January 16, 2014
By Princess Manasseh
Nominees for the 45th annual NAACP Image Awards were announced Thursday, January 9 at a live press conference in Pasadena CA. Celebrity hosts David Oyelowo (“The Butler”), Joe Morton (“Scandal”), Keke Palmer (“CrazySexyCool”), Bresha Webb (“Love That Girl”) and Gina Torres (“Suits”) announced the nominees for all 35 categories spanning film, television, music and literature.
At the posh Langham Hotel in Pasadena, the winter Television Critics Association (TCA) press tour provided the backdrop for the nomination announcements.
Some of 2013’s most recognized motion pictures include “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” “12 Years a Slave,” “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” and “Fruitvale Station.” In the television categories, “Scandal,” “House of Lies,” and “Real Husbands of Hollywood” led the way, each with multiple nominations.
Often thought of as ‘The Black Academy Awards,’ The Image Awards were founded by the Beverly Hills/Hollywood Branch of the NAACP in 1967 – the height of the Civil Rights Movement. Though begun by, and for, African Americans, the Image awards in recent years has been viewed by many as the premiere multicultural award show, due to its inclusion of outstanding filmmakers, musicians, and writers of various ethnic backgrounds beyond African American.
October of 2013 marked a major move for the NAACP when they inked a five-year deal with cable network TV One. The deal gave TV One exclusive privileges to air the award ceremony for the next five years. A significant move, 2014 will mark the first year the Image Awards are aired live on cable television’s TV One, previously broadcasting on FOX and later NBC.
With the tag line, “Where Black Life Unfolds” TV One is a relatively new and rapidly growing network founded in 2004. Professing on their website to be delivering programming “from an African American point of view” the network was reportedly in over 57 million American households in 2013. President and CEO of TV One Alfred Liggins is pleased with the recent acquisition of the award show for the network.
“The Image Awards recognize the best that communities of color have to offer and is an exciting addition to our programming line-up -- TV One is pleased to showcase all of these achievements on our network,” said Liggins.
2013 marked an outstanding year for Black film and television production. Roslyn M. Brock Chairman of the NAACP took note at Thursday’s press conference.
“This has been an incredible year from the artistic community, with phenomenal contributions across the board from the music, television, motion picture, and literature genres that have the power and impact to drive social change.” The Chairman went on to recognize the organization’s ability to showcase such achievement. “The NAACP Image Awards provides an excellent venue to recognize those who make a difference through art and activism, and we are excited to honor and celebrate this caliber of talent.”
One of the major awards shows of the season the Image awards hold a special significance to African American artists in particular. The Butler director Lee Daniels made that clear to the Hollywood reporter following the nomination announcements,
“The importance of being nominated by the NAACP on this particular film touches my very soul.”
The 45th Annual NAACP Image Awards will air live on Saturday February 22 on TVOne at 9pm with a one-hour preshow from the Red Carpet at 8pm.