LOS ANGELES (AP) – Oscar winners Forest Whitaker and Jennifer Hudson kept their winning streaks alive, while “Grey’s Anatomy” star Isaiah Washington claimed a best actor prize at the 38th annual NAACP Image Awards Friday.

Hudson, a former “American Idol” finalist, received a best supporting actress award for her role in the musical “Dreamgirls,” the same category she won at the Academy Awards on Sunday.

“There is nothing like being recognized and honored by your own,” said Hudson.

Forest Whitaker, who won a best actor Oscar for “The Last King of Scotland,” earned the same prize at Friday’s ceremony, which honor projects and individuals who promote diversity in the arts.

Isaiah Washington, who has been sharply criticized for uttering a gay slur on the set of his hit show, scored best actor for a drama series.

“I’m humbled and honored to be recognized by the NAACP,” said Washington, who announced earlier this year he would seek help after receiving a torrent of negative publicity for his comments.

“The Pursuit of Happyness,” starring Will Smith and his son, won best picture honors. Keke Palmer nabbed best actress for “Akeelah and the Bee,” and Djimon Hounsou took best supporting actor for “Blood Diamond.”

“This film means a lot to me for the simple reason that I’m from Africa,” said Hounsou to loud applause.

Television show “That’s So Raven” took two awards for best children’s program and performance.

Vanessa Williams got the nod for best supporting actress in a comedy for “Ugly Betty,” which also won for best television comedy series.

“We knew theme would connect with the American people, who wanted to see fresh faces they can connect with on television,” said Ferrero.

Chandra Wilson won best supporting actress in a drama series for “Grey’s Anatomy.” She said she wished her deceased father could have been with her, as Friday would have been his birthday.

“His little daughter is real happy to be standing here,” she said.

CNN’s Soledad O’Brien was given the honorary President’s Award for her work as a journalist. Honorary recognition also included Bill Cosby’s induction into the NAACP Image Awards Hall of Fame and the Chairman’s Award to Bono.

To repeated standing ovations, Bono talked about the need to eradicate poverty in the world.

“Today the world looks again to the NAACP,” said Bono. “We need the community that taught world about civil rights to teach it about human rights.”



On the Net:

http://www.naacpimageawards.net/imageawards38.html

AP-ES-03-02-07 2242EST


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