While most of America was tuned into last night’s Academy Awards, Russell Simmon‘s All Def Movie Awards aired on Fusion. Simmons quickly put together an award show to celebrate all things African American in film in response to the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, and even booked Academy Awards host Chris Rock‘s brother, Tony Rock, to host the event.
Unlike the Academy Awards, the ADMA was a room filled with a wide range of Black celebrities having a great time and laughing at jokes that were actually funny. Some of the categories were for laughs such as the movie Friday, taking home the award for Most Quoteable Movie, and Best Bad Muh F**ka going to Denzel Washington but there were some awards that received the credit deserved.
Straight Outta Compton took home the award for Best Picture and the star of the film, O’shea Jackson Jr., celebrated the underdogs in his speech. SOC being snubbed by the Academy caused much controversy and left lovers of the film feeling bitter for the lack of acknowledgement given to the film’s stellar performances. The ADMA’s were filmed on Jackson’s 25th birthday [February 24] and he took the time to reflect on a quote from a journal he received from a teacher in high school. He recalled having to audition for over two years for the role of Ice Cube, as well as uplifting the rest of the room with his words of self-confidence and empowerment, resulting in a standing ovation from Russell Simmons and the rest of the audience. Jackson said:
“Straight Outta Compton was my first taste of being an underdog. I had to audition for over two years to get my role, and a lot of people who worked on the movie didn’t want me to get it but he wanted me to get and that’s really all I need. To the people who look in the mirror and all you see is that one person who believes in you, I’m here to tell you that’s all you need, baby.”