Will Smith, Angela Bassett, Quinta Brunson among top 2023 NAACP Image Award nominees



Will Smith attends the premiere of “Emancipation” in Los Angeles on November 30. Smith earned a 2023 NAACP Image Award nomination for the film. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 12 (UPI) — Will Smith is banned from the Oscars ceremony for the next decade, but no such directive exists for the NAACP Awards, where he’s an acting nominee for the film Emancipation.

The NAACP announced its nominees for the 54th annual NAACP Awards live on CBS This Morning with rapper/actor Method Man and NAACP president and CEO Derrick Johnson.

“No individual should be measured on the worst day of their life. Everyone needs redemption. And the actual depiction of that story is great,” Johnson said of Smith’s nomination.

Smith faces steep competition in the Best Actor category with Sterling K. Brown (Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul) Daniel Kaluuya (Nope) Jonathan Majors (Devotion) and Joshua Boone (A Jazzman’s Blues).

Angela Bassett received multiple nominations, including for Entertainer of the Year for her roles in both Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and the Fox network procedural 9-1-1. Quinta Brunson and her critically acclaimed show Abbott Elementary also earned multiple nominations, including her own nod for Entertainer of the Year.

Other top nominees include breakout actress Danielle Deadwyler for TILL and the Netflix series From Scratch as well as nods for Mary J. Blige, Beyoncé, and most of the cast of The Best Man: The Final Chapter.

The awards will be held in person for the first time since 2020 and will air on BET on Saturday, Feb. 25 at 8 p.m. EST. For a full list of nominees, head to the NAACP Image Awards website. Below are nominations in the top categories.

Entertainer of the Year

Angela Bassett

Mary J. Blige

Quinta Brunson

Viola Davis


Outstanding Motion Picture

A Jazzman’s Blues

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever


The Woman King


Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture

Daniel Kaluuya, Nope

Jonathan Majors, Devotion

Joshua Boone, A Jazzman’s Blues

Sterling K. Brown, Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul

Will Smith, Emancipation

Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture

Danielle Deadwyler, TILL

Keke Palmer, Alice

Letitia Wright, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Regina Hall, Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul

Viola Davis, The Woman King

Outstanding Comedy Series

Abbott Elementary



Rap Sh!t

The Wonder Years

Outstanding Drama Series





Queen Sugar

Outstanding Television Movie, Limited-Series or Dramatic Special

Carl Weber’s The Black Hamptons

From Scratch

The Best Man: The Final Chapters

The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey

Women of the Movement

Outstanding Album

age/sex/location, Ari Lennox

Breezy (Deluxe), Chris Brown

Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers, Kendrick Lamar

Renaissance, Beyoncé

Watch the Sun, PJ Morton



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