The Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA) has announced that it will be honoring Forest Whitaker with the Joel Siegel Award at the 19th annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, to be presented to him by his co-star in “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” Oprah Winfrey.

The Joel Siegel Award is a special honor given by the BFCA in the name of “Good Morning America” film critic and founding BFCA member Joel Siegel, who lost his long struggle with cancer in June, 2007. The Joel Siegel Award is special to the BFCA, honoring its namesake’s legacy and his belief that the true value of celebrity is as an enhanced platform to do good works for others. It spotlights the leadership role so many great stars undertake to help solve the world’s most pressing problems. Previous recipients include Sean Penn, Matt Damon and Don Cheadle.

Forest Whitaker is an exceptional actor. He won an Academy Award and a Critics’ Choice award for his work in “The Last King of Scotland,” and he was acclaimed this past year for his performance as Cecil Gaines in “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.” But he is also an exceptional humanitarian who has worked to raise awareness about youth and violence. In 2012, he founded the Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative, dedicated to helping people affected by violence regardless of age, gender, nationality or faith. Its mission is simple: empower individuals by creating a space for them to be heard, and inspire youth, women and men to promote peace everywhere.

The rest of the night’s winners will be announced live at the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards ceremony on Thursday, January 16, 2014 from the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif. Hosted by Aisha Tyler, the star-studded awards gala will be broadcast live on The CW Network at 8:00 PM ET/PT.

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