No Image Problem for Denzel Washington

updated 03/10/2003 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/10/2003 01:15PM

Last year's Oscar winner Denzel Washington and his "Antwone Fisher" may have been overlooked by this year's Oscar voters, but the actor-director and his movie swept the 34th annual NAACP Image Awards on Saturday, reports Reuters.

Washington, 48, calling his haul of three awards "an embarrassment of riches," won best actor for playing a desperate father in "John Q" and best supporting actor for his role as a Navy psychiatrist in "Antwone Fisher" -- which was named best picture. (Washington not only directed the film but also produced it.)

Not that the Image Awards didn't do their own bit of snubbing. The top nominee, "Brown Sugar," which received eight nominations, was completely shut out of the winner's circle, as was the controversial comedy "Barbershop," which had received six.

"Brown Sugar," starring Taye Diggs, Sanaa Lathan and Mos Def, was described by critics as an African-American "When Harry Met Sally," about a magazine editor and a hip-hop record executive.

"Barbershop" caused headlines and an outcry among activists for taking satiric pokes at civil-rights icons Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks.

According to Reuters, Parks, now 89, announced the day before the taping of the Image Awards -- which will air March 13 on FOX -- that she would not attend the ceremony as a protest to the dialogue about her famous bus ride delivered in the film by Cedric "The Entertainer," who served as Saturday's master of ceremonies.

Another big winner was Halle Berry, 36, who picked up a best supporting actress award for her role as sexy secret agent Jinx in the James Bond thriller, "Die Another Day."

"With a movie like 'Bond,' I never thought I could win an award," Berry said. "But I did it (for) black women so people could see past our color and see the women that we are."

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