The producers of the non-televised evening one of the 47th annual NAACP Image Awards should find a way to broadcast that as well. There was no shortage of head turners and industry leaders at the Pasadena Convention Center. That is where many of the nation’s top authors, screenwriters, artists, producers, television shows and musicians are lauded.
My table alone consisted of diverse nominees such as “Whitney” screenwriter Shem Bitterman, “Chasing Freedom” illustrator Michele Wood and Kekla Morgan of the best teen literary work “X.” Other big winners that evening were “Black-ish,” “Empire,” “Creed,” “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s,” and Jill Scott.
The next evening, aired on TV One, was a much tighter affair. Host Anthony Anderson may be up for an Emmy for his deft handling of the show. Timely jokes about Stacy Dash, “Aunt Viv” Janet Hubert and Ben Carson kept the crowd in stitches.
Though not a part of the festivities, Will Smith (with wife Jada Pinkett Smith) was treated like royalty in the house. During all the breaks in the broadcast, a who’s who of entertainment giants in the house made a bee line to his seat, often ignoring pleas to sit down before the show went live again.
The after party had a number of next-generation stars in attendance including Chadwick Boseman (“Gods of Egypt”), Teyonah Parris (“Chi-Raq”), Aunjanue Ellis (“The Book of Negroes”), Ronreaco Lee (“Survivor’s Remorse”) Abraham Attah (“Beasts of No Nation”), Jimmy Jean Louis (“Joy”) and Ro Brooks (“The Haves and the Have Nots”).
With the champagne flowing, comic actress/reality star Kym Whitley hosted the evening’s performances led by James Wright Chanel and Boyz II Men, who have a Las Vegas residency through 2020! They showed incredible versatility in picking up instruments and ripping into songs by the Beatles, Nirvana and Bob Marley.
“That’s what’s up,” said breakout film star O’Shea Jackson Jr. about veteran actor Carl Weathers calling him the biggest Oscar snub in this column. “I’m talked out about this thing,” Jackson admitted. “I’ll just say that if the Academy Awards are truly about film, [“Straight Outta Compton”] should’ve been recognized more.”
When asked about what’s next for him, Jackson dropped some real scoop. He mentioned being earmarked for John Ridley’s “L.A. Riots” movie and that he was “trying to get in shape for this thing Denzel [Washington] is directing.” Hmmm. The next project Denzel is helming is a HBO adaptation of August Wilson’s “Fences” with Viola Davis!
Something seemed to set off Michael B. Jordan, who won Entertainer of the Year, when suddenly he jumped up, kissed his mom goodbye, and started barking at folks while storming out of his section. Jussie Smollett (“Empire”) and sister Jurnee Smollett-Bell (“Underground”) must’ve seen it coming as they hastily left just prior.
With the controversy over a lack of diversity and an alleged boycott swirling, Oscars producer Reginald Hudlin put on the widest smile and told me he had no worries at all about this year’s Academy Awards show. He hopes the introduction of a thank you ticker during acceptance speeches will keep things moving.
CLIPPETTES: Beyonce’s “Formation World Tour” was announced after her show-saving Super Bowl halftime performance. It launches in April, with the Rose Bowl set for May 14. Tickets go on sale Feb. 16 …
Earth, Wind & Fire and special guests are promised at Kiss N Grind’s Grammy Edition, “A DJ and Live-Music Dance-Floor Experience” at the Globe Theatre on Feb. 12 …
The Robert Glasper Experiment’s fourth annual Grammy Jam has expanded to two nights – Feb. 12 & 13 at The Mint – LA …
Reggae artists Barrington Levy and Yellowman are having a Lovers Rock Valentine’s Day show at Club Nokia. Tickets are $15 …
Producer/writer Shonda Rhimes and choreographer/director Bill T. Jones are among the speakers for “TED2016: Dream ‘Opening Night’ Live in Cinemas,” a first time nationwide live cinema broadcast of the annual conference on Feb. 15. Visit www.FathomEvents.com for info.
TC ON TV: Feb. 12 – “American Masters” (PBS): “B. B. King: The Life of Riley” “The Rap Game” (Lifetime): Word on the street says Miss Mulatto has this in the bag. The kids are pretty talented but we all know the one who has to go first.
Feb. 13 – “Oprah: Where Are They Now?” (OWN): Kid ‘n’ Play “Saturday Night Live” (NBC): Melissa McCarthy and Kanye West (performing selections from his new album “Waves”).
Feb. 14 – “2016 NBA All-Star Game” (TNT): Sting & Cirque du Soleil are performing from Toronto. “Watch What Happens: Live” (Bravo): Phaedra Parks and Ta’Rhonda Jones.
Feb. 15 – “The 58th annual Grammy Awards” (CBS): Kendrick Lamar leads with 11 nominations. Lionel Richie will be honored with a musical tribute. The Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Run D.M.C.
Feb. 16 – “Finding Your Roots” (PBS): LL Cool J, Sean Combs. “Wendy’s Style Squad” (BET): Wendy Williams dissects Grammy fashions. “Independent Lens” (PBS): “The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution” by Stanley Nelson. Despite her participation in this documentary, former member Elaine Brown has been going off on air about her disdain for the finished product. Not mincing words, she says it slights Huey Newton and calls the director an addict himself!
Feb. 17 – “The Tonight Show” (NBC): Jennifer Lopez, Snoop Dogg, ZAYN
OBSERVED AT PAFF: A disgruntled moviegoer approached Tasty Clips while demanding her money back at the Pan African Film Festival this past weekend. Citing “America’s Blues,” she said she was insulted at the festival screening the documentary that featured “a bunch of white folks trying to teach us about our music!” “That’s what happens when the HBO’s of the world sponsor these things,” she said. “This festival should know better.”
Later on, actor/director Nate Parker was literally run in through the calm lobby paratrooper style for a showing of clips from “Birth of a Nation” and a conversation with Big Boy. I know his movie was the hit of the Sundance Film Festival, but I’m pretty sure he didn’t have eight security guards with him there.
TASTY QUIP: “Maurice White. You were there when we were born, when we graduated, when we connected with our families, when we mourned, when we got married. I listened to you every single day at my mother’s hair salon, and I didn’t understand what you made me feel, but you were a hero.” – SOLANGE KNOWLES on Twitter.
“Tasty Clips” is an entertainment column published in The Wave to update readers on the activities and accomplishments of black celebrities and artists in television, in music and at the movies. To reach Bill Vaughan, send email to email@example.com.