2017 Honorees

Recording Artists Inspiration Award

Lionel Richie

Grammy Award®-winning Artist

International superstar Lionel Richie has a discography of albums and singles that are second to none. His music is part of the fabric of pop music; in fact, Richie is one of only two songwriters in history to achieve the honor of having #1 records for nine consecutive years. With more than 100 million albums sold worldwide, an Oscar®, a Golden Globe®, four Grammy Awards®, the distinction of MusicCares person of the year in 2016, and Kennedy Center Honoree in 2017, the Tuskegee, Alabama native is a true music icon.

Lionel Richie is known for his mega-hits such as “Endless Love,” “Lady,” “Truly,” “All Night Long,” “Penny Lover,” “Stuck on You,” “Hello,” “Say You, Say Me,” “Dancing on the Ceiling,” and one of the most important pop songs in history, “We Are the World,” written with Michael Jackson for USA for Africa. His song catalog also includes his early work with The Commodores, where he developed a groundbreaking style that defied genre categories, penning smashes such as “Three Times a Lady,” “Still,” and “Easy.”

Actors Inspiration Award

Kate Winslet

Academy Award®-winning Actor

Academy Award® winning actress Kate Winslet has brought to life some of cinema’s most captivating and memorable roles. Her resume consists of critically and commercially acclaimed work including Steve Jobs, Little Children, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Iris, Titanic, and Sense and Sensibility, as well as a span of awards and honors that illustrate her talent and solidify her permanent place in cinema history. A seven-time Oscar® nominee, Winslet earned the award for her role as Hanna Schmitz in Stephen Daldry’s 2008 “The Reader.” She also won an Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of the title role in the HBO mini-series “Mildred Pierce.” Up next, Winslet will be seen in Hany Abu-Assad’s The Mountain Between Us opposite Idris Elba and Woody Allen’s Wonder Wheel opposite Justin Timberlake and Juno Temple, both of which will be released this winter.

Patron of the Artists Awards

Judd Apatow

Director, Writer and Producer

Judd Apatow has been a mentor and influencer in the entertainment industry for over 25 years, renowned for nurturing talent and creating supportive atmospheres and professional opportunities for performers while entertaining audiences worldwide. He is considered one of the most sought-after comedy minds in the business and has been closely associated with many of the biggest comedy films and hit TV shows of our generation. Apatow returns to his standup roots with his upcoming Netflix stand-up special, which he is filming at Montreal’s Just For Laughs Comedy Festival this weekend. It marks his first solo special and will premiere in December.

Apatow recently received an Emmy Award nomination for the ESPN FILMS: 30 for 30: “Doc & Darryl,” which he co-directed and produced with Michael Bonfiglio who have teamed up again on the upcoming HBO documentary about folk rock icons the Avett Brothers, May It Last, which will premiere later this year. Apatow co-created and is executive producer of Netflix’s Love which was recently renewed for its 3rd season. He is the co-executive producer of HBO’s Crashing as well as co-executive producer of HBO’s Girls which ended its multi-Emmy Award run earlier this year. On the film side, Apatow produced The Big Sick starring Kumail Nanjiani and Ray Romano, recently released to rave reviews on July 13 by Amazon Studios and Lionsgate, and earning a 97% Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.  Apatow’s other credits as a director, producer or writer include hit comedies The 40-Year-Old VirginBridesmaids, Knocked UpSuperbad, Trainwreck, Pineapple ExpressThe Cable GuyAnchorman and Anchorman 2, and numerous others.

Kathryn Bigelow

Academy Award®-winning Director

Kathryn Bigelow is a two-time Academy Award®-winner and an artist of singular talent, known for acclaimed films including The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty. As a director and producer, she has crafted a body of work that challenges genre norms and offers viscerally stunning portraits of characters and conflicts. Bigelow’s upcoming film, Detroit, is a crime drama which explores systemic racism in urban Detroit, and is set against the backdrop of the city’s devastating riots that took place over five tumultuous summer days in 1967. Bigelow directs and produces the ensemble film, which was released by Annapurna Pictures on August 4, 2017.

Bigelow supports many environmental and animal welfare charities. She continues to shed light on the dangers of the ivory trade in both Last Days — a short film portraying the wildlife trafficking industry, profits for terrorist groups, and the threat of elephant extinction in only 11 years; and The Protectors — a virtual reality short film exposing the dangerous reality faced by rangers protecting African elephants, which she co-created with Imraan Ismail for National Geographic. In 2015, Bigelow participated in a powerful panel discussion on Capitol Hill, which resulted in Obama signing into law H.R. 2494— The Eliminate, Neutralize, and Disrupt Wildlife Trafficking Act of 2016— protecting elephants, rhinos and other endangered species from an international poaching and trafficking trade that is decimating animal populations worldwide and funding armed militias. Furthermore, China embraced the action and announced plans to end its domestic ivory trade by the end of 2017.

Ted Sarandos

Netflix Chief Content Officer

Ted Sarandos is Netflix’s Chief Content Officer whose leadership has transformed the digital company into an original content powerhouse that is changing the rules of how serialized television is produced, released, and distributed globally. Through his work as an executive, he’s supported tens of thousands of industry jobs, and provided countless opportunities for up-and-coming and veteran actors, producers, writers, and directors. In its first two years of releasing original series, documentary films, children’s shows, and comedy specials, Netflix has been recognized with 45 Emmy nominations, 15 Daytime Emmy nominations, two Oscar nominations, and 10 Golden Globe nominations by the film and television industries. Sarandos was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2013, and has led content acquisition for Netflix since 2000. From its roots as a U.S. DVD subscription rental company, Netflix is now the world’s leading Internet television network with over 65 million members in more than 50 countries, and producing more than 320 hours of original content in 2015. Sarandos is a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute, and serves on the board of Exploring The Arts, a non-profit focused on arts in schools. He also serves on the Film Advisory Board for Tribeca and Los Angeles Film Festival, is an American Cinematheque board member, an American Film Institute trustee, and is an Executive Committee Member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

Performances by

Sara Bareilles

Kristen Bell

Katharine McPhee

Renee Olstead


Kathy Bates

John Boyega

Andrew Garfield

Holly Hunter

Allison Janney

Zoe Kazan

Anthony Mackie

Mandy Moore

Kumail Nanjiani

Gary Oldman

Will Poulter

Ray Romano

Tracee Ellis Ross

Algee Smith