NAACP Image Awards: 'Birth of a Nation' Scores 6 Nominations

'The Birth of a Nation'

‘The Birth of a Nation’

Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures

Nate Parker’s The Birth of a Nation finally earned some major recognition this awards season, scooping up six NAACP Image Award nominations on Tuesday. The onetime Oscar hopeful was greeted enthusiastically at its Sundance debut earlier this year but over the summer a resurfaced rape case against writer-director-star Parker shrouded the film in controversy. The movie has so far failed to receive much recognition from critics groups and awards organizations this Oscar season. 

Parker himself received three nominations, for outstanding directing in a motion picture (film), outstanding writing in a motion picture (film) and best actor in a motion picture.

In addition, Birth of a Nation actress Aja Naomi King is up for best supporting actress in a motion picture, and the film is up for outstanding motion picture and outstanding independent motion picture.

Oscar frontrunner Moonlight also scored six nominations, facing off against Birth of a Nation in the categories of outstanding motion picture, outstanding independent motion picture, writing and directing, with writer-director Barry Jenkins up for the latter two awards. Moonlight also was nominated twice in the category of best supporting actor in a motion picture.

Interracial marriage drama Loving scored five nominations, including for best motion picture and best independent motion picture, with writer-director Jeff Nichols also up for best writing in a motion picture (film).

Denzel Washington’s Fences received three nominations and the film’s star Viola Davis earned an additional nomination for entertainer of the year.

Hidden Figures, the story of the African-American women who worked behind the scenes at NASA helping John Glenn become the first American to orbit the Earth, scored three nominations, including one for star Taraji P. Henson. The book on which the film was based also was nominated for outstanding literary work, non-fiction. The pic was notably snubbed by Monday’s Golden Globe nominations.

Fences and Hidden Figures are both up for best motion picture, with Lion and Miles Ahead taking the final two spots in best independent motion picture.

Other multiple film nominees include Queen of Katwe, which received four nominations, and Obama date movie Southside With You, which got two nominations. In terms of companies among the motion picture nominees, Walt Disney Studios leads with nine nominations, followed by Focus Features with seven and A24 and Fox Searchlight, which tied with six each.

Among TV contenders, Black-ish scored a leading 12 nominations, followed by Roots with nine and Insecure, Empire and The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, which tied with six each.

Despite the nominations for FX’s series, Ezra Edelman’s Oscar-frontrunner documentary O.J.: Made in America wasn’t nominated in the film or TV documentary categories.

In the TV categories, ABC leads with 23 nominations, with HBO in second place with 14.

The NAACP Image Awards recognize achievements by people of color in TV, music, literature and film and honors individuals or groups who promote social justice through creative endeavors.

Overall, Beyonce landed the most individual nominations, with seven, including one for entertainer of the year, followed by her sister, Solange Knowles, with five. Chance the Rapper and Kendrick Lamar each received four, and Donald Glover earned three.

Among the recording categories, Columbia Records leads with 16 nominations, followed by RCA Records with 10 and Atlantic Records with four.

Joining Davis and Beyonce in the entertainer of the year category are Chance the Rapper, Regina King and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

“The NAACP is delighted to have a great collaboration with TV One and we look forward to working with them again to create a memorable evening of entertainment celebrating the hard work, perseverance, and achievements of those in our community,” NAACP national board of directors chairman Roslyn M. Brock said in a statement.

Added NAACP president and CEO Cornell William Brooks: “The Image Awards is the premier showcase for art and advocacy reflecting the depth and diversity of the African-American experience. It is an American prism through which we see a breadth of culture and color reflected in film, television, music and literature in ways that reveal our shared humanity. At a moment when America is so divided, the Image Awards represents an hour that brings us together.”

Winners will be announced during the live Anthony Anderson-hosted ceremony on Saturday, Feb. 11, which is set to air on TV One at 9 p.m. ET.

The complete list of categories and nominees for the 48th NAACP Image Awards follows.

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