HOLLYWOOD—I honestly wish awards season was just cancelled for 2021. The virtual ceremony just doesn’t work people. It doesn’t matter how hard you attempt to make the ceremony entertaining, having the audience as a virtual audience is not the same as having people live in person America. Host Anthony Anderson did his best to keep things moving along, but the pace was a bit slow for my liking. The 52nd Annual NAACP Image Awards were handed out on Saturday, March 27.
Big names from the entertainment arena including the likes President Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Alicia Keys, Lin Manuel Miranda, former First Lady Michelle Obama and Arsenio Hall presented awards during the ceremony and paid tribute to honorees from historical landmarks across the United States paying tribute to African-American history.
Some of the big winners of the night included actress Viola Davis who picked up two awards: Actress in a Drama Series for “How to Get Away With Murder” and for Best Actress in a Motion Picture for her role in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” Her co-star the late, great Chadwick Boseman won the Image Award for Best Actor for his role in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” His award was accepted by his wife, who urged Americans, especially African-Americans to be tested for colon cancer.
“Bridgerton’s” Rege-Jean Page was stunned with his win for Best Actor in a Drama Series, while “Insecure’s” Issa Rae picked up the prize for Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. For those not in the know, a ton of awards were presented throughout the week leading up to the big event. Stacey Abrams was awarded with the Social Justice Impact award. NBA star LeBron James took home the President’s Award for his contributions to society and pointed out he was glad he didn’t just “shut-up and dribble a ball.”
I will admit the ceremony was a bit subdued in 2021; the laughs were not there from host Anthony Anderson, who has played Master of Ceremonies for the past 8 years. You can attempt to be funny, but without an audience to feed off of America, it just falls flat on its face if you’re asking me to be honest.
I will admit I was stunned that “Bad Boys For Life” won the Outstanding Motion Picture prize, because I can think of more deserving movies of that prize like “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” or “One Night in Miami.” As for Entertainer of the Year it was D-Nice who picked up the award over big names like Tyler Perry, Viola Davis, Trevor Noah and Regina King. A surprise, but the guy did entertain those locked in their homes a vast majority of 2020 so that is an accolade well deserved.
So the 2021 NAACP Image Awards are in the record books, fingers crossed that the 2022 ceremony might actually take place in person people.