Press Releases

Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment Presents Michael Kenneth Williams with "Made in NY" Award

Award celebrates Williams' significant contributions to New York City's entertainment industry


NEW YORK – Tonight, the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) honored renowned, Emmy-nominated actor and native New Yorker Michael Kenneth Williams with a "Made in NY" Award, in recognition of his remarkable career in film and television, portraying a diverse array of memorable characters. Williams is a New Yorker with deep roots; he was born in Brooklyn and raised in East Flatbush at Vanderveer Estates NYCHA housing now known as Flatbush Gardens. He began his acting career at the prestigious National Black Theatre in Harlem and continues to give back and mentor young people in the city.

Williams was presented with the award as part of the 2017 IFP Gotham Independent Film Awards ceremony, one of the leading honors for independent film and media.

"Michael Kenneth Williams is an inspiring New Yorker who continues to give back to his community even as his acting success reaches new heights," said Media and Entertainment Commissioner Julie Menin. "Not unlike the characters he's played on screen, Michael has faced down adversity and translated his experiences into his craft. For young people everywhere who have faced similar challenges whether it be abuse or bullying, Michael's story stands out as a shining example of courage, honesty and perseverance."

"I'm overwhelmed with happiness and gratitude for being given the Made in NY award," said Michael Kenneth Williams. "The city is and will continue to be an intrinsic part of who I am both personally and as an entertainer."

Established in 2006, the Made in NY Awards celebrate excellence in New York City's creative community, and recognize the achievements of individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the City's entertainment and digital media industries. Last year's recipients, who were also awarded as part of the Gotham Awards, were Aziz Ansari and Judith Light.

About "Made in NY" Award Recipient Michael K. Williams
Michael Kenneth Williams is one of this generation's most respected and acclaimed actors. He is best known for his remarkable work as Omar on The Wire and for playing Chalky White on the critically acclaimed series Boardwalk Empire. He was recently seen in HBO's The Night Of in the role of Freddy Knight, for which he received his second Emmy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie. Williams previously received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or a Movie for his role as Jack Gee in HBO's Bessie.

In 2018, Williams will return as 'Leonard' for a third season in the Sundance Channel series Hap & Leonard. His upcoming film projects include Gideon Raff's Red Sea Diving Resort, which chronicles the evacuation of Jewish Ethiopian Civil War refugees from Sudan to Israel in the late 1970s and early '80s.

Giving back to the community plays an important role in Williams' off-camera life. He is working to launch Making Kids Win, a charitable organization whose primary objective is to build community centers in urban neighborhoods that are in need of safe spaces for children to learn and play. Williams currently serves as the ACLUs ambassador of Smart Justice.