Peabody Awards: 'Handmaid's Tale,' 'Saturday Night Live Among Winners

11:57 AM 4/16/2018

by Kimberly Nordyke

The awards will be handed out May 19 in New York.

'The Handmaid's Tale,' left, and 'Saturday Night Live'
'The Handmaid's Tale,' left, and 'Saturday Night Live'
Courtesy of Hulu; NBC

The Peabody Awards has unveiled its final group of winners, with CNN, HBO's Vice News Tonight, PBS NewsHour, BBC News and CBS' 60 Minutes among those that will be honored in the news category.

Winners in the radio/podcast and public service categories also were unveiled Tuesday morning.

In addition, 60 Minutes also will receive the Institutional Award as it celebrates 50 years on the air. Jurors said the newsmagazine show "has become nothing less than a touchstone in American life, regularly pursuing investigations that lead to legal action, catalyze social change and illuminate dark government secrets." The show has received a total of more than 20 Peabody Awards over its lifetime.

Last week, the Peabody Awards announced that The Handmaid's Tale, Saturday Night Live, Last Week Tonight With John Oliver and Insecure are four of this year's eight winners in the entertainment category. Also selected as winners were American Vandal, Better Call Saul, Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

Additionally, A Series of Unfortunate Events was named the sole winner in the children and youth programming category.

The nine documentary winners include Oscar nominee Last Man in Aleppo, Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise andTime: The Kalief Browder Story.

Meanwhile, as previously announced, the Fred Rogers Co. also will receive an Institutional Award "in recognition for carrying on the legacy of its eponymous founder, whose iconic children’s program debuted 50 years ago." The children's program won a Peabody in 1968, while the host himself won one in 1992. He died in 2003.

In addition, this marks the third year for the Peabody-Facebook Futures of Media Awards honoring digital storytelling. Six winners have been chosen for this year's honor and will be recognized at a May 18 luncheon at Hotel Eventi in New York.

Earlier this month, the jurors unveiled the 60 nominees for the "most compelling and empowering stories released in electronic media" last year. Those finalists were narrowed down to 30 winners — aka the Peabody 30.

The winners and finalists will be celebrated at a gala event on May 19 at Cipriani Wall Street in New York. That ceremony will be hosted by Hasan Minhaj, senior correspondent on Comedy Central's The Daily Show With Trevor Noah, whose comedy special was among the winners announced Thursday.

In addition, Carol Burnett will receive the inaugural Peabody Career Achievement Award at the event.

The Peabody Awards are based at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia. Jurors, including The Hollywood Reporter's editor-at-large Kim Masters, selected the finalists out of 1,200 entries across TV, radio/podcasts and the web.

A full list of winners, along with the jurors' comments about each winner, follows.

  • Entertainment Winners

    'Saturday Night Live'
    'Saturday Night Live'

    American Vandal
    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 race expectations, and intergenerational acceptance, while using comedy to invite empathy, caring, and understanding.

    Insecure
    HBO Entertainment in association with Issa Rae Productions  (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 (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, class expectations, and the importance of a woman not being “ripped right out of a catalogue” that is both impressively weighty and effortlessly light.
     

  • Child and Youth Programming Winner

    'A Series Of Unfortunate Events'
    'A Series Of Unfortunate Events'
    Courtesy of Netflix

    A Series of Unfortunate Events
    Netflix (Netflix)
    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.
     

  • Documentary Winners

    'Last Men in Aleppo'
    'Last Men in Aleppo'
    Courtesy of Sundance

    America ReFramed: Deej
    American Documentary, Inc., WORLD Channel, Rooy Media LLC, 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 (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
    American Documentary | POV, Larm Film (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 (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 Island 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.

  • News Winners

    "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 (DCS) 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 government and 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 (CNN)
    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 of entire 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.
     
    "The Whistleblower"                       
    CBS News 60 Minutes & 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.

  • Radio/Podcast Winners

    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.
     
    74 Seconds           
    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 four-year-old daughter wept in fear. This remarkable 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.
     
    S-Town                 
    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, Ala., the listener is hooked. S-Town breaks new ground for the medium by creating the first audio novel, a non-fiction biography constructed in the style and form of a 7-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 representative 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.

  • Public Service Winner

    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), is a nuanced, culturally aware film. Naib travels to Africa to 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.

  • Peabody-Facebook Futures of Media Awards

    DIGITAL JOURNALISM

    “The Pudding” (The Pudding and Polygraph)
    “The Pudding” is making data visualization and analysis cool again—or maybe, for the first time ever. The visual essays featured on pudding.cool tackle the most debatable, curious, and complex issues in today’s culture in easily digestible and visually stunning data-driven pieces. Sleek scroll-lead essays give meaning to numbers in an elegantly designed platform, covering topics from language, music, and film to gender inequality. One analysis looks over 2,000 scripts to examine the gender tropes used in film, while another visualization vibrantly captures in color the conversations and relationships of the musical “Hamilton.” The team of journalist-engineers behind “The Pudding” are ever transparent about their sources and methods, crafting data and ideas into delightful visual exploration and enjoyable reading.
     
    INTERACTIVE DOCUMENTARY
     
    “The Space We Hold” (Cult Leader & The National Film Board of Canada)
    “The Space We Hold” brings us the testimony of three former “comfort women” who were among the 200,000 girls and young women forced into military sexual slavery during World War II. Seventy years later, this interactive documentary introduces us to the now-grandmothers who recount their horrifying experiences and how they survived the trauma of rape. The website allows us to participate at our own pace through watching short, powerful interviews and then responding directly on the website or sharing with others on social media. As noted on the site, “In an era where rape continues to be used as a weapon of war and where sexual shaming and online harassment is commonplace, ‘The Space We Hold’ asks us to imagine new ways of listening and responding to stories of sexual violence.”
     
    MOBILE
     
    “Editions At Play” (Visual Editions and Google’s Creative Lab)
    “Editions at Play” features “books powered by the magic of the internet” that challenge the limits of traditional presentation and use technology to make reading and writing more engaging and experiential than ever. These are not e-books, but performances that exist purely in digital and mobile spaces. One story uses visuals to grow, bloom, and wilt like a flower, another allows users to change the text of a story, and third uses a mobile device’s camera to ramp up the tension of a ghost story. “Editions at Play” creates a home for narratives that are familiar but play with the traditional book form to challenge ideas of what digital storytelling looks like, inviting people to experience literature in dynamic new ways.
     
    VIDEOGAME
     
    “Gorogoa” (Buried Signal and Annapurna Interactive)
    “Gorogoa” immerses players in a multilayered world centered around four seemingly simple tiles that tell the tale of a boy’s quest while revealing messages about the connections between objects and spaces in life. Created by artist Jason Roberts and published by Annapurna Interactive, the game’s beautifully drawn scenes require engagement with both the minute details of the world and the bigger picture mysteries that emerge, including the presence of a mythical monster. Innovative and inspiring an immediate sense of wonder, the story unfolds as the player figures out how to connect images to one another and move objects between layers. “Gorogoa” is the digital manifestation of an artistic pop-up book merged with the excitement of an escape room, all packaged into a seamless user experience.
     
    VIRTUAL REALITY/360
     
    “Dear Angelica” (Oculus Story Studio)
     The first animated movie drawn entirely within VR, “Dear Angelica” is a feast for the senses. It transports the viewer into the memories a girl has of her mother, embarking on an adventure where they face lions, dragons, and outer space. With mesmerizing colors and a breathtaking hand-painted style, this virtual reality experience recreates the memories we all carry of our own loved ones—memories that are simultaneously ethereal and tangible, full of both sadness and excitement. Enveloping the viewer within the relationship of this mother and daughter, “Dear Angelica” tells a deeply personal story of love and loss and is an impressive testament to how art and VR can celebrate remembrance while providing a space in which to process grief.
     
    “Miyubi” (Felix and Paul Studios in collaboration with Funny or Die)
     In the first ever long-form scripted virtual reality film, viewers are brought to 1980s suburban America and take on the life of Miyubi, a robot given to a boy from his dad as a birthday present after a trip to Japan. A dramedy offering poignant social commentary, the plot progresses in quick episodic chapters filled with pop culture references that end with Miyubi rebooting each time. An exploration of what it’s like to become obsolete in society through the eyes of a robot, the film also puts us in the middle of a dysfunctional family where everyone has their own struggles. A rich 40-minute immersive and cinematic experience, Miyubi is exemplary of where VR is heading and where it should be going.