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Finger Awards salute Gervais, Takei

CONTENT LONDON: UK comedian Ricky Gervais and actor and social media star George Takei were among the winners of the second annual Finger Awards at Content London On Demand today.

The Comedy for Change international community created the awards to honour outstanding comedic projects with social impact.

The winners of the 2020 Finger Awards received their prizes virtually this afternoon at C21’s digital Content London event. The event was hosted by former senior TV executive turned comedian, writer and broadcaster Cally Beaton.

To watch the Finger Awards 2020, click here.

Gervais took home his first Finger in the Special Contribution to Comedy category, accepting his award from German satirist Jan Böhmermann, a 2019 Finger Award winner.

The award was in specific recognition of his “brave use of comedy to promote representation of disability and discourse about depression and mourning” in Netflix series After Life.

Gervais said: “I’ve always been drawn to taboo subjects as it draws the audience to a place that they haven’t been before, a scary place. Comedians are fascinated by what scares them and death scares most people and it’s funny, because it’s uncomfortable. It’s like taking the audience by the hand through a dark forest and then when they come out it’s sunny, if it’s funny. Humour gets us over bad things, it’s like an innoculation.”

The Most Effective Comedy award was won by Star Trek actor and social media sensation George Takei for reclaiming the term ‘Proud Boys’ from the far-right, neo-fascist and male-only political organisation of that name that promotes and engages in political violence.

Takei encouraged Twitter users to flood the platform with images of LGBTQi pride using the #proudboys hashtag.

Omri Marcus

Most Creative Comedy went to the Dick Pics Museum in Germany, where award-winning German TV show Joko & Klaas Gegen Prosieben ran a campaign against sexual harassment.

In a museum space, the creators opened an exhibition of ‘Dick Pics’ that a famous actress had received. The exhibition featured in a 15-minute special segment about gender relations that also included female celebrities sharing sexist comments made after they appeared on social media.

2020’s Special Covid-19 category went to The Corona Song in Vietnam. The Vietnam Institute of Occupational and Environmental Health set the #GhenCoVyChallenge, which turned into a mass dance craze that encouraged people to wash their hands properly and stay healthy during the coronavirus pandemic. Thousands of funny variations for it were created on TikTok.

Launched by comedy writer and creative director Omri Marcus, The Finger Awards were created to celebrate comedy professionals who have used their craft to make the world a better place.

Marcus said: “In a world run by childish clowns, it is up to comedy to be the responsible adult. The Finger is unique because it honours those who made us laugh and think, or think and laugh. And maybe even act.”

More than 100 nominations were received from 30 countries – a 25% hike on the first edition of The Finger Awards in 2019. The awards were voted for by the Comedy for Change international panel of top industry professionals, all members of the Comedy for Change community which strives to effect social change through humour.

The 50 senior comedy writers, performers and executives on the 2020 judging panel hail from some of the world’s top comedy shows, including The Simpsons (US), Greg News (Brazil), Neo Magazin (Germany) and Shabas (Israel).



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