Laurence Fishburne, ‘I May Destroy You’ Creator Michaela Coel Win NAACP Image Awards

Gina Prince-Bythewood, Radha Blank, Eugene Ashe and Misty Copeland also won prizes

Laurence Fishburne naacp
Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

Actor Laurence Fishburne and “I May Destroy You” creator Michael Coel have won NAACP Image Awards for 2021, the organization announced Tuesday.

The NAACP is rolling out its winners for the 52nd NAACP Image Awards this week, revealing a slate of winners across various categories each night leading up until the televised awards show on Saturday, March 27.

This first crop of winners was announced in a virtual experience that is airing each night this week through the NAACP Image Awards website, and Tuesday recognized the best writing and directing work by Black artists in television, motion pictures, and short form.

Laurence Fishburne won the “Outstanding Performance in a Short Form” award for his performance in “#FreeRayshawn,” and “I May Destroy You” creator Michael Coel won the Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series  award for episode #112 “Ego Death.”

Other winners include Gina Prince-Bythewood, who directed the Charlize Theron action movie for Netflix “The Old Guard.” Radha Blank, the writer, director and star of “The 40-Year Old Version,” which premiered at Sundance in 2020 and debuted on Netflix, Eugene Ashe’s “Sylvie’s Love” starring Tessa Thompson which also played Sundance in 2020 and debuted last year on Amazon, and ballet dancer Misty Copeland.

Other awards including for below the line categories in film, non-scripted TV and in music will be announced on subsequent nights. Check out the winners from Night 1 of the NAACP Virtual Experience below:

Check out the winners from Night 2 of the NAACP Virtual Experience below:

Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series      

Michaela Coel – “I May Destroy You” – Ep. 112 “Ego Death”

Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series         

Attica Locke – “Little Fires Everywhere” – Ep. 104 “The Spider Web”

Outstanding Writing in a Television Movie or Special        

Geri Cole – “The Power of We: A Sesame Street Special”

Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture      

Radha Blank – “The Forty-Year-Old Version

Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series   

Anya Adams – “black-ish” – Ep. 611 “Hair Day”

Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series      

Hanelle Culpepper – “Star Trek: Picard” – Ep. 101 “Remembrance”

Outstanding Directing in a Television Movie or Special      

Eugene Ashe – “Sylvie’s Love”

Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture   

Gina Prince-Bythewood – “The Old Guard”

Outstanding Short Form Series – Comedy or Drama           


Outstanding Performance in a Short Form  

Laurence Fishburne – “#FreeRayshawn”

Outstanding Short Form Series – Reality/Nonfiction           

“Between The Scenes” – The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

Outstanding Short-Film (Live Action) 

“Black Boy Joy”

Outstanding Short-Film (Animated) 


Special Award – Spingarn Medal

Misty Copeland


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