Octavia Spencer Named Harvard University’s Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year for 2017

Hopper Stone/Twentieth Century Fox Film 

article by Ashley Lee via hollywoodreporter.com

Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer has been named 2017’s Woman of the Year by Harvard University‘s Hasty Pudding student theatrical group.  The Oscar winner and Hidden Figures actress will be honored — and roasted — Jan. 26 at the organization’s first-ever live-streamed ceremony.

The group stated in a release that they are “proud to honor an actress whose depth of talent has captivated audiences with her comedic wit and her graceful portrayals of the underrepresented.”

The Woman of the Year honor is given to performers who have made lasting contributions to entertainment. Established in 1951, the Woman of the Year has been given to Meryl Streep, Katharine Hepburn, Julia Roberts, Jodie Foster, Elizabeth Taylor, Lucille Ball, Anne Hathaway, Claire Danes, Helen Mirren, Amy Poehler and Kerry Washington.

To read more, go to: Octavia Spencer is Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year 2017 | Hollywood Reporter

Sidney Poitier to be Honored at British Academy Film Awards in February

Sidney Poitier to Be Honored at British Academy Film Awards

Cinema legend Sidney Poitier (photo via ebony.com)

Sidney Poitier will be honored by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) with the Fellowship at the EE British Academy Film Awards on Sunday, February 14. Awarded annually, the Fellowship is the highest accolade bestowed by BAFTA upon an individual in recognition of an outstanding and exceptional contribution to film, television or games.

Fellows previously honored for their work in film include Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, Sean Connery, Elizabeth Taylor, Stanley Kubrick, Anthony Hopkins, Laurence Olivier, Judi Dench, Vanessa Redgrave, Christopher Lee, Martin Scorsese, Alan Parker and Helen Mirren. Mike Leigh received the Fellowship at last year’s Film Awards.

Sidney Poitier said: “I am extremely honored to have been chosen to receive the Fellowship and my deep appreciation to the British Academy for the recognition.”

Amanda Berry OBE, chief executive of BAFTA, said: “I’m absolutely thrilled that Sidney Poitier is to become a Fellow of BAFTA. Sidney is a luminary of film whose outstanding talent in front of the camera, and important work in other fields, has made him one of the most important figures of his generation. His determination to pursue his dreams is an inspirational story for young people starting out in the industry today. By recognizing Sidney with the Fellowship at the Film Awards on Sunday, February 14, BAFTA will be honoring one of cinema’s true greats.”

Sidney Poitier’s award-winning career features six BAFTA nominations, including one BAFTA win, and a British Academy Britannia Award for Lifetime Contribution to International Film.

Poitier began his acting career on Broadway in the 1940s before moving to film in 1950, receiving his first credit as Dr. Luther Brooks in No Way Out. He was the first African American to play a wide range of leading roles; he was BAFTA-nominated for his performances in Edge of the CityA Raisin in the SunLilies of the Field (for which he was the first African American to win the Oscar for Best Actor in 1964), A Patch of BlueIn the Heat of the Night and The Defiant Ones, for which he won a BAFTA and Oscar in 1959. His other acting credits include Blackboard JungleTo Sir With LoveGuess Who’s Coming to DinnerSneakersThe Jackal and Porgy and Bess.

Poitier was awarded an Honorary Oscar in 2002 “for his extraordinary performances and unique presence on the screen and for representing the industry with dignity, style and intelligence.” Poitier has also been nominated for seven Golden Globes, winning once, and was presented with the Cecil B DeMille Award in 1982.

Alongside his illustrious acting career, Poitier has directed nine feature films, including the Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder comedy Stir Crazy, as well as Buck and the PreacherUptown Saturday Night and Fast Forward.

In television, Poitier’s acting credits include Separate but EqualChildren of the Dust and, portaying Nelson Mandela, Mandela and de Klerk.

As well as pushing the boundaries of his craft on screen, Poitier played an active role in the American civil rights campaign and served as ambassador of the Bahamas to Japan and UNESCO from 1997 to 2007. In 1974, Queen Elizabeth II conferred a knighthood on Poitier, and in 2009 he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award of the USA, by President Obama.

The EE British Academy Film Awards take place on Sunday, February 14, at the Royal Opera House in London’s Covent Garden. Stephen Fry will be returning to host this year’s ceremony, which will be broadcast exclusively on BBC One in the UK and in all major territories around the world. On the night, www.bafta.org will feature red carpet highlights, photography and winners interviews, as well as dedicated coverage on its social networks including Facebook (/BAFTA), Twitter (@BAFTA / #EEBAFTAs), Tumblr and Instagram.

article via ebony.com

Kerry Washington Accepts Vanguard Award at the #glaadawards (VIDEO)

Scandal star Kerry Washington accepted the Vanguard Award at Saturday’s 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles at the iconic Beverly Hilton. Ellen DeGeneres, who was previously honored with GLAAD’s Stephen F. Kolzak Award, presented the honor. The Vanguard Award is presented to media professionals who have made a significant difference in promoting equality. Previous Vanguard Award honorees include Jennifer Lopez, Kristin Chenoweth, Charlize Theron, Elizabeth Taylor, Antonio Banderas, Drew Barrymore, Janet Jackson, and Sharon Stone.

Check out the video of Washington below:

In an acceptance speech that had the audience on their feet, Washington said, “I don’t decide to play the characters I play as a political choice. Yet the characters I play often do become political statements. Because having your story told as a woman, as a person of color, as a lesbian, as a trans person, or as any member of any disenfranchised community, is sadly often still a radical idea. There is so much power in storytelling, and there is enormous power in inclusive storytelling, in inclusive representations. That is why the work of GLAAD is so important. We need more LGBT representation in the media. We need more LGBT characters and more LGBT storytelling. We need more diverse LGBT representation. And by that, I mean lots of different kinds of LGBT people living all different kinds of lives. And this is big—we need more employment of LGBT people in front of and behind the camera.”

Washington continued, “We can’t say that we believe in each other’s fundamental humanity, and then turn a blind eye to the reality of each other’s existence, and the truth of each others’ hearts. We must be allies and we must be allies in this business, because to be represented is to be humanized, and as long as anyone anywhere is being made to feel less human, our very definition of humanity is at stake, and we are all vulnerable. We must see each other, all of us. And we must see ourselves, all of us. And we have to continue to be bold and break new ground until that is just how it is, until we are no longer ‘firsts’ and ‘exceptions’ and ‘rare’ and ‘unique.’ In the real world, being an ‘other’ is the norm. In the real world, the only norm is uniqueness, and our media must reflect that. Thank you GLAAD, for fighting the good fight.”

Washington is best known for her role as Olivia Pope on the LGBT-inclusive hit show Scandal, executive produced by Shonda Rhimes. In addition to the ABC drama, Washington has appeared in other LGBT-inclusive projects like PeeplesShe Hate MeThe Dead Girl, and Life Is Hot In Cracktown. The actress is a longtime supporter of equality for LGBT people. She has participated in GLAAD’s annual Spirit Day, a campaign to end anti-LGBT bullying, and has advocated for marriage equality both at-home and abroad.

Ellen DeGeneres presented the Vanguard Award to Kerry WashingtonChanning Tatum presented the Stephen F. Kolzak Award to director Roland Emmerich. Comedian Tig Notaro hosted the event. Guests included: Zoe Saldana (Guardians of the Galaxy); Patricia Arquette (CSI: Cyber); TV producer Shonda RhimesViola DavisJack FalaheeMatt McGorryAja Naomi KingPeter Nowalk (How to Get Away with Murder); Portia de Rossi(Scandal); Graham Moore (The Imitation Game); Pauley Perrette (NCIS); Jill SolowayAmy LandeckerJay DuplassAlexandra BillingsRhys Ernst, Kiersey Clemons, Michaela Watkins, Alison SudolClementine CreevyBrett Parasol (Transparent); Michael HarneySamira WileyNick SandowAlysia Reiner (Orange is the New Black); Andrew Rannells(Girls); Murray BartlettDaniel Franzese (Looking); Ron Perlman (Stonewall); Jordan Gavaris (Orphan Black); Against Me! lead singer Laura Jane GraceMichael MosleyKevin DanielsKevin Bigley (Sirens); Peter PaigeBradley BredewegGavin MacIntoshHayden Byerly (The Fosters); Yara Martinez (Jane the Virgin); Serayah McNeill (Empire); Alex Newell (Glee); Gregg SulkinRita VolkMichael J. WillettCarter Covington (Faking It); Barrett Foa (NCIS: Los Angeles); Jessica St. ClairLennon Parham (Playing House); Wilson Cruz (Red Band Society); stylist Brad GoreskiGary Janetti (Vicious); Guy WilsonFreddie SmithChristopher Sean (Days of Our Lives); musician Our Lady J; model Nats GettyHannah Hart (My Drunk Kitchen); DJs Sam SparroKim AnhDerek Monteiro;  GLAAD Board member Meghan McCain; GLAAD National Spokesperson Omar Sharif, Jr. and GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis.

Visit glaad.org/mediaawards/press for a complete list of award recipients announced on Saturday night.

article by Mariah Yamamoto via glaad.org