June 21 (UPI) -- The 81st Peabody Awards began Monday and Ted Lasso and the Late Show with Stephen Colbert among the first winners.
Both shows won in the entertainment category for the annual celebration "of 30 stories that powerfully reflect the pressing social issues and the vibrant emerging voices of our day," according to Peabody's website. Other award categories include news, documentary, podcast, radio, arts, children and youth, public service and multimedia programming.
"The Peabody Awards elevate stories that defend the public interest, encourage empathy with others, and teach us to expand our understanding of the world around us," the website states.
The in-person ceremony celebrating the nominees and winners was canceled this year and last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but presentation of the annual awards began Monday across social media and will continue through Thursday. The presentation starts between 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. PT each day on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and the Peabody website.
"As a writer, a performer and a satirist he has the ability to distill a complicated situation into something funny, he knows that being able to laugh at the horrible absurdity of the world makes it bearable," Carell said.
The presentation also included Colbert's grateful acceptance and clips from his show.
"Amidst suffering in a global pandemic, a public fed up with police violence against African Americans, and a morally contemptuous president fighting for his political life, Colbert's genuine and deeply felt ethical nature provided a nightly salve the nation desperately needed in such ferment," the Peabody's website states.
Ted Lasso, starring Jason Sudeikis, won "for offering the perfect counter to the enduring prevalence of toxic masculinity, both on-screen and off, in a moment where the nation truly needs inspiring models of kindness," according to the website.
Other award winners were announced on the first day in different areas.
Among them was Sam Pollard, who made his directorial debut with Eyes on the Prize II documentary civil rights series and won the Career Achievement Award; and anchor and managing editor of PBS NewsHour Judy Woodruff, who won the Journalistic Integrity Award.
Other winners included ARRAY production house, founded in 2011 by Ava DuVernay, which won Institutional Award, and The Owl House animation on Disney, which won in the children and youth category. Also, Asian Americans and Time won documentary awards, China Undercover and Full Disclosure won news awards, and Floodlines won podcast and radio awards.