This year’s Oscar ceremony will air live on Sunday, but just a few days before and only a few blocks away, Chris Rock’s brother, Tony, hosted the first-ever All Def Movie Awards on Wednesday, an impromptu alternative to the Oscars organized by Russell Simmons.
Straight Outta Compton was the night’s biggest winner, taking home the award for Best Picture, chosen by fan vote. Beasts of No Nation, Chi-Raq, Concussion, Creed, and Dope were also nominated. Ryan Coogler and Michael B. Jordan were both recognized as Best Director and Actor for Creed, and Sanaa Lathan won Best Actress for The Perfect Guy.
“We’re celebrating people who would not otherwise have been celebrated,” Simmons told EW on the black carpet. “I’m less concerned with integration of the Oscars, although I’m very appreciative, and I applaud them for the work they’re doing now. I’m less concerned with that than I am the senior ranks in Hollywood. Who picks the talent? Who decides what director will work or not?”
Amid the #OscarsSoWhite controversy that followed the Academy’s failure to nominate any actors of color for the second straight year, Simmons organized the All Def Movie Awards in only 10 days. In his opening monologue, Rock poked fun at the pomp and circumstance of the Oscars, adding that there are more good actors without Oscars than with them. “Leonardo DiCaprio don’t have an Oscar, but Monique got one, and she’s at the Ontario Improv next week,” Rock said.
“The shift will come slowly,” Rock told EW. “But this is the dialogue that gets things moving. Dialogue always gets things moving. It’s like you got to have a conversation about it. When you try to not acknowledge things and sweep them under the rug, they just fester, and then it becomes a major issue.”
But while some of the night’s categories had Oscar counterparts, others were unconventional inventions for the All Def Awards. Denzel Washington took home the Best Bad Mu#&a Award, while Christoph Waltz won Best Helpful White Person. (Waltz wasn’t there, so Robin Thicke accepted on behalf of all white people, adding, “Maybe we can change the world one helpful white person at a time.”)
Amber Rose also beat out Idris Elba, Michael Ealy, Channing Tatum, Denzel Washington, Michael B. Jordan, and Johnny Depp to win the Most Likely to Steal Your Girl Award.
Tyrese Gibson presented Will Smith with the lifetime achievement award, and although Smith wasn’t in attendance, he accepted his award in a video message, apologizing for missing the ceremony and saying that he’s shooting a movie and only found out about the award a few days ago. “The real reason why me and Jada couldn’t make it is because Russell wasn’t honoring enough white people,” he joked.
“This is my first lifetime achievement award,” Smith added. “I really thought after Wild Wild West I would never get one of these.”
The All Def Movie Awards will air Sunday at 7 p.m. on Fusion’s cable channel. See the full list of winners below.
Best Picture: Straight Outta Compton
Best Helpful White Person: Christoph Waltz
Best Bad Mu#&a Award: Denzel Washington
Vanguard Award: Norman Lear
Most Quoted Movie: Friday
Lifetime Achievement Award: Will Smith
Best Black Survivor in a Movie: Ice Cube as Danny Rich in Anaconda
Most Likely To Steal Your Girl Award: Amber Rose
Best Actress: Sanaa Lathan, The Perfect Guy
Best Actor: Michael B. Jordan, Creed
Best Director: Ryan Coogler, Creed
Reporting by C. Molly Smith.