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Last night we witnessed the inaugural edition of the Diversify TV Excellence Awards, which pays tribute to international programming that provides a fair, accurate representation of ethnic groups, LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) and disabled communities.

Supporting Diversify TV, the organisation that initiated the awards, sponsors included A+E Networks—itself committed to a more diverse workplace in addition to diverse storytelling—as well as EbonyLife TV and Viacom.

There were three main categories: Representation for Race & Ethnicity, Representation of LBGTQ and Representation of Disability, each with Scripted & Non-Scripted prizes. Below are the winners as we captured them!

Team Chocolat is both a road trip tale and a love story. It follows Jasper Vloemans, a man with Down Syndrome, who starts a new position at a chocolate factory that employs the disabled. What is truly incredible about this work is how nuanced—and how warm—the subject matter portrayal is.

https://twitter.com/mip/status/920341765705682946

Employable Me, which now airs on BBC Three, has been lauded for its life-changing tales of UK citizens seeking employment, and having trouble, because of various neurological conditions.

There is something about the Damilola, Our Beloved Boy trailer that preemptively fills you with a sense of bottomless loss. At its heart, however, it is a family story about the loss of a son.

The presenter who gave this award was EbonyLife TV’s Mosunmola Abudu, who spoke about how important it has been for her personally to lift up and bring awareness to bigger stories from Africa that are about more than famine and corruption. Damilola is a bold and beautiful step in that direction.

https://twitter.com/mip/status/920345819869573120

Upon receiving the award for Home Sweet Home, RTV’s production team representative beamed and said, “Slovenia is a small country. But big things can happen there!”

https://twitter.com/mip/status/920347540402434050

Man in an Orange Shirt follows two love stories, 60 years apart. This structure also enables it to chart the challenges and changes in gay lives from World War II to the present time.

Becoming He or She is a sensitive exploration of people—often quite young—who don’t feel properly gendered in their bodies. What it manages to demonstrate is that, though we’ve made large strides in advancing the visibility and rights of the LGBTQ community, there’s still a battle to be fought. And often those battles feel fought alone, at home and among loved ones.

The Diversify TV Awards were hosted by Miss Zion Moreno, who gave an emotional and personal speech just before the ceremony kicked off. The theme of safe places was raised often and in no small measure; the general feeling in the room was that the Diversify TV Excellents Awards itself was a place where people could openly discuss the things that mattered most to them in terms of identity and representation.

There was also great hope that this first edition would yield a ripple effect in the industry that ultimately makes media itself a safe space. Fingers crossed.

Here’s a visual roundup of all our winners and honoured presenters.

https://twitter.com/mip/status/920350579976822784

We look forward to seeing the show evolve next year. We also look forward to the day we don’t need


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About Author

Angela Natividad

Angela Natividad writes regularly for AdWeek, AdVerve and MIPBlog; she is also co-founder of esports-focused marketing company Hurrah.

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