Norman Lear honored with Legend Award by African American Film Critics Association

Lear is a TV legend, known for being behind hit series like 'The Jeffersons', 'Good Times,' and more

Norman Lear is getting his flowers. The television icon will officially be honored with the Legend Award by the African American Film Critics Association.

To say that Lear is television royalty would be an understatement. The man behind massive hits in the television landscape, the producer and writer helped to create and develop Good Times, The Jeffersons, All in the Family and more. The African American Film Critics Association “TV Honors” celebration is set to air virtually this August, and at the event, Lear will be presented with the Legend Award.

Lear shared in an official statement per Deadline, “As I reflect on the past 99 years of life, I think of all of the those who are responsible for helping me make it this far. From the Tuskegee Airmen who flew by my side in WWII to the brilliant actors, writers, producers, and creators who made me laugh in places I didn’t know existed throughout my career.”

Norman Lear
Norman Lear attends the Hollywood Walk of Fame Star Ceremony honoring Marla Gibbs on July 20, 2021 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

He continued to speak to how fortunate he feels his life has been, and even honors some of the biggest Black names in entertainment that he’s been able to collaborate and spend time with.

He shared, “I’ve said it many times before – laughter adds time to your life. And being fortunate enough to spend time with the likes of Kenya Barris, Dave Chappelle, Laverne Cox, Ava DuVernay, Jamie Foxx, Redd Foxx, Marla Gibbs, Sherman Hemsley, Richard Pryor, Shonda Rhimes, George Wallace, Kerry Washington, and fellow honoree Wanda Sykes – just to name a few – I anticipate living another 99 years. I thank AAFCA for this great honor.  I couldn’t be prouder to be in the company of such incredible talent.”

AAFCA co-founder and president Gil Robertson also shared a statement regarding Lear’s legacy and career.

“Norman Lear’s work has made such a tremendous impact that creators still feed off of it till this day. This award recognizes Mr. Lear’s legacy and impact. His is a footprint whose impact will extend well beyond any of our lives,” ” Robertson stated. “Using the powerful medium of television, he has truly made the world we live in a much better place.”

Norman Lear
Norman Lear, recipient of The Norman Lear Award, speaks onstage at The 45th Annual HUMANITAS Prize at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 24, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images for the 45th Annual HUMANITAS Prize)

“He has made us think about family, poverty, wealth, racism and so much more while making us laugh. And, at 99 years old, he’s still doing it. It is a privilege for AAFCA to honor him with the Legend Award.”

Lear joins Wanda Sykes, Michaela Coel, Naomi Ackie, and more in the already announced list of special honorees. Sykes will receive the Special Achievement Salute to Excellence Award “for expanding the parameters of diversity and inclusion for both the Black and LGBTQ communities,” per Variety.

Coel will earn the 2021 AAFCA TV Honors Special Achievement Breakout Creative Award for her hit series, I May Destroy You, while Ackie will receive the 2021 AAFCA TV Honors Special Achievement Horizon Award for her roles in Master of None and Small Axe.

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