As Hollywood continues the debate about its diversity issues, in front of and behind the camera, on Friday many looked to the NAACP's
With this in mind, celebrities on the event's red carpet weighed in on the importance of having an awards show that celebrates diversity along with artistry and achievement.
Below, check out some of their thoughts on why the NAACP Image awards matter:
David Alan Grier, "The Carmichael Show"
"The NAACP's importance as a political and cultural institution cannot be understated. [Especially] at this time, at a point when I thought we've advanced, but it feels like two steps forward and three steps back. A lot of things have changed, but a lot of things haven't. But tonight, we can celebrate our own and rejoice."
Adrienne C. Moore, "Orange is the New Black"
"Because the NAACP is diversity. A lot of time people think NAACP and automatically think black people. But the correct title is Assn. of Colored People -- that's any diverse human being who understands living in society as a minority."
"It's important because everyone's art deserves to be recognized. As much as we do it for the love of it, and not for the attention, it's nice to be told 'you did a really good job.'"
Erica Ash, "Survivor's Remorse"
"For a very long time, blacks were portrayed very homogeneously. When you have an event like this where so many black people come together from so many different walks of life and different kinds of shows, you get to see how much diversity there is in this one race. It's important for people to see that."
Lena Waithe, "Master of None"
"I disagree with Stacey Dash. I think it's important that we celebrate each other. I think it's important that we shine a light on our achievements because we helped make this industry what it is. So, I don't think it's cool to be ignored."
Kimberly Elise, "Hit the Floor"
"It's nice to know someone is thinking of those who aren't always thought of. We're celebrating and honoring the work that everyone does. It's also an opportunity for us to gather as a community and celebrate each other."
Sheryl Lee Ralph, "Moesha"
"Never has being shut out of an award show done so much for an award show like the NAACP Image Awards, which was created so that no one was left out. And here you have a frenzy on the black red carpet! Look at God, or should I say Goddess because she must be a woman."