THE 26TH ANNUAL WEBBY AWARDS RETURNED FOR THE ULTIMATE IN-PERSON CELEBRATION TO HONOR THE BEST OF THE INTERNET
Megan Thee Stallion, Drew Barrymore, Laverne Cox, Ben Stiller, Anita Hill, Adam Scott, Big Bird, Gordon Ramsay, Tan France, Takashi Murakami, Soledad O’Brien, Mark Rober & More Among Webby Winners, Special Achievement Honorees, and Presenters at Star-Studded Ceremony
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“Take bans off our bodies.” – Megan Thee Stallion
“Transgender. Unstoppable. Beautiful. Belongs. Everywhere.” – Laverne Cox
“Geek, nerd, otaku, game, art.” – Takashi Murakami
“Take equality seriously, for real.” – Anita Hill
“Think big, be kind. Toodaloo.” – Big Bird
“Supreme Court, eat my shorts.”- Adam Scott
“Social media is a wild ride.”- Drew Barrymore
“Entrepreneurship is the new black.” – Daymond John
“Finally, finally everybody caught on.” – Anil Dash
“Everything you think is true.” – Kevin McCoy
NEW YORK, May 16, 2022 – Tonight, the 26th Annual Webby Awards honored the year’s biggest Internet visionaries and activists with a long-awaited in-person ceremony at Cipriani Wall Street following a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year’s star-studded ceremony, hosted by comedian Roy Wood Jr. (The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Roy Wood Jr.: Imperfect Messenger) included iconic Webby 5-Word Speeches by the likes of Megan Thee Stallion; childhood superstar Big Bird; actor and social activist Laverne Cox; human ray of sunshine Drew Barrymore; tragicomic king Adam Scott (presented by Ben Stiller); master chef Gordon Ramsay; national hero Anita Hill; visionary artist Takashi Murakami; multi-hyphenate Oscar winner Questlove; our other favorite Daily Show correspondent Jordan Klepper; leading science YouTuber Mark Rober; public health expert Andy Slavitt, inventors of the NFT Anil Dash & Kevin McCoy, among others.
Roy Wood Jr.’s opening monologue immediately set the tone for the night with hilarious anecdotes and talks of how the internet, along with The Webby Awards, have grown over the last 26 years. Wood Jr. kept the energy up throughout the entirety of the show as he bantered with the audience and sang a passionate song about dead Internet trends.
In an especially emotional moment addressing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, presented by Martine Powers, host of the Washington Posts, Post Reports Podcast, Ukraine’s Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Information Mykhailo Fedorov stated that the Internet has proved to be a key component of Ukraine’s efforts, and The Webby Awards recognized this tonight. “Tech is the future, and the future belongs to us,” Fedorov said, “Ukraine will win; it is only a matter of time.”
The evening was capped off by a moving tribute for the Webby Social Movement of The Year by the young organizers of the Say Gay movement, who are standing up against discriminatory legislation that advances homophobia and threatens LGBTQ+ rights in Florida and across the United States. Presented by Tan France and Tig Nataro, the activists each delivered passionate and inspiring 5-Word Speeches: “We will not be silenced,” Will Larkins; “We will vote DeSantis out,” Jack Petocz; “We will keep saying gay,”Abbie Garretson; “This, here, is queer revolution,” Javier Gomez.
Webby President Claire Graves delivered inspiring remarks reflecting on the impact the Internet community has had over the last three years stating, “Collectively we are the conscience of the internet … Let’s continue to harness the power of the Internet to fight evil and make the change.”
Highlights from this year’s Webby Awards Show include:
Megan Thee Stallion accepted the Webby Artist of the Year Award (presented by her Legendary co-star Law Roach) for her use of the Internet to blaze artistic trails and to advocate for Black women to be confident, respected and protected. Her 5-Word Speech was “Take bans off our bodies.”
Laverne Cox accepted her Advocate of the Year Special Achievement Award, presented by Soledad O’Brien, honoring her tireless efforts championing for awareness and equal rights. Her 5-Word Speech Was “Transgender. Unstoppable. Beautiful. Belongs. Everywhere.” The award was selected by a panel chaired by the NAACP and IADAS.
Ben Stiller presented Adam Scott the Webby Best Actor Award for his incredible and versatile performance in the disturbing, dystopian workplace drama AppleTV+ series Severance. His 5-Word Speech was “Supreme Court, eat my shorts.”
Creative Director and Producer, Set Free presented Takashi Murakami the Webby Special Achievement Award for his lifelong career creating experimental art, and for bringing his talents to the new frontier of NFT art, notably through his CloneX NFT drop with RTFKT Studios and his upcoming MURAKAMI.FLOWERS. His 5-Word Speech was “Geek, nerd, otaku, game, art.”
Drew Barrymore accepted a Special Achievement Award, presented by Patrick Starrr, for bringing joy to the Internet with her incredible success in entertaining online audiences everywhere, and for connecting consumers with the high-quality, direct-to-consumer brands Beautiful Kitchenware and Flower Beauty. Her 5-Word Speech was “Social media is a wild ride.”
Veteran tech journalist, Laurie Segall, presented the inventors of the NFT, Anil Dash & Kevin McCoy with the Webby Lifetime Achievement Award for developing a block-chain powered way for artists to own and monetize digital work, which laid the groundwork for what would be known as Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). They each delivered a 5 Word Speech, “Finally, finally everybody caught on,” added Kevin, and Anil restated Prince’s 2006 iconic speech, “Everything you think is true.”
Professor Anita Hill accepted the Webby Award for her Public Service & Activism, General Series (Podcasts) win for the “Because of Anita” podcast, which shines a light on her courageous testimony that paved the way for #MeToo and other social justice movements. Her 5-Word Speech was “Take equality seriously, for real.”
Big Bird accepted the Webby Award for Sesame Street’s YouTube Channel, reminding us all that you’re never too old for a bit of childlike wonderment. His 5-Word Speech was “Think big, be kind. Toodaloo.”
Gordon Ramsay accepted his People’s Voice Winner and Webby Award for his respective Food & Drink, General Social (Social) win and Food & Drink, Video Series & Channels (Video) win for his extremely helpful Ramsay in 10 cooking tutorial series. His 5-Word Speech “No cursing tonight, fuck me!”
Mark Rober accepted his Webby Award for Film & Video Person of the Year for proving that science and engineering can be both educational and entertaining, as proved by his wildly popular YouTube channel. His 5-Word Speech was “Be brave in the attempt.”
Other notable 5-Word Speeches include:
- “Please, please, please vote, seriously.” – Jordan Klepper
- “Vaccinate. I yield my time.” – Andy Slavitt
- “Find someone who inspires you.” – Elle Key
- “Be Brave. Fight for Ukraine.” – Kiril Lazarev
- “Feeding our babies, without judgment.” – Tan France and Kim Chappell of the baby formula company, Bobbie
Find The Webby Awards Online:
Linkedin: The Webby Awards
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 and Mobile Sites; Video; Advertising, Media and PR; Apps & Software, Social; Podcasts; Games and Virtual & Remote. Established in 1996, The Webby Awards received more than 14,0300 entries from all 50 states and 70 countries worldwide this year. The Webby Awards are presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS). Sponsors and Partners of The Webby Awards include Verizon, WP Engine, Canva, Omidyar Network, YouGov, NAACP, KPMG, Fast Company, Wall Street Journal, MediaPost, Podcast Movement, TheFutureParty and AIGA.