HBO’s “I May Destroy You” and Netflix’s “Crip Camp” are among the next batch of this year’s Peabody Award winners, which continue to be announced throughout the week. Variety also has a first look at actor Selma Blair presenting the honor to “Crip Camp”; scroll down to watch.
Peabody is slowly announcing all 30 of its winners throughout the week; on Wednesday, the org announced seven more recipients.
From Nicole Newnham and James LeBrecht, “Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution” centers on a group of summer campers who first met in upstate New York in the early 1970s and eventually become key players and activists in the Disability Rights Movement.
“There is an unapologetic spirit in the title of this documentary that immediately grabs you and tells you everything you need to know about this inspiring history of the disability rights movement,” Blair said. “‘Crip Camp’ is both a personal story and an urgent historical record.”
Blair first revealed her multiple sclerosis diagnosis in October 2018. “I first watched this film when I was in the beginning of adapting to my own disabilities, and was, and am, completely blown away,” she said. “They came together through the freedom these ‘Crip Camp’ summers afforded them. And they changed the world, really. It’s a reminder that activism begins with the personal. For the history it covers. For the empathetic portrait it paints. And for the revolutionary anger and joy it covers.”
In accepting the award, Newnham said, “‘Crip Camp’ honors all the disabled ancestors who have fought for justice.” LeBrecht, who called making the film “the adventure of a lifetime,” added that “‘Crip Camp’ told one story of thousands in my community. We’ve been underrepresented and misrepresented, which perpetuates the stigma and prejudice that we have to fight against every day. Diversity and inclusion initiatives have brought us unique and compelling artists and their films into the world. I encourage everyone to apply the efforts to the deaf and disabled film people and artists and are ready to work and create magic.”
Here are the Peabody honorees announced on Wednesday:
“I May Destroy You” (HBO)
“La Llorona” (Shudder)
“Collective” (HBO Europe)
“Immigration Nation” (Netflix)
“Crip Camp” (Netflix)
“PBS NewsHour: Coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic” (PBS)
“Facing Race” (KING-TV)
A total of 60 nominees were announced as nominees in May, representing “the most compelling and empowering stories released in broadcasting and streaming media during 2020.” The Peabody Awards Board of Jurors selected this year’s nominees for entertainment, documentaries, news, podcast/radio, children’s & youth, public service and arts. This year’s remaining awards will be presented virtually on Thursday, at peabodyawards.com. Presenter and acceptance speeches can also be found at https://peabodyawards.com/2021-acceptance-videos/.
Here is how Peabody described Wednesday’s winning entrants:
“I May Destroy You” (produced by HBO in association with BBC, Various Artists Limited, and FALKNA): “One of the year’s most critically-acclaimed series is the provocative brainchild of British screenwriter, director, producer, and actor, Michaela Coel. The story centers on her character Arabella, who awakens from a night on the town with fragmented memories of having been sexually assaulted. With a compelling narrative that mirrors the structural rhythms of psychological trauma, the show defines the emergent subgenre of consent drama and takes center stage in a developing cultural conversation around complex issues of sexuality and consent, freedom and abuse, friendship and trust.”
“La Llorona” (produced by La Casa de Producción): “Jayme Bustamante’s reworking of that well-known Latin American folk tale about a weeping woman relies on the lyrical potential of the ghost story genre. The power of this gripping film is its inventive approach to visualizing the pains of a nation’s collective memory. It is a quietly powerful indictment of justice delayed and a visceral embodiment of accountability politics that rightly centers Guatemala’s indigenous population.”
“Collective” (produced by Alexander Nanau Production, Samsa Film HBO Europe): “In the aftermath of a nightclub fire in Bucharest, the survivors suffering from non-life threatening burn injuries mysteriously begin dying. Journalists from the Gazeta Sporturilor newspaper probe into why, and their enterprising investigation, supported by key whistleblowers, is captured by director Alexander Nanau’s intimate and breathtaking cinema vérité film. What unfolds is a staggering exposure of official corruption that reaches from the highest levels of government and infects the entire health care system.”
“Immigration Nation” (produced by A Reel Peak Films Production for Netflix): “Christina Clusiau and Shaul Schwarz’s six-part documentary on the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency shows how bureaucrats and officers working across different, seemingly unconnected domains make up a complex and terrorizing system. With rare access to detention facilities, ICE agents on duty, immigrant families, and lawyers and activists, the filmmakers reveal how individual and collective justifications of “we are just doing our job” rationalize a punishing system.”
“Crip Camp” (A Higher Ground and Rusted Spoke Production in association with Little Punk / JustFilms / Ford Foundation for Netflix): “Nicole Newnham and James LeBrecht’s film features a group of summer campers who first met at Camp Jened in upstate New York in the early 1970s and went on to become key players and activists in the Disability Rights Movement in the U.S. With an unapologetic spirit and a welcome cheekiness found in its archival footage, the documentary gives us a glimpse into the warmth of the teenagers’ discovery of independence, romance, and themselves, while also offering an inspiring history of a space where people found the strength and the sense of community to take on a fight to change the very world around us.”
“PBS NewsHour: Coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic” (produced by PBS NewsHour): “Relentless and comprehensive reporting from PBS NewsHour gave us the best news coverage of a once-in-a-century global pandemic. Their work on ‘Global Pandemic’ covered the pandemic’s human toll on five continents, in countries already hit hard by war, famine, and death. In the United States, ‘Making Sense: The Victims of COVID’ put a spotlight on the millions who lost their jobs, the devastating impact on restaurants, and the near shutdown of the travel industry, while shedding new light on how the pandemic revealed and exacerbated astonishing racial disparities in American health outcomes.”
“Facing Race” (produced by KING 5): “This audacious series tackles the deep-rooted subject of racial inequality, racism, racial privilege, and the systematic ways in which race structures and impacts the public and personal life of Seattle residents. From criminal justice to health disparities, environmental racism to land policy ramifications for Native American communities, the reporting team covers the magnitude and depth of the story sensitively yet critically. In particular, the series is attentive as well to the powerful emotional and psychological impact of racism and racial trauma, particularly among parents, trans-racial adoptees, and multiracial youth.”
Watch Selma Blair and the producers of “Crip Camp” below: