The 2019 NAACP Image Awards has made Hollywood celebrities jam-packed in a star-studded night held at the Dolby Theater for the first time in history as the organization celebrates its 50th anniversary.
This year’s event focuses on celebrating ‘the accomplishments of people of color in the fields of television, music, literature, and film, as well as, honoring groups or individuals who promote social justice through creative endeavors.’
The NAACP Image Award is an annual awards’ ceremony presented by the US-based National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) to honor outstanding performances in film, television, music, and literature.
Similar to other awards like the Oscars and the Grammys, more than 40 categories of the Image Awards are voted on and agreed upon by the organization’s members while Honorary Awards are added which include President’s Award, Chairman’s Award, Entertainment of the Year and the Hall of Fame Award.
Below are the lists of awards and nominations that were given to outstanding Hollywood actors and actresses who show significant roles in the field of entertainment.
Anthony Anderson hosted the said event who won Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series for his role in black-ish. Netflix and HBO had the highest number of nominations garnering 22 and 20 nominees respectively. While ABC followed closely behind with 18, and Black Panther tailed on as it gathered 14 nominations including Best Motion Picture.
Donald Glover’s hit show Atlanta is nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series alongside black-ish, Dear White People, Grown-ish and Insecure.
The most coveted and prominent award is given to ‘Jay-Z’ known as ‘President’s Award’ which centers on dedication to public service. The rapper, during his speech, acknowledged the roles of strong black women who dedicated their full acting prowess in the entertainment world and helped shape future generations through its influential parts in TV shows.
Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series goes to Tracee Ellis Ross in her role in black-ish (ABC.
Empire Star ‘Jussie Smollett’ who has been at the center of investigation which shocked the world by faking an attack on January 29 is nominated in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series category. However, he refused to attend the awards night and therefore lost his chance to receive the said reward. On Tuesday, Chicago prosecutors announced that all charges against him were dropped.
Marcus Scribner won an Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series from black-ish (ABC) and Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, went to Marsai Martin also from black-ish.
The hit series ‘Power’ (Starz) won the Outstanding Drama Series with Omari Hardwick as the Best Actor for Drama Series, also the lead star of Power. The Best Actress for Drama Series revealed to be Taraji P. Henson for her role in Empire from Fox.
Jesse Williams bagged the Supporting Actor in a Drama Series from the all-time hit TV series, Grey’s Anatomy from ABC. Its counterpart is claimed by Lynn Whitfield from Greenleaf which faced several criticisms from its competitor Thandie Newton in Westworld who believed that the award should be given to someone who has a critical role in TV series.
The long list of the award also gave importance to television movie, and the Outstanding Television Movies, Limited Series or Dramatic Special is awarded to The Bobby Brown Story, and the Outstanding Actor for the same category went to Michael B.Jordan for his award-winning role in Fahrenheit 451, while Regina King from Seven Seconds (Netflix) received the award in the female category.
The Real, won the award for Outstanding Talk Series, and Black Girls Rock for the Outstanding Variety Show. The long-running Doc Mcstuffins from Disney Junior took the Outstanding Children’s Program, while the Outstanding Performance by A Youth Series went to Marsai Martin of black-ish.
Several hosts are also given honor for their outstanding performances for Talk/Variety and Game show. Steve Harvey won Outstanding Host in the Game show from Family Feud, Jada Pinkett Smith, Adrienne Banfield Norris and Willow Smith for Red Table Talk under the Outstanding Host in News/Information Category.
In the music category, major awards were bagged by Bruno Mars for Outstanding Male Artist and H.E.R under RCA Records for the female group.
The said event is an avenue for black people to be recognized for portraying significant roles in different TV programs, but NAACP is being criticized for its flawed standards of choosing the nominees. Critics are pointing out factors such as criminal charges inconsequential in this regard, just like the case of Jussie Smollet who was nominated for a significant award despite his criminal offense.
The nomination of Smollet is similar to the case of Tupac Shakur in 1994. The artist was nominated for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture in a film ‘Poetic Justice’ despite the filing of sexual assault charges against him. R Kelly is no exception to the controversy, where his album Chocolate Factory was nominated for Outstanding Album while he was under indictment for costs related to child pornography.
Although significant issues currently surround NAACP, the organization is still determined to continue its effort on acknowledging the contribution of black people to the entertainment world and field of art as a whole. Other individual and minor awards can be viewed through the organization’s website at www.naacpimageawards.net