Cicely Tyson is the winner of this year’s Peabody Awards Career Achievement honour.
The 95-year-old has been working in the entertainment industry for 70 years and has been nominated for numerous Emmys, winning two for 1974’s “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman” and one in 1994 for “Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All”.
She was also nominated for a Best Actress Oscar for her role in 1972’s “Sounder” and was handed an honorary Oscar in November 2018, among many other accolades.
Oprah Winfrey and Regina King were among those paying tribute to Tyson in the announcement video, with Winfrey saying: “Your integrity is impeccable, so I thank you for not just paving the way for me and every other Black woman who dared to have a career in entertainment, but being the way.”
Peabody proudly recognizes @IAmCicelyTyson with this year’s Career Achievement Award. Throughout her illustrious life, the trailblazing actress has championed a world of possibility for social justice, creativity, vitality, and joy. https://t.co/kKbgtWtw9H pic.twitter.com/XZRZiNyfyp
— Peabody Awards (@PeabodyAwards) June 8, 2020
“With her award-winning performances, Tyson has taught us to champion a world of possibility for social justice, creativity, vitality, and joy,” the Peabody Board of Jurors shared, according to Deadline.
“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.”
Peabody executive director Jeffrey P. Jones added: “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. She was a seminal figure of her time, and ahead of her time.”
This year’s Peabody Awards was one of many ceremonies cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Rita Moreno and Carol Burnett are among those who have previously nabbed the Career Achievement honour.
The 2020 Peabody Awards winners will be announced Wednesday.