SAG-AFTRA Unveils American Scene Award Recipients

SAG-AFTRA Unveils American Scene Award Recipients

SAG-AFTRA today announced its recipients for the first SAG-AFTRA American Scene Awards. The awards are scheduled to take place on Friday, Sept. 27 as part of the Celebration event honoring SAG-AFTRA's inaugural convention. The Inaugural National Convention Celebration is a dinner event with host Mary Hart (Entertainment Tonight). The evening includes entertainment and a special musical performance led by Dorian Holley (The Tonight Show with Jay Leno).

The American Scene Awards continues the tradition established in 1985 by the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists to honor union productions in the industry that realistically portray the "American Scene" by intelligently and progressively employing the talents of diverse ethnicities, people with disabilities, women, seniors, people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender, and other misrepresented or underrepresented groups.

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.

The 2013 American Scene Award recipients are:

Actor/Performer Award: ABC Family and Brenda Hampton of Brendavision! Productions for The Secret Life of the American Teenager

Belva Davis Broadcaster Award: Detroit Public Television for Arab American Stories

Recording Artist Award: Universal Music Group for their entire catalog and roster of artists

Recipients are selected based upon their impact on SAG-AFTRA members, viewing audiences and the industry. All recipients demonstrate an undeniable power and value in hiring from the diverse ranks of our society.

Jason George, chair of the SAG-AFTRA Diversity Advisory Committee, said of the Actor/Performer Award recipient, "It is rare that diversity is featured on one program in such a frequent and wide-ranging scale. The Secret Life of the American Teenager employs progressive and complex storylines which continually provide audiences with opportunities to learn from and accept diversity in others and their experiences."

Accepting for The Secret Life of the American Teenager will be creator Brenda Hampton who said, "It was a pleasure to work for Disney and ABC Family, both have a strong commitment to diversity in casting, and both encourage stories that inspire children and young adults to be accepting of differences in each other." Presenting the award to Hampton will be one of the show's stars, Francia Raisa.

Jenny O'Hara, co-chair of the SAG-AFTRA Honors and Tributes Committee said of the "Belva Davis" Broadcaster Award recipient, "Arab American Stories presents a varied and multifaceted view of Arab-Americans from all walks of life. This series has given audiences an opportunity to learn about the significant contributions of those featured to their professions, communities and the world at large in a format which is highly entertaining and relatable."