EXCLUSIVE: Humanitas said Monday that it will present Starz‘s #TakeTheLead diversity initiative with the 2022 Voice for Change Award, which will be bestowed during the organization’s annual awards luncheon on September 9 in Los Angeles. Jeffrey Hirsch, Starz President and CEO, and Kathryn Busby, Starz President of Original Programming, will accept the award which celebrates the initiative’s commitment to amplifying narratives by, about, and for women and underrepresented audiences.
Today, 29.1% of Starz writers proudly include women of color, 78.9% above the industry average, according to The Center for Scholars and Storytellers, UCLA.
“Starz, through its #TakeTheLead commitment, has become a leader in not only creating but holding space for creatives who have been historically underrepresented in media by centering their essential stories,” said Humanitas Executive Director, Michelle Franke. “Starz’s dedication to representation on and off screen, evidenced in their public Diversity Data, is deeply inspiring, as is the company’s willingness to speak openly and often about their unique approach to identifying and nurturing talent over time. They provide meaningful resources to projects, offer guidance while honoring individual instincts, and serve as an achievable model for industry leaders.”
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Starz President and CEO Jeffrey Hirsch said, “It’s an incredible honor to receive the Voice for Change Award from Humanitas. Behind our #TakeTheLead commitment is the deep-seated belief that everyone, especially women, and those that have been underrepresented, have the right to choose how their stories are told. We remain dedicated to giving control to creators to use their own voices to tell their stories and choose how they are represented to the world. We applaud Humanitas and join them in their effort to bring about transformation by amplifying these types of nuanced and meaningful narratives that can help us acknowledge our common humanity.”
Humanitas also announced screenwriter Rich Burns as the winner of the 2022 Humanitas Prize for Web Series for The Disappointments. A special category for 2022, Web Series was open to scripted online videos created without the direct financial or creative backing of a major network or studio.
“In writing The Disappointments, I sought to shine a comedic light on a slice of life that doesn’t often get portrayed in mainstream media,” said screenwriter Rich Burns. “The Disappointments is unique in that it focuses on gay men in their 50s approaching their retirement years and dealing with the fallout of faltering careers, empty bank accounts, and of dreams unfulfilled. I am deeply honored that The Disappointments is being recognized with this prestigious Humanitas Prize. The web series was entirely crowdsource funded, and would not have been possible to produce without the incredible generosity of people from around the world. I offer them my sincerest thanks, and to our cast and crew, who poured their hearts and souls into a project we all love and believe in.”
Winners will be announced at an awards luncheon on September 9, 2022.
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