Associated Press: PASADENA, California — Angela Bassett won entertainer of the year at Saturday’s NAACP Image Awards on a night that also saw her take home an acting trophy for the television series “9-1-1.”
The Bassett-led Marvel superhero sequel “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” won best motion picture at the ceremony, which was broadcast live on BET from Pasadena, California.
Viola Davis won outstanding actress for the action epic “The Woman King,” a project she championed and starred in. Will Smith won for the slavery drama “Emancipation,” his first release since last year’s Academy Awards, where he slapped comedian Chris Rock on stage before winning his first best actor trophy.
“I never want to not be brave enough as a woman, as a Black woman, as an artist,” Davis said, referencing a quote from her character in the film, which she called her magnum opus. “I thank everyone who was involved with ‘The Woman King’ because that was just nothing but high-octane bravery.”
Angela Bassett accepts the award for outstanding actress in a drama series for “9-1-1” at the 54th NAACP Image Awards on Saturday, Feb 25, 2023, at the Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, California – AP Photo/Chris Pizzello
“Abbott Elementary” won for outstanding comedy series. Creator and series star Quinta Brunson invited her costars onstage and praised shows like “black-ish” for paving the way for her series.
The 54 NAACP Image Awards were presented Saturday in Pasadena, California, with Queen Latifah hosting. Serena Williams received the Jackie Robinson Sports award, which recognizes individuals in sports for high achievement in athletics along with their pursuit of social justice, civil rights and community involvement.
The ceremony, which honors entertainers, athletes and writers of color, was hosted by Queen Latifah. Special honorees included Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union and civil rights attorney Ben Crump.
Top Feature Photo: Angela Bassett poses in the press room with the awards for outstanding actress in a drama series for “9-1-1” and entertainer of the year at the 54th NAACP Image Awards on Saturday, Feb 25, 2023, at the Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, California – Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP