The NAACP and BET Networks have announced a broadcast partnership to air the 51st NAACP Image Awards. The telecast will take place from Pasadena, California and will air on BET Networks for the first time ever. The announcement was made by NAACP National Board of Directors Chairman Leon W. Russell, NAACP President/CEO Derrick Johnson, President of BET Networks Scott Mills and Executive Vice-President, Specials, Music Programming & Music Strategy Connie Orlando.
The NAACP Image Awards is the preeminent event celebrating the accomplishments of people of color in the fields of television, music, literature, and film and also honors individuals or groups who promote social justice through creative endeavors.
“We’re proud to partner with BET Networks to showcase the incredible breadth of Black excellence in television, film, music, and literature, and to bring awareness to the social justice and economic empowerment work of the NAACP,” said Johnson. “Through its diverse platforms, BET delivers culturally enriching and entertaining content to a wide and multigenerational audience. As we head into a critical 2020 election and Census, the collaboration with BET will be critical to reaching our shared communities.”
“The NAACP is vitally important, and BET Networks shares the organization’s commitment to our community and social impact,” said Mills. “With the NAACP’s half-century of history acknowledging the achievements of African Americans across entertainment and activism, this partnership allows BET to further our mission to entertain, engage and empower our viewers by delivering this cultural pillar to the communities we serve. We’re thrilled to welcome the NAACP Image Awards home to BET.”
Karen Boykin-Towns, NAACP National Board of Directors vice-chairman, is the newly appointed chairman of the NAACP Image Awards Planning Committee and will provide strategic guidance and leadership. Eris Sims, chief of staff, will oversee all NAACP Image Awards events and activities.
“We are excited that two storied organizations, NAACP and BET, are partnering to cultivate innovative approaches to our work and to deliver a transformative experience that inspires and empowers the Black community. This is a natural partnership and one which aligns with our strategic focus,” said Boykin-Towns. “We are confident that the NAACP Image Awards will continue to grow in both impact and legacy.”
One of the most iconic annual celebrations of Black excellence, the NAACP Image Awards draws a crowd of the biggest and brightest stars in Hollywood. Previous years attendees include Oprah Winfrey, Will Smith, Taraji P. Henson, Viola Davis, Gabrielle Union, Kerry Washington, Anthony Anderson, Sterling K. Brown, Mandy Moore, Halle Berry, Common, Dwayne Johnson, Steve Harvey, Audra Day, John Legend, Lena Waithe, Tracee Ellis Ross, David Oyelowo, Laverne Cox, Octavia Spencer, Issa Rae, Trevor Noah, Terry Crews, Yara Shahidi, Danai Gurira, Jacob Latimore, Jay Pharoah, Jemele Hill, Josh Gad, Loretta Devine, Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Meta Golding, Michael Smith, Tyler James Williams, Ava DuVernay, Chadwick Boseman, and many more.
“It is our honor to partner with the NAACP as the exclusive broadcast partner of the Image Awards, one of the most influential Award Shows in the black community,” said Orlando. “We will celebrate and acknowledge the excellence and achievements of African Americans in television, music, arts and give special recognition to the artists that have thrilled us and shaped the past the year in Black culture. As we head into our 40th anniversary, it is only right to start off 2020 with this monumental partnership and bring the legacy of NAACP Image Awards to BET.”
Nominations for the ‘51st NAACP Image Awards’ will be announced on January 9, 2020.