On Monday (Oct 16, 2023), Hollywood Confidential celebrated a decade of Black Excellence at the Television Academy and paid tribute to the legendary Marla Gibbs. The event began with a panel discussion featuring Michelle Mitchell, the visionary behind We The Culture (META), along with influencers Lala Milan and Amber Whittington. They emphasized Mitchell’s role in empowering Black creators to produce quality, monetizable content.
Tabitha Brown graced the stage to honor Steve Jones, the visionary behind the event, for his dedicated service over the past 10 years. Their exchange was heartfelt, highlighting the profound growth witnessed not only in each other but in the platform as a whole. Jones shared cherished memories, with Angela Bassett hailing Hollywood Confidential as one of her most cherished events. He also thanked Tabitha Brown for her genuine support and acknowledged the significant influence of Issa Rae on the trajectory of Hollywood Confidential.
Marla Gibbs, the guest of honor, discussed her multifaceted talents, including singing the ‘227’ theme song and her groundbreaking role as an executive producer.
Tichina Arnold and Tisha Campbell credited Gibbs for her pioneering influence. Tisha Campbell revealed a personal anecdote, saying, “Here’s a little-known fact! Tichina and I both went out for the role of Brenda Jenkins on 227, and we lost the role to Regina! I was so heartbroken that I told my mom I wanted to quit the industry—because it was my lifelong dream to work with Marla. I’m so happy that years later, we got to have her on the Martin show and pay homage to the legendary Marla Gibbs.”
Tichina Arnold added, “The show Martin wouldn’t be what it was if it wasn’t for The Jeffersons! Martin and Pam were patterned after George Jefferson and Florence!”
Actress and comedian Tiffany Haddish praised Gibbs for her comedic brilliance, saying, “I grew up watching 227, and I used to try to do my hair like Brenda (Regina King)! I studied your style of comedy for years. You showed me that I could become MORE! I’ve patterned my company (She ready) after you!”
The evening concluded with a performance by Amber Riley and Marla Gibbs, singing the iconic ‘227’ theme song. Marla Gibbs shared an insightful message about unity, love, and forgiveness, saying, “We’re all one. And we all need one another. There’s too much division in our world, and especially in our communities. We have to come together. We have to love one another. And we have to learn to forgive as well.”
The event celebrated the enduring legacy of Marla Gibbs and the excellence of Black actresses, with attendees including both established and rising stars in Hollywood. The Television Academy provided a fitting backdrop for this celebration of Black Excellence.