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December 04, 2013

From the Chairman

Hayma Washington, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

As I write this message, in mid- March, the For Your Consideration season for the 70th Emmy Awards is already in full swing.

If you are a voting member of the Television Academy, you know that the first DVD screeners were mailed in January, and FYC events have been under way at our Saban Media Center and various off-site venues since February. By the time nomination balloting begins on June 11, our members will have had the opportunity to attend more FYC events than ever before.

This is a reflection not only of the sheer amount of television being created today, but of the enormous interest in, and influence of, television in the culture at large.

I consider myself fortunate to have made a career in this industry. On a broader level, I am proud to be part of a medium that — beyond its role as a source for entertainment, information and education — is a formidable driver of social awareness with the ability to spark meaningful change.

This is particularly resonant in the current moment of public awakening around the need for greater opportunities, empowerment and workplace protections for women, people of color, the LGBTQ community, persons with disabilities, seniors and more.

With this in mind, I am pleased to note two events slated for May that demonstrate the importance, to both the Academy and our Foundation, of exploring television's social component.

On May 21, the Saban Media Center will be the site of the first Women in Television Summit, a partnership between the Academy Foundation and Women in Entertainment, the renowned organization dedicated to the advancement of women in the entertainment industry.

This inaugural event, part of the Foundation's Power of TV initiative, is open to the public and will focus on stories of success, spotlighting those who have challenged the status quo, overcome obstacles and championed inclusivity within our industry.

May 31 will mark the 11th Television Academy Honors, which celebrates programming that sparks awareness of important issues and educates or positively motivates audiences.

Previous honorees include the CBS comedy Mom, for its depiction of the challenges faced by those in recovery from alcoholism or drug abuse; the NBC drama This Is Us, for its exploration of topics such as adoption, racial identity, body image and parenting; and Born This Way, the acclaimed A&E reality series about a group of young adults with Down syndrome.

Be sure to look for the April 9 announcement of this year's honorees. With such inspiring events on our calendar — and a record-breaking schedule of FYC opportunities — this spring holds great promise for all of us who care deeply about our industry, our colleagues and the excellent work being produced in this anniversary year.

Hayma Washington
Chairman and CEO Television Academy

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