TV icon Norman Lear to be honored by Golden Globes

Lear will receive the Carol Burnett Award during the 78th annual ceremony on Feb. 28.

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Norman Lear  poses for a portrait during the Winter Television Critics Association Press Tour in 2020, in Pasadena, California.

Norman Lear poses for a portrait during the Winter Television Critics Association press tour in 2020, in Pasadena, California.

Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

LOS ANGELES — Norman Lear made his mark as a television producer who strived to explore race relation issues through his famed sitcoms “All in the Family” and “Good Times.” And now, the Golden Globes will honor Lear with its TV special achievement trophy.

Lear will receive the Carol Burnett Award during the 78th annual ceremony on Feb. 28, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced Thursday. He is a writer, director and producer who champions television diversity with other classic hit sitcoms such as “The Jeffersons” and “Sanford and Son.”

HFPA President Ali Sar said in a statement that Lear is among the “most prolific creators of this generation.” He also said Lear’s work “revolutionized the industry.”

“His career has encompassed both the Golden Age and Streaming Era, throughout which his progressive approach addressing controversial topics through humor prompted a cultural shift that allowed social and political issues to be reflected in television,” Sar said of Lear.

The Carol Burnett Award is given annually to honor someone “who has made outstanding contributions to television on or off the screen.” It’s the small-screen version of the group’s film counterpart, the Cecil B. DeMille Award, which will be handed to Jane Fonda during the awards ceremony.

Past recipients of the Burnett award include Ellen DeGeneres and Burnett.

Nominations for the upcoming Golden Globes are scheduled to be announced Feb. 3.

Lear, 98, is a six-time Emmy winner whose shows confronted war, sexuality, abortion, and poverty with topical humor. His other popular series include “Maude,” “One Day at a Time” and “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.”

Lear, a World War II veteran, has collected several accolades in his career. He received the Peabody Lifetime Achievement Award winner in 2016, awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1999 and inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1984. He was a Kennedy Center honoree in 2017.

As a social activist, Lear founded advocacy organization People for the American Way. He also founded several other non-profits to promote thoughtful citizenship, including the Norman Lear Center at the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication.

In the early 2000s, Lear purchased an original copy of the U.S. Declaration of Independence. He then founded the Declaration of Independence Road Trip to the share the document with people across all 50 states.

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