Ava DuVernay Wins Entertainer of the Year at NAACP Image Awards


Director Ava Duvernay was honored with the Entertainer of the Year prize at the NAACP Image Awards on Monday night (15Jan18).

The Selma filmmaker, who is set to release her latest project A Wrinkle in Time in the spring, won the public vote for the award over the likes of Black Panther’s Chadwick Boseman, Bruno Mars, Insecure actress Issa Rae, Chance the Rapper, and JAY-Z.

During her acceptance speech, the Queen Sugar creator and producer gave a shout out to writers and directors such as Shonda Rhimes and Dee Rees, before adding, “I got four words for you – Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther. It’s coming. Three weeks later, another hero takes the stage, a little black girl with glasses, she saves the universe from darkness that seems to be all around us. It’s called A Wrinkle in Time. It’s a love letter that I’ve made for family and community and the best in ourselves.

“This is our time. We can say we were here when all this gorgeous art was happening, and that we supported it – that we lifted each other up, that we did as Dr. King said we would do: Live the dream. We’re the dream. Thank you so much.”

The televised ceremony, which honors outstanding representations and achievements of people of color in entertainment, was hosted by Anthony Anderson at the Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, California on Monday, what would have been civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr.’s 89th birthday.

Other winners included Girls Trip, which was named Outstanding Motion Picture, Get Out’s Daniel Kaluuya, for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture, while Octavia Spencer won the female version for Gifted.

In the television categories, black-ish dominated, winning Outstanding Comedy Series and acting prizes for Tracee Ellis Ross and Anthony Anderson. Power was named Outstanding Drama Series and its lead actor Omari Hardwick won Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series, while Taraji P. Henson received the equivalent prize for Empire.

More winners were announced on Sunday night at a gala dinner. They included Get Out’s Jordan Peele for writing and directing, Girls Trip’s Tiffany Haddish for supporting actor, while Idris Elba won the equivalent for Thor: Ragnarok.