The African American Film Critics Association held its fourth annual AAFCA Awards Saturday to honor outstanding work in television. At the ceremony, Courtney B. Vance, Robin Thede, Yvonne Orji and other honorees reflected on representation, opportunities for emerging talent and the importance of equal pay for black creatives in the industry.
“In the midst of a pandemic, it’s taking a lot of time for me to be away from my family for nine months to get this done. It’s not something I take lightly,” Best Television Performance (Male) for “61st Street.” ) award winner Vance said in his acceptance speech at the SLS Hotel in Los Angeles. “But I also don’t take my responsibility as a man lightly — as a black man, as a husband, as a father — to make sure I help tell the story and make a difference for all of us.”
This year’s winners also include Salli Richardson of “Bel-Air,” “Swagger,” “Women of the Movement” and “The Gilded Age.” Not only did Quinta Brunson win Best TV Comedy, the creator, writer and producer of Abbott Elementary also received an AAFCA Breakout Star.
Robin Thede, creator and star of “The Black Ladies Sketch Show” — which won the best writing award — underscores the need for inclusivity not only on screen, but behind the camera as well.
“When our writers start in the ‘Black Ladies Sketch Show’ writers’ room, there’s always a moment on their first day to look around, ‘I know it’s all black women, but I don’t know that’s all Black women,” Thede said. “And I think in a space where we don’t have to explain what the Senegalese twist is, that’s the magic of the show. ”
Thede continued, “Winning a writing award is so special to me – so special to all of us – because of course it means we make you laugh and you enjoy it. But more importantly, It means our voices have been heard. In an industry where our voices are often imitated rather than celebrated, it is truly an honour.”
HBO’s “Insecure” won this year’s Impact Award, with Yvonne Orji and Kendrick Sampson accepting the award on behalf of the series.
“It’s a real honor to be part of such a culture-changing show,” Sampson said. “Impact [‘Insecure’] For the community, it shows us a blueprint for how to lead the community better than we’ve ever discovered — paying black people what they actually deserve,” he added.
Orji then admits to ‘unsafe’ showrunner and star Issa Rae: “TThank you for giving us all a chance to let HBO and other networks know that you can find and discover new talent. Even if they don’t have IMDB credits, [they] It’s here. ”
The event hosts included Tichina Arnold (“Neighbors”), Nicoo Annan and Brandee Evans (“P-Valley”), Laz Alonso (“The Boys”), Dondre Whitfield, Thomas Jones (“Johnson”), Tami Roman (“The Boys”), “The Ms. Pat Show”), Kim Coles (“Looking for Joy”), Wayne Brady (“Make a Deal”) and Emayatzy Corinealdi.
Here is the full list of 2022 AAFCA Television Honors recipients:
Best TV Comedy
“Abbott Elementary School” (ABC)
Best TV Show
“Black and Missing” (HBO)
Best Limited Series/Special Edition
“Women in Action” (ABC)
Best International Production
Pachinko Machine (Apple TV+)
“Swagger” (Apple TV+)
Time to Win: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty (HBO)
“The Black Ladies Sketch Show” (HBO)
best television director
Salli Richardson, “The Gilded Age” (HBO)
Best Television Performance (Female)
Patina Miller, “Power Book III: Raising Kanan” (Starz)
Best Television Performance (Male)
Courtney B. Vance, “61st Street” (AMC)
“Not Safe” (HBO)