Michael J. Fox set for honorary Oscar

Michael J. Fox and Betty White pose together in 1986, each clutching an Emmy.
Michael J. Fox with Betty White at the 1986 Emmys. Fox will receive an honorary Oscar in 2023.
(Douglas C. Pizac / Associated Press)

I’m opening my mind to the idea of a Columbian hot dog, not to mention all these recipes for a soulful Fourth of July. (I could eat those slow-cooked beans for breakfast, lunch and dinner.)

But I can’t do that because Emmy nominations voting is still going on and there remains, I don’t know, a hundred something shows to watch before ballots are due. I’m Glenn Whipp, awards columnist for the Los Angeles Times and host of The Envelope’s Friday newsletter. What are you planning for the Fourth? (July is next week!)

Michael J. Fox has a date with Oscar

The motion picture academy revealed the honorees for this year’s Governors Awards, and it includes beloved icon Michael J. Fox, who will receive the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. Joining him at the Nov. 19 ceremony will be songwriter Diane Warren, a 13-time Oscar nominee and power ballad specialist (“I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing,” “How Do I Live,” “Because You Loved Me”), the great director Peter Weir (“Witness,” “Dead Poets Society”) and French West Indian filmmaker Euzhan Palcy (“Sugar Cane Alley”).

Fox is receiving the Hersholt award for his advocacy of research on Parkinson’s disease. But, of course, he has a remarkable body of work as an actor, including the “Back to the Future” films and the underrated “Doc Hollywood,” a sweet paean to takin’ it easy and the wonders of properly roasted squash.

Songwriter Diane Warren poses for a portrait in a hat and shirt that reads Pop!
Songwriter Diane Warren will receive an honorary Oscar this year.
(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Emmy-worthy shows outside drama, comedy and limited series

“Bo Burnham: Inside,” the virtuosic musical extravaganza that captured the isolation brought on by the pandemic in ways that were hilarious and heartbreaking, won three Emmys last year, though not the main category that was presented during the televised ceremony. That award, outstanding variety special, went to “Hamilton,” a 5-year-old recording of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s popular musical.

I mention this not to relitigate the past — though I’m tempted, as Burnham’s special was the best thing on TV last year, and I can’t think of a bigger whiff in the history of the Emmys — but to point out that amid all the campaigning for comedy, drama and limited series, some of the most worthy shows are the ones a bit further off the radar. Hopefully, voters will have been paying attention. I recently wrote a column spotlighting seven that deserve consideration. And if you’ve gotta feeling, a feeling deep inside, that one particular documentary is on that list, then let me whisper these words (of wisdom?): You’re absolutely right.

The Beatles perform on the rooftop in "The Beatles: Get Back."
(Getty Images / Courtesy Walt Disney Studios)

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W. Kamau Bell isn’t tired of talking about ‘Cosby’

W. Kamau Bell’s four-part series, “We Need to Talk About Cosby” takes a measured look at Bill Cosby’s career, the importance of his cultural significance to Black Americans and, of course, the stories of the many women who accused the comedian of sexual assault. It’s exhaustive, provocative and essential and was absolutely on the list of shows I highlighted in that column I just mentioned. Times contributor, Akiva Gottlieb, recently talked with Bell about the project.


“For a lot of younger folks, who just see Cosby as this guy who was accused and convicted of sexual assault, they’re like: ‘Why do you make such a big deal of this guy?’” Bell told Gottlieb. “And I think it’s important to tell the story of how he gets all this power, how he gets the public trust and ‘The Cosby Show’ is the epicenter of that. And it’s the part of the story that makes everything else so painful. He wasn’t Black America’s dad. He was America’s dad.”

W. Kamau Bell, director of "We Need to Talk About Cosby."
(Lauren Segal/For The Times)


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