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Genesis Awards honor ‘How to Train Your Dragon,’ ‘Oprah,’ others for portrayal of animal rights issues

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The Genesis Award for the feature film that did the best job of highlighting animal rights issues last year was presented Saturday night to a movie that wasn’t even about a real creature: DreamWorks Animation’s ‘How to Train Your Dragon.’

Its animated format and mythological setting notwithstanding, the film delivered an ‘inspiring message about tolerance and respect for all living creatures,’ the Humane Society of the United States said in its presentation of the 25th annual Genesis Awards. The ceremony was held in Century City.

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Television winners included HBO’s ‘True Blood’ for a story about dogfighting; ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’ for programs about dolphin slaughter, elephant poaching and pet overpopulation; ABC’s ‘Nightline’ for a report on dairy cow abuse; and Comedy Central’s ‘The Colbert Report’ for satirizing bullfighters.

KTLA-TV Channel 5 in Los Angeles was honored for a series of investigative reports into dogfighting, puppy mills and abuse at a chicken hatchery. And Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez won for a March 3, 2010, article that questioned the value of having captive whales and dolphins perform shows at SeaWorld.

Actress Kristin Davis, best known for her role as Charlotte in ‘Sex and the City,’ was given the Wyler Award, named after the late Genesis Award founder Gretchen Wyler, ‘in recognition of the media attention she has brought to the plight of orphaned African elephants impacted by the increase in elephant poaching for their ivory tusks.’

Animal Planet, which will televise the Genesis Awards on April 30, was also a recipient, honored for its reality series ‘Last Chance Highway.’

-- Lee Margulies

Top photo: ‘How to Train Your Dragon.’ Credit: Paramount Pictures / Associated Press


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