Peabody Awards Honor Groundbreaking Degrassi Episodes
Among the most prestigious of honors in the media, the George Foster Peabody Awards recognize "distinguished achievement and meritorious public service by TV and radio stations, networks, producing organizations, individuals and the World Wide Web." This year's honorees include Degrassi's storyline following transgender teen Adam on TeenNick, and several other inclusive programs.
The Peabodies were founded by the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication all the way back in 1940, so needless to say, the awards carry a fair amount of historical gravitas. Last year's LGBT inclusive winners included Modern Family, Glee, and The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, and the tradition of recognizing such programming continues this year.
The two-part Degrassi story entitled "My Body is a Cage" examined the fallout from Adam being outed as transgender at school, while his mother is simultaneously struggling to fully accept him as her son. After a brief attempt to revert back to his previous identity as Gracie, Adam comes to realize that denying who he is will ultimately only cause pain, and he and the family finally say goodbye to the remnants of Gracie with a hopeful eye to the future. The Peabody press release praised the way the episodes neither "trivializ[ed] nor overdramatiz[ed] its subject."
We are particularly proud of Degrassi and the TeenNick network for their win, as GLAAD was able to provide script notes on both episodes, as well as assist in the creation of marketing materials for the storyline and the creation of a PSA raising awareness around transgender issues and resources available through PFLAG. You can watch the PSA below:
Other notable Peabody winners this year include CBS's hit legal series The Good Wife, which features Archie Panjabi's Emmy winning portrayal of bisexual investigator Kalinda. The TNT series Men of a Certain Age (which features a recurring lesbian character) and the ESPN series 30 for 30 (which featured an episode on Martina Navratilova this past season) also received awards.
GLAAD congratulates all the winners, and TeenNick and Degrassi in particular, on their well-deserved recognition.