NAACP Image Awards Rescheduled Because of Pandemic

Image Awards. Bryan Stevenson accepts the Outstanding Motion Picture award for "Just Mercy" onstage during the 51st NAACP Image Awards, Presented by BET, at Pasadena Civic Auditorium on February 22, 2020 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images for BET)

The 52nd NAACP Image Awards have been moved to a new date as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The awards will now air in March, instead of on Feb. 20 as previously announced.

“After careful consideration and guidance from health experts and state and local government, we have decided to reschedule the 52nd NAACP Image Awards to March 27, 2021,” show organizers said this week in a joint statement. “As COVID-19 continues to ravage our country, particularly the African-American community, it is our utmost priority to maintain a safe and healthy environment for our staff, production teams, nominees, and all talent involved in this year’s awards ceremony.”

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The show will be broadcast on BET for a second consecutive year.

The awards previously aired on TV One. After debuting on BET Networks in February 2020, the 51st NAACP Image Awards telecast drew 1.8 million total viewers, marking a 448 percent increase versus the previous year.

The nominees in the categories of television and streaming, music, literature, film, and activism, will be announced on Wednesday, Feb. 3.

Previous winners from last year’s ceremony included Lizzo for Entertainer of the Year, Just Mercy for Outstanding Motion Picture, Michael B. Jordan for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture (Just Mercy) and Lupita Nyong’o for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture (Us).

The 52nd NAACP Image Awards will air on Saturday, March 27 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on BET.