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Sean Penn has a date with the Television Academy on Nov. 16.
The actor, filmmaker and founder of Community Organized Relief Effort (CORE) will be feted with a Bob Hope Humanitarian Award at the organization’s Hall of Fame event. Held at TV Academy headquarters at the Saban Media Center in North Hollywood, the event serves as the induction ceremony for new members into the Hall of Fame.
This year, six new members will take a turn in the spotlight, including Debbie Allen, Ken Burns, Bob Daly, Robert L. Johnson, Rita Moreno and Donald A. Morgan. The Hall of Fame honors small-screen legends “who have made outstanding contributions in the arts, sciences or management of television over a lifetime career or via singular achievements.”
As for Penn, he’s being singled out for “decades of activism,” spurred largely with his work through CORE. The organization started as a disaster relief organization in the wake of the devastating Haiti earthquake in 2010. Since then, CORE has mobilized for humanitarian emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine.
The Bob Hope Humanitarian Award was established in 2002 to “honor an individual whose philanthropic efforts exemplify Bob Hope’s own decades-long altruism and positive impact on society.” This year’s selection committee was chaired by Television Academy governors Kim Coleman and Michael Spiller. It is one of the highest honors presented by the Television Academy’s Board of Governors.
“Sean’s activism and immense humanitarian efforts have had a profound impact on the global community, and he has effectively used his platform to motivate change,” praised Coleman. Added Spiller: “Sean is responsible for getting help to people who need it the most. From Haiti to Ukraine to Los Angeles, he is an inspiration to us all.”
Allen, six-time Emmy-winning director/choreographer, has worked extensively in nearly all aspects of the industry — from acting and performing to directing and producing on such hit shows as Grey’s Anatomy and Fame.
Burns, a 16-time Emmy winner, has been making documentaries for more than 40 years with credits on such projects as The Civil War, Baseball, The Vietnam War, The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, The Central Park Five and most recently The U.S. and the Holocaust.
Daly, a standout executive, began his career at age 18 at CBS. He eventually became the first president of entertainment over a tenure that spanned 25 years. He segued to Warner Bros. where he led teams behind hits like Friends and ER, navigated the rise of DVDs and helped launch the WB.
As a founder of BET, Johnson helped change the face of television with the creation of the nation’s first Black-owned cable TV network. In 2014, he entered the streaming programming business with the launch of both ACORN TV and ALLBLK, a platform dedicated to Black-oriented series and movies.
EGOT winner Moreno has a career that spans seven decades with credits that include Westside Story, The Electric Company, Sesame Street, Nine to Five, Oz, Cane, Happily Divorced, Jane the Virgin and the Norman Lear reboot of One Day at a Time. Moreno’s accolades include the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush, the National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama, a Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award, a Kennedy Center Life Achievement Award and a Peabody Award.
Morgan, a veteran cinematographer and 11-time Emmy winner, has a career that dates back to the late 1970s when he started in lighting design. As a director of photography, his credits span the classics to modern day on everything like The Jeffersons, Silver Spoons, Mr. Belvedere, Home Improvement, The Ranch, Last Man Standing and The Connors.
“This year’s honorees have told the American story through television in ways that will forever shape our history and culture,” said Rick Rosen, Hall of Fame selection committee chair. “Whether they reshaped the industry itself through visionary leadership or created pieces of work that have had a lasting legacy, these individuals will forever be remembered for the impact they’ve had on the medium; and the Television Academy is proud to enshrine that.”
Along with Rosen, a WME co-founder and head of the agency’s TV department, the committee included veteran producer Marcy Carsey, Universal Studios Group chairman Pearlena Igbokwe, former Warner Bros. TV Group chairman Peter Roth, PatMa Prods. co-chief executive officer Nina Tassler and Disney General Entertainment Content chairman Dana Walden.
Prior to the induction ceremony, the Academy will unveil four busts of previous inductees Shonda Rhimes, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Joan Rivers and Katie Couric. Sponsors for the Hall of Fame include Kia America and People.
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