A new relationship with animals, nature and each other.

Stars Come Out for the Animal “Oscars”

Awards salute pro-animal news and entertainment media

Kristin Davis received one of the Genesis Awards for bringing attention to the plight of orphaned African elephants

What do real news shows like Nightline and “truthiness” news shows like The Colbert Report have in common – along with The Los Angeles Times and UK tabloid The Daily Mail? They were all recipients of Genesis Awards at the annual Hollywood Oscar-style event that honors media and entertainment organizations and celebrities who have helped the plight of animals in past year.

Colbert won the Sid Caesar Comedy Award for satirizing bullfights. (Note: The video shows graphic footage of a bullfight.)

Nightline won in the TV Newsmagazine category for a segment on milk, “The Dark Side of Dairy,” which compares the reality of dairy operations with the pretense-filled promotions of the factory farming industry. (Again, this includes graphic footage.)

Britain’s tabloid won the Brigitte Bardot International Print award for its ongoing coverage of animal issues by reporter Dr. Danny Penman. His most recent article last week uncovers what he calls “the cynical con” behind what the fur industry is calling “ethical fur.”

HBO TV’s True Blood won in the Dramatic Series category for its portrayal of dog fighting in the episode “Hitting the Ground.”

You can see a full list of the nominees and winners here.

The ceremony always attracts a gathering of celebrities who care about animals.

Betty White has attended the annual event for almost every one of its 25 presentations. Emily Deschanel, Leona Lewis, Olivia Munn, Valerie Bertinelli, Michael Vartan and Brendan Fraser were among this year’s guests, along with Kristin Davis who won the Wyler Award in recognition of the attention she has brought to the plight of orphaned African elephants impacted by the increase in elephant poaching for their ivory tusks.

The Genesis Awards were started by Broadway star Gretchen Wyler (photo right), who left New York for Hollywood after a dust-up with the ASPCA in 1975 when she sued her fellow ASPCA board members, charging them with corporate waste and indifference to animal suffering. No less of a firebrand in L.A., she led the charge to make it illegal for shelters to sell dogs and cats to medical laboratories.

Wyler launched the Genesis Awards in 1986, and it became more prestigious each year. In 2002, she merged her organization, the Ark Trust, with the Humane Society of the United States, which now organizes the annual event.
Wyler retired from participation in 2006 at age 74, and passed away a year later. She will be remembered as a star for animals everywhere.