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All Def Movie Awards: ‘I Don’t Have Anything Against’ the Oscars, Russell Simmons Says

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The All Def Movie Awards returned to Los Angeles on Wednesday night to honor films and actors, with the goal of recognizing entertainers who are often overlooked by other award shows. The production, hosted by the digital programming platform All Def Digital and television network Fusion, kicked off at the Belasco Theatre in downtown L.A., just days before the Oscars.

“It’s just about celebrating diversity in general,” mused All Def Digital founder Russell Simmons. “It’s a funny take on an issue that we are all working on, which is to be inclusive and to see each other as the same.”

And a funny take it was. The ceremony, which launched last year following the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, was definitely not your typical production. From Snoop Dogg smoking inches away from the main stage to host Mike Epps discussing being arrested four days prior to the live show’s taping, the evening was marked by unconventionality.

The award categories further attest to the event’s quirkiness: best bad muh f—a, bad a– boss chick, superhero, token sidekick, and smash in a motion picture were some of the titles up for grabs. One of its more traditional prizes, the lifetime achievement award, was given to “Straight Outta Compton” producer Ice Cube.

While the telecast is set to air alongside the Academy Awards (again) on Sunday, Simmons set the record straight regarding his take on the Oscars.

“It’s not that people are bad or racist or anything like that, but it’s that people aren’t sensing it,” he said. “I don’t have anything against the Academy Awards, not at all. My judgment of them is not a dislike of the individuals, but it’s the infrastructure that they’re working on that needs change. They are aware of the change that needs to be done and they have to be insightful. We need everybody together making these choices because then we reflect America.”

The second annual All Def Movie Awards airs Feb. 26 on Fusion.

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