For Immediate Release: October 15, 2012
New York City – Human Rights First today announced that the Emmy® and Golden Globe® award-winning SHOWTIME® series Homeland will receive the organization’s 2012 Sidney Lumet Award for Integrity in Entertainment. Homeland executive producers Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa will be honored for the show’s compelling depiction of the impact the struggle against terrorism has on the rights—and lives—of individuals.
“Popular culture has incredible power, not just to entertain, but to inform and shape attitudes. This year’s Sidney Lumet Award winners know that as well as anyone in Hollywood,” said Human Rights First President and CEO Elisa Massimino. “Homeland addresses the complex intersection of national security and human rights. In the show’s first season, American officials violate rights—through coercive interrogation, illegal surveillance, and indiscriminate bombing—and are forced to deal with the unintended and tragic consequences of these actions. The drama of Homeland centers on the catastrophic domino effect that could occur when the United States abandons its principles,” Massimino said.
“We’re deeply honored to be recognized. Sidney Lumet’s films have always been huge touchstones for me in terms of their daring and honesty. That kind of raw, urgent storytelling is a real inspiration for Homeland’s approach to the post 9-11 world,” said Gansa.
SHOWTIME, also, was delighted to hear that the show not only received multiple awards in its first season, but also recognition for Homeland’s impact in the world.
Human Rights First’s Integrity in Entertainment award, named in honor of acclaimed writer and director Sidney Lumet will be presented at the organization’s annual Human Rights Award Dinner in New York City on October 24, 2012. Lumet worked with Human Rights First on a media project related to the depiction of torture and interrogation on television. This is the second year that Human Rights First has bestowed this award. Last year, The Good Wife was recognized for its powerful exploration of human rights issues, including Internet freedom and privacy, political asylum, torture, and human rights in China.
“Our award is about finding – and honoring — examples of popular culture that show human rights are not a narrow concern. These issues are about dignity, grappling with moral questions, and finding a humane response,” said Leslie Gimbel, Lumet’s step-daughter and a Human Rights First board member. ”Our award recognizes work that makes human rights accessible – not in black and white moral pronouncements, but by showing the shades of grey as Sidney’s work did.”
NBC News Special Correspondent Meredith Vieira will host the Human Rights Award Dinner at which the Sidney Lumet award will be presented. In addition to Homeland, Human Rights First will honor Chinese “barefoot” lawyer and activist Chen Guangcheng with its 2012 Human Rights Award and will recognize New York University professor Jerome Cohen, one of Chen’s closest advisors and a pre-eminent voice on the plight of Chinese rights lawyers.
For more information about the Sidney Lumet Award for Integrity in Entertainment or to attend Human Rights First’s Award Dinner, please contact Brenda Bowser Soder at email@example.com or 202-370-3323.