Awards season is going strong, Academy Award buzz is heavy. Unfortunately, there are no Black actors or actresses nominated in any Oscar categories this year. As a matter of fact, there are no people of color nominated in the coveted categories of Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress. PopEater writer, Jo Piazza writes, “this year represents the Whitest group of Oscar contenders in major acting categories in 10 years, since the ’73 Oscars.”
Hollywood Reporter Film Editor, Gregg Kilday says one of the reasons minorities were not represented among this year’s nominees is that there simply weren’t any African American-themed movies that had a legitimate chance to get a nomination. However, a number of Black moviegoers believe this is not true, citing the Tyler Perry film, “For Colored Girls,” which featured some of Hollywood’s top Black actors and actresses.
No doubt the performances of Kimberly Elise and Anika Noni Rose were topnotch, but the sad truth of it is Tyler Perry is not taken seriously in Hollywood as a director. In this instance, his name before the title could have hurt their chances. “For Colored Girls” was not a crossover hit, although the movie made its money back; with a budget of $21 million, the film’s gross revenue was $37,747, 016.
One thing we can count on every year is the NAACP Image Awards where Black performers abound and look oh, so beautiful. So, mark your calendar for this exciting event.
The 42nd NAACP Image Awards celebrates the accomplishments of people of color in the fields of television, music, literature and film. The awards also honor individuals or groups who promote social justice through creative endeavors. The two-hour event airs live Friday, March 4, (8-10 p.m. ET/ tape-delayed PT) on FOX.
Nominees for the Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture are: Anthony Mackie, “Night Catches Us”; Common, “Just Wright”; Denzel Washington, “The Book of Eli”; Jaden Smith, “The Karate Kid,” and Morgan Freeman, “Red.”
For Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture the nominees are: Halle Berry, “Frankie & Alice”; Janet Jackson, Tyler Perry’s “Why Did I Get Married Too?”; Kerry Washington, “Night Catches Us”; Queen Latifah, “Just Wright,” and Zoe Saldana, “The Losers.”
For Outstanding Supporting Actor, the nominees are: Don Cheadle, “Brooklyn’s Finest”; Idris Elba, “Takers”; Justin Timberlake, “The Social Network”; Michael Ealy, “For Colored Girls,” and Samuel L. Jackson, “Mother and Child.”
And for Outstanding Supporting Actress, the nominees are: Anika Noni Rose, “For Colored Girls”; Kimberly Elise, “For Colored Girls”; Phylicia Rashad, “For Colored Girls”; Jill Scott, Tyler Perry’s “Why Did I Get Married Too?” and Whoopie Goldberg, “For Colored Girls.”
If you get the opportunity, search out these films and decide for yourself, if you think some of the performances are Oscar-worthy. Note, many of the films aren’t necessarily Oscar material, but there are some class-A performances in this list of Image Award nominees.
And yes, you did see Justin Timberlake as a nominee for Supporting Actor. That’s a quirk that peeves me a bit about the NAACP. They want to be inclusive at the expense of Black actors and actresses, like giving “Ugly Betty” star America Ferrera the Best Actress award in 2008. In the press release, they make a point of explaining how Timberlake got in there. It’s sad to think that Black actors and actresses have to contend with other races for recognition in their own backyards. I don’t know why the NAACP thinks it is important to do what other cultures don’t do; frankly I think it’s simply counterproductive.
But mark your calendar anyway.
And while you’re at it mark Sunday, Feb. 13, to catch Martin Lawrence on TV One’s “TV One on One with Cathy Hughes.”
Martin Lawrence is one of the funniest men alive. Get to know him better when he sits down with TV One’s founder Cathy Hughes in a conversation guaranteed to leave you with something to talk about. That’s “TV One on One with Cathy Hughes,” Sunday, Feb. 13 from 7-8 p.m., please check your local listing.
Gail can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org