The Imagen Foundation announced today Tanya Saracho as this year’s recipient of the Norman Lear Writer’s Award. Saracho is a playwright and television writer who recently served as creator, showrunner, and executive producer of the critically acclaimed series Vida on Starz.
Vida aired its third and final season on Starz in May 2020, featuring all Latine directors in season one, and all Latina directors in seasons two and three, including Saracho, who made her television directorial debut. The series had an all-Latine writers’ room for seasons one and two, and in season three, the room was composed of all Latina writers.
“Vida broke ground on so many levels, bringing to the forefront stories that otherwise would remain untold. Rather than rest on her laurels, Tanya continues to champion for stories and storytellers that reflect our communities’ voices, experiences, and cultures. Her work, determination, and willingness to share her voice, reflect the essence of the Norman Lear Writer’s Award,” said Helen Hernandez, President & Founder.
Tanya Saracho recently launched the Ojalá Ignition Lab in June 2021, as part of her overall deal with Universal Content Productions (UCP), which is a lab and incubator program aimed to nurture, amplify, guide, and empower intersectional Latine voices.
In addition, Saracho co-founded the Untitled Latinx Project, whose mission is to increase Latine representation in television, broadcast, cable, and streaming platforms through content created by Latine writers, along with co-founding the Writers Access Support Staff Training Program, to help increase representation and opportunities for underrepresented communities.
“I am humbled and deeply honored to be recognized by Imagen with this prestigious award, especially one named after such an inspiring and talented icon, activist, and creative force, Norman Lear,” said Saracho. “And I strive to continue in the example he has set and use my platform and voice to increase Latine representation across our industry.”
The Norman Lear Writer’s Award honors those that have exhibited efforts towards increasing diversity within all aspects of the entertainment industry. Past recipients include Gloria Calderon Kellett, Peter Murrieta, Luisa Leschin, John Leguizamo, Fred Armisen, and Roberto Orci.