Jennifer Hudson was the big winner Saturday night at the 53rd NAACP Image Awards. The singer and actress, who portrayed music icon Aretha Franklin in Respect, was named Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture and she picked up the coveted Entertainer of the Year trophy.
Will Smith won the award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture for his role in King Richard as Richard Williams, father of tennis champions Venus and Serena Williams. Meanwhile, the Netflix Western “The Harder They Fall” was named Outstanding Motion Picture.
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On the television side, HBO’s Insecure won Outstanding Comedy Series for its final season and show creator-star Issa Rae took home the award for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series.
Image Awards host Anderson picked up the trophy for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series for ABC’s Black-ish. Angela Bassett won for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series for Fox’s 9-1-1, and Sterling K. Brown picked up the award for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series for NBC’s This Is Us.
In one of the evening’s highlights, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were presented with the President’s Award for their commitment to public service. In her acceptance speech, Markle paid tribute to civil rights leaders of the past and urged the passage of voting rights laws to honor their legacies.
“Today we can continue that legacy by reestablishing federal voting protections in our country and fulfilling the work of civil rights giants like the late John Lewis. We are so deeply humbled to be here in the company of so many illustrious awardees,” she said. Harry also mentioned the war in Ukraine. “We would like to acknowledge the people of Ukraine who urgently need our continued support as a global community,” he said.
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Saturday night’s mostly virtual show was held in Los Angeles, with some of the winners attending in person, while others appeared remotely. The ceremony also featured a performance by Mary J. Blige.
In the days leading up to the telecast, the NAACP Image Awards Virtual Experience streamed online with awards handed out over five nights. The non-televised ceremonies were hosted nightly by actor and comedian Affion Crockett. Among the winners were Jazmine Sullivan, who was named Outstanding Female Artist on night four. Sherri Shepherd and Kym Whitley’s “Two Funny Mamas” won Outstanding Podcast on the first night. Facebook Watch series Red Table Talk was named Outstanding Talk Series.
Below is the full list of Saturday night’s winners:
Entertainer of the Year
Outstanding Motion Picture
The Harder They Fall (Netflix)
Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture
Will Smith – King Richard (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture
Jennifer Hudson – Respect (Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures/United Artists Releasing)
Outstanding Comedy Series
Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series
Anthony Anderson – Black-ish (ABC)
Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series
Issa Rae – Insecure (HBO)
Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series
Angela Bassett – 9-1-1 (Fox)
Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series
Sterling K. Brown – This Is Us (NBC)
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle