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21st Annual Webby Awards April 25, 2017

Meet This Year’s Webby Special Achievement Winners

If you're looking for the movers and shakers, the makers and doers, the superstars of the Internet—you've found them. Get to know the 21st Annual Webby Special Achievement Winners below.

Every year, The Webby Awards honors a selection of Special Achievement Winners that have made outstanding contributions to the Internet and pushed the boundaries of what’s possible online. From Steve Buscemi’s unforgettable performance in the Horace and Pete web series to the historic activism of The Women’s March, this year’s Special Achievement winners represent all the power and potential of the Internet. We’re proud to honor such diverse, important work—and celebrate another year of vibrant Internet.

Read on to learn more about the Special Achievement winners who will be honored on stage at the 21st Annual Webby Awards.

Meet This Year’s Webby Special Achievement Winners

If you're looking for the movers and shakers, the makers and doers, the superstars of the Internet—you've found them. Get to know the 21st Annual Webby Special Achievement Winners below.

Steve Buscemi, Webby Best Actor

Things we love about Steve Buscemi: his incredible talent onscreen, his charming chameleon eyes, and most importantly, his wholehearted embrace of the Internet with Horace and Pete (clip above).

Buscemi stars as Pete in the web series alongside 2012 Webby Person of the Year Louis C.K., who plays Horace and also wrote and directed the show.

Horace and Pete was written, shot, and distributed without any involvement from a TV network—a true testament to the Internet’s power as a medium for groundbreaking work.

In a radical departure from mainstream TV, the show features long cuts, monologues, and a theater-style set, all of which allows for Buscemi’s searing performance as Pete, who struggles with OCD and mental illness, to stand front and center.

Gillian Anderson, Webby Best Actress

Gillian Anderson got her big break playing Dana Scully in The X-Files, but since then she’s moved on from stalking the paranormal to hunting down a serial killer in The Fall (trailer above), which originally ran on BBC Two and was then scooped up by Netflix in 2013, an early win for online streaming.

Anderson was born in Chicago, and spent nine years living in London before moving back to the States, which likely explains why she can nail both English and American accents.

Sorry to all the X-Files fans out there, but Anderson has said that the “mysterious” Stella Gibson is her favorite character to play. Maybe we’re biased, but she’s also our favorite character to watch: Come on, she can basically cut someone in half with her stare.

Van Jones, Special Achievement Webby Award

Van Jones was the breath of fresh air we needed during last year’s fraught election cycle: His web series “The Messy Truth” focused on creating constructive dialogue between those with differing political views, rather than succumbing to the divisive rhetoric clogging newsfeeds everywhere.

Jones is doing other great work on the Internet, too. We especially admire his #YesWeCode initiative, which is helping 100,000 young men and women from underrepresented backgrounds gain the skills they need to succeed in tech.

You can catch Van on CNN, or get his takes on current events by following him on Twitter.

The Women's March, Social Movement of the Year

The Women’s March began as a Facebook event started by Teresa Shook, a retired grandmother living in Hawaii. She invited 40 friends to join, and awoke the next day to discover that 10,000 people had RSVP’d to attend.

The March received a huge amount of attention and notable celebrity endorsements, including Beyoncé. It also spread far beyond Washington, D.C. via the Internet, with close to 700 sister marches around the globe. All told, nearly 5 million people took to the streets on January 21st thanks to the incredible organizing power and digital prowess of Women’s March board members Tamika Mallory, Linda Sarsour, Bob Bland, and Carmen Perez (from left, above).

The spirit of the march continues with the 10 Actions in 100 Days campaign, which outlines ways for marchers and allies to spur social and political change. Check out their Take Action page to see past actions and ways you can get involved in your own community.

Meet This Year’s Webby Special Achievement Winners

If you're looking for the movers and shakers, the makers and doers, the superstars of the Internet—you've found them. Get to know the 21st Annual Webby Special Achievement Winners below.

InternetArchive.org, Lifetime Achievement Award

The Internet Archive was founded in 1996 (the same year The Webbys began) as an online catalog of the Internet.

You can use its Wayback Machine to view old webpages from all over the Internet, including the Webbys homepage from 2005.

In 2005, Internet Archive also began digitizing books, creating an online library that anyone can access. It has also archived TV broadcasts, software, games (PacMan, anyone?), music, and more.

Solange Knowles, Artist of the Year

Solange released her latest album, A Seat at the Table, for digital streaming on September 30th of last year, and it quickly rose to the number one spot on the Billboard 200. The album’s lead single, “Cranes in the Sky” (video above), won a Grammy—Solange’s first (this is her first Webby as well).

A true online innovator, Solange has made digital technology a big part of her work. She founded her own record label and launched Saint Heron, a collaborative platform and online store for artists, especially artists of color, that has grown into a hub for music, culture, and art.

Solange has also made exemplary use of the Internet to support social and racial justice and celebrate diversity among fellow artists—her Twitter and Instagram accounts are a fantastic primer on the top creatives making groundbreaking work today.


Webby Winners and Webby Special Achievement Award Winners will be honored at the 21st Annual Webby Awards on Monday, May 15th, at Cipriani Wall Street. Visit webbyawards.com on Tuesday, May 16th, to watch the full star-studded show, including special performances, 5-Word Speeches, and more.

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