- ATHENS, Ga.
The latest group of Peabody Award winners was unveiled today (6/22), including "The Good Lord Bird," "76 Days" and "Unorthodox." More honored work will be announced throughout the week, representing the most compelling and empowering stories in broadcasting and digital media from 2020. Below is a rundown of the winners revealed in today’s round, followed by a recap of honorees announced yesterday (6/21). A total of 30 winners will be honored throughout this week.
TODAY’S WINNERS--The 81st Annual Peabody Awards
“The Good Lord Bird”
Part fiction, part history, and part dramatic satire, this Showtime limited series boldly yet humorously examines the enigmatic abolitionist John Brown. With Ethan Hawke’s rich and complex portrayal of a madman who would become a martyr, Brown’s competing legacies are given ample room to coexist. The miniseries can’t help but follow in his wake and give us an irreverent history lesson that feels fresh and pressing for our times.
SHOWTIME Presents Blumhouse Television, Mark 924 Entertainment, Under the Influence Productions (Showtime)
“Whose Vote Counts”
From the legal battles over primary election absentee ballots to how the pandemic would exacerbate unfounded concerns over “rampant voter fraud” in November, “Whose Vote Counts” presents a clear breakdown of the way racial inequities, COVID-19, and voter suppression became interlinked crises in 2020. In collaboration with Columbia Journalism Investigations, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and USA Today, the team at FRONTLINE and writer Jelani Cobb offer a probing and thorough investigation into the simple question of the piece’s title.
FRONTLINE, Columbia Journalism Investigations, USA Today Network (PBS)
“VICE on Showtime: Losing Ground”
Correspondent Alzo Slade explores how a little-known type of ownership known as “heirs property” leaves African Americans especially vulnerable to losing their property to unscrupulous developers through arcane and ethically questionable legal mechanisms. The abstract maneuvers occur in piecemeal, hard-to-follow fashion, but the cumulative result is that entire families are displaced and inheritances lost. Losing Ground dramatizes how the law so often favors the ruthless and illuminates a dark side of American property rights.
VICE News (Showtime)
This is a hopeful film that does more than just document the beginning of the global pandemic in the lockdown period of Wuhan, China—the city in which cases of the coronavirus were first reported. It is a film about resilience, compassion, empathy, improvisation, the power of human touch and caring hearts as much as it is about panic, suffering, and indiscriminate victims. Using a direct cinema technique across four hospitals, the film captures frontline workers and the sick and dying while eschewing the story of politics and government action and statistics.
76 Days LLC / MTV Documentary Films
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A riveting thriller, the series takes a hard look at how a religious community enforces strict gender roles to maintain its identity no matter the human cost. With the raw and authentic Shira Haas as Esty, Unorthodox merges a stark portrayal of religious oppression with a coming-of-age story that resonates with gritty, desperate innocence.
Studio Airlift and RealFilm for Netflix (Netflix)
“Muslim in Trump’s America (Exposure)”
In this rigorously reported film that chronicles the dangerous climate created around Muslims and other groups targeted during Trump’s presidency, director Deeyah Khan investigates the connection between rising hate crimes and state-sponsored racism with stories of those at the center of the storm: the downward spiral of a Kansas farmer serving 30 years for an anti-Muslim bomb plot; the conspiracy-filled world of right wing, armed militia who believe that Islam is infiltrating the United States; the painful reality of Muslims whose loved ones were hunted and killed by white supremacists; and the complex duties of embattled lawmakers such as Minnesota’s Congresswoman Ilhan Omar.
Fuuse Films for ITV (ITV)
“Post Reports: The Life of George Floyd”
George Floyd’s death ignited a global movement to end the plague of state violence against African Americans. Rather than focus on his death, The Washington Post sought to answer a simple but enlightening question: “What about his life?” Rather than a straightforward biography, their special podcast episode offers a more expansive view of Floyd’s life, keenly laying out how systemic racism operates across many institutions, creating sharply disparate outcomes in housing, education, the economy, law enforcement, and health care. The Post Reports team sketches a moving portrait of a man and of a nation, one that feels all the more archetypal for its familiar trappings.
The Atlantic (theatlantic.com; podcast platforms)
“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”
With filming restrictions in place, Stephen Colbert decided to move production of his CBS Late Show to his home outside of Charleston, a remarkably successful transformation of the late-night television model by a host inviting us into his home, rather than his typical comforting presence in our living rooms and bedrooms. Amidst suffering in a global pandemic, a public fed up with police violence against African Americans, and a morally contemptuous president fighting for his political life, Colbert’s kindness, gentle spirit, and deeply felt ethical nature provided a nightly salve the nation desperately needed.
CBS Studios (CBS)
Renee Tajima-Peña’s five-part documentary series places Asian communities at the center of debates about belonging and citizenship in America. The series asks us to consider who gets to be at the center of these American stories, offering the requisite national, ethnic, religious, political, linguistic, and cultural diversity that make up Asian American communities across the country today. In turn, we move beyond a singular representative testimony and bear witness to varying, complex, and touching portraits of individuals, identities, enclaves, and movements, collectively born in the face of tragedy and in spite of the burdens of trauma.
CAAM, WETA, Flash Cuts, LLC., Tajima-Peña Productions, ITVS (PBS)
Digging into Arizona’s “Brady list,” a system designed to track police officers with histories of lying and committing crimes in hopes of keeping police accountable, this hour-long special from ABC15 Arizona offers a stark portrait not only of why the system is broken, but why it has never been fixed. The yearlong investigation, with exhaustive reporting and damning video footage, demonstrates how law enforcement agencies rarely adhere to their own legal standards in keeping and disseminating such misconduct reports.
ABC15 Arizona (KNXV-TV)
“The Owl House”
Alice in Wonderland. Dorothy in Oz. Coraline in Other World. To that list we should now add: Luz in Boiling Isles. Luz crosses a mysterious threshold and finds herself in a magical, colorful land where she finds both the strength and the support group she needs to become who she’s meant to be. The Dana Terrace-created animated series builds a wildly inventive other world that makes room for everyone and gives queer kids a welcome template alongside which to explore their own budding creative energies.
Disney Television Animation (Disney Channel)
This documentary uncovers the story of China’s arresting an estimated two million Uyghur Muslims and putting them in concentration camps—what experts says is the largest mass incarceration of an ethnic group since the Holocaust. But the report also makes the case that this is a massive experiment in developing the most complete surveillance state in history, as the government employs technologies such as advanced algorithmic facial recognition software and houses marked with digital barcodes to monitor and ultimately detain Muslims whose behavior is “predicted” as threatening.
FRONTLINE (PBS / GBH)
This remarkable story of love and the impact of incarceration on a family is detailed through the multiple, often elusive registers of time—slow time, long time, happy time, missed time, hopeful time, and arrested time. In this brilliantly conceived, beautifully realized, and brutally honest chronicle, we travel with Fox Rich and her family toward her husband’s release and their collective freedom. Carefully building and then mining the archive of family memories, home movies, prison visits, high school and college graduations, filmmaker Garrett Bradley proffers viewers the power of dreams and the struggle to shape and sustain love and life across the divides of incarceration.
Concordia Studio, GB Feature, LLC and Amazon Studios (Amazon Studios)
This captivating podcast is a comprehensive story of Hurricane Katrina and its social, cultural, psychological, political, economic, and environmental aftermath and impact. From the national media’s ready-made criminalization of Black residents and their worthiness to be rescued, to the insensitive early response of national government officials, Floodlines also asks us to consider what happens to place, home, relationships, and community when politics, incompetence, and indifference are at the core of how we regard each other.
The Atlantic (theatlantic.com; podcast platforms)
What this presumably Ugly American, fish-out-of-water tale offers us is a charming dose of radical optimism, with an equally endearing Jason Sudeikis as Ted Lasso. It turns out that more than simply a sports coach, Ted is remarkably good at honest communication with others, affecting change by being a deeply good human, one with his own quiet anxieties and pain. The Apple TV+ series is the perfect counter to the enduring prevalence of toxic masculinity, both on-screen and off, in a moment when the nation truly needs inspiring models of kindness.
Apple / Doozer Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television and Universal Television (Apple TV+)