Spike Lee, Martin Scorsese, “30 for 30″ docs win Peabody Awards

The 70th annual Peabody Awards has this year honored a record 38 projects, with Spike Lee's If God Is Willing and Da Creek Don't Rise (pictured), Martin Scorsese's Elia Kazan: A Letter to Elia and ESPN's 30 for 30 sports doc series among the factual recipients.
May 25, 2011

The 70th annual Peabody Awards has this year honored a record 38 projects, with Spike Lee’s If God Is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise (pictured), Martin Scorsese’s Elia Kazan: A Letter to Elia and ESPN’s 30 for 30 sports doc series among the factual recipients.

The award is Lee’s second Peabody, coming after he picked up a trophy in 2006 for When The Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts, which If God Is Willing… is a sequel to.

Both docs aired on HBO and look at the impact and devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. At a ceremony accepting his award, Lee told The Huffington Post: “Under the direction of the chief of command, president George W Bush, it took the United States government five days to come to rescue of its American citizens. No one’s ever explained, to this day, why it took five days.”

Other winners include Anders Østergaard’s Burma VJ; True Vision’s BBC4 series Zimbabwe’s Forgotten Children; and the BBC’s Wonders of the Solar System with Brian Cox, which aired in the U.S. on Science.

The full list of winners at the 70th annual Peabody Awards:

Justified (FX)
FX Productions and Sony Pictures Television

Great Performances: Macbeth (PBS)
THIRTEEN for WNET.ORG, Illuminations Television.

Coverage of the Gulf Oil Spill (CNN)

Radiolab (WNYC-FM)

The Pacific (HBO)
A Playtone and Dreamworks Production in association with HBO Miniseries

Sherlock: A Study in Pink (PBS)
A Hartswood Films Production for BBC CYMRU Wales, Co-produced with Masterpiece

Lucia’s Letter (WGCU-FM)
WGCU Public Media

LennoNYC (PBS)
THIRTEEN’S America Masters, Two Lefts Don’t Make a Right, Dakota Group

Burma VJ (HBO)
Magic Hour Films in co-production with WG Film, Mediamente, Kamoli Films, The Danish Film Institute and DR TV in association with HBO Documentary Films

Men of a Certain Age (TNT)
TNT Originals

Bitter Lessons (WFAA-TV)
WFAA, Dallas

Trafficked: A Youth Radio Investigation (NPR/All Things Considered)
Youth Radio, National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, Huffington Post online

Independent Lens: Reel Injun: On the Trail of the Hollywood Indian (PBS)
Rezolution Pictures, National Film Board of Canada, CBC News Network, ARTE Germany, Documentary Channel Canada, Radio Canada, ARTV, Knowledge Network, APTN, AVRO, Independent Television Service (ITVS)

The Promised Land with Host Majora Carter (American Public Media Stations)
Launch Minneapolis, American Public Media

Magic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals (HBO)
HBO Sports

Covering Pakistan: War, Flood and Social Issues (NPR )

Wonders of the Solar System with Brian Cox (Science Channel)
Science Channel, BBC

Seeking Justice for Campus Rapes (NPR and

Degrassi: My Body Is a Cage (TeenNick)
TeenNick/Ncredible productions

C-SPAN Video Library (

My Lai (PBS)
American Experience

The Moth Radio Hour (Public Radio Stations)
The Moth, Public Radio Exchange, Atlantic Public Media

For Neda (HBO)
Mentorn in association with Antony Thomas Productions for HBO Documentary Films

Behind the Bail Bond System (NPR/All Things Considered and Morning)

12th & Delaware (HBO)
A Loki Films Production for HBO Documentary Films

Elia Kazan: A Letter to Elia (PBS)
Sikelia Productions, Far Hills Pictures in association with America Masters

If God Is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise (HBO)
40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks for HBO Documentary Films

Zimbabwe’s Forgotten Children (BBC4)
True Vision

William Kentridge: Anything Is Possible (PBS)

30 for 30 (ESPN)

POV: The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers (PBS)
American Documentary, POV, ITVS

Reality Check: Where Are the Jobs? (WTHR-TV)
WTHR, Indianapolis

Temple Grandin (HBO)
A Ruby Films, Gerson Saines Production in association with HBO Films

The Lord Is Not On Trial Here Today (WILL-TV)
Jay Rosenstein Productions

The Cost of War: Traumatic Brain Injury; Coming Home a Different Person

Who Killed Doc? (KSTP-TV)
KSTP, St. Paul

The Wounded Platoon (PBS)
Frontline, Mongoose Pictures

The Good Wife (CBS)
CBS Productions, Scott Free Productions and King Size Productions

About The Author
Jillian Morgan is a special reports editor at realscreen with a background in journalism and digital marketing. She joined the publication in 2019 after serving as the assistant editor to trade publications HPAC and On-Site. With a bachelor of journalism from the University of King's College in Halifax, she also works as a freelance writer and fact-checker.