Peabody Conversations is a digital series that draws from the interviews conducted during the Peabody Awards ceremony.
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.
- The Leftovers
"Life is a struggle, and when a show goes right at the heart of it, that's what people gravitate towards," says Justin Theroux, a cast member of 2015 Peabody-winner The Leftovers. The drama, set several years after the mysterious disappearance of 2 percent of the world's population, is an inspiring, unpredictable tale about loss, grief and faith.
- Don’t Tell Anyone (No Le Digas a Nadie)
"This is more than a legalization struggle," Angy Rivera says of the plight of the more than 11 million undocumented people in America today. "But a psychological war that measures character and patience." The documentary Don't Tell Anyone (No Le Digas a Nadie) follows Rivera's daily journey out of an environment steeped in fear to becoming an activist for young people like herself. Director/editor/producer Mikaela Shwer's richly textured portrait evokes millions of similar stories across the country.
- 911: Lost on the Line
"Guess what? Your cell phone can’t always find you in an emergency when you call 911," is what prompted WXIA’s Brendan Keefe to dig deeper into 911 response times after the tragic death of a suburban Atlanta woman. His investigative report 911: Lost on the Line led to local and national changes that can potentially save lives.
- Listen to Me Marlon
"It resonates on many emotional and intellectual levels," producer John Battsek says of the lessons in the documentary Listen To Me Marlon. He and fellow producer RJ Cutler discuss the great gift of 300 hours of audiotape the late actor Marlon Brando left behind, which the film matches to a computer-generated hologram bust, bringing the reclusive actor's thoughts to life.
- Deutschland '83
Deutschland '83 takes viewers on a nostalgic trip to the Cold War by tracking a young East German undercover agent recruited to spy on the West German military. "A lot of what happened in the '80s can be seen happening today," says Lisa Honig, EVP of Fremantle Media, producer of the first German-language series to run in the U.S. The political thriller revisits a non-so-distant conflict with "rapid pacing, retro style and agile score."
- Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief
"There’s this very pernicious silencing of the press that happens around the Church of Scientology, and a lot of people are afraid to speak," says Kristen Vaurio, producer of Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief. Based on Lawrence Wright’s book, the 2015 Peabody winning documentary "takes a look at the dangers of blind faith and where that can take people," according to writer/director Alex Gibney.
- ISIS in Afghanistan
"The world shouldn’t forget Afghanistan," warns Najibullah Quraishi of the potential for the country to become a safe haven for ISIS. The veteran Afghani journalist and FRONTLINE correspondent won a 2015 Peabody for his enterprise reporting in the documentary ISIS in Afghanistan. Quraishi and his team took many risks venturing into the heart of ISIS to uncover its power and appeal.
- Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel: The Killing Fields
"The extent to which humans can exact this kind of callous violence on such magnificent animals is mind-numbing," Bryant Gumbel says of "The Killing Fields," which documents the decimation of the elephant population in East Africa. The program expands the boundaries of sports reporting by exploring the economic, social and cultural consequences of big game hunting.
- India's Daughter
How should society address hate crimes like rape? By educating children’s hearts, not only their minds, according to Leslee Udwin, director of the Peabody Award-winning documentary India’s Daughter. The film chronicles the infamous gang rape and murder of a young woman in Delhi in 2012, and the protest movement it inspired. In April 2015, Udwin founded ThinkEqual, her solution to sexual assault and rape culture.
- Katie Morag
Executive producer Lindy Cameron, director Donald Coutts, lead writer Sergio Casci and star Cherry Campbell discuss the high stakes involved in adapting Katie Morag from Mairi Hedderwick's series of books. This interview was recorded backstage at the 75th Annual Peabody Awards immediately after they had accepted their award.
- Master of None
Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang discuss how personal experiences create the humor within their show Master of None. This interview was recorded immediately after they received their award onstage at the 75th Peabody Awards ceremony.
Jill Soloway discusses the issues and family struggles that are brought to life in Transparent. This interview was recorded backstage at the Peabody Awards ceremony after she had accepted the award on-stage.
- Stanley Nelson
Stanley Nelson discusses his body of work, recognized with a 2015 individual Peabody Award. He has previously been honored with 3 Peabody Awards, for "The Murder of Emmett Till," "Freedom Riders" and "Freedom Summer."
- Desperate Journey
Malcolm Brabant, Justin Kenny and Sara Just discuss PBS Newshour's special coverage of the on-going refugee crisis that was the focus of the 2015 Peabody Award-winning program "Desperate Journey."
- Marvel's Jessica Jones
Showrunner Melissa Rosenberg, executive producer Jeph Loeb and stars Krysten Ritter and Carrie Anne Moss discuss winning a Peabody for season one of Marvel’s Jessica Jones.
- The Jinx
Director Andrew Jarecki and producer Marc Smerling detail the investigative process they undertook in creating the Peabody Award-winning documentary "The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst" for HBO Documentary Films.
- Night Will Fall
"Night Will Fall" weaves together original footage of the atrocities of Nazi concentration camps from a 1945 documentary by Alfred Hitchcock and Sidney Bernstein that was shelved for political reasons and resuscitated nearly 70 years later.
- Burning Questions
WTAE-TV Pittsburgh's news director Justin Antoniotti and reporter Paul Van Osdol discuss Burning Questions, their Peabody Award-winning coverage of emergency response times from fire departments throughout Western Pennsylvania.
Co-creators Marti Noxon and Sarah Gertrude Shapiro, along with star Shiri Appleby, discuss the premise and conception of the dark Lifetime dramedy UnREAL.
- Beasts of No Nation
Writer, director, and cinematographer Cary Fukunaga discusses winning a Peabody Award for Beasts of No Nation while backstage at the 75th annual ceremony.
- MR. ROBOT
Sam Esmail, Christian Slater, Rami Malek, and Chad Hamilton met backstage at the 75th annual Peabody Awards ceremony to discuss the first season of MR. ROBOT.
- Adventure Time
"We like to laugh," says Pendleton Ward, creator of Adventure Time. "We try to dig deep; heartbreaking humanity makes us laugh, right? That’s how we're free." Check out the conversation with Ward and Adam Muto, co-executive producer, after their acceptance for 2014 Peabody Award.