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The African American Film Critics Association has announced that it will present a number of special accolades at its third annual AAFCA TV Honors on Saturday, August 21.
Norman Lear, the force behind some of the most popular and socially impactful TV series of all time, will receive the Legend Award. Michaela Coel, the recently Emmy-nominated force behind the HBO limited series I May Destroy You, has been tapped for the Breakout Creative Award. Steve McQueen, who helmed all five installments of the Emmy-snubbed Amazon limited series Small Axe, will be presented with the Game Changer Award. Naomi Ackie, a breakout actress who was also overlooked by the Emmys for her scene-stealing turn on the Netflix comedy series Master of None, is the pick for the Horizon Award. And Wanda Sykes, the veteran comedian now starring on and EP’ing Netflix’s The Upshaws, will receive the Salute to Excellence Award “for expanding the parameters of diversity and inclusion for both the Black and LGBTQ communities, as well as women everywhere.”
Also being honored: Netflix’s Lupin with the Best International Production Award “for expanding the terrain, as well as possibilities, for accessible global stories with a Black leading actor”; OWN’s Queen Sugar with the Impact Award for its fifth season, which tackled the COVID crisis in the Black community; and HBO (along with its new streaming offshoot HBO Max) with the Inclusion Award “for the network’s long history of producing transformative diverse and inclusive programming” including this season’s Lovecraft Country, I May Destroy You, Tina, Insecure, A Black Lady Sketch Show and In Treatment.
“Our 2021 class of honorees is a special group who are using their considerable gifts to extend television’s legacy as a shaper of culture and a connector of people,” AAFCA president Gil Robertson said in a statement. “We couldn’t be prouder to bestow AAFCA’s highest honors to this remarkable group of honorees responsible for diverse and inclusive content that uplifts and inspires. Our hope is that our industry will continue its tremendous strides towards a landscape with diversity and inclusion at its core. Over the past year especially, we have gotten that and more, and look forward to a glorious event celebrating the very best of what we can strive to be in both our creative and earthly realms.”
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