84th Annual Peabody Awards Celebrates Excellence In Storytelling At 1st Ever L.A. Ceremony
Donald Glover (l) and Quinta Brunson at the 84th Peabody Awards (Gety Images for Peabody Awards)
Mel Brooks, Quinta Brunson and "Star Trek" honored; 34 winners in broadcasting and streaming media presented with Peabodys
  • LOS ANGELES
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On Sunday (6/9) evening, for the first time ever in its history, the Peabody Awards held its awards show in Los Angeles. The entertainment industry came together for the 84th annual awards to celebrate the most compelling and empowering stories released in broadcasting and streaming media during 2023. Winners were chosen by a unanimous vote from over 1,100 entries in television, podcasts/radio, and the web/digital in entertainment, news, documentary, arts, children’s/youth, public service, and interactive programming. Of the 34 total wins, HBO/Max received the most (7), followed by PBS (5), Amazon MGM Studios (3), and The Washington Post and FX (2 each). 

The awards show was hosted by Oscar-nominated writer and Emmy-nominated actor and comedian Kumail Nanjiani. Presenters at the show included: Billy Crystal, Donald Glover, JJ Abrams, Regina King, Rose Byrne, Hasan Minhaj, Shailene Woodley, Amanda Seales, Kendrick Sampson, Kali Reis, Shannon Watts, Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Mo Amer, Pamela Adlon, Emmanuel Acho, Darren Criss, Lilly Singh, Chris Bianco, Yaya Dacosta, and Larry Wilmore. Stars of winning programs in attendance included Bluey’s Melanie Zanetti; Fellow Travelers’ Matt Bomer and Jelani Alladin; Reservation Dogs’ Taika Waititi (EP), Paulina Alexis, Lane Factor and Bobby Wilson; Somebody Somewhere’s Bridget Everett; and The Bear’s Lionel Boyce, Abby Elliott and Ricky Staffieri, as well as numerous directors, producers, and writers.

Billy Crystal presented award-winning actor, comedian, writer and director Mel Brooks with this year’s Peabody Career Achievement Award. With a career spanning over seven decades, Brooks has left an indelible mark in American culture. A pioneer in spoof comedy and one of the most influential figures in the history of American comedic television, Brooks broke ground through his use of comedy as a form of resistance.

Donald Glover bestowed award-winning writer, producer, actor, and comedian Quinta Brunson with this year’s Peabody Trailblazer Award in recognition of her work impacting our culture and affecting social change through her innovative storytelling. Brunson’s work on Abbott Elementary not only reflects Peabody’s mission to honor stories that matter, but also opens doors for the next generation of Black leaders in television.

Star Trek, the beloved science fiction franchise, was honored with the Peabody Institutional Award, presented by JJ Abrams. Accepting the award on behalf of Star Trek was Patrick Stewart, Jeri Ryan, Anson Mount, Scott Bakula, Tawny Newsome, Sam Richardson, Wilson Cruz, Rebecca Romjin, Doug Jones, Ethan Peck and Levar Burton. Hasan Minaj presented WITNESS, the international rights group that assists citizens across the globe in using video and digital technologies to protect and defend human rights, with Peabody’s inaugural Global Impact Award.

The 84th annual Peabody Awards ceremony was produced by Bob Bain Productions. Peabody is based at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.

The Peabody Award winners were announced last month and covered by SHOOT here.

Here’s a recap of this year’s Peabody Award recipients, listed by category and in alphabetical order (network/platform in parentheses) are:

ARTS

“Can You Bring It: Bill T. Jones and D-Man in the Waters” (World Channel and APT)
Choreographer Bill T. Jones created one of his seminal works in the face of profound personal tragedy. “D-Man in the Waters,” which premiered in 1989, followed the death of Jones’s collaborator and partner, Arnie Zane, and another company member, Demian Acquavella, both of AIDS. The documentary captures the enduring poignancy of the dance—and what it means for a new generation to carry it forward. 
Black Public Media and World Channel

 

“Judy Blume Forever” (Prime Video)
The writer of such beloved young-adult novels as Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret, Blubber, and Forever is the subject of Davina Pardo and Leah Wolchok’s touching documentary portrait of an artist who continues to make teenage girls feel seen with her frank depictions of puberty and budding sexuality. Yet the documentary insists on seeing Blume’s story as necessarily intertwined with the waves of book censorship that continue to be fodder in the culture wars of 21st century America, which is where the film finds its urgency as an evergreen warning. 
Amazon MGM Studios, Imagine Documentaries

 

 

CHILDREN’S/YOUTH

“Bluey” (Disney+)
Creator Joe Brumm’s endearing family of animated Australian dogs have captivated both children and adults for years in episodes equally delightful and heartrending. Very little feels off the table, as Bluey fearlessly tackles topics from death to infertility to fleeting friendships, all while maintaining a sense of innocence and exuberance for the children, and affinity and understanding for the parents, who are allowed to be dynamic, imperfect beings on their own growth journey. 
Ludo Studio, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, BBC Studios

 

 

DOCUMENTARY

“20 Days in Mariupol” (PBS)         
In the days following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022, international aid workers and journalists alike began to flee the besieged city of Mariupol, but a team of reporters from the Associated Press, led by Eastern Ukraine-born director Mstyslav Chernov, remained. With their safety under constant threat, these intrepid filmmakers captured some of the most excruciating images of the war, including pregnant women fleeing a bombed maternal hospital and mass graves filled with children.
FRONTLINE (PBS), The Associated Press 

 

“All That Breathes” (HBO | Max) 
Mesmerizing and contemplative, All That Breathes navigates the complexities of inter-species coexistence through the story of two brothers and their quest to save the black kite bird amid rising environmental toxicity and social unrest in New Delhi. Shot in one of the most populated cities on earth, the film captures the symbiotic relationship between the animals’ fight for survival and the brothers’ struggle to keep their family intact. 
HBO Documentary Films presents ALL THAT BREATHES in association with Submarine Deluxe and Sideshow; a Kiterabbit Films and Rise Films production in collaboration with HHMI Tangled Bank Studios 

 

“All the Beauty and the Bloodshed” (HBO | Max)            
For half a century now, the photography of Nan Goldin has encouraged us to look at others, ourselves, and our world anew, which has propelled her recent battle within arts institutions to hold the Sackler family accountable for the current opioid epidemic. Directed by Laura Poitras, All the Beauty and the Bloodshed is equal parts a portrait of Goldin the artist, and a manifesto of Goldin the activist. 
HBO Documentary Films presents a Participant and Neon presentation

 

“Bobi Wine: The People’s President” (National Geographic)      
Ugandan music superstar Bobi Wine first rose to national and international fame with message-driven songs, but then pivoted to politics, first winning a seat in Parliament and later opting to run for president, his charm and fame fueling hope of toppling the now decades-long government of Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. Christopher Sharp and Moses Bwayo’s Bobi Wine: The People’s President chronicles the ups and downs of that 2021 presidential election, offering up images of frenzied crowds cheering Bobi Wine on and documenting the various threats and arrests the star withstood as he spoke against Museveni’s regime. 
Southern Films / Ventureland / National Geographic Documentary Films 

 

“POV: While We Watched” (PBS)
Since the election of Narendra Modi to national office in 2014, press freedoms in India have come under attack on multiple fronts, including murders of high-profile journalists and hostile media takeovers by the state. While We Watched provides an intimate portrait of one celebrated journalist, Ravish Kumar, as he doggedly speaks truth to power in a rapidly deteriorating news industry increasingly given over to polarizing misinformation and extreme Hindu nationalism.  
BRITDOC Films, American Documentary | POV

 

“The Stroll” (HBO | Max)    
The story of The Stroll—a strip of street in the Meatpacking district in New York City once frequented by trans sex workers—is one that risked, by its very nature, being forgotten. Such urban history lives not in the buildings, but in the individuals who lived it and have since been displaced by gentrifying forces. The film privileges candid interviews where these women speak for and about themselves, refusing the call toward respectability politics as well as the dour lens through which their stories are often told. 
HBO Documentary Films

 

 

ENTERTAINMENT
 

“The Bear” (FX)
Created by Christopher Storer, The Bear follows Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto (Jeremy Allen White), a young chef from the upscale world of Michelin-star dining, as he returns to his hometown of Chicago to manage the rundown sandwich shop that his older brother ran into the ground before dying by suicide. Viewers are drawn into the relentlessly chaotic, high-stress world of small restaurant ownership, as Carmy builds a loyal staff who share his vision and, by necessity, his addiction to a high-pressure game of day-to-day survival—in business and in life.  
FX Productions

 

“Dead Ringers” (Prime Video)
The anxieties that come with delivering a child within a healthcare system that too often dismisses women’s pain and does little to alleviate the very real fears surrounding every step of the process play backdrop to this latest adaptation of the 1977 novel Twins by Bari Wood and Jack Geasland and the 1988 David Cronenberg film of the same name. Here, though, the encroaching sense of doom that rankles the Mantle twins (both played with gusto by Rachel Weisz) comes just as much from their commitment to improving women’s care (a scary, uphill battle as it is) as from the predatory ways in which venture capitalists cannot comprehend why there may be a worthy business model in valuing women’s sense of bodily autonomy. 
Amazon MGM Studios, Annapurna Television

 

“Fellow Travelers” (Showtime)
Set against the backdrop of the “Lavender Scare” during the 1950s McCarthy era on one end and the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic of the 1980s at the other, this ambitious period drama is anchored by the decades-spanning affair between Hawkins Fuller (Matt Bomer) and Timothy Laughlin (Jonathan Bailey). As Hawk finds pain and solace in the closet with a picture-perfect family and Tim rebukes his faith while thrusting himself into increasingly more radical politics, their love chains them to one another as they see the world and the queer community change around them. 
SHOWTIME Presents a Fremantle and Showtime Studios Production

 

“Jury Duty” (Amazon Freevee)
When Ronald Gladden showed up for jury duty, he was told the entire process was being filmed for a documentary. To watch all eight episodes of Jury Duty, which was, it turns out, a wholly fabricated improv-fueled hoax where only Gladden was none the wiser, is to witness the trappings of reality TV and prank shows being upended to show that serving one’s community, in ways big and small, is a humble but necessary goal.
Amazon MGM Studios, Picrow, The District, Piece of Work Entertainment

 

“The Last of Us” (HBO | Max)
In HBO’s post-apocalyptic The Last of Us, a faithful adaptation of the critically-acclaimed Naughty Dog video game, the road trip odyssey of Joel and Ellie (played by Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey) functions as a recursive meditation on love and loss—and how love is capable of changing people, for good and for ill. In the hands of showrunner Craig Mazin, who worked in collaboration with Neil Druckmann, a co-director on the original game, this adaptation extracts new layers from the text that expand its meaning—imagining what a life of love and fulfillment, and survival, can look like at the end of the world.
HBO in association with Sony Pictures Television Studios, PlayStation Productions, Word Games, The Mighty Mint, and Naughty Dog

 

“Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Israel-Hamas War” (HBO | Max)
With its thoughtful episode about the conflict in Israel and Palestine, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver offered an important corrective to the media landscape awash in misinformation and decontextualized vitriol just weeks after October 7. Though ostensibly a “comedy” show, Last Week offered one of the best encapsulations of the conflict in all of media. 
HBO in association with Peyance Productions and Avalon Television

 

“Reality” (HBO | Max)
When two FBI agents questioned 25-year-old former American intelligence specialist Reality Winner about possible mishandling of classified information back in 2017, the resulting interaction played out like a gripping scene of experimental theater. At least that’s how filmmaker Tina Satter read it. Satter’s HBO film Reality stars Sydney Sweeney in a discomfiting dramatization that refuses to pin down its central figure nor what she’s come to mean to the media and critics on both sides of the partisan divide. 
HBO Films presents a Seaview and 2 Sq Ft production in association with Burn These Words, In The Cut Productions, Fit Via Vi, Cinereach, Tanbark Pictures

 

“Reservation Dogs” (FX)
The third and final season of the breakthrough series Reservation Dogs exemplifies the power of indigenous storytelling over ten exquisite and nuanced episodes chronicling life on and off the reservation. Audiences continue following Bear (D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai), Elora Danan (Devery Jacobs), Willie Jack (Paulina Alexis), and Cheese (Lane Factor) as they make their way from high school to adulthood—the group’s journey culminating in an artful finale that honors the fierce independence of the series and its Indigenous makers. 
FX Productions

 

“Somebody Somewhere” (HBO | Max)
Meet Sam Miller, a smart, cynical 40-something Kansas native who reluctantly returns to her midwestern hometown following the death of her older sister. There, she is forced to face the challenges of loss and grief with the help of a community of quirky outsiders. Starring comedian, writer, and cabaret performer Bridget Everett, the series’ second season deftly explores bittersweet themes of family, friendship, and self-reinvention. 
HBO in association with Duplass Brothers Productions and The Mighty Mint

 

 

INTERACTIVE & IMMERSIVE

“The Hidden History of Racism in New York City” (Instagram)
Kahlil Greene, in his collaboration with Ariel Viera, makes lessons of the past relevant with The Hidden History of Racism in New York City, a six-part micro-documentary series for social media, touring parts of New York that exist, in part, because of historical incidents of race-based violence. The series combats the rampant disinformation on social media that dismisses how race continues to shape our history. It is a shining example of the power of digital collaboration, combining Greene’s extensive and incisive histories of race with Viera’s urban tours. 
Gen Z Historian, Urbanist Live

 

“Pentiment” (Xbox, PC, PlayStation 4|5, and Nintendo Switch)
Pentiment starts with an unusual premise: an illuminated manuscript artist, and later the daughter of his friend the town printer (an artist herself), must solve a series of mysterious murders that occur over a 30-year period in a small Bavarian town run by the local Catholic Abbey during the early years of the Protestant Reformation. With great historical accuracy, the game intricately weaves period art and print styles into its visuals while delving into the region’s political, economic, and spiritual landscapes, and examining the gender, class, and ethnic dynamics of this period of European history.
Obsidian Entertainment

 

“We Are OFK” (PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, Steam)
We Are OFK is a virtual music project and interactive narrative that follows a group of diverse, intersectional, LGBTQ+ friends who form a band. The story explores conflicts of creative enterprise, including money, mental health, and loss, as well as the unique challenges of creative work in the digital age. 
OFK

 

“You Destroy. We Create | The war on Ukraine’s culture” (Meta Quest)
Only six months into the war in Ukraine, in the summer of 2022, the team from NowHere Media took 360- and 180-degree cameras behind the frontlines in Ukraine to bear witness to another kind of fight: the cultural battlefield. Their resulting VR film, You Destroy. We Create | The war on Ukraine’s culture, bravely brings audiences close to Ukrainian artists and cultural workers who are protecting, rebuilding, and generating art in a time of crisis. 
NowHere Media

 

 

 

NEWS

“Against All Enemies” (NBC 5 / KXAS-TV Dallas-Fort Worth)
As NBC 5/KXAS-TV Dallas-Fort Worth’s series Against All Enemies lays out, a group called the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA) has been quietly radicalizing law enforcement agents across Texas by advocating one key tenet: sheriffs, they say, owing their direct allegiance to the constitution, have a power that supersedes that of federal agencies including the FBI and even the president of the United States. As this months-long reporting makes clear, these fringe ideas had infiltrated Texas’ official state training sessions, a terrifying finding given CSPOA’s ties to the far-right extremist group the Oath Keepers. 
NBC 5 / KXAS-TV Dallas-Fort Worth

 

“Clarence and Ginni Thomas: Politics, Power and the Supreme Court” (PBS)
In thirty years on the Supreme Court, Clarence Thomas has gone from the lonely fringes of dissent to the heart of the conservative supermajority responsible for overturning Roe v. Wade, gutting the Voting Rights Act, and outlawing affirmative action in higher education. In this fascinating two-hour report, veteran Frontline producer Michael Kirk and his team examine how this deeply complicated man was shaped by his rise from poverty in rural Georgia and his marriage to the former Virginia “Ginni” Lamp, the product of a privileged white Nebraska family filled with grievance about a changing America. 
FRONTLINE (PBS)

 

“Hate Comes to Main Street” (WTVF-TV, NewsChannel 5)
In Franklin, Tennessee, an affluent suburb of Nashville, mediagenic alderwoman Gabrielle Hanson entered the 2023 mayor’s race against a popular Republican incumbent, running on a far-right platform of Christian nationalism and opposition to LGBTQ rights. But when investigative reporter Phil Williams of WTVF-NewsChannel 5 started following Hanson’s campaign, he uncovered a trail of hypocrisy and deceit, full of doctored social media posts, a job running a prostitution service under a different name, lies to police, and carpetbagging. 
WTVF-TV, NewsChannel 5 

 

“It’s Bisan from Gaza and I’m Still Alive” (Al Jazeera Media Network)
Bisan Owda’s frequent video and livestream reports from the Gaza Strip vividly document the Palestinian civilian experience under Israeli siege following Hamas’ attack on October 7, chronicling the plight of the young journalist and her family as they flee the bombardment of their home in Beit Hanoun for the supposed safe zone of Al-Shifa Hospital. Reporting from her makeshift tent outside the medical center, she shows what survival looks like for her and the masses around her, drawing on her indomitable spirit to keep the world informed of the day-to-day reality on the ground in Gaza. 
AJ+ 

 

“War in the Holy Land” (PBS NewsHour)
Just six days after October 7, PBS Newshour aired this impressive hour-long special report capturing the horror of the Hamas attack on Israel and Israel’s brutal retaliation in Gaza. Through emotional interviews with families of Israeli hostages, Palestinians under siege, anguished veterans of the shattered peace process, experts, and blunt critics of both Hamas and the Israeli government, PBS’ reports showed compassion and a sophisticated understanding of the politics of the region.
PBS NewsHour, PBS News 

 

 

PUBLIC SERVICE
 

“America and the Taliban” (PBS)             
In America and the Taliban, Frontline combines exemplary on-the-ground reporting, powerful new interviews, and 20 years of archived material to tackle how we lost the war in Afghanistan. The three-part series offers surprising new insight into America’s longest war, exposing the failures and missteps that led to the Taliban’s stunning 2021 victory. 
FRONTLINE (PBS) 

 

“The Post Roe Baby Boom: Inside Mississippi’s Maternal Health Crisis” (USA TODAY streaming channels)
With abortions severely curtailed in Mississippi, more babies than usual will be born in the state, putting extreme strain on a system where maternal healthcare was already in crisis. In this episode of USA Today’s States of America, Danielle Dreilinger, a journalist for The Tennessean, shines a spotlight on the harrowing deficiencies of that system with a report on the Mississippi Delta, an impoverished region with historically high rates of maternal and infant mortality. 
USA TODAY and The Tennessean 

 

 

RADIO/PODCAST

“The Big Dig” (GBH-News)
Originating in the 1970s, the ambitious infrastructure project known as “the Big Dig” became known far and wide for dramatic cost overruns, repeated delays, and construction failures that resulted in a fatal car accident. Yet in this compelling nine-episode podcast, Boston native Ian Coss revisits the “boondoggle” storyline and comes away with instructive new conclusions, weaving a narrative of infighting and setbacks, but also idealism and persistence that ultimately led to the completion of an urban planning marvel that has made today’s Boston a dramatically more livable city.
GBH-News and PRX 

 

“The Empty Grave of Comrade Bishop” (The Washington Post)
More than 40 years ago, Grenadian prime minister Maurice Bishop was executed alongside three members of his cabinet and four supporters, just days before the United States invaded the Caribbean nation. The Marxist leader’s remains, and those of the seven other revolutionaries killed alongside him, were never found. The Empty Grave of Comrade Bishop investigates this international mystery by drawing on the voices of the people most affected.
The Washington Post 

 

“Post Reports: Surviving to graduation” (The Washington Post)
A quarter of a century since the Columbine school shooting rocked a nation, the specter of gun violence has become a depressing and inescapable new normal for high schoolers all over the United States. Washington Post reporters Hannah Natanson, Sabby Robinson, and Moriah Balingit embedded themselves in Huguenot High School in Richmond, Virginia, for months to see what is being done to help students cope with their bleak reality. Bookended by two gun-related tragedies at Huguenot (including one at the school’s graduation ceremony), this monthslong investigation offers a holistic portrait of a modern-day American high school amongst the constant specter of gun violence. 
The Washington Post 

 

“The Retrievals” (Serial Productions and The New York Times)
The Retrievals unpacks an outrageous incident at the Yale Fertility Center that took place in 2020, when a nurse was found to have routinely swapped out painkilling solution for saline, leaving numerous women to fully bear the pain of their egg-retrieval procedures. When women spoke up about the agony they were feeling, they were often ignored and, worse, made to question the legitimacy of their own experiences. The podcast carefully addresses critical issues pertaining to the poor state of women’s reproductive health and legal rights. 
Serial Productions and The New York Times 

 

“You Didn’t See Nothin” (Invisible Institute and USG Audio)      
To varying degrees, You Didn’t See Nothin’ is a memoir, a piece of investigative documentary, a historical corrective, and a sober reflection on the difficulty of justice. The podcast sees host Yohance Lacour revisiting a 1997 hate crime that took place on his side of Chicago: Lenard Clark, a young Black boy, was beaten into a coma by white teenagers, an event that drew Lacour into investigative journalism and ultimately disillusioned him. Here, Lacour reinterprets the crime through a modern lens.
Invisible Institute and USG Audio

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