7:00am PT by Chris Gardner
Andy Samberg's 'Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping' Wins Best Picture at Russell Simmons' All Def Movie Awards
Russell Simmons' second annual All Def Movie Awards — an event created in the wake of last year's #OscarSoWhite controversy in an effort to showcase diversity in the industry — has honored the Andy Samberg starrer Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping with its top award, the best picture prize.
The ceremony, which took place at the Belasco Theatre in downtown Los Angeles on Feb. 22, aired Sunday night on Fusion courtesy of a deal with Simmons' All Def Digital, and that means the telecast is in direct competition with the Oscar telecast over on ABC. However, with categories like Most Out of Place White Person and Bad Ass Boss Chick, there's likely not a lot of overlap between the two shows.
Speaking of white people, the category featured nominees including Matt Damon for The Great Wall, Tom Cruise for The Last Samurai (a film that came out in 2003) Tilda Swinton for Dr. Strange, the cast of Aloha and the cast of Gods of Egypt. The winner? All of the above. Keanu, the kitten-napping comedy written by Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, proved to be a big winner, taking home three awards including one for actor Luis Guzman in the category of Best Latino Not in a Service Industry Role.
After the night's final award for best picture was handed out, Simmons caught up with The Hollywood Reporter to explain why he created his event, adding that it's for those who aren't invited to the other big party on Feb. 26. "I have a lot of friends who don't go to a lot of awards shows and don't get honored and don't get recognized," explained Simmons, who added that despite being a bit critical, overall he thought the second annual installment of his show was "pretty good." "It's not meant to be that serious; it's highlighting social and political problems within our industry and that's OK. … But it's a fun, exciting thing to do."
The guests in the room seemed to be having fun. Attendees include LL Cool J, Snoop Dogg, will.i.am, Blac Chyna, and Tommy Davidson while Ice Cube and Amber Rose, both winners at the inaugural event in 2016, returned to the stage and accepted the lifetime achievement award and the Vanguard Award, respectively. Rose even dropped a bit of breaking news in her acceptance speech by revealing that she, a former stripper who called her dancing experience "the best time in my life," had just purchased iconic L.A. strip club Ace of Diamonds, not a typical revelation one would hear at the Oscars. The sale should inspire other strippers, she noted, adding, "Y'all can one day be on stage with Russell Simmons receiving an award." (Though TMZ would report that the club immediately sued her for slander, claiming she doesn't own the venue.)
Sale or no sale, that's not what got her to the stage: Rose picked up the honors for her annual Slut Walk, an event "for every woman in here who has ever been called a ho, a slut, for things they have done — or maybe things they haven't — just because they're beautiful and people are intimidated by them, and for people who have been sexually assaulted, victimized or raped. I've been sexually assaulted walking through a club to get to my table."
Speaking of tables, Simmons' All Def Movie Awards might hold the distinction of being the only Hollywood awards show with bottle service for each individual table. Served inside the Belasco — complete with mixers including soda water and orange juice — was Santoyo Grand Leyenda Organic Tequila, which retails for $49 per bottle. When THR inquired about the bottle service to one table inside the Belasco Theatre, one female reveler shot back, "That's organic tequila, bitch!"
Simmons took a different tone in laying out his mission for future iterations of his ADMAs, already set to air on Fusion under a five-year deal with his All Def Digital. "Sometimes you have to say something, not in an angry way, just pointing out what you know is true. If you are going to be born into an unequal society and you're going to die unequal, you should say something while you're alive. Say it in a compassionate way, from the heart and from a place of love, but you have to say it," Simmons explained, adding that he would like to see more participation from the industry next year. "Not everybody has to, but I have to."
A complete list of the winners includes:
Best Bad Muh F---a Award
Winner: Donnie Yen
Bad Ass Boss Chick
Winner: Tiffany Haddish for Keanu
Best Smash in a Motion Picture
Winner: Mike Epps and Queen Latifah for Bessie
Best Superhero Token Sidekick
Winner: Leslie Uggams for Deadpool
Lifetime Achievement Award
Winner: Ice Cube
Winner: India Love
Winner: Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (Directed by Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone)
Best Comedy Without Madea or Kevin Hart
Movies You Wish You Could Unsee
Winner: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Best Squadd Award in a Motion Picture
Winner: Barbershop: The Next Cut
Best Latino Not in a Service Industry Role
Winner: Luis Guzman for Keanu
Best Performance by an Asian Not Asked to Use an Accent
Winner: Jimmy O. Yang for Patriots Day
Winner: Amber Rose