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The Hollywood Insider 2022 NAACP Image Awards

Photo: NAACP Image Awards

The 53rd NAACP Image Awards will be coming to you live Saturday, February 26th, 2022 at 8/7c on BET. There is a handful of award shows solely recognizing Black creatives – i.e. the BET Awards, Glyph Comics Awards, Black Reel Awards, and the NAACP Theatre Awards – but these Image Awards are the longest-running and with the most categories. With this historic celebration of Black Excellence coming up at the end of Black History Month, let’s review the history of the NAACP, the Image Awards, and let you know where you can watch and vote on this year’s nominees. 

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A Brief History of the NAACP

The Springfield race riot of 1908 was the catalyst for The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, more commonly known as the NAACP. Horrified by the violence, White abolitionists Oswald Garrison Villard, Mary White Ovington, Dr. Henry Moscowitz, and William English Walling, sent out a call for anyone who wanted to fight against racial injustice. Of the 60 people who responded, six were Black. Out of those six were Black intellectuals W. E. B. Du Bois, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, and Mary Church Terrell. In 1909, the NAACP was officially born. 

According to their official website, “NAACP aimed to secure for all people the rights guaranteed in the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the United States Constitution, which promised an end to slavery, provide equal protection of the law, and the right for all men to vote, respectively.” 

And these goals have been met with triumph: The NAACP has successfully lobbied for the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the Fair Housing Act of 1968. They have created the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the NAACP Empowerment Program, over 2,000 branches, and offer student scholarships, an Activist of the Year Award, and more. The association is the largest, most recognized civil rights organization that is still running strong today and helping POCs across the country.

If you would like to join their cause, you can your local branch/college chapter here or donate here.

Fast Answer: What are The NAACP Image Awards?

The NAACP Images Awards are a “Celebration of [Black] Stories & Excellence in Entertainment” as described on their website. It was founded in 1967 by singer Sammy Davis Jr, blues artist Maggie Hathaway, and civil rights pioneer Willis Edwards, who were all leaders in the Beverly-Hills Hollywood Chapter of the NAACP. According to the ceremony’s first advert, the awards were for “furtherance of the Negro image.” They had nine nominees: two television shows and two news programs. Now, the NAACP Image Awards celebrate Black creatives in five mediums with over 50 categories and 6 special awards. 

The NAACP Image Awards’ Initial Reception and Growth in Popularity

The first White paper to run an advertisement for these Image Awards was the Los Angeles Times in 1967, featuring a total of three sentences. Its second ceremony made an appearance in Valley Times, with ticket prices and availability, information about the proceeds, and referred to its leaders as “distinguished advisors.”

After their third ceremony, newspapers began to dig deeper into the celebration’s public image. Black publication The Pittsburgh Courier posed important questions regarding the awards’ merit. “The purpose [of the awards] is to cite those ‘studios, directors, producers, etc. who’ve contributed to bettering minority group images before and behind the camera…’ A noble act indeed, but is it?”

The article goes on to condemn the awards for promoting a celebration of Black excellence in Hollywood during a time when Black people make up less than 5 percent of the film and television industry. The writer made the argument that it was like “a slave who thanks Masa for not beating him.”

Similar to the Courier, Canadian newspaper The Vancouver Sun also brought attention to the injustice that sits behind the awards. But this writer criticizes White Hollywood rather than the Black showrunners. Although more Black actors and actresses were being hired – Sidney Portier, Greg Morris, Ruby Dee, and Diahann Caroll for example – most major Hollywood professionals outside of the spotlight were White. Like the article’s title says, Hollywood was “Getting Blacker, But Not Black Enough.”

By the 1970s, both Black and White publications promoted the event. Winning an award became a credential and a commonplace topic of conversation.

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The ceremony was finally filmed for television in 1987 and came to primetime in 1996, with Whitney Houston and Denzel Washington as the hosts. The broadcast was saturated in Black culture, including a step performance, a poetic celebration of Quincy Jones, appearances by the NAACP Chairman and President, and live singing from Johnny Gill, Ray Charles, and Whitney herself. Every time the camera panned to the audience, a sea of beloved Black entertainers blessed the screen. Their television debut was discussed in newspapers across the country.

After its inaugural broadcast, the award show gained notoriety and has become a staple in African American culture. For the 51st annual Image Awards, the organization moved from its home at TV ONE and partnered with BET. The move reached an audience of 1.8 million, which was a 448% uptick from the previous year, and was the #1 Social TV program that night. The following year, three million viewers tuned in. 

Who Are The NAACP Awards For?

Initially, when I learned that the NAACP Image Awards garnered fewer viewers than the Oscars, The Golden Globes, and the Emmys, I was furious. I couldn’t believe the majority of America, or the world, wouldn’t want to sit in on observance of Black awesomeness.

When I shared my upset with my father, he had to remind me of one very important part of entertainment: Who is the show for? Who is the intended audience?

According to the 2020 census, Black people make up around 12% of the American population, while White people make up over 61%. So, it would make sense that a niche award show like the NAACP Image Awards would have lower viewership than a show that is interracial and, usually, predominately White. This does not mean Black people should be the only ones watching the awards, but it does mean the celebration would appeal to fewer Americans.

But then another question came up: Why wouldn’t the Image Awards want to be for everyone everywhere? Wouldn’t we want to promote positive Black excellence in a way that is legible for all?

When I think about Black media, I immediately think of magazines. In The Crimson White, writers explored the significance of Black publications. “Black newspapers and magazines were originally created to promote Black excellence and promote social change…” wrote Jeffrey Kelly and Maria Grenyo, “These publications continue to give Black people a platform to share their stories, viewpoints, and advice in a setting specifically dedicated to Black excellence.”

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Since 1945, Ebony magazine has been a publication that focuses on talent, culture, and news in the Black community. The purpose of this magazine was to “celebrate Black success,” as Brent Staples of The New York Times wrote. The magazine was an attempt to normalize Black Americans. “Ebony featured smiling women on its covers,” Staples continued, “and included photo essays showing members of the African-American middle and upper classes who lived in tastefully decorated homes and enjoyed the same activities as White people…” By the 80s, Jet and Ebony had married, and their numerous publications were reaching over 40% of Black Americans. Of course, this success was subjected to criticism.


Some scholars, including E. Franklin Frazier, an African American sociologist, believed Ebony was harmful to Black people. Frazier argued that this image of Blackness promoted the everyday African American to perform like White people. But studies later revealed that these publications redefined “how corporate America viewed Blackness and how African-Americans saw themselves in relationship to business, the arts, the civil rights movement, and history itself.”

So, although the purpose of some Black magazines and newspapers was to show Black people in a new light for White audiences, others were for the advancement of their communities: Ebony and Jet are niche magazines. And the Image Awards is a niche award show.

Former NFL wide receiver, and writer of the critically acclaimed story ‘Hair Love’, Matthew A. Cherry, shared his thoughts on Hollywood awards, “It’s one thing to be recognized by that circle in the [Oscars],” he said, “But [the Image Awards] are my people and my peers. There is so much talent that I’ve been a fan of all my life…. As people of color, we want to see ourselves…” 

Black people, appreciating Black people for Black people, is the simple recognization that Black people deserve media and celebrations for themselves. Like Ebony, The Image Awards are about people of color uplifting those that they believe represent minority communities the best in these fields. This is intended for the people, by the people, but everyone is welcome to join the celebration.

Who Can Be Nominated for The Awards and Who Can Win?

Despite its origins as an award show focused on Black entertainers, the NAACP has extended its celebration to all people of color. “For quite a while, the ‘Colored People’ in the NAACP’s name was a reference to Black people,” NPR writer Eric Deggans explained, “Now, the Image Awards seem to have an expanded definition that includes non-white people in general or artists whose work is enjoyed by African-Americans.” 

For decades, the term ‘colored’ referred to Black people. But in recent years, ‘colored people’ became an umbrella term for any non-White person, and the Image Awards have begun to recognize them: Archie Panjabi, Constance Wu, Mindy Kaling, George Lopez, and Aziz Ansari, have all been nominees in the past twenty years. 

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But White creatives have also made appearances on the list of nominees, including Sandra Bullock, Adele, Emma Stone, and Robin Thicke. Jane Fonda and Sam Smith are the only White winners in the performing arts categories (Fonda for ‘Klute’ and Smith for his duet with HoustonHow Will I Know”).

There have been many debates online about people outside of the Black community, especially White people, being recognized at the awards. But let’s take a look at NAACP’s constitution:

Our members, in keeping with the charge of our founders, stand against all forms of injustice. The United States of America, built by us all, belongs to all of us. The repayment for our labor is equity and justice for all. We continue to fight for justice until all, without regard to race, gender, creed, or religion enjoy equal status.

Members of different branches across the country have echoed this mission. President of Salt Lake Branch of the NAACP Jeanetta Williams said, “People not being aware that the NAACP fights for civil justice for all, not just for people of color, is one of the challenges the organization faces.” And the NAACP itself, as we learned earlier, has interracial parents. 

So, yes, the NAACP Awards are for us and by us, but we also like White music and South Asian comedians, so why not include the art that we as a people enjoy? Deggans got it right: It is both a celebration of Blackness and a celebration of the art Black people enjoy as an audience. 

Like Any Show, She’s Got Controversies

In 1987, for the first time in 20 years, members of the NAACP Image Awards did not nominate a single woman for an Outstanding Lead, causing a major backlash in the community. Willis Edwards defended the decision:

[This organization] was unable to find enough meaningful roles played by black women to justify the category of Best Actress in a Motion Picture… [we] found a disconcerting lack of balance in the roles available for black women… Beyond the realm of comedic feature films, roles for black women do not seem to exist.

That year, the only actresses nominated were Helen Martin for ‘Hollywood Shuffle’ and Traci Wolfe for ‘Lethal Weapon’ for their work as Outstanding Supporting Actresses.

Up until the 90s, it was not uncommon for there to be a scarcity of lead actress nominees. In 1977 and 1978, Cicely Tyson was the only nominee and winner. This trend continued in 1979 with Mavis Washington, Alfre Woodard in ‘84, Tina Turner in ‘85, and Whoopi Goldberg in ‘86. These solo nominations for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture have happened 11 times in the show’s history. A complete lack of nominees, however, has happened four.

The award show has also been known to make questionable nominations. In 1994, Tupac Shakur was nominated for Oustanding Actor in a Motion Picture while being investigated for forcible sodomy of a young woman. Comedian Martin Lawrence won for Oustanding Actor in a Comedy Series and Outstanding Comedy Series despite the show’s “sexual hijinks.” And, in the same year, Michael Jackson made an appearance and was met with several standing ovations during his speech, despite the recent sexual allegations made against him by a 13-year-old boy

Because of these nominations and accolades, the organization was accused of sexism by The National Political Congress of Women and was protested by women across the country. But NAACP representatives argued against these persecutions. In response to the allegations against Jackson, a fellow nominee pronounced, “This is not only about Michael Jackson, but about how the media uses its power to continue to aid in the oppression and degradation of African Americans in this country.” Some NAACP members have also stated that “the quality of an artist’s work is the salient issue, with factors such as criminal charges inconsequential in this regard.”

Separating the art from the artist has been a longstanding debate that many people view as black and white. The choices made by an organization are always political and should not go unrecognized. The Image Awards, like many award shows, makes an effort to uplift artists and celebrate works of incredible art. The role of the viewer is to make the personal decision of what they wish to support.

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Record Holders

Not only did Beyoncé beat out Alison Krauss‘ record of 27 Grammys, but she is also the current record holder for the most NAACP Image Awards across all categories, with a whopping 22 wins. She is one of the most awarded recording artists in history. 

Other NAACP Image Awards record holders include:

Whitney Houston with 19 overall wins and the most wins for Outstanding Album.

black-ish’ with six comedy series wins.

Angela Bassett with five wins for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture.

Luther Vandross with five wins for Oustanding Male Artist.

Nikki Giovanni with three wins for Oustanding Literary Work (Poetry).

Destiny’s Child with five wins for Outstanding Duo or Group. 

Crash’ and ‘12 Years A Slave’ are the only movies to win Outstanding Motion Picture and Academy Award for Best Picture.

Anthony Anderson with 9 years as the show’s host.

Now let’s get into this year’s nominees!!

Special Award Winners for 2022

Chairman’s Award – Samuel L. Jackson 

NAACP Activist of the Year – Scot X. Esdaile

NAACP Youth Activist of the Year – Channing Hill

Social Justice Impact Award – Nikole Hannah-Jones

Entertainer of the Year – Public Can Vote

Lil Nas X

Jennifer Hudson

Megan Thee Stallion

Regina King

Tiffany Haddish

Vote here

Outstanding Social Media Personality – Public Can Vote

Eunique Jones Gibson @euniquejg

Kevin Fredericks @kevonstage 

Laron Hines @laronhinesofficial

Lynae Bogues @_lyneezy

Terrell Grice @terrellgrice

Vote here

Motion Picture

Outstanding Motion Picture – Public Can Vote

Judas and the Black Messiah’ (HBO Max)

King Richard’ 


The Harder They Fall’ (Netflix)

The United States vs. Billie Holiday’ (Hulu)

Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture – Public Can Vote

Denzel Washington, ‘The Tragedy of Macbeth’ (Apple TV+)

Jonathan Majors, ‘The Harder They Fall’ (Netflix)

LaKeith Stanfield, ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’ (HBO Max)

Mahershala Ali, ‘Swan Song’ (Apple TV+)

Will Smith, ‘King Richard’ 

Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture – Public Can Vote

Andra Day, ‘The United States vs. Billie Holiday’ (Hulu)

Halle Berry, ‘Bruised’ (Netflix)

Jennifer Hudson, ‘Respect’

Tessa Thompson, ‘Passing’ (Netflix)

Zendaya, ‘Malcolm & Marie’ (Netflix)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture – Public Can Vote

Algee Smith, ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’ (Available on HBO Max)

Daniel Kaluuya, ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’ (Available on HBO Max)

Delroy Lindo, ‘The Harder They Fall’ (Netflix)

Idris Elba, ‘The Harder They Fall’ (Netflix)

LaKeith Stanfield, ‘The Harder They Fall’ (Netflix)

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Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture – Public Can Vote

Aunjanue Ellis, ‘King Richard’ 

Audra McDonald, ‘Respect’

Danielle Deadwyler, ‘The Harder They Fall’ (Netflix)

Dominique Fishback, ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’ (Available on HBO Max)

Regina King, ‘The Harder They Fall’ (Netflix)

 Outstanding Independent Motion Picture – Public Can Vote

American Skin’ (BET+)

‘Bruised’ (Netflix)

CODA’ (Apple TV+)

Test Pattern’ (Available on Amazon Prime)

The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain’ (Available on HBO Max)

 Outstanding International Motion Picture – Public Can Vote

7 Prisoners’ (Netflix)

African America’ (Netflix)

Eyimofe (This Is My Desire)


The Gravedigger’s Wife

 Outstanding Breakthrough Performance in a Motion Picture – Public Cannot Vote

Ariana DeBose, ‘West Side Story

Danny Boyd Jr., ‘Bruised’ (Netflix)

Jalon Christian, ‘A Journal For Jordan’

Lonnie Chavis, ‘The Water Man

Sheila Atim, ‘Bruised’ (Netflix)

 Outstanding Ensemble Cast in a Motion Picture – Public Can Vote

Coming 2 America’ (Amazon Prime)

‘Judas and the Black Messiah’ (Available on HBO Max)

‘King Richard’


‘The Harder They Fall’ (Netflix)

 Outstanding Animated Motion Picture – Public Can Vote

Encanto’ (Disney+)

Luca’ (Disney+)

Raya and the Last Dragon’ (Disney+)

Sing 2

Vivo’ (Netflix)

 Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance in a Motion Picture – Public Can Vote

Andre Braugher, ‘Spirit Untamed’ (Hulu)

Awkwafina, ‘Raya and the Last Dragon’ (Disney+)

Brian Tyree Henry, ‘Vivo’ (Netflix)

Eric André, ‘Sing 2’

Letitia Wright, ‘Sing 2’

 Outstanding Short-Form (Live Action) – Public Cannot Vote

Aurinko in Adagio’ (Amazon Prime)

Blackout’ (Amazon Prime)

The Ice Cream Stop’ 

These Final Hours

When The Sun Sets (Lakutshon’ Ilanga)’ (HBO Max)

 Outstanding Short-Form (Animated) – Public Cannot Vote

Blush’ (AppleTV)

Robin Robin’ (Netflix)

She Dreams at Sunrise

Twenty Something’ (Disney+)

Us Again’ (Disney+)

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Outstanding Breakthrough Creative (Motion Picture) – Public Cannot Vote

Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, ‘Summer Of Soul (…Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised)’ (Hulu)

Jamila Wignot, ‘Ailey’ (Hulu)

Jeymes Samuel, ‘The Harder They Fall’ (Netflix)

Liesl Tommy, ‘Respect’

Rebecca Hall, ‘Passing’ (Netflix)

Outstanding Documentary (Film)

Attica’ (Showtime)

Barbara Lee: Speaking Truth to Power’ (Starz)

My Name Is Pauli Murray’ (Amazon Prime)

‘Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)’ (Hulu)

Tina’ (HBO Max)

Television/Streaming Division

Outstanding Comedy Series – Public Can Vote

‘black-ish’ (Hulu)

Harlem’ (Amazon Prime)

Insecure’ (HBO Max)

Run the World’ (Starz)

The Upshaws’ (Netflix)

 Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series – Public Can Vote

Anthony Anderson, ‘black-ish’ (Hulu)

Cedric the Entertainer, ‘The Neighborhood’ (Paramount+)

Don Cheadle, ‘Black Monday’ (Showtime)

Elisha ‘EJ’ Williams, ‘The Wonder Years’ (Hulu)

Jay Ellis, ‘Insecure’ (HBO Max)

 Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series – Public Can Vote

Issa Rae, ‘Insecure’ (HBO Max)

Loretta Devine, ‘Family Reunion’ (Netflix)

Regina Hall, ‘Black Monday’ (Showtime)

Tracee Ellis Ross, ‘black-ish’ (Hulu)

Yvonne Orji, ‘Insecure’ (HBO Max)

 Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series – Public Can Vote

Andre Braugher – ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ (Peacock/Hulu)

Deon Cole, ‘black-ish’ (Hulu)

Kenan Thompson – ‘Saturday Night Live’ (Peacock/Hulu)

Kendrick Sampson, ‘Insecure’ (HBO Max)

Laurence Fishburne, ‘black-ish’ (Hulu)

 Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series – Public Can Vote

Amanda Seales, ‘Insecure’ (HBO Max)

Jenifer Lewis, ‘black-ish’ (Hulu)

Marsai Martin, ‘black-ish’ (Hulu)

Natasha Rothwell, ‘Insecure’ (HBO Max)

Wanda Sykes, ‘The Upshaws’ (Netflix)

 Outstanding Drama Series – Public Can Vote

9-1-1’ (Hulu)

All American’ (Netflix)

Godfather of Harlem’ (Hulu)

Pose’ (Netflix)

Queen Sugar’ (Hulu)

 Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series – Public Can Vote

Billy Porter, ‘Pose’ (Netflix)

Damson Idris, ‘Snowfall’ (Hulu)

Forest Whitaker, ‘Godfather of Harlem’ (Hulu)

Kofi Siriboe, ‘Queen Sugar’ (Hulu)

Sterling K. Brown, ‘This is Us’ (Hulu)

 Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series – Public Can Vote

Angela Bassett, ‘9-1-1’ (Hulu)

Dawn-Lyen Gardner, ‘Queen Sugar’ (Hulu)

Octavia Spencer, ‘Truth Be Told’ (Apple TV+)

Queen Latifah, ‘The Equalizer’ (Paramount+)

Rutina Wesley, ‘Queen Sugar’ (Hulu)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series – Public Can Vote

Alex R. Hibbert, ‘The Chi’ (Showtime)

Cliff “Method Man” Smith, ‘Power Book II: Ghost’ (Starz)

Daniel Ezra, ‘All American’ (Netflix)

Giancarlo Esposito, ‘Godfather of Harlem’ (Hulu)

Joe Morton, ‘Our Kind of People’ (Hulu)

 Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series – Public Can Vote

Alfre Woodard, ‘SEE’ (Apple TV+)

Bianca Lawson, ‘Queen Sugar’ (Hulu)

Chandra Wilson, ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ (Netflix)

Mary J. Blige, ‘Power Book II: Ghost’ (Starz)

Susan Kelechi Watson, ‘This is Us’ (Hulu)

 Outstanding Television Movie, Limited-Series or Dramatic Special – Public Can Vote

Colin in Black & White’ (Netflix)

Genius: Aretha’ (Hulu)

Love Life’ (HBO Max)

Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia’ (Amazon Prime)

The Underground Railroad’ (Amazon Prime)

 Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Limited-Series or Dramatic Special – Public Can Vote

Anthony Mackie, ‘Solos’ (Amazon Prime)

Jaden Michael, ‘Colin in Black & White’ (Netflix)

Kevin Hart, ‘True Story’ (Netflix)

Wesley Snipes, ‘True Story’ (Netflix)

William Jackson Harper, ‘Love Life’ (HBO Max)

 Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Limited-Series or Dramatic Special – Public Can Vote

Betty Gabriel, ‘Clickbait’ (Netflix)

Cynthia Erivo, ‘Genius: Aretha’ (Hulu)

Danielle Brooks, ‘Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia’ (Amazon Prime)

Jodie Turner-Smith, ‘Anne Boleyn’ (YouTube TV)

Taraji P. Henson, ‘Annie Live!’ (NBC.com)

Outstanding News/Information (Series or Special) – Public Can Vote

Blood on Black Wall Street: The Legacy of the Tulsa Massacre’ (NBC News)

NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt’ (NBC.com)

Soul of A Nation’ (Hulu)

The Reidout’ (MSNBC.com)

Unsung’ (TV One)

Outstanding Talk Series – Public Can Vote

Desus & Mero’ (Showtime)

Hart to Heart’ (Peacock)

Red Table Talk’ (Facebook Watch)

Tamron Hall’ 

The Real

Outstanding Reality Program, Reality-Competition or Game Show (Series) – Public Can Vote

Celebrity Family Feud’ (Hulu)

Iyanla: Fix My Life’ (Discovery Plus)

Sweet Life: Los Angeles’ (HBO Max)

The Voice’ (Hulu)

Wild ‘n Out’ (VH1)

Outstanding Variety Show (Series or Special) – Public Can Vote

A Black Lady Sketch Show’ (HBO Max)

BET Awards 2021’ (BET)

Dave Chappelle: The Closer’ (Netflix)

Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 3’ (Amazon Prime)

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah’ (Comedy Central)

 Outstanding Children’s Program – Public Can Vote

Ada Twist, Scientist’ (Netflix)

‘Family Reunion’ (Netflix)

Karma’s World’ (Netflix)

Raven’s Home’ (Disney+)

Waffles + Mochi’ (Netflix)

 Outstanding Performance by a Youth (Series, Special, Television Movie or Limited-Series) – Public Can Vote

Alayah “Lay Lay” High, ‘That Girl Lay Lay’ (Netflix)

Celina Smith, ‘Annie Live!’ (NBC.com)

Elisha ‘EJ’ Williams, ‘The Wonder Years’ (Hulu)

Eris Baker, ‘This Is Us’ (Hulu)

Miles Brown, ‘black-ish’ (Hulu)

 Outstanding Host in a Talk or News/Information (Series or Special) – Individual or Ensemble – Public Can Vote

Daniel “Desus Nice” Baker, Joel “The Kid Mero” Martinez, ‘Desus & Mero’ (Showtime)

Joy Reid, ‘The Reidout’ (MSNBC.com)

Garcelle Beauvais, Adrienne Houghton, Loni Love, Jeannie Mai Jenkins, ‘The Real’

Jada Pinkett Smith, Adrienne Banfield-Norris, Willow Smith, ‘Red Table Talk’ (Facebook Watch)

LeBron James, ‘The Shop: Uninterrupted’ (HBO Max)

 Outstanding Host in a Reality/Reality Competition, Game Show or Variety (Series or Special) – Individual or Ensemble – Public Can Vote

Alfonso Ribeiro, ‘America’s Funniest Home Videos’ (Hulu)

Amber Ruffin, ‘The Amber Ruffin Show’ (Peacock)

Cedric The Entertainer, ‘73rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards

Iyanla Vanzant, ‘Iyanla: Fix My Life’ (Discovery Plus)

Trevor Noah, ‘The Daily Show with Trevor Noah’ (Comedy Central)

 Outstanding Guest Performance – Public Can Vote

Alani “La La” Anthony, ‘The Chi’ (Showtime)

Christina Elmore, ‘Insecure’ (HBO Max)

Daniel Kaluuya, ‘Saturday Night Live’ (Hulu)

Erika Alexander, ‘Run the World’ (The Roku Channel)

Maya Rudolph, ‘Saturday Night Live’ (Hulu)

 Outstanding Animated Series – Public Can Vote

Big Mouth’ (Netflix)

Peanut Headz: Black History Toonz’ (Kweli TV)

Super Sema’ (YouTube Originals)

We The People’ (Netflix)

Yasuke’ (Netflix)

 Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance (Television) – Public Can Vote

Angela Bassett, ‘Malika: The Lion Queen’ (Hulu)

Billy Porter, ‘Fairfax’ (Amazon Prime)

Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, ‘Karma’s World’ (Netflix)

Cree Summer, ‘Rugrats’ (Paramount+)

Keke Palmer, ‘Big Mouth’ (Netflix)

 Outstanding Short Form Series (Comedy or Drama) – Public Cannot Vote

Between the Scenes – The Daily Show’ (Comedy Central)

Dark Humor’ (Comedy Central)

Della Mae’ (AspireTV)

‘The Disney Launchpad: Shorts Incubator’ (Disney+)

Two Sides: Unfaithful’ (Snapchat)

 Outstanding Short Form Series or Special (Reality/Nonfiction) – Public Cannot Vote

Life By The Horns’ (Snapchat)

Memory Builds The Monument

Widen the Screen: 8:46 Films’ (BET)

Through Our Eyes: Shelter’ (HBO Max)

Lynching Postcards: Token of a Great Day’ (Paramount+)

 Outstanding Breakthrough Creative (Television) – Public Cannot Vote

Angel Kristi Williams, ‘Colin in Black & White’ (Netflix)

Cierra Glaude, ‘Queen Sugar’ (Hulu)

Deborah Riley Draper, ‘The Legacy of Black Wall Street’ (Discovery Plus)

Halcyon Person, ‘Karma’s World’ (Netflix)

Quyen Tran, ‘Maid’ (Netflix)

 Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Television Movie, Limited-Series or Dramatic Special – Public Can Vote

Courtney B. Vance, ‘Genius: Aretha’ (Hulu)

Keith David, ‘Black As Night’ (Amazon Prime)

Tituss Burgess, ‘Annie Live!’ (NBC.com)

Will Catlett, ‘True Story’ (Netflix)

William Jackson Harper, ‘The Underground Railroad’ (Amazon Prime)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Television Movie, Limited-Series or Dramatic Special – Public Can Vote

Anika Noni Rose, ‘Maid’ (Netflix)

Natasha Rothwell, ‘The White Lotus’ (HBO Max)

Pauletta Washington, ‘Genius: Aretha’ (Hulu)

Regina Hall, ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’ (Hulu)

Sheila Atim, ‘The Underground Railroad’ (Amazon Prime)

Outstanding Documentary (Television) – Public Cannot Vote

1971: The Year That Music Changed Everything’ (Apple TV+)

American Masters: How it Feels to be Free’ (PBS)

Blood Brothers: Malcolm X & Muhammad Ali’ (Netflix)

High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America’ (Netflix)

Insecure: The End’ (HBO Max)

Recording Categories

Outstanding New Artist – Public Can Vote

Cynthia Erivo

Jimmie Allen



Zoe Wees

 Outstanding Male Artist – Public Can Vote

Anthony Hamilton



J. Cole

Lil Nas X

 Outstanding Female Artist – Public Can Vote


Ari Lennox



Jazmine Sullivan

Outstanding Gospel/Christian Album – Public Can Vote

“Anthems & Glory” – Todd Dulaney

“Believe For It” – CeCe Winans

“Jonny x Mali: Live in L.A.” – Jonathan McReynolds and Mali Music 

“Overcomer” – Tamela Mann 

“Power” – Jason McGee & The Choir 

 Outstanding International Song – Public Cannot Vote

“Essence” – Wizkid feat. Tems and Justin Bieber

“Peru” – Fireboy DML 

“Somebody’s Son” – Tiwa Savage feat. Brandy 

“Touch It” – KiDi

“Understand” – Omah Lay 

 Outstanding Music Video/Visual Album – Public Can Vote

“Best Friend” – Saweetie feat. Doja Cat

“Essence” – Wizkid feat. Tems 

“Fye Fye” – Tobe Nwigwe feat. Fat Nwigwe 

“Have Mercy” – Chlöe 

“Leave The Door Open” – Silk Sonic

 Outstanding Album – Pubilc Can Vote

“An Evening with Silk Sonic” – Silk Sonic 

“Back of My Mind” – H.E.R. 

“Certified Lover Boy” – Drake 

“Heaux Tales” – Jazmine Sullivan

“When It’s All Said and Done… Take Time” – Givēon

 Outstanding Soundtrack/Compilation Album – Public Can Vote

“Coming 2 America’ (Amazon Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)” – Eddie Murphy, Craig Brewer, Kevin Misher, Randy Spendlove, Jeff Harleston, Brittney Ramsdell

Judas and the Black Messiah (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)” – Mark Isham and Craig Harris

“Respect (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)” – Jason Michael Webb and Stephen Bray 

“The Harder They Fall (The Motion Picture Soundtrack)” – JAY-Z and Jeymes Samuel 

“The United States vs. Billie Holiday (Music from the Motion Picture)” – Salaam Remi, Andra Day, Raphael Saadiq, Warren “E” Felder, Downtown Trevor Brown 


Outstanding Gospel/Christian Song – Public Can Vote

“Believe For It” – CeCe Winans 

“Help Me” – Tamela Mann feat. The Fellas

“Hold Us Together (Hope Mix)” – H.E.R. and Tauren Wells

“Overcome 2021” – Kirk Franklin 

“Time for Reparations” – Sounds of Blackness 


Outstanding Jazz Album (Instrumental) – Public Cannot Vote

“Forever…Jaz” – Jazmin Ghent

“Love Languages” – Nathan Mitchell

“Somewhere Different” – Brandee Younger

“Sounds from the Ancestors” – Kenny Garrett 

“The Magic of Now” – Orrin Evans 


Outstanding Jazz Album (Vocal) – Public Cannot Vote

“Dear Love” – Jazzmeia Horn and Her Noble Force

“Generations” – The Baylor Project 

“Ledisi Sings Nina” – Ledisi 

“Let There Be Love” – Freda Payne

“SALSWING!” – Rubén Blades y Roberto Delgado & Orquesta


Outstanding Soul/R&B Song – Public Can Vote

“Damage” – H.E.R. 

“Be Alive” – Beyoncé 

“Have Mercy” – Chlöe

“Leave The Door Open” – Silk Sonic

“Pick Up Your Feelings” – Jazmine Sullivan


Outstanding Hip Hop/Rap Song – Public Can Vote

“Best Friend” – Saweetie feat. Doja Cat

“Fye Fye” – Tobe Nwigwe feat. Fat Nwigwe 

“Industry Baby” – Lil Nas X feat. Jack Harlow 

“My Life” – J. Cole feat. 21 Savage and Morray

“Way 2 Sexy” – Drake 


Outstanding Duo, Group, or Collaboration (Traditional) – Public Can Vote

Anthony Hamilton feat. Jennifer Hudson – “Superstar” 

Chlöe x Halle – “Georgia On My Mind”

Jazmine Sullivan feat. H.E.R. – “Girl Like Me”

Leela James feat. Anthony Hamilton – “Complicated (Remix)”

Silk Sonic – “Leave the Door Open”


Outstanding Duo, Group, or Collaboration (Contemporary) – Public Can Vote

Chris Brown feat. Young Thug, Future, Lil Durk and Latto – “Go Crazy (Remix)”

Doja Cat feat. SZA – “Kiss Me More”

Drake feat. Future & Young Thug – “Way 2 Sexy”

H.E.R. feat. Chris Brown – “Come Through”

Tobe Nwigwe feat. Fat Nwigwe – “Fye Fye”


Literary Work – Public Cannot Vote


Outstanding Literary Work – Fiction

“Harlem Shuffle” – Colson Whitehead

“Libertie” – Kaitlyn Greenidge

“Long Division” – Kiese Laymon 

“The Man Who Lived Underground” – Richard Wright 

“The Perishing” – Natashia Deón


Outstanding Literary Work – Nonfiction

“Dance Theatre of Harlem” – Judy Tyrus, Paul Novosel

“Just As I Am” – Cicely Tyson 

“My Remarkable Journey” – Katherine Johnson 

“Renegades: Born in the USA” – Barack Obama, Bruce Springsteen 

“The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story” – Nikole Hannah-Jones 


Outstanding Literary Work – Debut Author

“Just As I Am” – Cicely Tyson

“My Remarkable Journey” – Katherine Johnson

“Other Black Girl: A Novel” – Zakiya Dalila Harris

“The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois” – Honorée Fanonne Jeffers 

“Wake: The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts” – Rebecca Hall


Outstanding Literary Work – Biography/Autobiography

“Just As I Am” – Cicely Tyson 

“Unbound: My Story of Liberation and the Birth of the Me Too Movement” – Tarana Burke 

“Unprotected: A Memoir” – Billy Porter 

“Until I Am Free” – Keisha Blain

“Will” – Will Smith


Outstanding Literary Work – Instructional

“Diversity Is Not Enough: A Roadmap to Recruit, Develop and Promote Black Leaders in America”  – Keith Wyche 

“Feeding the Soul (Because It’s My Business)” – Tabitha Brown

“Permission to Dream” – Chris Gardner

“Teaching Black History to White People” – Leonard N. Moore

“The Conversation: How Seeking and Speaking the Truth About Racism Can Radically Transform Individuals and Organizations” – Robert Livingston 


Outstanding Literary Work – Poetry

“Perfect Black” – Crystal Wilkinson 

“Playlist for the Apocalypse” – Rita Dove 

“Such Color: New and Selected Poems” – Tracy K. Smith

“The Wild Fox of Yemen: – Threa Almontaser 

“What Water Knows: Poems” – Jacqueline Jones LaMon


Outstanding Literary Work – Children

“Black Ballerinas: My Journey to Our Legacy” – Misty Copeland 

“Change Sings” – Amanda Gorman, Loren Long

“Stacey’s Extraordinary Words” – Stacey Abrams, Kitt Thomas

“Time for Bed, Old House” – Janet Costa Bates, A.G. Ford

“When Langston Dances” – Kaija Langley, Keith Mallett


Outstanding Literary Work – Youth/Teens

“Ace of Spades” – Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé 

“Happily Ever Afters” – Elise Bryant

“The Cost of Knowing” – Brittney Morris

“When You Look Like Us” – Pamela N. Harris 

“Wings of Ebony” – J. Elle 


Directing – Public Cannot Vote

Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series

Bashir Salahuddin, Diallo Riddle – ‘South Side’ – “Tornado”

Melina Matsoukas – ‘Insecure’ – “Reunited, Okay?!”

Neema Barnette – ‘Harlem’ – “Once Upon A Time in Harlem” 

Prentice Penny – ‘Insecure’ – “Everything’s Gonna Be, Okay?!”

Tiffany Johnson – ‘Black Monday’ – “Eight!” 


Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series

Anthony Hemingway – ‘Genius: Aretha’ “Respect”

Barry Jenkins – ‘The Underground Railroad’ – “Indiana Winter” 

Carl Seaton – ‘Snowfall’ – “Fight or Flight” 

Carl Seaton – ‘Godfather of Harlem’ – “The Bonanno Split” 

Hanelle Culpepper – ‘True Story’ – “Like Cain Did Abel”


Outstanding Directing in a Television Movie or Special

Jaffar Mahmood – ‘Hot Mess Holiday

Kenny Leon – ‘Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia’

Mario Van Peebles – ‘Salt-N-Pepa

Maritte Lee Go – ‘Black As Night

Veronica Rodriguez – ‘Let’s Get Merried


Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture

Denzel Washington – ‘A Journal for Jordan

Jeymes Samuel – ‘The Harder They Fall’

Lin-Manuel Miranda – ‘tick tick…BOOM!

Reinaldo Marcus Green – ‘King Richard’ 

Shaka King – ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’


Outstanding Directing in a Documentary (Television or Motion Picture)

Andre Gaines – ‘The One and Only Dick Gregory

Dawn Porter – ‘Rise Again: Tulsa and the Red Summer

Sam Pollard – ‘MLK/FBI

Samantha Knowles, Yoruba Richen, Geeta Gandbhir, Nadia Hallgren – ‘Black and Missing

Spike Lee – ‘NYC Epicenters 9/11➔2021½


Writing – Public Cannot Vote

Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series

Ashley Nicole Black – ‘Ted Lasso’ – “Do the Right-est Thing”

Issa Rae – ‘Insecure; -“Everything’s Gonna Be, Okay?!”

Leann Bowen – ‘Ted Lasso’ – “Lavender”

Maya Erskine – ‘Pen15’ – “Blue in Green”

Temi Wilkey – ‘Sex Education’ – “Episode #3.6” 


Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series

Aurin Squire – ‘Evil’ – “C Is For Cop” 

Davita Scarlett – ‘The Good Fight’ – “And the Firm Had Two Partners…”

Malcolm Spellman – ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ – “New World Order”

Nkechi Okoro Carroll – ‘All American’ – “Homecoming”

Steven Canals, Janet Mock, Our Lady J, Brad Falchuk, Ryan Murphy‘Pose’ – “Series Finale”


Outstanding Writing in a Television Movie or Special

Abdul Williams – ‘Salt-N-Pepa’

Mario Miscione, Marcella Ochoa – ‘Madres

Monique N. Matthew – ‘A Holiday In Harlem

Sameer Gardezi – ‘Hot Mess Holiday’

Sherman Payne – ‘Black As Night’


Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture 

Janicza Bravo, Jeremy O. Harris – ‘Zola’ 

Jeymes Samuel, Boaz Yakin – ‘The Harder They Fall’

Shaka King, Will Berson, Kenny Lucas, Keith Lucas – ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’

Virgil Williams – ‘A Journal for Jordan’

Win Rosenfeld, Nia DaCosta, Jordan Peele – ‘Candyman


Introducing the Brand-New Division, Podcasts


Outstanding News and Information Podcast – Public Can Vote




After the Uprising: The Death of Danyé Dion Jones


Blindspot: Tulsa Burning


Into America




Outstanding Lifestyle/Self-Help Podcast – Public Can Vote

Checking In with Michelle Williams

The Homecoming Podcast with Dr. Thema

The SonRise Project Podcast

Two Funny Mamas: Sherri Shepherd and Kym Whitley

Under Construction with Tamar Braxton


Outstanding Society and Culture Podcast – Public Can Vote

Beyond the Scenes – The Daily Show

Jemele Hill is Unbothered

Professional Troublemaker

Questlove Supreme

Super Soul Podcast


Outstanding Arts and Entertainment Podcast – Public Can Vote

Club Shay Shay podcast with Shannon Sharpe

Jemele Hill is Unbothered

‘Questlove Supreme’

Reasonably Shady

The History of Sketch Comedy with Keegan-Michael Key

Set Your Watch and Clear Your Schedule

So go listen/watch/read some nominees, vote, clear your schedule, get some friends together, and enjoy this celebration of creatives at 8/7c February 26, 2022, on BET.





By Z Murphy

Click here to read The Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase’s love letter to Black Lives Matter, in which he tackles more than just police reform, press freedom and more – click here.

An excerpt from the love letter: The Hollywood Insider’s CEO/editor-in-chief Pritan Ambroase affirms, “The Hollywood Insider fully supports the much-needed Black Lives Matter movement. We are actively, physically and digitally a part of this global movement. We will continue reporting on this major issue of police brutality and legal murders of Black people to hold the system accountable. We will continue reporting on this major issue with kindness and respect to all Black people, as each and every one of them are seen and heard.

Just a reminder, that the Black Lives Matter movement is about more than just police brutality and extends into banking, housing, education, medical, infrastructure, etc. We have the space and time for all your stories. We believe in peaceful/non-violent protests and I would like to request the rest of media to focus on 95% of the protests that are peaceful and working effectively with positive changes happening daily. Media has a responsibility to better the world and The Hollywood Insider will continue to do so.”

Ways to support Black Lives Matter Movement to end systemic racism

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