'Debaters' scores eight Image nods

Times Staff Writer

Denzel Washington was a force to be reckoned with at the 39th annual NAACP Image Awards nominations announced Tuesday. His civil rights drama "The Great Debaters" scored eight nominations, including best film, director and actor for Washington.

The film was also nominated for actress for Jurnee Smollett, supporting actor for Denzel Whitaker, Forest Whitaker and Nate Parker, and writing for Robert Eisele.

Other films vying for the Image Award in the motion picture category are "American Gangster," "I Am Legend," "Talk to Me" and "Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married?"

On the television side, "30 Rock," "Everybody Hates Chris," "Girlfriends," "Tyler Perry's House of Payne" and "Ugly Betty" earned nominations for comedy series. "Grey's Anatomy," "House," "K-Ville," "Lincoln Heights" and "The Unit" are vying for drama series. Contending for outstanding television movie, miniseries or dramatic series are "The Bronx Is Burning," "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee," "Five Days," "Life Support" and "The List."

The NAACP Image Awards honor projects and individuals that promote diversity in arts, television, recording, literature and motion picture.

Stevie Wonder will also be inducted into the NAACP Image Awards Hall of Fame during the Feb. 14 telecast of the show on Fox.

The NAACP has requested a waiver from the striking Writers Guild of America so it can proceed without picket lines. The guild has targeted awards shows televised by the struck media conglomerates with whom the guild is negotiating.



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