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Hollywood by Choice


Live Feb. 5, the 47th annual NAACP Image Awards will celebrate and honor Black performers in front of and behind the camera. Established in 1967, the Image Awards sought to do what Hollywood rarely did, honor Blacks for their outstanding work and contributions to the world of filmmaking. And this year is no exception.

Although there are a number of organizations presenting filmmaking awards such as the MTV awards, People’s Choice Award, Golden Globe Awards, SAG (Screen Actors Guild) Awards, British Academy awards, and the Critics Choice Awards, no awards program raises eyebrows like the Academy Awards for obvious reasons. The Oscar is the most coveted of all awards, mainly because we Americans say so. Therefore our feathers are ruffled if we don’t agree with the nominations presented to the public.

A number of Black folks have recently spoken out against the lack of Black representation in the Academy Awards nomination categories. Some are even calling for actor/comedian Chris Rock to step down as host of the 88th annual Oscar Awards Presentation live on ABC. Yet this is an ongoing battle with the Academy. The only time, there is no protest is when a Black film or star in a film or a performances that is considered groundbreaking, informative or brings something daring, thought provoking or just plain unexpected to the silver screen.

However, we can always count on the NAACP Image Awards to recognize and celebrate Black talent in front of and behind the camera. That is their mission, and they have never faltered. Okay, I generally take issue when they award a non-Black performer an Image Award. For me it’s like “et, tu Brute?” But for the most part the NAACP continues to shed positive light on Black talent in Hollywood thereby keeping our legacy, hopes and dreams alive.

The 47th annual NAACP Image Awards will air Friday, Feb. 5 during a two-hour ceremony that will be broadcast live on TV One at 9 p.m. at ET (PT tape-delayed).

Below find the NAACP nominations in the film categories. Also find a random selection of awards programs listing Black nominations for comparison. You will see that the Academy Awards nominations aren’t far off the mark. This year, there were few awards programs featuring Black performers or Black-themed movies. The question is given this picture, can we seriously chock up the absence at the Oscars to racism? Or can we objectively look at the quality of the work presented and the impact it had on the art form of filmmaking and the moviegoers? Or can we look at the absolute absence of a substantive body of work from which to select?

Here are the movies and performers nominated by the NAACP Image Awards:

Motion Picture

Outstanding Motion Picture

“Beasts of No Nation” (Netflix)

“Concussion” (Sony Pictures Entertainment)

“Creed” (Warner Brothers. Pictures /Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures)

“Dope” (Open Road Films)

“Straight Outta Compton” (Universal Pictures)

Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture

Abraham Attah — “Beasts of No Nation” (Netflix)

Chiwetel Ejiofor — “Secret in Their Eyes” (STX Entertainment)

Michael B. Jordan  — “Creed” (Warner Brothers. Pictures/ Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures)

Michael Ealy  — “The Perfect Guy” (Screen Gems)

Will Smith  — “Concussion” (Sony Pictures Entertainment)

Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture

Lauren ‘Keke’ Palmer  — “Brotherly Love” (Flavor Unit)

Sanaa Lathan  — “The Perfect Guy” (Screen Gems)

Teyonah Parris  — “Chi-Raq” (Amazon Studios and Roadside Attractions)

Viola Davis — “Lila and Eve” (Samuel Goldwyn Films)

Zoe Saldana  — “Infinitely Polar Bear” (Sony Pictures Classics)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture

Chiwetel Ejiofor  — “The Martian” (20th Century Fox)

Corey Hawkins  — “Straight Outta Compton” (Universal Pictures)

Forest Whitaker  — “Southpaw” (The Weinstein Company)

Idris Elba  — “Beasts of No Nation” (Netflix)

O’Shea Jackson Jr.  — “Straight Outta Compton” (Universal Pictures)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture

Angela Bassett  — “Chi-Raq” (Amazon Studios and Roadside Attractions)

Gugu Mbatha-Raw  — “Concussion” (Sony Pictures Entertainment)

Jennifer Hudson  — “Chi-Raq” (Amazon Studios and Roadside Attractions)

Phylicia Rashad  — “Creed” (Warner Bros. Pictures Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures)

Tessa Thompson  — “Creed” (Warner Bros. Pictures/ Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures)

Here is the score card for the SAG Awards, Golden Globe Awards and People’s Choice Awards.

(*Denotes nominated)

88th annual Academy Awards Presentation:

Nominations:  0

22nd annual, January 30 SAG (Screen Actors

Guild) Awards:

(Airs on TNT and TBS-check stations for show


Nominations:  3

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a

Motion Picture

Beast of No Nations*

Straight Outta Compton*

Outstanding Performance by a Male

Character in a Lead Role

Idris Elba —Beasts of No Nation*

73rd Golden Globe Awards

(Aired Sunday, Jan. 10)

2 Time Academy Award Winner Denzel

Washington was honored with

Cecile B. Demille Lifetime Achievement Award

Nominations: 2

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion


Will Smith – Concussion*

Best Performance by an Actor in Any Motion


Idris Elba  — Beasts of No Nation*

42nd People’s Choice Award

(Aired Jan. 6 on CBS)

Nominations:  4

Favorite Dramatic Movie Actor

Will Smith*

Favorite Action Movie Actor

Dwayne Johnson*

Vin Diesel*

Favorite Animated Movie Voice