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‘We Couldn’t Be More Proud’: Viola Davis, Sterling K. Brown and Kenya Barris to be Honored By the African American Film Critics Association for Their Work In TV

Viola Davis, Sterling K. Brown and Kenya Barris have been praised for putting out stellar, groundbreaking work while at the same time racking up their fair share of awards.

But they’ll soon have to make a little more space in their respective trophy cases, because on Saturday, Aug. 22, all three artists will receive awards at the second annual African American Film Critics Association’s TV Honors.

Davis will be given the Best Actress award for playing Annalise Keating on the ABC drama “How to Get Away with Murder.” Brown will take home the Best Actor trophy for his role as Randall Pearson in the acclaimed “This Is Us,” while Barris will be given a TV Icon award. The virtual event will be hosted by comedian and actress Aida Rodriguez. 

(From left) Viola Davis, Sterling K. Brown, and Kenya Barris will be honored by the African American Film Critics Association on Saturday, Aug. 22. (Photos: Rachel Murray/Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images, Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images, Earl Gibson III/FilmMagic via Getty Images)

“In a time of such uncertainty, we have witnessed how powerful the medium of television and streaming is,” said co-founder and president of AAFCA Gil Robertson in a statement. “We couldn’t be more proud to honor shows and performances that uplift and inspire at a time when we all need entertainment the most.”

“We are especially grateful to have partners like Morgan Stanley as well as the ongoing support of the entertainment community at large helping us with our year-round activities that highlight not only film, television and journalism, but also diversity, inclusion and equality,” he added.

Issa Rae’s HBO series “Insecure” will also be honored during the ceremony, as will “For Life,” the ABC legal drama. “Never Have I Ever,” a Netflix series about an Indian-American high school student living in Boston, will receive an award as well.

Besides those on TV and streaming sites being honored, frontline COVID-19 workers will be recognized, including health care providers and firefighters. Robertson said honoring those workers doesn’t come close to properly repaying them, but he wanted to recognize them nonetheless.

“As an organization, with a passion for community awareness and outreach, we could not ignore the heroic efforts of those in our larger community during this unprecedented time,” he said in the statement. “This is just a small gesture to recognize them in some way and convey our tremendous gratitude.”

Only those with an invite will be able to stream the event when it airs at 11:30 a.m. Pacific Time on Aug. 22, but the ceremony will be posted on AAFCA’s YouTube channel at a later date.

The announcement of Davis, Brown, and Barris being honored by AAFCA comes a little more than a week after it was revealed that Brown was nominated for an Emmy for his role in “This Is Us,” in the category of Outstanding Lead Actor In a Drama Series.

Brown already won that award in 2017 for playing Randall Pearson.

One year before that, he nabbed his first Emmy for playing attorney Christopher Darden in “The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story.” He won that award in the category of Outstanding Supporting Actor In a Limited Series or Movie.

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