In 1986 Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons brought the world of Watchmen readers across the globe. More than 30 years later and the comic book creators’ questions of power remain relevant, says Damon Lindelof.
“They upended the conventional wisdom of what a superhero story could be and begin to ask how we should feel about powerful men who took the law into their own hands. Their answer: worried. Very, very worried,” Lindelof said during the 2020 Television Academy Honors on Tuesday. “We are still worried worried about what a mask covers up and worried about what it reveals.”
Upon receiving the honor the Watchmen creator brought attention to the show’s contemporary setting and how it finds relevance in all the matters American citizens are dealing with, from the COVID-19 pandemic to social justice movements. “Is it possible to be simultaneously proud and embarrassed to call ourselves Americans?” he asked.
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While he said he didn’t have the answers to some of the bigger questions inspired by the show, he said he was grateful to have collaborated with artists “brave, insane and inspired” enough to create a show that held a mirror up to the world, even if the resulting reflection terrified them.
Lindelof concluded his speech encouraging viewers to read the original source material and explore Ta-Nehisi Coates’ works. He also asked fellow creatives to dig deeper for thought-provoking stories, as these are often the ones left out of mainstream history and storytelling, he said.
“Sometimes history is hidden, buried and camouflaged and covered up by those who it benefits most,” he said. “The very idea that history is written by the winners suggests that there are losers and somehow their history is less valid simply because they are the victims of conquest both literal and cultural. Those are the stories I ask you to seek out.”
The Tuesday’s ceremony comes nearly two weeks before the 2020 Primetime Emmy Awards, for which Watchmen has received 26 nods including for the best limited series category.
Additional honorees for the 2020 Television Academy Honors, hosted by Jameela Jamil, are Erin Lee Car, Susannah Grant, Regina King, Hasan Minhaj, Richard Rowley and Anthony Sparks.
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