'Black-ish,' 'Transparent' & More to Be Honored at Television Academy Honors

by Raphael Chestang 12:28 PM PDT, May 26, 2015
Playing 'Black-ish,' 'Transparent' & More to Be Honored at Television Academy Honors

The Eighth Annual Television Academy Honors is celebrating six programs that have used their influence to cause cultural shifts, including Black-ish and Transparent. Black-ish creator Kenya Barris told ET how one of the show's most personal episodes came about.

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The ABC comedy is being recognized on Wednesday for taking on child discipline methods in the episode "Crime and Punishment."

"We had to tell it because I do think there's a general -- whether it's apocryphal or not -- notion that black families spank, and I wanted to talk about it," Barris said.

The premise sparked a conversation in the writers' room when 11 of 12 writers admitted to being spanked as a child but none of the writers spank their own children.

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"That was kind of the basis for how we got an interesting story out of it," Barris added.

While none of the writers harbored resentment for how their parents disciplined them, they felt that their generation didn't see spanking as necessary - a point of view made clear in the episode.

Transparent creator Jill Soloway holds a close connection to her Amazon Instant series, which loosely stems from her own experience with a parent who came out as a transgender woman.

"They were 73 years old and it was a completely shocking piece of information," Soloway said. "Of course my first thought was, 'Wow' and empathy and 'I love you' and 'You're so brave.'"

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Star Jeffrey Tambor took home a Golden Globe for his portrayal of a parent in their 70s that comes out to his family as a transgender woman. In addition to Tambor's distinction, the show has also been given the AFI award for TV Program of the Year and the GLAAD Media award for Outstanding Comedy Series.

Other shows being recognized by the Television Academy Honors include E:60 Dream On: Stories of Boston's Strongest, The Normal Heart, Paycheck to Paycheck: The Life & Times of Katrina Gilbert and Virunga. Emmy winner Dana Delany will host the event for the seventh consecutive year at the Montage Beverly Hills.