Peabody Conversations is a digital series that draws from the interviews conducted during the Peabody Awards ceremony.
- Kartemquin Films
"I think we've always felt that documentary film has a critical role to play in the democratic process and a democratic society," Gordon Quinn of Kartemquin Films says in this Peabody Conversation after accepting an Institutional Award on behalf of the organization. For 50 years, the nonprofit has indelibly shaped contemporary filmmaking through its commitment to nonfiction storytelling as an artform. Peabody honored Kartemquin for "its values rooted in social justice and democracy."
- Sesame Street
For 50 years, "Sesame Street" has been advocating for school readiness, bringing the building blocks of learning to generations of children. Today, the organization continues to focus on the ABCs as well as empathy and community, broadening the reach far beyond the relatively new medium of television where it began.
- The Judge
Sometimes you have to "throw a rock to stir stagnant waters," Kholoud Faqih says about becoming the first female Sharia judge in Palestine. In this Peabody Conversation, filmmaker Erika Cohn discusses how her Independent Lens documentary chronicling the daily challenges of "The Judge" addresses globally relevant women's issues such as domestic violence and sexism.
- Spartan Silence: Crisis at Michigan State
"What we did overall was to tackle an institution that had a pattern of suppressing and ignoring women who were trying to get help," Paula Lavigne says of "Spartan Silence: Crisis at Michigan State" in this Peabody Conversation with fellow ESPN reporter John Barr. The reports shed light on how sexual predators like Larry Nassar can go undetected for years while victims are silenced or not believed.
- The Good Place
In this Peabody Conversation, creator/showrunner Michael Schur, joined by cast members D'Arcy Carden, William Jackson Harper, and Manny Jacinto, explains the genesis of "The Good Place." The engaging fantasy-comedy about the afterlife nimbly tackles virtue ethics, deontology, nihilism, and the unfortunate effects of eating chili mixed with marshmallow Peeps—all in one scene.
What inspires lifelong activists like Dolores Huerta? "Getting people to stand up for themselves and change the politics of the community," she says in this Peabody Conversation. The subject of the Independent Lens documentary discusses her passion for seeking social justice for farm workers, the poor and women.
- Buried Truths
"These are stories that are buried in history, and if we don't tell them now they'll never be known," says Hank Klibanoff, creator/host of "Buried Truths" in this Peabody Conversation. Producers David Barasoain and Je-Anne Berry of WABE joined the veteran journalist to discuss the podcast, which was developed out of a class at Emory University. In it, students investigate cold cases that bring to life the South's history of voter suppression and racial injustice that resonate today.
- Steven Universe
"I really believe that animation is a force for change," Rebecca Sugar says in this Peabody Conversation. The creator of "Steven Universe" uses the medium to tell stories that foster emotional intelligence and explore issues of identity and community. Peabody Awards honored it for being "a fantastical, even surreal series which nevertheless speaks to the human heart."
Just four short years ago, "Pose" was a program that executives, studios and networks weren't interested in producing, according to Steven Canals, co-creator, in this Peabody Conversation. Peabody Awards honored the first season of the FX series for "doing as much important representational work and storytelling in its quieter moments as on the ballroom floor."
- Back of the Class
“This story matters for thousands of children with disabilities and their families who have been marginalized, pushed aside, and ignored for decades,” Susannah Frame says in this Peabody Conversation. The veteran investigative reporter and her King5 TV colleague Taylor Mirfendereski showed the stunning failures of Washington public schools to provide support and services for students with disabilities.
Whichever side you’re on, “there’s nothing that compares to hearing the cries of those children,” Michael Grabell, reporter at ProPublica, says of the heart-wrenching recording that brought worldwide attention to the separation of children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border last summer. The publication of the audio set off rapid and rippling media coverage and public outrage.
- Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj
"News and politics is very divisive but if you can ground it in a great story, people are able to connect to it," Hasan Minhaj says in this Peabody Conversation. The host of "Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj" uses high-energy delivery and wit to put current international affairs into perspective.
- Rita Moreno
“A good story simply means putting yourself in the place of almost anybody, and bringing to people their stories. That’s really what it’s about,” Rita Moreno says in this backstage interview after accepting a Peabody Career Achievement Award, presented by Mercedes-Benz, in May.
- Better Things
"One of the things I learned through years of being a mom—and I've been a mom for 20 years now—is that when other moms and women share with you, you learn so much," Pamela Adlon says in this 2016 Peabody Conversation about "Better Things," the show she created, stars in, and directs.
"Being black is the best thing to have because we can really find a way to make humor out of everything that has really tried to hold us down," Brian Tyree Henry says in this Peabody Conversation with fellow actor Zazie Beetz of "Atlanta." The 2016 Peabody Award winner explores the nuanced experiences of young black men and women in America while ushering in a new chapter in black history.
- Oklahoma City
"The story of Timothy McVeigh is the story of the alt-right, and we see now the flowering of that alt-right in Charlottesville and many other examples," director/producer Barak Goodman says in this Peabody Conversation about "Oklahoma City." The 2017 documentary tells the story of McVeigh and Terry Nichols' April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, a terrorist attack that killed 168 people and injured 675 more.
"When you stop the story and say, 'That's fake. That doesn't sound like it appeals to me,’' you cut yourself off from what a story does and what storytellers are here to do," Ava DuVernay says in this Peabody Conversation after accepting a 2016 Peabody Award for "13th." It was honored "for its exhaustive, critical, and courageous examination of crime, race, the criminal justice system, and struggles for social justice."
- The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Women are facing the same battles today as in the 1950s, Rachel Brosnahan says in this Peabody Conversation with her fellow cast and creators of "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel." Peabody Awards honored the program for "bringing together period drama and the feminist comedy and producing a magical mixture."
"I wanted to take a really politicized topic and humanize it," Hilary Linder, director and producer of "Indivisible" explains in this Peabody Conversation. The intimate story of three DACA recipients or "Dreamers" was honored with a Peabody Award for “telling a story about courage, action and hope."
- Saturday Night Live
"I think it's important to keep people in power a little on their toes and afraid they're going to be made fun of and what we're going to say about them," Chris Kelly, writer for "Saturday Night Live," says about the role satire plays in politics. Kelly, along with fellow writer Sarah Schneider, accepted a 2017 Peabody Award for SNL's comedic take on an exceptionally divisive election season and its aftermath.
- The Whistleblower
"Congress passed a law that basically tied the hands of the DEA, making it more difficult for them to stop the flood of drugs flowing into American communities, ...and it was alarming," Bill Whitaker explains about "The Whistleblower," an investigation into the business and politics fueling the opioid epidemic. The collaboration between CBS' "60 Minutes" and The Washington Post was honored with a 2017 Peabody Award.
- Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise
Transformation is the key takeaway from 2017 Peabody Award winner "Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise," according to filmmaker Rita Coburn. "That it is possible for an individual to transform and find her voice. That it is also possible for a country to transform, and I think we need to hear that now more than ever," she says in this Peabody Conversation.
- American Vandal
"I think more than ever we seem to be really fascinated by injustice on any level…so we kind of just wanted to explore that in the most juvenile way possible," Daniel Perrault, co-creator of "American Vandal," says of the true-crime parody set in a California high school.
"Very soon after the Sandy Hook School shooting, where I lost my 7-year-old son Daniel, I felt a sense of purpose and mission to try use this voice that had been forced upon me to try to affect change," Mark Barden explains of his role in "Newtown."
- Chasing Coral
"I love what documentary film can offer. It's one of those things where you can see and access a world you might not normally get to see," says Jeff Orlowski, director and producer, after receiving a 2017 Peabody Award for "Chasing Coral."
- Time: The Kalief Browder Story
"The main thing I want people to take away from this project is the human toll of our broken criminal justice system," says Jenner Furst, executive producer/director, after accepting a 2017 Peabody Award.
- Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King
"I had sort of hit a wall in terms of stand-up comedy, and there was so much more I wanted to say on the stage," Hasan Minhaj says of "Homecoming King" after accepting a 2017 Peabody Award.
"I love that our show sparks conversations, and that people identify so closely with the people we’ve created," Issa Rae says after accepting a 2017 Peabody Award for "Insecure."
- Charlottesville: Race & Terror
VICE correspondent Elle Reeve and team reported from the frontlines as neo-Nazi supporters occupied Charlottesville’s Emancipation Park, protesting the removal of Confederate monuments. The resulting Vice News Tonight on HBO story “Charlottesville: Race & Terror” was honored with a 2017 Peabody Award for fearlessly ripping the mask off white supremacists.
- Better Call Saul
"Our characters often speak at a very high level but actually act at a rather low level," Peter Gould, executive producer and director of "Better Call Saul," explains backstage at the 77th Peabody Awards Ceremony.
- The Fred Rogers Company
Fred Rogers "absolutely respected the children he was trying to talk to," says Paul Siefken, president/CEO of the Fred Rogers Company. The company received a 2017 Institutional Peabody Award for continuing that legacy by "producing high-quality, thoughtful educational television that cares not only about the children who watch it, but the adults they will become."
- The Handmaid's Tale
"We're trying to make something that sticks in people's minds," Bruce Miller, creator and executive producer of "The Handmaid’s Tale," says in this Peabody Conversation. The dystopian drama was honored with a 2017 Peabody Award for its beautiful, albeit harrowing, adaptation of Margaret Atwood's vision of a fascist, misogynist future.
- Carol Burnett
“I loved the idea of doing television in front of an audience,” Carol Burnett recalls in this Peabody Conversation, recorded after the TV icon accepted a Peabody Career Achievement Award presented by Mercedes-Benz in May.
- David Letterman
David Letterman describes what he feels is "the worst feeling in the world." He also explains how you can know if you're funny, and speaks candidly about his career as a late night host.