Oprah Winfrey and legendary actor James Earl Jones have received many accolades throughout the course of their storied careers. But now the two will receive an award that has eluded them for so many years; an honorary Oscar.
According to The New York Times, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Tuesday, Aug. 2, they would present Winfrey, who’s well-known for her charitable efforts, with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award and Jones, as well as makeup artist Dick Smith, with honorary Oscars for lifetime achievement this year.
Winfrey, who was cited for her charitable Oprah Winfrey Foundation as well as other humanitarian ventures, was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in 1985 for her role in the iconic film, The Color Purple.
Jones, who rose to fame with his notable theater and television work and landmark roles in the The Lion King and the original Stars Wars trilogy, was nominated for Best Actor in 1971 for his role in The Great White Hope.
This will mark the second time this year that Winfrey has received an honorary award for her humanitarian efforts. In June, the University of the Free State in South Africa awarded her an honorary doctorate degree in education.
But this time, critics, presumably some that have jumped ship from the O bandwagon for unspecified reasons, are unhappy with the choice.
According to reports: “Blogs have been abuzz with criticism over the selection of Winfrey for the award since the announcement was made late Tuesday. In an article published Wednesday, Los Angeles Times columnist Patrick Goldstein calls the academy decision ‘a boneheaded move.'”
“‘Winfrey has done good work in the world, but that’s not enough to merit an Oscar,” he writes, and plenty of anonymous Internet posters on Wednesday agree.'”
Nevertheless, Winfrey, Jones and Smith will receive their awards on Nov. 12 at the third annual Governor’s Awards banquet at the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center in Los Angeles. –nicholas robinson