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Press Releases
May 09, 2018

WGBH's American Experience and America Reframed Win 2017 Peabody Awards

BOSTON (April 18, 2018) – WGBH has been awarded two George Foster Peabody Awards for its American Experience and America Reframed productions. American Experience’s Oklahoma City and America Reframed’s Deej received honors from the 77th annual awards for excellence in documentary filmmaking.

Written and directed by Barak Goodman and executive produced by Mark Samels, American Experience: Oklahoma City explores the intertwined narratives of the worst domestic terrorist attack in the U.S. and the anti-government movement that inspired the devastating actions of Timothy McVeigh.

The Peabody Award judges proclaimed Oklahoma City “essential viewing that draws a line from armed standoffs at Ruby Ridge and Waco to the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, to tell the story of both the worst act of domestic terrorism in U.S. history and the rise of anti-government hatred and white militancy.”

“It’s an incredible honor to receive a Peabody Award,” says American Experience Executive Producer Mark Samels. “From the moment I began thinking about a story that focused on what led to the Oklahoma City bombing, it was clear that an extraordinary filmmaking team was needed to bring it to life. We found that in Barak Goodman and Emily Chapman, whose rich and emotionally charged exploration of extremism in our country is increasingly relevant today.”

America Reframed, produced by American Documentary, Inc. and WGBH/WORLD Channel brings to national audiences compelling stories that illuminate the changing contours of an ever-evolving America. America Reframed’s Deej, directed and produced by Robert Rooy, is the story of DJ—David James Savarese—who once was a “profoundly disabled” foster kid, on a fast track to nowhere. In the film, we meet DJ as a first-year college student who insists on standing up for his peers: people who are dismissed as incompetent because they are “neurologically diverse”.

Peabody Award judges called Deej “a bold step forward in inclusive filmmaking that allows David James (Deej) Savares, a nonspeaking young man with autism, to tell his own story, focusing on accomplishment and possibility, not limits and barriers.”

“This Peabody Award reaffirms our commitment to presenting authentically diverse stories, as well as the role that documentaries continue to play in today’s media and cultural landscape.” Chris Hastings, WORLD Channel’s Executive Producer at WGBH, adds “America Reframed is proud to have made Deej, and all the films in its canon accessible to millions of Americans via the public broadcasting community and free online streaming.”

The 77th Annual Peabody Awards ceremony will take place Saturday, May 19 in New York. Based at University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, the Peabody Awards are the oldest in electronic media and among the world’s most prestigious and selective prizes. They recognize excellence and meritorious work by radio and television stations, networks, webcasters, podcasters, producing organizations and individuals. The 18-member Peabody Board is a distinguished panel of television critics, industry practitioners and experts in culture and the arts. For more information, visit www.peabodyawards.com.

About WGBH
WGBH Boston is America’s preeminent public broadcaster and the largest producer of PBS content for TV and the Web, including Masterpiece, Antiques Roadshow, Frontline, Nova, American Experience, Arthur and more than a dozen other primetime, lifestyle and children’s series. WGBH’s television channels include WGBH 2, WGBX 44, and the digital channels World and Create. WGBH TV productions focusing on the region’s diverse community include Greater Boston, Basic Black and High School Quiz Show. WGBH Radio serves listeners across New England with 89.7 WGBH, Boston’s Local NPR®; 99.5 WCRB Classical Radio Boston; and WCAI, the Cape and Islands NPR® Station. WGBH also is a major source of programs for public radio (among them, PRI’s The World®), a leader in educational multimedia (including PBS LearningMedia™, providing the nation’s educators with free, curriculum-based digital content), and a pioneer in technologies and services that make media accessible to deaf, hard of hearing, blind and visually impaired audiences. WGBH has been recognized with hundreds of honors: Emmys, Peabodys, duPont-Columbia Awards and Oscars. Find more information at wgbh.org.


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