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Award Season 2019: Discovery, Gibney, Spielberg honored for Why We Hate docuseries

Why We Hate is an empirical analysis of the human trait to hate based on differences. Pic credit: Discovery
Why We Hate is an empirical analysis of the human trait to hate based on differences. Pic credit: Discovery

Human Rights Watch has announced that they will Honor the Discovery docuseries Why We Hate and give the Promise Award to filmmakers Alex Gibney and Steve Spielberg.

The Los Angeles Committee of Human Rights Watch announced it will bestow the third annual Promise Award to the docuseries for the Discovery Channel, Why We Hate.

The award is to be given at the upcoming Human Rights Watch Voices for Justice Dinner on November 12, 2019.

The Human Rights Watch has for 40 years been heralding the triumphs and alerting to the abuses found the world over by the international human rights movement. Their work is designed to create meaningful change.

Around the globe, the organization works in tandem with local activists who often put their lives at risk in their work. Human Rights Watch accepts no money from any government.

What is Why We Hate?

Why We Hate is a docuseries from executive producers Alex Gibney and Steven Spielberg, presenting fact and context to understand a primal feeling, and to better understand the human mind and the viral nature of hate itself.

In the preview clip, the narrator expresses the truth that all human beings have the capacity to hate, but what is it that triggers or provokes feelings of hate?  What pushes us to commit acts of violence?

It turns out we are products of long-ingrained behavior imprinted in our DNA. The seeds of our psychology are built to look for threats. The instinct to flock to like-minded and similar looking people is common, but what is it that turns garden variety hate into mass murder and hate crimes?

Directed by Emmy winners Geeta Gandbhir and Sam Pollard, they explore ancient behavior and apply science and empirical data to support the thesis of the nature of hatred and its place in the wide spectrum of human emotions and feelings that dwell in the human mind.

According to Discovery: “If we can figure out why we hate, where hate originates, and how it is amplified, can we find a way to prevent it?”

“We are delighted to honor Why We Hate this year,” said Justin Connolly, senior director for Human Rights Watch Southern California in a press statement. “A common theme in so many areas we investigate – from conflict, to torture, to mass atrocities, to lack of empathy for refugees – is hatred, often longstanding and incited by opportunistic leaders. Digging into this topic from historical, neurological, and anthropological perspectives, Why We Hate helps get to the heart of why Human Rights Watch has to exist in the first place.”

“It is an honor to represent the tremendously talented creative team of Why We Hate,” said Frank Marshall, executive producer of the series in a statement. “Early on, the team set out a goal to create a series highlighting historical and modern-day incidents of hatred while weaving in the science and personal storytelling of those affected by them. With the help of Discovery and their massive global reach, the series was able to touch people all over the world, giving them the tools and knowledge so hopefully never look the other way when others are being persecuted.”

About The Promise Award

The Promise Award recognizes an artist or work that advances the values of equality and justice in profound ways.

Named for the film set against the Armenian genocide, the inaugural award was presented posthumously to former Soundgarden leadman Chris Cornell in 2017 for his song of the same name, The Promise.

The filmmakers

Along with Mr. Gibney and Mr. Spielberg, the executive producers for the docuseries include Frank Marshall, Stacey Offman, Richard Perello, Darryl Frank, Justin Falvey, David McKillop, Jon Bardin, Yael Melamede, Erica Sashin and Steve Tisch. Nancy Daniels and Howard Swartz are the executive producers for Discovery.

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