Peabody Awards honor Cicely Tyson with Career Achievement Award

The committee says Tyson's 'uncompromising commitment to using her craft to address the big issues of her time' make her an ideal recipient.

Cicely Tyson
(Credit: Getty Images)

The Peabody Awards have decided to honor Cicely Tyson for her 70 years of work on stage, screen and television, as the recipient of a Career Achievement Award.

Reserved for individuals whose work and commitment to broadcasting and digital media have left an indelible mark on the field and in American culture, Tyson is an ideal candidate.

READ MORE: Cicely Tyson joins cast of Ava DuVernay series on OWN

“Cicely Tyson’s uncompromising commitment to using her craft to address the big issues of her time—gender equality, racial and social justice, equity and inclusion—places her in rare company. And she did so when speaking up and speaking out invited stigma, isolation, and retribution,” said Jeffrey P. Jones, executive director of Peabody, in a statement on Tuesday. “She was a seminal figure of her time, and ahead of her time.”

Oprah Winfrey spoke about Tyson’s work in a video tribute, thanking her for paving the way for for Black women in entertainment and “standing for the truth in your art in all ways, and allowing us to be lifted by the light of your illustrious life.”

“With her award-winning performances, Tyson has taught us to champion a world of possibility for social justice, creativity, vitality, and joy,” the jurors noted. “Through her career, she has demonstrated the importance of imagining human freedom, the power of struggle, the grace of sacrifice, and the importance of witnessing in a nation desperate to reckon with itself. Her powerful command of her craft and her lifelong dedication to make work that entertains and challenges helps us find our ethical and moral bearings, inviting us to ponder the qualities that make for an ethical and moral life.”

READ MORE: ‘Watchmen’, ‘When They See Us’, ‘Finding Neverland’ earn Peabody Award nominations

This year, PBS had the most total nominations with 11 nods, followed by HBO with seven; the most of any cable network or streaming platform this year (and the most nominations in the Entertainment category).

The Watchmen earned one of the network’s nods in the entertainment category, along with Chernobyl, Our Boys, and Succession.

The shocking Michael Jackson documentary, Finding Neverland, is nominated in the documentary category along with True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality.

In the news category, Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel: Raced to Death The Plight of the American Thoroughbred made the list.

The Peabody 30, including Institutional Winners, will be announced Wednesday, June 10. For more information, visit