OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network announced that it will air the “Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards,” the very first time that the ceremony will be broadcast on television!
Hosted by Tracey Edmonds and Shemar Moore, the special will air this Saturday, February 21 at 10 pm ET/PT on OWN.
An annual event that takes place during the week leading up to the Academy Awards, Essence will spotlight the top African American women who are “pushing the limits, raising the bar and breaking through barriers in both film and television.”
This year’s event, held at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, will feature Oprah Winfrey opening the luncheon, followed by appearances from Lupita Nyong’o, David Oyelowo, Ava DuVernay, Carmen Ejogo, Gina Prince-Bythewood, Mara Brock Akil and more.
Honors at the eighth annual ceremony include the 2015 Black Women in Hollywood Vanguard Award, given to 7 stars of the Emmy award-winning series “Orange Is The New Black” including Adrienne C. Moore, Danielle Brooks, Laverne Cox, Lorraine Toussaint, Samira Wiley, Uzo Aduba, and Vicky Jeudy, marking the first time the award will be given to a group instead of a single person.
Regina King is receiving the Fierce & Fearless Award; Gugu Mbatha-Raw is receiving the Lincoln Breakthrough of the Year Award; and costume designer Ruth E. Carter is receiving the Visionary Award.
“The ‘Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards’ have become one of the most distinguished events in Hollywood, celebrating the year’s standout performances and behind the scenes accomplishments from iconic, trailblazing African-American women who are reshaping the cinematic and television landscape,” said Sheri Salata, president, OWN and Harpo Studios. “We are humbled in the trust that Essence has placed in us to bring this moving and poignant event to television for the first time, allowing a broader audience to experience the emotion of this powerful celebration.”
“Together with OWN, we are proud to extend the reach of the ‘Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards’ and share this important recognition of our leading ladies who are creating, performing and calling the shots,” said Essence president Michelle Ebanks. “Over the past seven years, Essence has celebrated the power of our presence in Hollywood, and this first-time television special is certain to broaden the conversation around images in media, personal inspiration and empowerment for women around the world.”
The special is produced by IMG.
Visit Essence.com and Oprah.com/Essence to preview the action and join the conversation on social using #BlackWomenInHollywood.
Promo for the broadcast below: