May 14, 2019
Philadelphia was well represented at the 23rd Webby Awards ceremony in New York on Monday night, with Flyers mascot Gritty, rapper Tierra Whack and actor Will Smith each taking home honors.
The Webby Awards are presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences and recognize achievement on the internet in various categories, such as: websites, video, social media and podcasts.
Though all the Webby winners were announced last month, Monday night's ceremony was notable because those there to receive their awards in person are limited to five-word acceptance speeches.
Gritty won the People's Voice Award for Social in the athletes and sports teams. The Flyers mascot walked on stage to accept the award in a three-piece suit as the "Rocky" theme played. He squeaked the the squeakers in his furry hands and was handed a sign with his speech handwritten on it that read: "It pronounced wooder not water."
The video the acceptance speech was posted to Gritty's Twitter account Monday night with the caption, "I continue to amaze me."
The short speeches prevent winners from reading a long list of thank yous. On the Webbys' website, credit for the award go to the marketing team behind Gritty: Joe Heller, Sarah Schwab, Christine Mina, Lauren Robins, Lauren Capone, Brian Born, Ben DiCandilo, and Chris DelleMonache.
But one of the highest honors of the evening went to Philly rapper Tierra Whack who won the Webby Artist of the Year award. It was only one of eight special achievement honors at the awards show.
Fellow Philly rapper Freeway presented Whack her award, calling "someone who really delivers the internet we want." He added, "'Whack World' isn't just visually and lyrically stunning, it also raises the bar for where and how art can be made in the digital age of social media."
The Webby's voting members described Whack's debut – and Grammy nominated – album "Whack Worlds as a "brilliant use of Instagram’s 60-second video limit to create experimental, genre-bending, and imaginative art."
Whack's five-word acceptance speech: "Weird, hype, and creative kids."
.@Phillyfreezer presents the Webby Artist of the Year Award to @TierraWhack for her unique vision and her use of digital technology to blaze artistic trails. Hear her #5WordSpeech! #TierraWhack #Freeway #Webbys 🎚️🎚️🎶 pic.twitter.com/Tv97tBY87S— The Webby Awards (@TheWebbyAwards) May 14, 2019
Will Smith won the Webby for Events and Live Streams for his YouTube broadcast of "The Jump," which features The Fresh Prince bungee jumping off a helicopter at the Grand Canyon.
Other winners at last night's Webby Awards include Chance the Rapper, Childish Gambino, Kesha, Ellen DeGeneres and Ryan Reynolds. The award show was hosted by actress and comedian Jenny Slate. Many of the winners' acceptance speeches can be watched on the Webby Awards Instagram.