The eighth annual “Black Women in Hollywood” luncheon is set to take place Feb. 19 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills. Essence’s Editor-In-Chief Vanessa K. De Luca and Shaun Robinson from Access Hollywood announced this year’s honorees Wednesday via an online press conference.
“Orange Is The New Black” stars Uzo Aduba, Vicky Jeudy, Danielle Brooks, Lorraine Toussaint, Samira Wiley, Adrienne C. Moore and Laverne Cox will receive the Vanguard award, and Ruth E. Carter will be honored with the Visionary Award.
Regina King will receive The Fierce & Fearless Award, while Gugu Mbatha-Raw will receive the Lincoln Breakthrough of the Year Award.
The Essence Black Women in Hollywood luncheon recognizes the extraordinary achievements of trailblazing women in film and television.
Past honorees include: Oprah Winfrey, Lupita Nyong’o, Ava DuVernay, Halle Berry, Viola Davis, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Angela Bassett, Queen Latifah, Taraji P. Henson, Ruby Dee, Diahann Carroll, Cicely Tyson, Mara Brock-Akil, Gina Prince-Bythewood and Suzanne de Passe, among others.
“The past year has been a game-changer for women in Hollywood. We are creating, performing and calling the shots,” De Luca stated in a press release. “By recognizing our leading ladies both in front of and behind the camera, Essence Black Women in Hollywood illuminates the ‘power of our presence,” noted Michelle Ebanks, Essence president.
“Essence embodies the diversity of our stories, and Black Women in Hollywood allows us to honor fresh and innovative storytelling, as well as groundbreaking portrayals,” added Ebanks. “This year we are proudly honoring seven brilliant actresses from the original hit series “Orange is the New Black”; a critically-acclaimed actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw; an accomplished performer and director with a career spanning three decades Regina King; and an inspirational creative talent Ruth E. Carter.”
Fans can gain exclusive access to the Black Women in Hollywood luncheon by visiting Essence.com. The site, which will feature highlights and a look inside will also live stream red-carpet happenings and interviews with the stars at 11:00 a.m. PST/2:00 p.m. EST and re-air at 6 p.m. PST/9 p.m. EST.
Essence celebrates its 45th anniversary this year and according to the release, the event will commemorate the magazine’s annual Hollywood issue (March), which will hit newsstands on Feb. 13th.