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The 22nd Annual Webby Awards Honors Best of the Internet


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“Words can change the world.” –Susan Fowler

“Thank you. Tears of joy.” –David Letterman

“Internet – gets the job done.” –Lin-Manuel Miranda

“Demand better of the Internet.” –Mozilla’s Mitchell Baker

“Kindness is not a weakness.” –Laura Linney

“Afraid? Okay. Do it Afraid.” –Jesse Williams

“Treat people kindly. Start now.” –FKA twigs

“Find new doors. Open them.” –Steven Soderbergh

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NEW YORK, May 15, 2018The Webby Awards honored the year’s biggest Internet visionaries and activists, celebrating the Winners and Honorees of the 22nd Annual Webby Awards with a star-studded ceremony at Cipriani Wall Street on May 14. First-time Webby Awards host, Late Night comedian Amber Ruffin led the celebration to honor this year’s Webby Winners and Special Achievement Honorees, including David Letterman, actor Adam Sandler, #MeToo trailblazer Susan Fowler, actor and activist Jesse Williams, actress Laura Linney, Mozilla founder Mitchell Baker, March for Our Lives youth activists Naomi Wadler, Cameron Kasky, and John Barnitt, director Steven Soderbergh, Ugly Delicious creator David Chang, actor David Harbour, NFL player Chris Long, and artist FKA twigs.

Ruffin opened the show and won over the crowd with her unpredictable wit and humor. She pushed the envelope throughout the night, chronicling the year’s biggest moments on the Internet by channeling a Wakanda warrior in full costume and 80s drumming sensation Sheila E. to explain the intricacies of blockchain technology.

Brimming with powerful and memorable moments, the 22nd Annual Awards Show recognized the many innovators, trailblazers, entertainers, and fierce activists that captivated the Internet this year.

In a moving tribute to the March for Our Lives movement, Parkland students John Barnitt and Cameron Kasky and 11-year-old youth activist Naomi Wadler took to the stage to urge action against senseless and systematic gun violence, with Wadler imploring the audience to “please leave here as warriors.” Joining the chorus of voices on stage, dozens of young activists from Parkland and schools around the country shared their own five words in an emotional film.

The evening was capped off by a passionate presentation from acclaimed tech journalist Kara Swisher to former Uber engineer Susan Fowler for Webby Person of the Year. With a powerful tribute honoring the #MeToo movement and recognizing the noteworthy rallying cry that has been echoed in workplaces across the globe, Swisher lauded Fowler for having “the guts to step forward” and reminded the audience that “words matter.” Fowler accepted the award with the final standing ovation of the evening, declaring “Words can change the world.”

“Tonight’s Webby honorees remind us once again what it means for it to be up to us,” said Webby Media Group CEO David-Michel Davies.

Additional highlights from this year’s Webby Awards Show include:

Long-time king of late night television and current host of his own hit Netflix series, David Letterman accepted a Webby Special Achievement Award with his signature humor, while wiping away imaginary tears, saying “Thank you. Tears of Joy.”

Mitchell Baker, a fierce champion of Internet freedom and an open source pioneer, accepted the Webby Lifetime Achievement Award from CNN tech correspondent Laurie Segall. Ever the defender of an open, collaborative Internet community, Baker accepted her award with a galvanizing 5-Word speech: “Demand better of the Internet.”

Actor Isaiah Mustafa, the comedic face of Old Spice, presented the Webby for Best Actor to David Harbour for his role as Chief Jim Hopper in the Netflix smash hit Stranger Things. Harbour accepted the award, saying “Net neutrality, you greedy dickheads.”

Actress Laura Linney accepted the Webby for Best Actress from her friend and former co-star Liam Neeson for her gripping role in the binge-worthy Netflix original series Ozark, saying “Kindness is not a weakness.”

Former Webby Winner Steve Buscemi presented his The Week Of co-star Adam Sandler with a Webby Special Achievement Award, congratulating Netflix on “having the smarts to hire Adam.” Sandler accepted the Webby Award for his creative success and standout performances in a slate of new Netflix original films and quipped “How about that fucking chicken?”

Prolific director Steven Soderbergh accepted the Webby Award for Film & Video Person of the Year from two stars of Mosaic, Frederick Weller and Jennifer Ferrin, saying “Find new doors. Open them.”

Culinary legend David Chang accepted a Webby Special Achievement Award for his Netflix instant hit Ugly Delicious from Bon Appétit Editor Adam Rapoport, saying “MSG is good for you.”

Hip-hop sensation Swizz Beatz presented actor Jesse Williams with the Webby Special Achievement Award for bringing diversity to apps and entertainment through his chart-topping app BLeBRiTY. Williams accepted his award with: “Afraid? Okay. Do it afraid.”

Artist FKA twigs accepted the Webby Special Achievement Award from actress Dominique Fishback for her groundbreaking contributions to digital culture, and said in spoken and sign language: “Treat people kindly. Start now.”

NFL defensive end Chris Long accepted the Webby Award for Best Athlete of the Year for his work on and off the football field and said “Still collecting my playoff checks.”

Other notable 5-Word Speeches include:

Isiah Thomas: “The slow grind never stops.”

The Museum of Ice Cream: “I’m lactose intolerant. Don’t tell.”

Jimmy Kimmel: “Thank you, assholes on Twitter.”

National Geographic: “The planet needed a win.”

Jimmy O. Yang: “Wow, I can’t follow Letterman.”

HBO GO: “My HBO GO password is…”

Prison Diaries: “Don’t get arrested. Trust me.”

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory: “We’ve got space for everyone.”

BBC: “Life isn’t just about algorithms.”

Dylan Marron: “To my childhood bullies. Thanks.”

E! Online: “Everyone deserves to be beautiful.”

S-Town: “Remember, life’s tedious and brief.”

Deray McKesson: “Ain’t no justice, no peace.”

Fans can watch this year’s Webby Awards celebration at May 15.

Links to post-event footage:

High-res red carpet arrival photos are available here.
Photo Credit: Getty/The Webby Awards
High-res photos from the ceremony are available here.
Photo Credit: Getty/The Webby Awards

Link to b-roll for press.

Credit: The Webby Awards



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About The Webby Awards:

Hailed as the “Internet’s highest honor” by The New York Times, The Webby Awards is the leading international awards organization honoring excellence on the Internet, including Websites, Film & Video, Advertising, Media & PR, Mobile Sites & Apps, Social, Podcasts & Digital Audio, and Games. Established in 1996, The Webby Awards received more than 13,000 entries from all 50 states and 70 countries worldwide this year. The Webby Awards is presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS). Sponsors and Partners of The Webby Awards include: YouTube, HBO, WP Engine, Vitamin T, EY, YouGov, Paramount Network, PUBLIC, The Hollywood Reporter, WNYC Studios, Digiday, Glixel, Product Hunt, and Social Media Week.