Union to Recognize Content Producers with American Scene Awards at Second National Convention
LOS ANGELES (Oct. 1, 2015) --- SAG-AFTRA today announced its recipients for the second SAG-AFTRA American Scene Awards: Amazon Studios, NPR and Capitol Records Nashville. The recipients were chosen for realistically portraying our nation’s diversity by intelligently and progressively employing the talents of various backgrounds and ethnicities, 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 generated the most to date, including new media series, national commercial campaigns, cable and network television, independent and studio features, public television, radio and local and national news. “We know it’s critical that entertainment and news media reflect our increasingly diverse communities — what we refer to as the ‘American Scene’ — and it seems as though producers are understanding this more and more. The members chose to recognize Capitol Records Nashville, Amazon and NPR in particular for giving audiences the credit they deserve by investing in these stories and the unrivaled talent behind them,” said SAG-AFTRA National Director of Equal Employment Opportunities & Diversity Adam Moore.
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 Actor/Performer Award, the Belva Davis Broadcaster Award and the Recording Artist Award. They will be presented the evening of Friday, Oct. 2, as part of the celebration event on Brownstone Street at the Warner Bros. backlot during SAG-AFTRA’s biennial convention.
The American Scene Awards presentation will feature master of ceremonies Kevin Frazier (Entertainment Tonight) with an after-party with The Dorian Holley Band featuring Antonio Sol and Sy Smith.
The 2015 American Scene Award recipients are:
ACTOR / PERFORMER AWARD
Amazon Studios for Transparent
BELVA DAVIS BROADCASTER AWARD
NPR for Code Switch
RECORDING ARTIST AWARD
Capitol Records Nashville for Darius Rucker’s Southern Style
“We’re thrilled to be recognized for this tremendous honor,” said Roy Price, vice president, Amazon Studios. “The storytelling in Transparent celebrates social influence by a group that has gained visibility remarkably in the last year, and we’re excited to be a part of it.”
Jason George, chair of the SAG-AFTRA Diversity Advisory Committee, said of the Actor/Performer Award recipient, “[Creator] Jill [Soloway] and Amazon Studios understood from the beginning that this show had the potential to expand our understanding of difference through storytelling and that visibility is the key to decreasing stigma of marginalized communities. We are thrilled recognize her and the entire Transparent family with this honor.”
“We are honored to receive this prestigious award,” said Scott Montgomery, NPR’s managing editor of digital news. Code Switch was founded with a mission to answer a simple, but daunting question: Can we host a national conversation on race, ethnicity and culture that is both thoughtful and challenging? We are very proud of the way our audience has answered with a resounding yes, and we are even more proud of the way the conversations started on Code Switch have taken off on social media and made their way onto the air for NPR on our member stations. An agile team of reporters who are not only diverse and multicultural, but technologically savvy and feel as comfortable online as on-air seemed the best way to cover this topic. This recognition from SAG-AFTRA confirms our faith in this approach.”
“It’s as if NPR and the Code Switch team deliberately set out to create programming with the American Scene Awards in mind! And it’s not just the stories that are diverse: it’s the incredible insights that their diverse perspectives and experiences bring to the subject matter that stands out and why they are so deserving of this award,” said SAG-AFTRA National Board member Bob Butler.
“We are honored to have Darius and his passion for country music be recognized along with his recent album Southern Style, which continues to expand the reach of his music,” said Mike Dungan, Chairman & CEO, UMG Nashville. “Capitol Records Nashville has had the pleasure of working with Darius on four country album releases and we have shared incredible milestones with him over the years, including his recent Grammy win for his triple platinum-selling No. 1 hit Wagon Wheel and his induction as a member of the Grand Ole Opry.”
Jenny O’Hara, chair of the SAG-AFTRA Honors and Tributes Committee said of the Recording Artist Award recipient, “The impact that Darius has had with this album, with both country music and mainstream audiences, has been tremendous. We wanted to call attention to Capitol Records Nashville’s support of category-defying artists like him who insist on authentically giving voice to the American Scene.”
Past recipients of the SAG-AFTRA American Scene Award include 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.