According to the Dartmouth Review, ABC’s powerhouse Shonda Rhimes will deliver the main commencement address to students graduating in 2014. Rhimes, who graduated from Dartmouth in 1991, is best known for creating the television series Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice and Scandal. Besides claiming a Golden Globe for “Outstanding Television Drama” on Grey’s Anatomy in 2007, Rhimes has also been awarded multiple NAACP Image Awards and is a three-time Emmy Award nominee.
While attending Dartmouth, Rhimes dedicated her time to theater and writing fiction. In addition to directing Dartmouth’s Black Underground Theatre and Arts Association, Rhimes majored in English literature with creative writing.
Kevin Hart was named Entertainer of the Year while 12 Years a Slave racked up another four awards including for Outstanding Motion Picture at the NAACP Image Awards, which were held Saturday at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. Hart said he was a “real mama’s boy” and dedicated his prize to his mother, who recently passed away.
Director Steve McQueen and writer John Ridley won kudos for “12 Years” during a non-televised portion of the show Friday, while Supporting Actress Lupita Nyong’o said she was honored to win for a film ”that has inspired discourse long overdue.”
Forest Whitaker and David Oyelowo were honored for their roles in Lee Daniels’ The Butler and Angela Bassett won the Lead Actress prize for Black Nativity. Whitaker was also honored with the NAACP Chairman’s Award. “I’m one of those with a funny accent and an African name,” Oyelowo referencing emcee Anthony Anderson’s earlier jokes about Brit actors with their accents and African names in his speech who cross the Pond to grab roles in Hollywood. Meanwhile, Whitaker quoted a song from Nat King Cole, “The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is to love and be loved.”
On the television side, Hart and his BET show Real Husbands of Hollywood were honored for comedy, while Kerry Washington, Joe Morton and ABC’s Scandal picked up three awards for drama. Since showrunner Shonda Rhimes was unable to attend, Washington accepted the Scandal award. In her own acceptance speech, Washington said, “The historic nature of this role is due not to lack of talent, but lack of opportunity.”
The NAACP Image Awards were broadcast live on TV One and hosted by Anthony Anderson. Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) President Cheryl Boone Isaacs and Director’s Guild (DGA) president Paris Barclay were inducted into the Image Awards Hall of Fame. Both are the first African-American presidents of their respective organizations. Barclay referenced his upbringing saying, “I’m the first in a long line of factory workers.” Boone Isaacs said AMPAS invited more women and minority this year than it ever has. “We still have a lot of work to do. I look forward to it,” she said to applause.