The Good Lord Bird, the Showtime limited series based on James McBride’s book about enigmatic abolitionist John Brown, produced by Jason Blum FR’86 and Ethan Hawke, who also starred, was awarded a 2021 Peabody on Tuesday, June 22. “The series smartly suggests that Brown’s ultimate mission was less about starting a successful slave insurrection as it was the public performance of guilt, redemption and salvation for the souls of white Americans,” the Peabody jury wrote, calling it “an irreverent history lesson that feels fresh and pressing for our times. “For a rich and complex portrayal of a madman who would become a martyr, offered through the eyes of African Americans, Good Lord Bird wins a Peabody.” Watch the virtual presentation here that also includes scenes from the series.
Adding to his impressive list of awards that includes Oscars and Emmys, this is the third Peabody for Blumhouse Productions. The annual Peabody winners are a collection of 30 stories that powerfully reflect the pressing social issues and the vibrant emerging voices of our day. From major productions to local journalism, the Peabody Awards shine a light on the Stories That Matter and are a testament to the power of art and reportage in the push for truth, social justice, and equity.
The Jinx, and HBO docu-series, won in 2015 for its portrayal of real-estate scion Robert Durst, who was connected to three unsolved deaths. The docu-series helped birth a new type of true-crime television, offering a close-up, multi-episode look at one of TV’s most unusual suspects at the center of crimes decades old.
In 2016, How to Dance in Ohio was awarded the Peabody for its intimate portrait of what living with autism is like. The documentary focused on three young women, illuminating the social anxieties common to us all, as they talk about their fears in group therapy, learn dance steps and just try to get comfortable touching another person.
The Peabody Awards elevate stories that defend the public interest, encourage empathy with others, and teach us to expand our understanding of the world around us.
Congratulations, to Jason and his team at Blumhouse Productions for continuing to tell stories that matter.