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‘Cosby,’ ‘Color Purple’ Most-Nominated For NAACP Image Awards

November 1, 1986

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ The NAACP gave six nominations for Image Awards, which recognize positive images of blacks in the entertainment industry, to the movie ″The Color Purple,″ which drew protests over its portrayal of black men.

Eight nominations went to the popular television program, ″The Cosby Show,″ making it the leading contender for the 19th annual awards issued by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Winners of the Image Awards will be honored Dec. 14 at ceremonies in Los Angeles at the Wiltern Theater. The nominations were announced Thursday.

″The Color Purple,″ a Steven Spielberg film based on the Alice Walker novel of the same name, was nominated for best motion picture. Actresses Whoopi Goldberg, Margaret Avery, Oprah Winfrey, Desereta Jackson and Akosua Busia also received nominations.

One of the central characters of the film, Mister, played by Danny Glover, torments the pathetic Celie, played by Goldberg, who already had been raped repeatedly by her stepfather.

The movie’s depiction of black male characters drew protests from some blacks. At the Los Angeles opening of the film pickets carried signs that read, ″Are white producers trying to destroy black men?″

Felicia Kessel of the NAACP was quoted by ″People″ magazine saying, ″There are not enough positive black male role models around, and then to have this come out.″

However, after the film failed to win any of the 11 Academy Awards it was nominated for, the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP filed a protest with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

″Cosby″ garnered Image nominations for best comedy series episode, for actors Roscoe Lee Browne and Earle Hyman in guest roles and for the series’ regular stars Phylicia Rashad and youths Lisa Bonet Tempestt Bledsoe, Keshia Knight Pulliam and Malcolm-Jamal Warner.

Director Spielberg was nominated for two episodes from his NBC television series, ″Amazing Stories.″ Ms. Winfrey also was named for best news and information TV series for ″The Oprah Winfrey Show.″

Nominees for best female recording artists included Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson and Patti LaBelle, among others. Al Jarreau, Billy Ocean, Jeffrey Osborne, Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder and El DeBarge were nominated in the male recording category.

The plays ″Gospel at Colonus,″ ″Boseman and Lena,″ ″Fool for Love″ and ″Tap Dance Kid,″ were nominated in the theater category.

The NAACP issued special awards to South African anti-apartheid activist Winnie Mandela; ″Mother″ Clara Hale, founder of a home to care for the infants of drug abusers; the Rev. Allan Boesak of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches; Mary Hatwood Futrell of the National Education Association; Walt Disney Studios chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg; Guy H. Dobbs of Medialink International; and posthumously, to astronaut Ronald E. McNair, a victim of the Challenger space shuttle disaster.

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