to be done but projects like these prove that being a hit and being inclusive are not diametrically opposed. This year's recipient in Music and Sound Recordings, the Hamilton cast recording and Mixtape collectively, used the lens of multiculturalism to take a focused look at this nation both during its founding and today. Similarly, the News & Broadcast recipient, KPBS San Diego, used hard-hitting journalism to educate, inform and shine a light on the various communities that the station reaches. All of these American Scene Award recipients are shining examples to the entertainment industry and the world that inclusivity is, in fact, the key to financial success and critical acclaim."
Adds Jenny O’Hara, chair of the SAG-AFTRA Honors and Tributes Committee, “The American Scene Awards are unique in the entertainment industry—they are the only SAG-AFTRA award that recognizes producers and content creators for their diversity efforts. I’m proud to have worked alongside the Diversity Advisory Committee to narrow down our winners. It was a difficult choice but This Is Us, KPBS San Diego and Hamilton are exceptional examples of the American Scene. Representation matters and we will continue to reward union signatories that prioritize the creation of content that reflects the world in which we live.”
Taking into consideration authenticity, excellence and impact, the awards recognize work in the three main contract categories covered by the union. The honors include the Entertainment Award, the Belva Davis Broadcaster Award and the Recording Artist Award. The awards will be presented on Friday, October 6, as part of the celebration event at the Globe Theatre in Universal Studios Hollywood during SAG-AFTRA’s biennial convention.
The American Scene Awards presentation will feature master of ceremonies Jaime Camil (Jane the Virgin) with an after-party with DJ ButchonTap.
The 2017 American Scene Award recipients are:
Twentieth Century Fox Television for This Is Us
BELVA DAVIS NEWS & BROADCAST AWARD
San Diego State University Research Foundation for KPBS San Diego
MUSIC & SOUND RECORDINGS AWARD
Atlantic Music Group for Hamilton (Original Broadway Cast Recording) and The Hamilton Mixtape
“We couldn’t be prouder of This Is Us at this studio, and creator Dan Fogelman deserves all the credit for creating such a brilliant and resonant series. The inclusiveness of his storytelling and authenticity of his characters are one important reason the show is such a sensation. Another is the genius of his writers coupled with the outstanding performances of his cast. They deserve every accolade and award they are getting. We remain in awe,” said Jonathan Davis, president of creative affairs at 20th Century Fox Television.
"KPBS is honored that SAG-AFTRA is recognizing us with this esteemed award," said Nancy Worlie, KPBS Associate General Manager for Content and Communications. "We take great pride in our mission to serve the San Diego and Imperial Valley region with quality news and content that both educates and inspires. We strive to represent our entire community, which is rich and full of unique people and cultures. These diverse perspectives are what make San Diego such a great community and makes KPBS extremely proud to tell its story on a daily basis. The award is a valued recognition of what we've done but also inspiration to keep innovating with new opportunities." Adds Suzanne Marmion, KPBS Director of News and Editorial Strategy, "KPBS values inclusivity within the newsroom, and our news coverage. It's not just the right thing to do; diverse perspectives make stories more nuanced, richer and smarter. Projects such as Fronteras and Speak City Heights have helped us elevate neighborhood voices. Thank you for recognizing the KPBS team's ongoing work to make ALL our programming more reflective of the many communities we serve."
“All of us at Atlantic Records and everyone involved with the Hamilton Original Broadway Cast Recording are honored to receive SAG-AFTRA’s American Scene Award, which calls much-needed attention to the rich diversity that is central to our history and our culture. The creation of the brilliant Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton tells a quintessential American story in a revolutionary way. The show has redefined the Broadway music for the 21st century, and the album has reinvented the world of cast recordings. Hamilton brings together multiple musical genres – hip-hop, R&B, pop, rock, show music – under one umbrella to create a multi-cultural, multi-dimensional melting pot. In the process, it unites people of all ages, races, and backgrounds in a musical celebration of the birth and evolution of America itself,” said Atlantic Music Group in a statement.
Says SAG-AFTRA National Director of Equal Employment Opportunity & Diversity, Adam Moore, “We believe that there is more and better inclusive content being made now than ever before and, given the quality and number of projects we received for consideration, we are not alone. This year, the deliberations to just arrive at the finalists were incredibly difficult. This is a good problem to have and we are encouraged by the growing power of these intentionally inclusive employers and these aspirational awards to lead the way forward.”
The full list of nominees are:
ENTERTAINMENT AWARD (in alphabetical order)
- American Crime (LiveLikeLisa + Stearns Castle + ABC Studios)
- Hidden Figures (Levantine Films + Chernin Entertainment + Fox 2000 Pictures)
- Jane the Virgin (Poppy Productions + RCTV + Electus + CBS Television + Warner Bros. Television)
- Major Crimes (Warner Bros. Television)
- Master of None
(3 Arts Entertainment + Alan young Pictures + Fremulon + Oh Brudder Productions + Universal Television)
- Moonlight (A24 + PASTEL + Plan B Entertainment)
- Speechless (Silver and Gold Prods + The Detective Agency + ABC Studios + 20th Century Fox Television)
- The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
(Your Face Goes Here Entertainment + Cine Mosaic + Harpo Films + HBO Films)
- This is Us (Rhode Island Ave. Productions + Zaftig Films + 20th Century Fox Television)*WINNER
- Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (3 Arts Entertainment + Bevel Gears + Little Stronger + Universal Television)
BELVA DAVIS NEWS & BROADCAST AWARD (in alphabetical Order)
- Jaime Jarrin ("the Spanish voice of the Dodgers") (Los Angeles Dodgers)
- KPBS San Diego (radio & television) (San Diego State University Research Foundation)*WINNER
- The Takeaway (WNYC Studios)
MUSIC & SOUND RECORDINGS AWARD
- Hamilton (Original Broadway Cast Recording) andThe Hamilton Mixtape by Various Artists (Atlantic Music Group)*WINNER
- Here by Alicia Keys (RCA Records + Sony Music)
- We Got It from Here... Thank You 4 Your Service by A Tribe Called Quest
(Epic Records + Sony Music)
Past recipients of the SAG-AFTRA American Scene Award include NPR, Amazon Studios, Capitol Records Nashville, ABC Family, Detroit Public Television, American Idol, Sesame Street and the Children’s Television Workshop, Modern Family, Parenthood, The Voice, As the World Turns, Warner Bros. Records/Nashville, ABC7/WLS-TV Chicago, KCBS/KCAL Los Angeles and the WGBH Educational Foundation, among many other industry leaders.
The American Scene Awards are overseen by the Diversity Advisory and Honors and Tributes committees of SAG-AFTRA.