NAACP show expects sparks, not fireworks from 'OscarsSoWhite'

PASADENA, Calif. -- #OscarsSoWhite? That's so last year for the NAACP Image Awards.

Despite the heated talk about racial diversity in Hollywood following the Academy Awards' mostly white array of nominees for the second year in a row, organizers of the NAACP Image Awards expect energy, not preoccupation at Friday's ceremony honouring people of colour in entertainment.

See Full Article

"The Oscars are their show, and we're our show," said Image Awards executive producer Phil Gurin this week at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, Calif., where crews were busy preparing for the 47th Image Awards.

But that doesn't mean the controversy will be ignored at the ceremony, which is presented by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

"We're certainly going to talk about the world at large," said Gurin, who's producing the two-hour TV One broadcast for the third straight year with Oscar producer Reginald Hudlin. "We're aware of what's going on in the world. We have ways to deal with it and comment on it that are both serious and entertaining."

At the beginning of last year's Image Awards, host Anthony Anderson opened the show with a musical number poking fun at other award shows' lack of racial diversity set to the hit tune "Uptown Funk." The "black-ish" star is back as the show's host this year, and Gurin teased that Anderson has more zingers ready in his opening number and monologue.

The producers are also preparing for the possibility of honorees spontaneously addressing the topic when they claim their trophies. Yet Gurin anticipates sparks, not fireworks.

"If a winner comes up to the stage, they'll say what they want to say -- and they may add something," said Gurin. "I'm sure the energy here will be a little more electric than it has been in years past."

For Friday's ceremony, which was first held in 1967, the issue presents an opportunity to stimulate more interest in the broadcast outside the African-American community. But Leonard James, who serves as chairman for the Image Awards at the NAACP, says that's been the goal for years.

"This is not intended to be a black-only show," he said. "It's intended to be a multicultural, multiethnic and multiracial show, admittedly seen through an African-American perspective. As long as we maintain that, there will always be a need for the Image Awards. "

Several black actors and filmmakers who were passed over by the motion picture academy are up for Image Awards, such as "Creed" star Michael B. Jordan and director Ryan Coogler, as well as "Beasts of No Nation" actor Idris Elba, who won a pair of Screen Actors Guild Awards last Saturday.

While the majority of Image Award nominees are African-American, there are a few non-black contenders, including Latina actress Gina Rodriguez, Indian-American actor-writer Aziz Ansari and white "Transparent" creator Jill Soloway.

"We represent all people of colour," said James. "Occasionally, some people forget that white is, in fact, a colour."

James, a business consultant who previously worked at Exxon Mobil for 38 years, noted that the first way to tackle Hollywood's racial diversity conundrum is to quantify it before attempting to solve it. He said that's worked for other industries.

"We should not only talk about the lack of diversity and inclusion in the industry, but develop a sustainable, actionable plan to address those gaps and put benchmarks and metrics in place," said James. "However, that will only succeed if we can work collaboratively with the industry to affect changes. We all recognize this is not something that will happen instantaneously."



Advertisements

Latest Entertainment News

  • Aykroyd voices doc series about Canada, calls country 'beacon in the world today'

    Entertainment CTV News
    TORONTO -- Dan Aykroyd is uber Canadian. The Oscar-nominated comedy star was born on Canada Day -- July 1, 1952 -- in Ottawa, no less. He was bilingual growing up, thanks to his French-Canadian mom. Source
  • Robert De Niro: U.S. is now a tragic comedy

    Entertainment CTV News
    PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Robert De Niro says that "in movie terms," the country was once "an inspiring uplifting drama" but now has turned into "a tragic dumbass comedy." The two-time, Oscar-winning actor spoke to Brown University graduates Sunday at the Ivy League school's commencement ceremonies. Source
  • We'll always have Van Nuys: Hangar from 'Casablanca' saved

    Entertainment CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- The airport hangar facade from the opening scene of "Casablanca" has found a home a decade after being saved from the wrecking ball. The arched facade dating to the 1920s has been in a Los Angeles parking lot since it was removed during 2007 renovations at Van Nuys Airport. Source
  • Bruce Springsteen surprises audience at Van Zandt concert

    Entertainment CTV News
    In this Saturday, May 27, 2017 photo, Bruce Springsteen, right, performs at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, N.J., with rocker Steven Van Zandt, left, during the show's encore. (Amanda Stevens/Count Basie Theatre via AP) Source
  • Kim Kardashian doubts her mom will ever talk to Caitlyn Jenner again

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Kim Kardashian doubts her mother will ever be on proper speaking terms with her ex Caitlyn Jenner after the former couple fell out over the transgender star’s new memoir. Retired Olympian Caitlyn, formerly known as Bruce Jenner, caused a rift in her family with Kris Jenner following the April release of her autobiography The Secrets Of My Life. Source
  • Stranger than fiction: Where do House of Cards, Veep and other White House shows go in the Trump era?

    Entertainment CBC News
    For years, House of Cards has lured audiences in with its dark portrait of unscrupulous Washington schemers, while Veep's fanbase remains devoted to the outrageous White House satire. But what happens when the reality in Washington becomes as dramatic as fiction? Source
  • Jaden Smith: Hollywood heirs gone to hell

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Nutty narcissist Jaden Smith is the reigning poster boy for Hollywood heirs gone to hell. The uber entitled 18-year-old son of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith has a long history of being seduced by his own genius. Source
  • Jaden Smith: Hollywood headcase hits Hogtown

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Nutty narcissist Jaden Smith is the reigning poster boy for Hollywood heirs gone to hell. The uber entitled 18-year-old son of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith has a long history of being seduced by his own genius. Source
  • Kim Kardashian agreed to marry Kris Humphries because she began to 'freak out' over turning 30

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Kim Kardashian knew her marriage to basketball player Kris Humphries was doomed because she wed for all the wrong reasons. The reality TV star admits she began to “freak out” about being old and lonely after turning 30, so when the sportsman proposed in 2011, after a whirlwind romance, she said “yes”. Source
  • Jerry Seinfeld on Timbits, Netflix, returning to Just for Laughs in Montreal

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    TORONTO — The last time Jerry Seinfeld was at Montreal’s Just for Laughs festival was in 1989 and audiences were just getting introduced to his motley crew of TV characters and their droll observations about everyday life in New York. Source