- NEW YORK
Peabody Award winners and nominees were celebrated at a gala evening event on Saturday (5/19) at Cipriani Wall Street in New York. Hasan Minhaj, comedian, writer and senior correspondent on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah,” hosted the proceedings while also receiving a Peabody Award winner for his comedy special “Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King,” released on Netflix last year.
Also on hand was Carol Burnett to accept the first Peabody Career Achievement. The honor is reserved for individuals whose work and commitment to broadcast media has left an indelible mark on the field.
“Carol Burnett is one of the all-time greats of television comedy. Her wit and talent set the bar for women in entertainment,” said Jeffrey P. Jones, executive director of Peabody. “Suffice it to say there would be no Gilda Radner, Julia Louis-Dreyfus or Tina Fey without her blazing the trail. We are pleased to celebrate the many contributions of a beloved TV icon.”
An Institutional Award was presented to The Fred Rogers Company in recognition for carrying on the legacy of its eponymous founder, whose iconic children’s program debuted 50 years ago. In the history of American TV personalities, few have been as universally loved as Fred McFeely Rogers. As creator and host of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” Rogers inspired his audience with gentle lessons on the importance of mutual respect and the fun that comes from being good, warm, caring people. The program earned a Peabody Award in 1968; Rogers himself was given a personal Peabody many years later in 1992. He died in 2003, but his spirit lives on through The Fred Rogers Company. With its partners, the company continues to produce high-quality, thoughtful educational television, including “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” “Peg + Cat,” and “The Odd Squad,” that cares not only about the children who watch it, but the adults they will become. Through these programs and their many associated apps, websites, and other platforms, the memory of Fred Rogers gloriously endures, educating and engaging new generations of kids.
Honoring the fields of Entertainment, Documentary, News, Radio/Podcast and Public Service, Peabody Awards this year were presented to “Insecure,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “A Series of Unfortunate Events,” “Chasing Coral,” “Last Men in Aleppo” and “Charlottesville: Race & Terror,” among other varied programs.
The Peabody Awards are based at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.
Here’s a rundown of winners:
Entertainment winners, including Children’s & Youth programming
“A Series of Unfortunate Events” (Children & Youth)
Lemony Snicket’s “A Series of Unfortunate Events” follows the tragic but brilliant Baudelaire orphans as they investigate their parents’ deaths while surviving their wicked uncle’s machinations to deprive them of their inheritance. Both darkly gothic in style and drolly hilarious, the televised version visually realizes the melancholy-yet-beautiful essence of the beloved children’s book series on which it is based.
CBS Television Studios for Netflix (Netflix)
A surprisingly insightful rumination on contemporary life, “American Vandal” slowly shifts focus from a high school student accused of a sophomoric prank/crime to the consequences of solving the mystery. Wickedly funny, the show also offers a look at how the ethical questions of the true crime genre intersect with the harsh realities of being a teenager in the age of social media.
“Better Call Saul”
Sony Pictures Television, Gran Via Productions (AMC)
Mixing legal drama, crime thriller, and dark comedy, this “Breaking Bad” prequel of the earnest Jimmy McGill’s transformation into Saul Goodman captures the professional and personal struggles as he navigates an unfair moral universe. A compelling narrative of pathos and character drama, the show’s innovative style and commanding performances reach the creative heights of its origin series.
“Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King”
Netflix, Art & Industry (Netflix)
Hasan Minhaj delivers much more than a hilarious stand-up comedy special. “Homecoming King” is a deeply personal memoir—part Richard Pryor, part Spaulding Gray—that covers the struggles of the immigrant experience, encounters with stereotypes and raced expectations, and intergenerational acceptance, while using comedy to invite empathy, caring, and understanding.
HBO Entertainment in association with Issa Rae Productions, Penny For Your Thoughts Productions and 3 Arts Entertainment (HBO)
Issa Rae delivers a groundbreaking series that captures the lives of everyday young black people in Los Angeles with a fresh and authentic take. Breaking away from tired and familiar representations of “diversity” on television, this series offers a fun and intimate portrayal of work, relationships, and the ordinary experiences of the two young black women at its center.
“Last Week Tonight with John Oliver”
HBO Entertainment in association with Sixteen String Jack Productions and Avalon Television (HBO)
Each week, John Oliver and his team offer something completely new in the merger of comedy and reporting. While scathing in its political critique, the show is also smart and insightful in producing long-form journalism, breaking stories that others have overlooked with precision, clarity, and hilarity.
“Saturday Night Live: Political Satire 2017”
SNL Studios in association with Universal Television and Broadway Video (NBC)
Building on the strength of its election year parodies, “SNL” doubled-down this year with wicked satiric portrayals of President Trump and a clownish coterie of administration apparatchiks. Kate McKinnon and special guests Alec Baldwin and Melissa McCarthy, in particular, produced performances that helped the American public come to terms with an unprecedented presidential administration and its daily political absurdities.
“The Handmaid’s Tale”
Hulu, MGM, White Oak Pictures, The Littlefield Company, Daniel Wilson Productions (Hulu)
“The Handmaid’s Tale” offers a timely warning of a fascist, misogynist near future. Equal parts drama, horror, and science fiction, “The Handmaid’s Tale” is captivating, harrowing, and crackling with contemporary political relevance—a cautionary tale about the ramifications of the regulations of women’s bodies and reproductive rights, as well as the specter of theocratic rule.
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Amazon Studios (Amazon)
A period drama and feminist comedy, Amy Sherman-Palladino’s story of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” centers on the emergence of a 1950s female comedian who runs afoul of New York decency laws. In the process, the colorful and imaginative story also reflects on the “place” of women in public spaces, Jewishness, familial relations, classed expectations, and the importance of a woman not being “ripped right out of a catalogue” that is both impressively weighty and effortlessly light.
Documentary winners are:
“America ReFramed: Deej” American Documentary Inc; WORLD Channel; Rooy Media LLC; Independent Television Service (ITVS) (WORLD Channel)
A bold step forward in inclusive filmmaking that allows David James (Deej) Savarese, a nonspeaking young man with autism, to tell his own story, focusing on accomplishment and possibility, not limits and barriers.
“Chasing Coral” An Exposure Labs Production in partnership with The Ocean Agency & View Into the Blue in association with Argent Pictures and The Kendeda Fund (Netflix)
This surprisingly emotional film expertly documents, through time-lapse underwater photographs, the effects of climate change on the rapid decimation of the world’s coral reefs, events known as coral bleaching that affected 29 percent of the shallow-water coral in the Great Barrier Reef in 2016 alone.
“Indivisible” Fuse Media (Fuse/Linear Broadcast)
An urgent, intimate portrait of heartbreak and determination, disappointment and victory as three young Dreamers navigate confusing immigration policy, bad faith on the part of politicians, and the emotional trauma of family separation.
“Last Men in Aleppo” Larm Film, Aleppo Media Center/AMC, American Documentary | POV (PBS)
Masterful storytelling by civilian filmmakers at the heart of the Syrian crisis as they follow the volunteer group the White Helmets, who provide emergency services to traumatized residents in the rebel-occupied areas of the city of Aleppo.
“Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise” The People’s Poet Media Group LLC, Thirteen’s American Masters for WNET and ITVS in association with Artemis Rising (PBS/WNET/TV)
A vivid portrait of Maya Angelou, who, while best known as one of America’s leading writers, also blazed a brave and original life as a performer, actress and activist integral to the civil rights movement and the celebration of African-American experience.
“Newtown” Mile 22 LLC, ITVS, in association with KA Snyder Productions, Cuomo Cole Productions, Artemis Rising and Transform Films (PBS)
An emotionally devastating film centered on the testimonies of the families, teachers and first responders of Newtown, Connecticut, who recount the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School and examine its impact on their lives, their town and, by implication, the nation that allowed this to happen.
“Oklahoma City” American Experience (PBS/WGBH Education Foundation)
Essential viewing that draws a line from armed standoffs at Ruby Ridge and Waco to the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, to tell the story of both the worst act of domestic terrorism in U.S. history and the rise of anti-government hatred and white militancy.
“The Islands and the Whales” Intrepid Cinema, Radiator Film, American Documentary | POV (PBS)
An exquisitely photographed documentary that explores the inextricable links between oceans poisoned by coal burning power plants and the direct impact they have on people of the remote Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, who struggle between maintaining their traditional way of life and the long-term health repercussions of mercury poisoning.
“Time: The Kalief Browder Story” Spike TV, The Cinemart, Roc Nation (Spike)
Powerful miniseries illuminating the greatest flaws of our criminal justice system through the tragic events and death of a young African-American who spent three years on Rikers Island without being convicted of a crime.
Winners in News, Radio/Podcast and Public Service programming are:
“Big Buses, Bigger Problems: Taxpayers Taken for a Ride”
NBC5/KXAS-TV Dallas-Fort Worth (NBC5/KXAS)
In this impressive series from NBC5/KXAS’s investigative news team, reporters unravel shady real estate deals by the Dallas County Schools after a school bus camera-system investment goes bust. The reporting uncovered a wide web of corruption and staggering financial mismanagement, which led to swift action by the Texas governmentand voters.
“Charlottesville: Race & Terror”
VICE News Tonight (HBO)
Last summer, horrified Americans watched as neo-Nazi supporters occupied Charlottesville’s Emancipation Park to protest the removal of Confederate monuments. VICE reporter Elle Reeve and her crew documented the unfiltered declarations and threats of violence by white supremacists with fearless reporting and unprecedented access. Her portrait of Christopher Cantwell and fellow white supremacists offered a sharp contrast to White House claims that there were “very fine people on both sides” of the conflict.
“Fall of ISIS in Iraq and Syria”
CNN’s war reporters revealed many sides of the fall of ISIS, and the devastation left in its wake. In addition to courageous correspondents, this notable set of dramatic reports provided fresh angles and the creative use of technology, including stunning drone footage that captured the size and scope of ruined neighborhoods.The network’s continued investment and dedication to the story is especially significant as global conflicts simmer.
“Inside Putin’s Russia”
PBS NewsHour (PBS, WETA)
Special correspondent Nick Schifrin and producer Zach Fannin spent seven weeks in Russia, traveling to more than 12 cities to provide viewers context for thinking about President Vladimir Putin’s global impact. In addition to background on how this KGB veteran rose to power, we learn how he has shaped public opinion through appeals to nationalism and manufacturing consent via “fake news.” Each segment takes us deeper into understanding the mechanisms of power Putin has at his disposal.
“Plight of Rohingya Refugees”
BBC News (BBC World News)
With their media access restricted, BBC correspondents worked to pursue reports ofentire villages destroyed and people being slaughtered as more than half a million Muslims fled persecution in the northern Rakhine province of Myanmar for neighboring Bangladesh. The series of measured reports, in particular, details the inhumane toll borne by children in an ethnic cleansing.
CBS News 60 Minutes and The Washington Post (CBS)
Sophisticated business reporting from “60 Minutes” and The Washington Post resulted in a far-reaching investigation into how the Drug Enforcement Administration was hobbled in its attempts to hold Big Pharma accountable in the opioid epidemic. The explosive story features damning testimony from whistleblower Joe Rannazzisi, a former DEA investigator, uncovering a truly bipartisan problem that continues to receive massive amounts of funding even while the scourge of addiction continues to grow.
“Lost Mothers: Maternal Mortality in the U.S.”
NPR and ProPublica (NPR)
This collaborative series examines a crisis rarely talked about: Why does the U.S., which spends more per capita on health care than any other country, carry the highest rate of women dying as a consequence of pregnancy and childbirth in the developed world? Even more troubling is the revelation that black women are three times more likely to die in childbirth due to inherent discrimination. “Lost Mothers” is vital public service reporting that pushes the standard for vigilance, prevention, and equity in women’s health care.
Minnesota Public Radio, American Public Media (MPR News)
On July 6, 2016, police pulled over Philando Castile for a broken taillight. Seventy-four seconds later, officer Jeronimo Yanez fired seven shots into Castile’s car, killing him as his girlfriend Diamond Reynolds streamed what was happening over Facebook and their 4-year-old daughter wept in fear. Thisremarkable podcast series puts a human face on the tragedy, providing context for the legal and political struggles that followed with excellent on-the-spot reporting and a balanced approach to understanding both men involved in the event.
Serial and This American Life (stownpodcast.org)
From the opening moment of “S-Town,” when the compelling voice of John B. McLemore crackles through the phone line peddling his dark suspicion of an unreported murder in Bibb County, Alabama, the listener is hooked. “S-Town” breaks new ground for the medium by creating the first audio novel, a nonfiction biography constructed in the style and form of a seven-chapter novel. Three years in the making, reporter Brian Reed and producer Julie Snyder started down the road of the procedural and wound up creating true audio art.
“The Pope’s Long Con”
Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, Louisville Public Media (Louisville Public Media)
This incredible podcast about a local politician known as “the Pope” demonstrates the importance of checks and balances—and of dogged local journalism. Reporters R.G. Dunlop, Jacob Ryan and Laura Ellis worked for seven months to investigate the extravagant claims of church leader and state Rep. Dan Johnson whose glorified past was akin to Forrest Gump.
“Uncivil: The Raid”
Gimlet Media (Gimlet Media)
Public history and family stories intertwine for an imaginative retelling of the pivotal role played by 250 newly escaped slaves struggling for freedom during the Civil War in South Carolina. Drawing on community memories and the stories of descendants who participated in the raid, the podcast beautifully tells the engaging but little acknowledged story of the planning and execution (behind Confederate troop lines) of the event, which led to the freeing of 750 enslaved men, women and children.
“The Cut: Exploring FGM”
Al Jazeera Correspondent (Al Jazeera)
Fatma Naib’s personal journey to explore the traditions and controversies inherent to female genital mutilation (FGM) isa nuanced, culturally aware film. Naib travels to Africato understand why FGM is still practiced legally in some countries despite causing long-term serious pain and health issues for girls and women who have been cut. Clinical rather than gruesome, the film provides an education with sensitivity to cultural and community identity.