NAACP Image Award Nominations Honor ‘Watchmen,’ ‘Us,’ and More

     January 9, 2020

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The 51st Annual NAACP Image Award nominations were announced today, honoring the “outstanding achievements and performances of people of color in the arts, as well as those individuals or groups who promote social justice through their creative endeavors.” The ceremony will air February 22 on BET, hosted by Anthony Anderson, a nominee himself for black-ish. Beyond honors given to 2019 achievements in television and movies, the ceremony also gives awards for music and literature, while also awarding a special prize for Entertainer of the Year.

In the TV space, shows like WatchmenDear White PeopleBrooklyn Nine-Nine, Black MondayPoseThis Is UsTrue DetectiveWhen They See UsSaturday Night Live, and my personal favorite Rhythm + Flow were all nominated in various categories. On the film side, we’ve got UsDolemite Is My NameQueen & SlimJust Mercy, and Hustlers all represented in various categories. And up for Entertainer of the Year? A versatile slate including Regina KingBilly Porter, and of course Lizzo.

In an awards show cycle full of egregious exclusion of people of color (cough cough, BAFTAs), it’s downright refreshing to see such incredible artists of color respected and appreciated here, with an eclectic slate of media indicating how vital it is to have storytellers of different perspectives in every position. Check out the full list of nominees below. And for more awards show chatter, here’s what the Golden Globes might mean for the Oscars.

Entertainer of the Year

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Image via HBO

Angela Bassett
Billy Porter
Lizzo
Regina King
Tyler Perry

Television Categories

Outstanding Comedy Series
“Ballers” (HBO)
“black-ish” (ABC)
“Dear White People” (Netflix)
“grown-ish” (Freeform)
“the Neighborhood” (CBS)

Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series
Anthony Anderson – “black-ish” (ABC)
Cedric The Entertainer – “the Neighborhood” (CBS)
Don Cheadle – “Black Monday” (Showtime)
Dwayne Johnson – “Ballers” (HBO)
Tracy Morgan – “The Last O.G.” (TBS)

Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series
Logan Browning – “Dear White People” (Netflix)
Jill Scott – “First Wives Club” (BET+)
Tiffany Haddish – “The Last O.G.” (TBS)
Tracee Ellis Ross – “black-ish ” (ABC)
Yara Shahidi – “grown-ish” (Freeform)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Andre Braugher – “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (NBC)
Deon Cole – “black-ish” (ABC)
Laurence Fishburne – “black-ish” (ABC)
Terry Crews – “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (NBC)
Tituss Burgess – “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” (Netflix)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Halle Bailey – “grown-ish” (Freeform)
Loretta Devine – “Family Reunion” (Netflix)
Marsai Martin – “black-ish” (ABC)
Regina Hall – “Black Monday” (Showtime)
Tichina Arnold – “the Neighborhood” (CBS)

Outstanding Drama Series
“Godfather of Harlem” (EPIX)
“Greenleaf” (OWN)
“Queen Sugar” (OWN)
“The Chi” (Showtime)
“Watchmen” (HBO)

Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series
Billy Porter – “Pose” (FX Networks)
Forest Whitaker – “Godfather of Harlem” (EPIX)
Kofi Siriboe – “Queen Sugar” (OWN)
Omari Hardwick – “Power” (Starz)
Sterling K. Brown – “This Is Us” (NBC)

Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series
Angela Bassett – “9-1-1” (FOX)
Regina King – “Watchmen” (HBO)
Rutina Wesley – “Queen Sugar” (OWN)
Simone Missick – “All Rise” (CBS)
Viola Davis – “How to Get Away with Murder” (ABC)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Delroy Lindo – “The Good Fight” (CBS All Access)
Giancarlo Esposito – “Godfather of Harlem” (EPIX)
Harold Perrineau – “Claws” (TNT)
Nigél Thatch – “Godfather of Harlem” (EPIX)
Wendell Pierce – “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan” (Prime Video)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
CCH Pounder – “NCIS: New Orleans” (CBS)
Lynn Whitfield – “Greenleaf” (OWN)
Lyric Ross – “This Is Us” (NBC)
Susan Kelechi Watson – “This Is Us” (NBC)
Tina Lifford – “Queen Sugar” (OWN)

Outstanding Television Movie, Limited-Series or Dramatic Special

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Image via Netflix

“American Son” (Netflix)
“Being Mary Jane” (BET Networks)
“Native Son” (HBO)
“True Detective” (HBO)
“When They See Us” (Netflix)

Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Limited-Series or Dramatic Special
Caleel Harris – “When They See Us” (Netflix)
Ethan Henru Herisse – “When They See Us” (Netflix)
Idris Elba – “Luther” (BBC America)
Jharrel Jerome – “When They See Us” (Netflix)
Mahershala Ali – “True Detective” (HBO)

Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Limited-Series or Dramatic Special
Aunjanue Ellis – “When They See Us” (Netflix)
Gabrielle Union – “Being Mary Jane” (BET Networks)
Kerry Washington – “American Son” (Netflix)
Niecy Nash – “When They See Us” (Netflix)
Octavia Spencer – “Truth Be Told” (Apple TV+)

Outstanding News/Information (Series or Special)
“PUSHOUT: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools” (PBS)
“Surviving R. Kelly” (Lifetime)
“The Breakfast Club” (REVOLT)
“The Story of God with Morgan Freeman” (National Geographic)
“Unsung” (TV One)

Outstanding Talk Series
“Red Table Talk” (Facebook Watch)
“The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” (Comedy Central)
“The Real” (Syndicated)
“The Shop: Uninterrupted” (HBO)
“The Tamron Hall Show” (Syndicated)

Outstanding Reality Program/Reality Competition Series/Game Show
“Iyanla: Fix My Life” (OWN)
“Lip Sync Battle” (Paramount Network)
“Rhythm + Flow” (Netflix)
“Sunday Best” (BET Networks)
“The Voice” (NBC)

Outstanding Variety (Series or Special)
“2019 Black Girls Rock!” (BET Networks)
“Dave Chappelle: Sticks & Stones” (Netflix)
“Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé” (Netflix)
“Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
“Wanda Sykes: Not Normal” (Netflix)

Outstanding Children’s Program
“Doc McStuffins” (Disney Junior)
“Family Reunion” (Netflix)
“Kevin Hart’s Guide to Black History” (Netflix)
“Marvel’s Avengers: Black Panther’s Quest” (Disney XD)
“Motown Magic” (Netflix)

Outstanding Performance by a Youth (Series, Special, Television Movie or Limited-Series)
Caleel Harris – “When They See Us” (Netflix)
Lonnie Chavis – “This Is Us” (NBC)
Lyric Ross – “This Is Us” (NBC)
Marsai Martin – “black-ish” (ABC)
Miles Brown – “black-ish” (ABC)

Outstanding Host in a Talk or News/Information (Series or Special) – Individual or Ensemble
Angela Rye – “Young Gifted and Broke: A BET Town Hall” (BET Networks)
Jada Pinkett Smith – “Red Table Talk” (Facebook Watch)
Lester Holt – “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” (NBC)
Trevor Noah – “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” (Comedy Central)
Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Sunny Hostin, Meghan McCain, Abby Huntsman, Ana Navarro – “The View” (ABC)

Outstanding Host in a Reality/Reality Competition, Game Show or Variety (Series or Special) – Individual or Ensemble
Iyanla Vanzant – “Iyanla: Fix My Life” (OWN)
LL Cool J – “Lip Sync Battle” (Paramount Network)
Regina Hall – “2019 BET Awards” (BET Networks)
Steve Harvey – “Celebrity Family Feud” (ABC)
Wayne Brady – “Let’s Make A Deal” (CBS)

Outstanding Guest Performance in a Comedy or Drama Series
Blair Underwood – “Dear White People” (Netflix)
David Alan Grier – “Queen Sugar” (OWN)
Kelly Rowland – “American Soul” (BET Networks)
MAJOR. – “STAR” (FOX)
Sanaa Lathan – “The Affair” (Showtime)

Motion Picture Categories

Outstanding Motion Picture

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Image via Netflix

“Dolemite is My Name” (Netflix)
“Harriet” (Focus Features)
“Just Mercy” (Warner Bros. Pictures)
“Queen & Slim” (Universal Pictures)
“Us” (Universal Pictures)

Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture
Chadwick Boseman – “21 Bridges” (STX Films)
Daniel Kaluuya – “Queen & Slim” (Universal Pictures)
Eddie Murphy – “Dolemite is My Name” (Netflix)
Michael B. Jordan – “Just Mercy” (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Winston Duke – “Us” (Universal Pictures)

Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture
Alfre Woodard – “Clemency” (Neon)
Cynthia Erivo – “Harriet” (Focus Features)
Jodie Turner-Smith – “Queen & Slim” (Universal Pictures)
Lupita Nyong’o – “Us” (Universal Pictures)
Naomie Harris – “Black and Blue” (Screen Gems/Sony Pictures)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
Jamie Foxx – “Just Mercy” (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Leslie Odom, Jr. – “Harriet” (Focus Features)
Sterling K. Brown – “Waves” (A24)
Tituss Burgess – “Dolemite Is My Name” (Netflix)
Wesley Snipes – “Dolemite Is My Name” (Netflix)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Da’Vine Joy Randolph – “Dolemite is My Name” (Netflix)
Janelle Monáe – “Harriet” (Focus Features)
Jennifer Lopez – “Hustlers” (STX Films)
Marsai Martin – “Little” (Universal Pictures)
Octavia Spencer – “Luce” (Neon)

Outstanding Breakthrough Performance in Motion Picture
Cynthia Erivo – “Harriet” (Focus Features)
Jodie Turner-Smith – “Queen & Slim” (Universal Pictures)
Marsai Martin – “Little” (Universal Pictures)
Rob Morgan – “Just Mercy” (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Shahadi Wright Joseph – “Us” (Universal Pictures)

Outstanding Ensemble Cast in a Motion Picture
“Dolemite is My Name” (Netflix)
“Harriet” (Focus Features)
“Just Mercy” (Warner Bros. Pictures)
“Queen & Slim” (Universal Pictures)
“Us” (Universal Pictures)

Outstanding Independent Motion Picture
“Clemency” (Neon)
“Dolemite is My Name” (Netflix)
“Luce” (Neon)
“Queen & Slim” (Universal Pictures)
“The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind” (Netflix)

Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance (Television or Film)
Alfre Woodard – “The Lion King” (Walt Disney Studios)
Donald Glover – “The Lion King” (Walt Disney Studios)
James Earl Jones – “The Lion King” (Walt Disney Studios)
Lupita Nyong’o – “Serengeti” (Discovery Channel)
Sterling K. Brown – “Frozen II” (Walt Disney Studios)

Documentary Categories

Outstanding Documentary (Film)
“Miles Davis: Birth Of The Cool” (Eagle Rock Entertainment)
“The Black Godfather” (Netflix)
“The Apollo” (HBO)
“Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am” (Magnolia Pictures)
“True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality” (HBO)

Outstanding Documentary (Television – Series or Special)
“Free Meek” (Prime Video)
“Hitsville: The Making of Motown” (Showtime)
“Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé” (Netflix)
“Martin: The Legacy of A King” (BET Networks)
“ReMastered: The Two Killings of Sam Cooke” (Netflix)

Writing Categories

Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series

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Image via Comedy Central

Cord Jefferson – “The Good Place” – Tinker, Tailor, Demon, Spy (NBC)
Gloria Calderon Kellett, Mike Royce – “One Day at a Time” – Ghosts (Netflix)
Jason Kim – “Barry” – Past=Present x Future Over Yesterday (HBO)
Karen Gist, Peter Saji – “Mixed-ish” – Let Your Hair Down (ABC)
Trevor Noah – “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” – Steve King’s Comments Meet Trevor Noah: Racism Detective (Comedy Central)

Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series
Ava DuVernay, Michael Starrbury – “When They See Us” – Part Four (Netflix)
Damon Lindelof, Cord Jefferson – “Watchmen” – The Extraordinary Being (HBO)
Nichelle Tramble Spellman – “Truth Be Told” – Monster (Apple TV+)
Nkechi Okoro Carroll – “All American” – Hussle & Motivate (The CW)
Pat Charles – “Black Lightning” – The Book of Secrets: Chapter One: Prodigal Son (The CW)

Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture (Television)
Cas Sigers-Beedles – “Twas the Chaos Before Christmas” (BET)
Melissa Bustamante – “A Christmas Winter Song” (Lifetime)
Patrik-Ian Polk – “Being Mary Jane” (BET Networks)
Suzan-Lori Parks – “Native Son” (HBO)
Yvette Nicole Brown – “Always a Bridesmaid” (BET Networks) 51st NAACP Image Awards’ Nominees Announcement Release

Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture (Film)
Chinonye Chukwu – “Clemency” (Neon)
Destin Daniel Cretton, Andrew Lanham – “Just Mercy” (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Doug Atchison – “Brian Banks” (Bleeker Street and ShivHans)
Jordan Peele – “Us” (Universal Pictures)
Kasi Lemmons, Gregory Allen Howard – “Harriet” (Focus Features)

Directing Categories

Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series
Anya Adams – “GLOW” – Outward Bound (Netflix)
Justin Tipping – “Black Monday” -7042 (Showtime)
Ken Whittingham – “Atypical” – Road Rage Paige (Netflix)
Randall Winston – “Grace and Frankie” – The Pharmacy (Netflix)
Shaka King – “Shrill” – Pool (Hulu)

Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series
Ava DuVernay – “When They See Us” – Part Four (Netflix)
Carl H. Seaton, Jr. – “Snowfall” – Hedgehogs (FX Networks)
Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson – “Power” – Forgot About Dre (STARZ)
Debbie Allen – “Grey’s Anatomy” – Silent All These Years (ABC)
Jet Wilkinson – “The Chi” – The Scorpion and the Frog (Showtime)

Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture (Television)
Codie Elaine Oliver – “Black Love” (OWN)
Janice Cooke – “I Am Sombody’s Child: The Regina Louise Story (Lifetime)
Kenny Leon – “American Son” (Netflix)
Rashid Johnson – “Native Son (HBO)
Russ Parr – “The Bobby Debarge Story” (TV One)

Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture (Film)
Chiwetel Ejiofor – “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind” (Netflix)
Jordan Peele – “Us” (Universal Pictures)
Kasi Lemmons – “Harriet” (Focus Features)
Mati Diop – “Atlantics” (Les Films du Bal Presente en Co-Production avec Cinekap et Frakas Productions en Co-Production avec Arte France Cinema et Canal+ International for Netflix)
Reginald Hudlin – “The Black Godfather” (Netflix)

Television