If you’re like me, and you don’t get the OWN network, it means that you probably missed the “Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards” ceremony, which aired on the channel last night, for the very first time (the awards first TV broadcast ever)!
If you didn’t watch it, and wanted to, the almost 3-dozen videos below from the event (the ceremony, the red carpet, backstage interviews), might be enough to satisfy in the interim.
An annual event that takes place during the week leading up to the Academy Awards, Essence spotlights the 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, featured 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 included 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 has been given to a group instead of a single person.
Regina King received the Fierce & Fearless Award; Gugu Mbatha-Raw, the Lincoln Breakthrough of the Year Award; and costume designer Ruth E. Carter, 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.”
Below, watch some of what you missed, if you didn’t catch last night’s broadcast: