LOS ANGELES-Actress Kerry Washington had a big night at the 44th NAACP Image Awards, claiming three honors, being part of four awards, including for two for ABC’s hit television series “Scandal.” Kerry also claimed an Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture for her role opposite of Jamie Foxx in “Django Unchained.” Topping off her huge evening at the Los Angeles Shrine Auditorium in front of her acting peers, Washington was also lauded for her many societal contributions by the longtime civil rights organization.
Alfre Woodard came up as a multiple winner as well, including claiming the NAACP Image Award in the Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special category in “Steel Magnolias.” But the surprise of the night was “Django Unchained” losing out on the esteemed trophy in several major categories, including Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture and Outstanding Motion Picture.
What was probably not so surprising was the George Lucas’ take about the historical and famed Tuskegee Airmen in the drama, “Red Tails,” winning in two categories during the two-hour live ceremony, including for Outstanding Motion Picture. “Red Tails,” which also earned another NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Independent Motion Picture, along with “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” was not the blockbuster commercial Lucas had hoped for, but exposed the famed airmen to a new generation of moviegoers.
“Django Unchained,” the highly-acclaimed film by director Quentin Tarantino that is up for five Academy Awards, did grab two NAACP Image Awards-with Samuel L. Jackson and Kerry Washington winning for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture and Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture, respectfully.
Foxx, who did win in the “Entertainer of the Year” category, lost out on an Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture to Denzel Washington, who took home the prize for the lead character he portrayed in “Flight.” Other big winners for the evening included Don Cheadle (Showtime’s House of Lies), Tatiyana Ali (Young and the Restless) and Loretta Devine, who took home two awards, one for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (Grey’s Anatomy) and one for Outstanding Performance in a Youth/Children’s Program (Disney’s Doc McStuffins).
Hosted by comedian and actor Steve Harvey, this year’s NAACP Image awards, carried on with a special salute to Navy Vice Admiral Michelle Howard (NAACP Chairman’s Award) and announcing that actor, singer, philanthropist and activist Harry Belafonte as the recipient of the Spingarn Medal honor. But the evening clearly belonged to the dashingly beautiful Washington.
The ultra-talented Washington picked up the two awards for acting chops in “Scandal” and “Django Uncahined.” Washington’s fellow cast members got to celebrate as well as “Scandal” won for Outstanding Drama Series. But the big honor that Washington received on the night was being tabbed for the NAACP President’s Award. Moved by her role in “Django Unchained,” Washington offered some insight on her thoughts of playing a slave in the movie.
“This award does not belong to me,” Washington said. “It belongs to our ancestors. We shot this film on a slave plantation, and they were with us along every step of the way.”