Watchmen Wins Peabody Award: Lindelof, King Offer Acceptance Speeches

A little more than a month after series creator Damon Lindelof and star Regina King learned that the Peabody Awards Board of Jurors had selected the series as a nominee, the "remix" pseudo-sequel to Alan Moore and David Gibbons' comic book classic Watchmen now has a new title: Peabody Award-winning HBO series. In a citation released on Thursday, the judging body mirrored what many have been saying about the series, especially over the past two weeks: "it offers a frank and provocative reflection on contemporary racialized violence, on the role of police, and on the consequences of a large-scale disaster on the way Americans understand their place in the world."

Watchmen
Damon Lindelof and Regina King speak on Watchmen winning a Peabody Award (Image: HBO).

Here's a look at what both Lindelof and King had to say about the Peabody Award win in their acceptance speeches, which Lindelof accepting on behalf of the entire team and "in the memory of the lost lives of Greenwood." Following the clip, we've posted the Peabody Awards Board of Jurors' citation on the reasoning behind the jury's selection.

When HBO announced a new "remix" of Watchmen, Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons, and John Higgins's classic work in the American superhero tradition, comic book fans were initially skeptical. Consider what viewers confront in the bold and original first episode: a pastiche of a silent film about a black sheriff, an intense re-enactment of the 1921 Tulsa Race Riots, an all-black performance of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma, a vision of a future society where Robert Redford is president, and the lynching of a white cop. And Damon Lindelof's revolutionary series goes full throttle to the end.

Watchmen provides new answers to classic genre questions such as what it means to mask one's identity and who gets to be a superhero, but more than that, it offers a frank and provocative reflection on contemporary racialized violence, on the role of police, and on the consequences of a large-scale disaster on the way Americans understand their place in the world. For world-building and storytelling that fuses speculative fiction with historical and contemporary realities, Watchmen deserves a Peabody.

Last month, Lindelof took to social media to express how much the Peabody nomination meant to him and the entire cast and crew. Our favorite part is the love and respect he threw at fellow nominees When They See Us, Chernobyl, and Unbelievable, and their ability to shine a light on true, real-life horrors and injustices:

 

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On behalf of the hundreds of artists who devoted themselves to Watchmen, we are profoundly grateful to be nominated by the esteemed @peabodyawards. In the midst of a global pandemic, it feels strange and inappropriate to celebrate anything, yet Peabody shines a light on so many incredible pieces of work… from news to docs to podcasts to children's programming. For those still sheltering, I highly recommend you check out the list of nominees as it's chock full of vitamins for your mind and soul. We are truly honored to be among such distinguished company, particularly the astonishing WHEN THEY SEE US, the unforgettable UNBELIEVABLE and the radioactively brilliant CHERNOBYL. These limited series form a holy trinity of dramatized nonfiction that forces us to look, unflinchingly, at the most brutal and frightening parts of our society… and even in the midst of terror and despair, even in the darkest of nights, if we look hard enough, we find a glimmer of humanity and grace. I'll keep looking if you will.

A post shared by Damon (@damonlindelof) on

"We are truly honored to be among such distinguished company, particularly the astonishing WHEN THEY SEE US, the unforgettable UNBELIEVABLE and the radioactively brilliant CHERNOBYL. These limited series form a holy trinity of dramatized nonfiction that forces us to look, unflinchingly, at the most brutal and frightening parts of our society… and even in the midst of terror and despair, even in the darkest of nights, if we look hard enough, we find a glimmer of humanity and grace"

About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought on board as staff in 2017.

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