EXCLUSIVE: The Good Lord Bird, the Showtime limited series starring Ethan Hawke in the adaptation of James McBride’s book about enigmatic abolitionist John Brown, will be awarded a Peabody on Tuesday, Deadline has learned.
Chris Rock presented the award to Hawke, who also co-wrote and produced the seven-part series, in a video as part of the Peabodys’ virtual awards ceremonies rolling out this week honoring a total of 30 winners. The win in the Entertainment category will be made official later today.
Watch Rock and Hawke’s video above.
The miniseries, which debuted in October 2020 on the premium cabler, mixed fiction, history and satire to tell the story of the famed failed Harper’s Ferry raid leader Brown (played by Hawke) from the perspective of a 14-year-old freed slave (Joshua Caleb Johnson), who is mistaken for a girl and taken in as aide-de-camp to Brown and his militia. This came during the Bleeding Kansas era, a time when the state was a battleground between pro- and anti-slavery forces.
The story climaxes with Brown’s famously failed raid of the U.S. armory in 1859 at Harper’ Ferry intended to spark a slave rebellion (Brown was eventually convicted of treason and hanged), but not before introducing the likes of Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth and others who would help lead the conversations that would lead to the abolishment of slavery.
Ellar Coltrane, Hubert Point-Du Jour, Beau Knapp, Nick Eversman, Jack Alcott and Mo Brings Plenty co-star, along with Daveed Diggs, David Morse, Steve Zahn, Maya Hawke, Wyatt Russell and Orlando Jones.
“The series smartly suggests that Brown’s ultimate mission was less about starting a successful slave insurrection as it was the public performance of guilt, redemption and salvation for the souls of white Americans,” the Peabody jury wrote, calling it “an irreverent history lesson that feels fresh and pressing for our times. “For a rich and complex portrayal of a madman who would become a martyr, offered through the eyes of African Americans, Good Lord Bird wins a Peabody.”
Blumhouse’s Jason Blum and Hawke executive produced the miniseries alongside Ryan Hawke, Mark Richard, Padraic McKinley, Jeremy Gold, Marci Wiseman, Albert Hughes, McBride, Brian Taylor, Marshall Persinger and David Schiff.