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Russell Simmons’ All Def Digital to Host First Awards Show

All Def Digital (ADD), a multi-platform hip-hop and youth culture brand, will hold its first ever All Def Digital Awards.

The new media network — which was created by hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons — will hold its inaugural event Feb. 24 at Hollywood’s Chinese Theatre. Tony Rock, the actor-comedian brother of 2016 Oscars host Chris Rock, will host the show.

“Beasts of No Nation,” “Chi-Raq,” “Creed,” “Dope” and “Straight Outta Compton” are among the All Def Digital Awards nominees for best picture, which members of the public can vote for online through midnight on Feb. 23. The winner of the most quoted movie category will also be determined by online votes. Remaining categories include best actor, best actress and best director as well as non-traditional categories like best bad muh f–ka, best helpful white person and best black survivor in a movie.

The awards ceremony will feature a black carpet, a special music performance and an ongoing stream of video content on all of ADD’s social media channels before, during and after the event.

“I don’t expect a 90-year-old Academy member to see ‘Straight Outta Compton’ or vote for it,” said Simmons, who founded ADD in 2013. “I’m more concerned that in 2016 there continues to be a stunning lack of diversity in the studios, in the green light process, in the decisions of what films and television series get made, and what actors get chosen. This needs to be addressed institutionally. The All Def Movie Awards are not the Black Oscars, but they could be. This will be a fun, entertaining and hopefully thought provoking celebration of the uncelebrated.”

The inaugural All Def Digital Awards will be held just four days before the 2016 Oscars ceremony, which has been enveloped by an ongoing controversy in the weeks following the Academy’s announcement of 2016’s non-diverse nominees.  The lack of diversity has prompted some industry figures to participate in a boycott of the prestigious entertainment event, while others like Lupita Nyong’o are using the situation as motivation to expand the types of stories depicted in Hollywood productions.

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