Media Project Announces Winners of Annual SHINE Awards For Sexual Health in EntertainmentThe Media Project, a collaborative effort between Advocates for Youth and the Kaiser Family Foundation, yesterday announced the winners of its annual Sexual Health IN Entertainment or SHINE awards, which honor "those in the entertainment industry who do an exemplary job incorporating accurate and honest portrayals of sexuality into their programming." The eight category winners include:
- Comedy episode: "Girlfriends," UPN, "Burning Vagina Monologues" -- Toni is diagnosed with chlamydia but does not know which of the two men she had sex with gave her the infection. Toni "finds it hard to believe" that she contracted chlamydia from the physician she slept with, thinking that because he is a doctor, "he's clean."
- Daytime drama episode: "All My Children," ABC, "Erica & Bianca: A Mother & Daughter Story" -- Bianca has trouble "coming out" to her mother, Erica, who "struggles to accept" her gay daughter.
- Drama episode (tie): "Boston Public," FOX, "Chapter Four" -- One student bribes another to influence the school government race by giving him oral sex. A discussion begins about the students' attitude that oral sex isn't "real" sex. The students are reminded that oral sex does carry health risks. "Strong Medicine," Lifetime, "Complications" -- A high school girl comes into the clinic with a sore throat and is diagnosed with gonorrhea, which she contracted from oral sex. Her doctor visits her school to talk to the students about sexual health.
- Entertainment special: "Holiday Heart," Showtime -- A drug-using mother and her daughter befriend a gay man who raises the girl after her mother "disappears into the world of drugs."
- Informational/documentary: "20/20," ABC, "The Children Speak" -- The children of a lesbian couple and a gay couple speak "poignantly" about their parents and family life.
- Scene stealers: "West Wing," NBC, "Midterms" -- The president condemns a "woman who is exactly like Dr. Laura Schlessinger" in an "impassioned" speech.
- Series storyline: "ER," NBC, "Dr. Weaver Comes Out" -- Dr. Weaver has her first relationship with a woman and "struggles" to admit to herself and others that she is a lesbian.
- Youth program: "Student Voices," Iowa Public Television, "SEX: He Said, She Said" -- Youths discuss the risks and responsibilities of sexual activity, why young people decide to have sex, peer pressure and other influences.
Several of the episodes nominated for SHINE awards featured storylines involving HIV testing and the AIDS epidemic in Africa. The following episodes addressed HIV/AIDS topics:
- "Sex and the City," HBO, "Running With Scissors" -- A man that Samantha wants to sleep with wants her to be tested for HIV/AIDS before he will have sex with her. The girls are all "shocked" that Samantha has never been tested as they all have HIV tests regularly. Samantha's HIV test is negative.
- "Titus," FOX, "The Test" -- Titus has unprotected sex and thinks that he should get tested for HIV. He is "nervous" until his HIV test comes back negative.
- "The West Wing," NBC, "In This White House" -- The administration talks with the president of an African nation about what American pharmaceutical companies can do to help with the African AIDS crisis. The African president wants free or low-cost medication made available and the companies resist.
- "CNN Presents," CNN, "A Dream Deferred: Africa's AIDS Crisis" -- The program features stories of AIDS in Africa, including a white mother whose 7-year-old son died of AIDS, a military man who was infected through unprotected sex, a young girl who was infected because she was raped by her stepfather and a family of poor children raising themselves because both of their parents died of AIDS-related illnesses.
- "Queer As Folk," Showtime, "Pilot" -- A lesbian couple asks the gay man who fathered their child to take out life insurance for the child in case he contracts AIDS (Media Project release, 10/24).