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The Simpsons lands top Peabody Award while Watchmen & Stranger Things also honored

By Jacob Oller
The Simpsons Fox

Just because it's summer doesn't mean that genre fans get to take a break from awards season. Thanks to The Peabody Awards, aimed at celebrating the "most compelling and empowering stories released in broadcasting and digital media," fans can recall all the good that came about from 2019's sci-fi, fantasy, and horror — while looking forward to how those same genres have evolved to the current 2020 environment. The awards not only listed some well-loved genre projects among their 30 winners, but also singled one longtime favorite for its top honor.

The Peabodys announced their 2019 winners today, first naming long-running animated comedy The Simpsons as the recipient of its Institutional Award. Not only are winners excellent in quality, but they also address a "wide range of pressing social issues" — even the goofball antics of Bart and Homer. The awards committee highlighted not only the show's humor, but also its eagerness "to question and rib not just the medium its viewers grew up on, but the beliefs upon which they were structured."

Other genre winners in the main awards batch include Netflix's Stranger Things ("a show that bubbles over with original fun and inclusiveness in its third season") and HBO's adaptation of Watchmen ("it offers a frank, provocative reflection on contemporary racialized violence"). Stranger Things featured an LGBTQ coming-out plotline this go-around, while Watchmen informed genre fans everywhere about racist histories and police misconduct. Space-focused documentary Apollo 11 and animated children's show Molly of Denali also received awards.

"This year's winners are a vibrant collective of inspiring, innovative, and powerful stories. True to the spirit and legacy of Peabody, our winners are also distinguished by the presence and resilience of many emerging and diverse voices," said Jeffrey P. Jones, executive director of Peabody.

An in-person awards ceremony was originally planned for June 18, but has been canceled in light of the coronavirus pandemic.