NAACP Image Awards to honor entertainers, writers of color

Jonathan Landrum
Associated Press

Los Angeles — Samuel L. Jackson along with Prince Harry and Meghan are some of the individuals who will be recognized at the NAACP Image Awards.

Netflix enters with a leading 52 nominations, led by the film “The Harder They Fall,” at the 53rd annual awards, which will be televised Saturday at 8 p.m. Eastern on BET. Jackson will receive the Chairman’s Award. Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, will be honored with the President’s Award.

Host Anthony Anderson speaks onstage at the 51st NAACP Image Awards in Pasadena, Calif., on Feb. 22, 2020, in Pasadena, Calif.

Anthony Anderson returns as host of the awards show, which highlights works by entertainers, writers, activists and athletes of color. The ceremony will also feature a performance by nine-time Grammy winner Mary J. Blige, who was a co-headliner at the Super Bowl halftime show this month.

Throughout this week, the organization virtually handed out a slew of awards to entertainers such as Jazmine Sullivan for outstanding female artist, Issa Rae for outstanding writing in a comedy series and Will Smith for outstanding literary work.

“The Harder They Fall” — featuring a large starry cast including Regina King, Jonathan Majors, Idris Elba and LaKeith Stanfield — pulled in 12 nominations, including for best picture. The movie, produced by Jay-Z, is based on real Black historical figures from the Old West who have generally been overlooked in the genre.

Issa Rae’s “Insecure” earned 13 nominations, including best comedy television series. “Harlem,” “black-ish,” “Run the World,” and “The Upshaws” are also competing for best comedy series.

H.E.R. received the most nominations in the music recording categories with six, including best female artist and outstanding album for “Back of My Mind.” She will compete in the album category against Silk Sonic’s “An Evening with Silk Sonic,” Drake’s “Certified Lover Boy,” Jazmine Sullivan’s “Heaux Tales,” and Givēon's “When It’s All Said and Done… Take Time.”

Regina King will compete for entertainer of the year against Lil Nas X, Megan Thee Stallion, Jennifer Hudson and Tiffany Haddish.

In addition to “The Harder They Fall,” the nominees for best picture are “King Richard,” “Respect,” “The United States vs. Billie Holiday” and “Judas and the Black Messiah.”

Stanfield could come away with two acting trophies. He’s nominated for best actor in a film for his role in “Judas and the Black Messiah” and for his supporting efforts in “The Harder They Fall.”

Majors, Denzel Washington, Mahershala Ali and Will Smith are also competing for best actor.

The nominees for best actress in a film are Andra Day, Halle Berry, Jennifer Hudson, Tessa Thompson and Zendaya.

WarnerMedia has 55 nominations through its multiple entities. The entertainment conglomerate garnered nominations mostly from Warner Bros. Pictures, HBO and OWN.