At the Humane Society of the United States, we work to confront and prevent animal cruelty every day. Our animal protection mission requires a high level of engagement and awareness, and we work with partners in various fields, from educators to lawmakers to corporate leaders to law enforcement agents, to advance the cause of animals in American life.
Some of our most valued partners are members of the media and those within the entertainment culture, who use their diverse platforms to raise awareness about animal protection concerns. Each year, we honor some of the most important work in these areas with our Genesis Awards, believing the media has the power to change minds and influence behavior, and this year’ winners certainly did that.
The Genesis Awards recognize achievement and distinction across multiple news and entertainment categories, and thus no year’s list of winners is quite the same, given the wide range of animal protection concerns that routinely surface in news media and within entertainment. This year’s winners included works that call attention to endangered giraffes, orangutans and rhinos, puppy mills, farm animal abuse and trophy hunting.
Movies that celebrate the human-animal bond, like “Megan Leavey” and “Okja,” took honors for Outstanding Feature Film. “Sled Dogs,” a hard-hitting look at the Iditarod dog sled race held annually in Alaska, received the Outstanding Documentary Film Award. The outstanding documentary award was shared by “The Last Pig,” a film by multiple Genesis Award-winning filmmaker Allison Argo. It tells the story of a small pig farmer grappling with the moral dilemma of his work. The long-running, multiple Genesis Award-winning Fox series, “The Simpsons,” won the Sid Caesar Comedy Award for an episode focusing on the Simpsons’ pet pig, Plopper, that highlighted the common belief that there is a difference between the animals we call pets and those we eat.
Kudos to the National Geographic, which won a total of four awards, including Reporter of the Year for Natasha Daly and her groundbreaking articles on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s removal of animal welfare records, and on the cruelty behind the tourist craze for ‘selfies’ with exotic animals.
Univision received awards for its moving account of one news crew’s coverage of Hurricane Harvey. Their coverage developed into a story about themselves, as they rescued a malnourished and abused dog named Harvey, who found a forever home with the crew’s videographer.
The HSUS congratulates and thanks all individuals recognized for the 32nd annual Genesis Awards. You can find the full list of winners here.