The Peabody Awards have released their picks of the television programs that have made the most “significant impact on media programming and the cultural landscape” during 2019, per The Hollywood Reporter. The list includes Dickinson (created by Alena Smith), Stranger Things (created by The Duffer Brothers), Chernobyl (created by Craig Mazin), and Fleabag (created by Phoebe-Waller Bridge). Additionally, The Simpsons (created by Matt Groening) and Frontline (created by David Fanning) have been given Institutional Awards.
Both Apple TV and OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) won their first Peabody Awards for their respective shows, Dickinson and David Makes Man. PBS won seven awards, Netflix and HBO each won four, and CNN and NBC each won two.
Notably, Peabody has also given awards to both shows and documentaries that give a voice to minorities. In the Entertainment category, David Makes Man (created by Tarell Alvin McCraney) and When They See Us (created by Ava DuVernay) address racial injustice towards black people in the United States, while Ramy (created by Ramy Youssef) offers a novel and comic look into the life of a first generation Muslim American. Unbelievable is about a #MeToo-era rape investigation.
In the Documentaries category, For Sama (produced and directed by by Waad Al-Kateab) is about a woman and her husband’s decision to stay in Aleppo and help run a hospital during the seemingly never-ending Syrian conflict. Midnight Traveler (directed by Hassan Fazili) is a video record of Hassan Fazili and his family’s flee from the Taliban. True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality (directed by Peter Kunhardt) showcases an attorney’s efforts to bring justice to inmates who are on death row and come from an underprivileged socioeconomic status. Within this category, there are many other documentaries that bring light to important national and international issues.
Even the Children & Youth category has given an award to Molly of Denali (created by Dorothea Gillim and Kathy Waugh), which is about an Alaskan Native American girl whose family runs the Denali Trading Post.
With the Peabody Awards setting an example for how good television should be awarded, other awards institutions may follow suit. Giving a voice to minorities may become the primary goal for both awards institutions and many producers in the TV industry.