NAACP Image Awards: Kevin Hart Named Entertainer of the Year, ’12 Years’ Best Pic
Shalini Dore, Variety.com
Kevin Hart was named Entertainer of the Year while “12 Years a Slave” racked up another four awards including for motion picture at the NAACP Image Awards, which were held Saturday at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.
Hart said he was a “real mama’s boy” and dedicated his prize to his mother, who recently passed away.
Helmer Steve McQueen and writer John Ridley won kudos for “12 Years” during a non-televised portion of the show Friday, while supporting actress Lupita Nyong’o said she was honored to win for a film ”that has inspired discourse long overdue.”
Forest Whitaker and David Oyelowo were honored for their roles in “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” and Angela Bassett won the lead actress prize for “Black Nativity.” Whitaker was also honored with the NAACP Chairman’s Award. “I’m one of those with a funny accent and an African name,” Oyelowo referencing emcee Anthony Anderson’s earlier jokes about Brit actors with their accents and African names in his speech who cross the Pond to grab roles in Hollywood.
Meanwhile, Whitaker quoted a song from Nat King Cole, “The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is to love and be loved.”
On the television side, Hart and his BET show “Real Husbands of Hollywood” were honored for comedy, while Kerry Washington, Joe Morton and ABC’s “Scandal” picked up three awards for drama. Since showrunner Shonda Rhimes was unable to attend, Washington accepted the “Scandal” award. In her own acceptance speech, Washington said, “The historic nature of this role is due not to lack of talent, but lack of opportunity.”
The NAACP Image Awards were broadcast live on TV One and hosted by Anthony Anderson. Academy prexy Cheryl Boone Isaacs and DGA prexy Paris Barclay were inducted into the Image Awards Hall of Fame. Both are the first African-American presidents of their respective organizations. Barclay referenced his upbringing saying, “I’m the first in a long line of factory workers.”
Boone Isaacs said the Acad invited more women and minority this year than it ever has. “We still have a lot of work to do. I look forward to it,” she said to applause.
Oprah Winfrey led a tribute to Nelson Mandela and Stevie Wonder performed.
Winfrey gave a moving speech about meeting Mandela and wondering what she would say to him. “Why don’t you listen,” was the advice she was given. “What can I take to Nelson Mandela, I can’t take a candle,” she added. “So I built a school in his name.”