The Peabody Awards Board of Jurors has selected Norman Lear to receive an Individual Award and the Independent Television Service (ITVS) for an Institutional Award for their contributions to storytelling in television. These honors are reserved for individuals and institutions whose commitment to broadcast media define and transform the field.
Lear is being celebrated for revolutionizing an overwhelmingly white-bread medium with his series. From All in the Family and Sanford and Son to Maude, Good Times and The Jeffersons, all the Lear shows shared a grounding in the real America.
Virtually no topic was off limits on his shows—not racial discrimination, sexism, homosexuality, abortion, not even rape.
As the Peabody folks put it, Lear’s work “politicized the personal, personalized the political, and showed us ourselves in all our ridiculousness and nobility.”
Institutional winner ITVS was conceived by independent filmmakers who saw a paucity of diversity in public media and was formed by Congress in 1988. With more than 1,400 films funded and a whopping 32 Peabody Awards to its credit, ITVS’ output represents a highly accomplished range of work. Landmark films within the Peabody canon include: How to Survive a Plague by David France; Marco Williams’ and Whitney Dow’s Two Towns of Jasper; Leslee Udwin’s India’s Daughter and The Invisible War by Kirby Dick and Amy Zeiring.
Read more about all of the finalists at broadcastingcable.com.