The star of “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” will receive the Chairman’s Award this year. “Forest Whitaker embodies the moniker of artist-activist,” said Roslyn M. Brock, chairman of the NAACP National Board of Directors. “His work in front of and behind the camera engages and entertains, and his service to communities around the world is truly inspirational.”
Besides starring in “The Butler,” for which he is nominated for an Image Award, Whitaker took on producing duties for Sundance and indie hit “Fruitvale Station” via his production company Significant Prods. and JuntoBox Films.
Outside showbiz, the actor finds time for humanitarian causes, serving as a Unesco Goodwill Ambassador for peace and reconciliation. He is also a member of the President’s Committee of Arts and Humanities, working with Findley Elementary School in Des Moines, Iowa.
Directors Guild of America topper Paris Barclay and AMPAS chief Cheryl Boone Isaacs will be inducted into the NAACP Hall of Fame at the org’s 45th Image Awards. Barclay, who juggles duties as DGA topper with helming duties, has directed 130 episodes of such shows as “NYPD Blue,” “ER,” “The West Wing,” “Cold Case,” “Glee,” “In Treatment” and “Sons of Anarchy,” which he also executive produces. He also helps out charities including the Black AIDS Institute, Liberty Hill, GLAAD and Project Angel Food.
“I am profoundly grateful to have been chosen by the NAACP for this incredible honor,” Barclay said in a statement. “As a director and the father of two young sons, I am inspired by the NAACP’s continued efforts to recognize artists and leaders striving for a positive impact on the world, and I am humbled to join the ranks of those who have been honored before me.”
Boone Isaacs, the first African-American prez of the Academy, heads CBI Enterprises, where she has consulted on marketing efforts on such films as “The King’s Speech,” “Precious,” “Spider-Man 2” and “Tupac: Resurrection.”
“I’m a longtime admirer of the NAACP Image Awards and the work they’ve done to promote diversity and inclusiveness in the entertainment industry, and I couldn’t be more proud to be inducted into the Hall of Fame,” Boone Isaacs said.