Entertainment heavies were out in force on Friday afternoon for the third annual Culture Creators Awards held at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills. Recognizing innovation and leadership of minorities in industries including film, television, music and fashion, the event honored Epic Records president Sylvia Rhone with the Icon Award, ESPN’s Jemele Hill with the Defiance Award and Kenya Barris, writer, producer and creator of “Black-ish,” among many others.
Emceed by “Extra” hosts A.J. Calloway and Tanika Ray, the gala doubled as a call to action to the black entertainment community, particularly as it relates to culture vultures looking to seize on opportunities to make a quick buck. The warning was a central theme of Rhone’s acceptance speech. “Our one common goal is to protect the culture,” the label veteran declared. “And now more than ever, since our culture has gotten so popular and those people who have never been a part of the culture but see that they can make a lot of money [on it], we have to watch very closely. There’s a feeding frenzy and [these] people are the buyers not the believers.”