11 television shows win honors for getting health topics right

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Pictured right is John Oliver on the set of HBOs “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.” Pictured left is Julia, an autistic muppet character on Sesame Street.

On Wednesday, Sept. 27, 11 television shows were honored by the Hollywood, Health & Society program for their accurate portrayal of storylines focusing on health, safety and national security.

The 2017 Sentinel Awards recognized storylines that inform, educate and motivate viewers to make choices for healthier and safer lives.

The entries — submitted from broadcast networks, cable channels and streaming services — were reviewed for accuracy by a panel of experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other partner organizations of Hollywood, Health & Society, a program that provides health expertise to entertainment industry professionals.

“We’re delighted to shine a spotlight on writers and producers who entertain viewers and at the same time provide them with accurate information,” Martin Kaplan, director of the USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center and Hollywood, Health & Society’s principal investigator, said in a press release. “We hope the shows and storylines we honor will spur other writers to recognize and use responsibly the power they wield.”

The honorees include:

Drama
Grey’s Anatomy—Maggie’s Mom storyline (ABC)
Topic: Inflammatory breast cancer 

This Is Us—Jack Pearson’s Son (NBC)
Topic: Mental health

Comedy
black-ish—Sprinkles (ABC)
Topic: Preeclampsia

You’re the Worst—Twenty-Two (FXX)
Topic: Mental Health

Children’s Programming
Sesame Street—Meet Julia (HBO)
Topic: Autism

Documentary
Audrie & Daisy (Netflix)
Topic: Sexual assault

Gender Revolution: A Journey With Katie Couric (National Geographic)
Topic: Gender identity

Short Documentary
Open Your Eyes (HBO)
Topic: Eye health

Extremis (Netflix)
Topic: End-of-life care

Talk Show
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver—Episode 86 (HBO)
Topic: Opioid abuse

Unscripted Series
Born This Way—Dream Come True (A&E)
Topic: Down syndrome