forest whitaker_web.jpgTHE 45TH NAACP Image Awards airs live from Pasadena Civic Auditorium, starting at 9 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 22 on TV One. A One-hour pre-show airs live from the Red Carpet at 8 p.m.

Anthony Anderson will serve as host for the  evening. Confirmed presenters include Lupita Nyong’o, Tyler Perry, Michael Ealy, Tony Goldwyn, Arsenio Hall, Gabrielle Union, Regina Hall, Octavia Spencer, Archie Panjabi, Dennis Haysbert, Rickey Smiley, Nicole Beharie and Lou Gossett Jr.

Academy Award winning actor, producer, director and 2014 Image Award nominee Forest Whitaker will receive the NAACP Chairman’s Award. The Chairman’s Award, chosen by chairman of the NAACP National Board of Directors, Roslyn M. Brock, is given in recognition of special achievement and distinguished public service. “Forest Whitaker embodies the moniker of artist/activist,” said Brock. “His work in front of and behind the camera engages and entertains, and his service to communities around the world is truly inspirational.”

The NAACP Image Awards celebrates the accomplishments of people of color in the fields of television, music, literature and film and also honors individuals or groups who promote social justice through creative endeavors.  

The NAACP “Entertainer of the Year” will be revealed. This honor is given to an individual within the entertainment industry who has achieved notable success in multiple projects and mediums. Those under consideration for the award are: Beyoncé, Dwayne Johnson, Idris Elba, Kevin Hart, Nicole Beharie and Oprah Winfrey. Winners in this category were voted for by fans online.

Paris Barclay and Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the first African American presidents of the Directors Guild of America and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, respectively, will be inducted into the Image Awards Hall of Fame.

Winners are voted upon by NAACP members and announced when the envelopes are opened on Friday, Feb. 21 during the awards ceremony for non-televised categories.  The remaining categories will be announced live on stage during the two-hour telecast.

BET and CBS programs lead the nominees in the TV categories with 19 and 16 nominations respectively, followed by ABC with 15 nominations and HBO with 13 nominations.  In the recording category, RCA leads with 10 nominations, followed by Atlantic Records with eight nominations and Columbia Pictures with seven nominations.  In the motion picture category, The Weinstein Company leads with 17 nominations, followed by Fox Searchlight Pictures with seven nominations. 

“This has been an incredible year from the artistic community, with phenomenal contributions across the board from the music, television, motion picture, and literature genres that have the power and impact to drive social change,” said Brock. 


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