Oscars team honours Hollywood’s black women at Essence awards

Published: Friday 26th February 2016 by The News Editor

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Oscars host Chris Rock, producer Reginald Hudlin and film academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs have taken time off from their Academy Awards preparations to celebrate black women in Hollywood.

Rock, Hudlin and Ms Boone Isaacs were among the guests at Essence Magazine’s ninth Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel and Hudlin took to the stage to present an award to legendary entertainer Debbie Allen.

The annual Essence event celebrates the achievements of black women in entertainment. Actress Tracee Ellis Ross and entertainment lawyer Nina Shaw were also recognised.

Shonda Rhimes announced that Allen has agreed to serve as producing director of Grey’s Anatomy and called the writer-director-choreographer-performer “a force of nature”.

“Debbie blows through an environment and changes the landscape forever,” she said.

Ross, accompanied by her father and older sister Rhonda, accepted the Fierce and Fearless award.

She said she had been sick for the past week and worried she would not be able to attend the lunch.

“I got dressed in the car,” she said. “I’m unclear if what I’m wearing is see-through. If it is, I’m sorry.”

Oprah Winfrey opened the event, which will be shown on Saturday on OWN.

In a year when Hollywood’s lack of inclusion has overwhelmed the Oscar race, Winfrey said: “It’s a beautiful thing that we have the good sense to do this for ourselves.”

Published: Friday 26th February 2016 by The News Editor

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