It was only 10 days ago when Russell Simmons decided to organize his own awards ceremony that is named All Def Movie Awards. The name of the Awards is inspired from All Def Digital Company. It was some sort of reaction to the Oscars which was dominated by the white people. Many black celebrities from all entertainment industries attended to the awards and the audience as well as the guests were a bit more better and enthusiastic when they are compared with the Oscars’. Maybe one day in the future, All Def Movie Awards will take the place of Oscars, who knows?
Ten days ago, Russell Simmons decided to throw his own award ceremony. Called the All Def Movie Awards — borrowing its name from the mogul’s All Def Digital platform — the event was to “celebrate the uncelebrated” against a backdrop of the #OscarsSoWhite controversy. The last-minute journey ended Wednesday night when the awards were hosted by comedian Tony Rock at Hollywood’s Lure Nightclub.
So don’t expect fancy floor-length gowns or the best tuxedos when it airs Sunday on Fusion. In fact, with the event more of a party and less of an award show — as evidenced by Snoop Dogg smoking on stage or the bottles of Ciroc and wine on each table — look for obnoxiously high splits, mesh jumpsuits and entirely too much cleavage. Expletives were at an all-time high.
A number of notable names were in attendance, including Ice Cube and son O’Shea Jackson Jr. of “Straight Outta Compton,” model Amber Rose and actors Marlon Wayans, Michael Ealy and Terry Crews.
The event was far from what one can expect at the Academy Awards, for good reason. Most of the categories for the show were in jest — best helpful white person, best black survivor, etc. But that’s exactly how Simmons envisioned it.
“It’s not a protest,” he said from the stage. “It’s a celebration, a celebration of people who otherwise would not be celebrated.”
But it was also a comment on #OscarsSoWhite and the broader lack of diversity in Hollywood.
“It’s a shame because whenever I talk about animal rights, civil rights, Islamophobia, homophobia or any of that, there’s that Hollywood liberal [expletive],” Simmons said. “And here we are, with the most compassionate group of activists on the planet, and still we live in the most segregated place on the planet — Hollywood.”
Actress Sanaa Lathan of last year’s “The Perfect Guy” accepted the best actress award from Regina Hall, and said: “I’m excited by all of the conversation about diversity… because it is so important for young boys and girls of color to see themselves on screen. I’m so happy that Hollywood, maybe, is about to wake the [expletive] up.”
Most of the award winners — like Denzel Washington for best bad muh … — did not attend. Some opted to send video messages in their place.
The night’s major honors went to Will Smith, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award. He did not attend because he was on set filming a new movie — or maybe, as he joked in his video acceptance, because Russell wasn’t honoring enough white people. TV legend Norman Lear received the Vanguard Award. He send a video message as well saying he was at a climate change event.
All honorees and award winners were given golden statues called “The Goldie,” inspired by the 1973 film “The Mack.”
The event entertained the packed nightclub. A number of bits poked fun at the diversity conversation in Hollywood. D. L. Hughley and Mike Epps did a bit on actors who should have won an Oscar for a particular role, but didn’t, like Washington, who won for “Training Day” but not for “Malcolm X.” Angela Bassett, they said, deserved an Oscar for her turn as Tina Turner in 1993’s “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” and Leonardo DiCaprio — who may finally win his first Oscar this year — should’ve won for “Wolf of Wall Street.”
Oh, and “The Color Purple” was nominated for 11 Oscars and took home none, they pointed out.
Rock, whose brother Chris is hosting the Academy Awards Sunday, presented a number of Reparation awards. Two of them went to Vin Diesel and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, for being just black enough to still be castable.
This year’s Oscar ceremony will air live on Sunday, but just a few days before and only a few blocks away, Chris Rock’s brother, Tony, hosted the first-ever All Def Movie Awards on Wednesday, an impromptu alternative to the Oscars organized by Russell Simmons.
Straight Outta Compton was the night’s biggest winner, taking home the award for Best Picture, chosen by fan vote. Beasts of No Nation, Chi-Raq, Concussion, Creed, and Dope were also nominated. Ryan Coogler and Michael B. Jordan were both recognized as Best Director and Actor for Creed, and Sanaa Lathan won Best Actress for The Perfect Guy.
“We’re celebrating people who would not otherwise have been celebrated,” Simmons told EW on the black carpet. “I’m less concerned with integration of the Oscars, although I’m very appreciative, and I applaud them for the work they’re doing now. I’m less concerned with that than I am the senior ranks in Hollywood. Who picks the talent? Who decides what director will work or not?”