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Stars Come Out in Full Force to Support Inaugural ABFF Awards

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BET Networks and the American Black Film Festival joined forces to recognize diversity in Hollywood at a star-studded event at the Beverly Hilton Sunday.

The first ABFF Awards: A Celebration of Hollywood brought many stars out. The show was launched by the American Black Film Festival and BET – in response to the Oscars lack of diversity in this year’s nominations.

The mission of the ABFF Honors is “to celebrate Black culture by recognizing individuals, movies and television shows that have had a significant impact on American entertainment, as well as those who are proponents of championing diversity and inclusion in Hollywood.”

The event, which focuses on individuals, television programs and movies of 2015 that celebrate black culture, honored Diahann Carroll with the Hollywood Legacy Award.

The event was hosted by Mike Epps, and producer Will Packer was honored with the Distinguished ABFF Alumni Award.

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Kerry Washington Roasted at Harvard

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Actress Kerry Washington, Harvard University's Hasty Pudding Theatricals' Woman of the Year, does her impression of singer Tina Turner, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016, as she is roasted and honored in Cambridge, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Actress Kerry Washington, Harvard University’s Hasty Pudding Theatricals’ Woman of the Year, does her impression of singer Tina Turner, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016, as she is roasted and honored in Cambridge, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Kerry Washington received major love today from the Harvard community. The ‘Scandal’ beauty was celebrated in Cambridge Thursday as Harvard University’s Hasty Pudding Theatricals’ Woman of the Year honoree.

The nation’s oldest collegiate theatrical organization says it named Washington as Woman of the Year because she’s the first black woman to headline a network TV drama since 1974, according to the Associated Press. Washington set our TV’s ablaze starring as Olivia Pope on the hit show “Scandal,” which debuted in ABC in 2012.

The 38-year old actress has earned Golden Globe, Emmy and Screen Actors Guild nominations for the role.

Our beloved Comedian Amy Poehler won the prestigious Hasty Pudding last year. Others who have been honored include Meryl Streep, Katharine Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor.
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 Congratulations Kerry!

 

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The Hasty Pudding Theatricals Announce Kerry Washington as 2016 Woman of the Year

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The Hasty Pudding Theatricals, the oldest theatrical organization in the United States, announces Golden Globe and Emmy Awards nominated actress, KERRY WASHINGTON as the recipient of its 2016 Woman of the Year Award. The Pudding is proud to honor a talented and socially engaged film, TV and stage actress who keeps breaking barriers in Hollywood.

The Woman of the Year Award is the Hasty Pudding Theatricals oldest honor, bestowed annually on performers who have made lasting and impressive contributions to the world of entertainment. Established in 1951, the Woman of the Year Award has been given to many notable and talented entertainers, including Meryl Streep, Katharine Hepburn, Julia Roberts, Jodie Foster, Elizabeth Taylor, Anne Hathaway, Claire Danes, and most recently, Dame Helen Mirren and Amy Poehler.

The Woman of the Year festivities, presented by RELATED, will begin at 2:45p.m. on January 28, 2016, when Washington will lead a parade through the streets of Cambridge. Following the parade, the Hasty Pudding Theatricals will host a celebratory roast for the actress. At 4:00 p.m., Washington will be presented with her Pudding Pot at Farkas Hall, the Hasty Pudding’s historic home in the heart of Harvard Square since 1888. A press conference will follow the presentation. Afterward, Hasty Pudding cast members will perform several musical numbers from the group’s 168th production, That 1770s Show.

“We are so excited to honor Kerry Washington as the Hasty Pudding Theatricals Woman of the Year and welcome her to Cambridge to celebrate her many achievements. Kerry is an amazing actress with many fans in the company, and the perfect choice for this honor… But we also feel a bit nervous as we set out to coordinate a perfect event for legendary PR whiz Olivia Pope!” said Kennedy Edmonds ’17, HPT168 Producer. “If Kerry is anything like her on-screen character, she may turn the tables on us during her roast!” added Bobby Fitzpatrick ’16, President of the Hasty Pudding Theatricals.

KERRY WASHINGTON – Film, stage and television star Kerry Washington broke barriers by becoming the first African American woman to headline a network TV drama since 1974.  Her portrayal of crisis-manager Olivia Pope on the hit Shonda Rhimes show SCANDAL, currently in its 4th season, has earned her numerous accolades including Golden Globe, Emmy and SAG Best Actress nominations as well as an NAACP Image Award for Best Actress.

Washington recently completed production on the HBO TV movie Confirmation, which she stars in and executive produces. The film details the explosive 1991 Clarence Thomas Supreme Court nomination hearings, which brought the country to a standstill and forever changed the way people think about sexual harassment, victim’s rights, and modern-day race relations.

Film credits include Save The Last Dance, Lift (for which she received an Independent Spirit nomination), The Human Stain, Sin, Ray, Mr & Mrs Smith, I Think I Love My Wife, Miracle At St. Anna, Mother And Child, The Last King Of Scotland, Night Catches Us, Lakeview Terrace, The Details, Django Unchained and Peeples.

Washington is active in many social and political causes. In 2009 she was appointed by President Barack Obama to the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. Washington is a strong supporter of President Obama and has campaigned on his behalf; she commanded the national stage on the final night of the 2012 Democratic National Convention in a moving address that urged Democrats to get out the vote. In 2013 Washington was honored with the NAACP President’s Award, which recognized her special achievements in furthering the cause of civil rights and public service. In 2014, Time magazine included Washington on its annual Time 100 list of the Most Influential People in the World. Washington received the GLAAD Media Vanguard Award in 2015 and the ACLU Bill of Rights Award in 2016.

Washington currently serves as both a brand ambassador and creative consultant for Neutrogena.  She is also a brand ambassador for Movado, creative ambassador for OPI and ambassador for Allstate Foundation Purple Purse.

The Hasty Pudding Theatricals will announce their Man of the Year at a later date and the recipient will be honored on February 5, 2016.

ABOUT THE HASTY PUDDING INSTITUTE OF 1770
The Hasty Pudding Institute of 1770’s philanthropic mission is to provide educational and developmental support in all aspects of the performing arts for the underprivileged, to encourage satire and comedy, and to cultivate young talent around the world. The Institute is comprised of The Hasty Pudding Club (the oldest social club in the United States), The Hasty Pudding Theatricals (the third oldest theater group in the world, after the Comedie Francaise and the Oberammergau Passion Players) and the Harvard Krokodiloes (the foremost collegiate a cappella group in the United States). Over the last two centuries, it has grown into a premiere performing arts organization, a patron of the arts and comedy, and an advocate for satire and discourse as tools for change worldwide.

SOURCE The Hasty Pudding Institute of 1770