Laverne Cox, Lena Waithe, and Angela Robinson speak out in support of Time's Up movement at the 49th Annual NAACP Image Awards

The 49th Annual NAACP Image Awards took place Monday night in Pasadena, California, honoring outstanding achievements and performances of people of color in the arts and LGBTQ representation was strong throughout the night.

Anthony Anderson hosted the ceremony, which for the first time ever took place on the evening of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Anderson deftly balanced the fine line between humor and the political issues of the day. His opening monologue included jokes about Confederate statues, Omarosa, Tyrese Gibson, and Donald Trump. Soon thereafter, Anderson won for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series for his role in "black-ish."

In a powerful moment immediately following the opening monologue, LGBTQ stars Laverne Cox, Lena Waithe, and Angela Robinson took the stage alongside Kerry Washington, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Jurnee Smollett-Bell to talk about the TIme's Up movement and introduce the Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture category, which was won by Octavia Spencer for her role in "Gifted."

"We are America's black women," said Washington, kicking off the array of short speeches. 

"An extension and embodiment of the legacy of the work the NAACP has done," said Waithe, who then added, "Time's up on the abuse of power."

"Stand by us, stand for us, stand with us," said Cox. 

"The midterms are a perfect moment to use our voices," said out lesbian Professor Marston and the Wonder Women writer and director Robinson, riling up the crowd.

"We can not sit this one out," Cox continued.

"If we can take back a Senate seat in Alabama...." added Robinson... "Then we have the ability to shift the balance of power," Smollett finished.

"Register to vote! Then vote! Get involved," added Waithe. 

LGBTQ television nominees for the evening included out actors Titus Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Jussie Smollett (Empire), and Samira Wiley (The Handmaid's Tale), all of whom received nominations for playing LGBTQ characters on their respective shows.

Nominated television shows with LGBTQ-inclusive content included Netflix’s Dear White People, Starz’s Survivor’s Remorse, OWN’s Queen Sugar, NBC’s This is Us, Disney Junior’s Doc McStuffins, and NBC’s Saturday Night Live.

Out writer/director Justin Simien was nominated for both Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series and Outstanding Directing for Dear White PeopleMaster of None’s Emmy Award-winning “Thanksgiving” episode received a nomination for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series, for an episode loosely based on the life of the episode's co-writer, Waithe. 

On the film side, lesbian filmmaker Dee Rees received nominations for Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture and Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture for the Netflix film Mudbound. Robinson's Professor Marston and The Wonder Women was nominated for Outstanding Independent Motion Picture. Queer actress Amandla Stenberg was nominated for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture for her lead role in Everything, Everything. Also, documentary Whose Streets? received a nomination for Outstanding Documentary (Film).

Individual winners for the night in television categories included Taraji P. Henson for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series ("Empire"), Ellis Ross for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series ("black-ish"), Omari Hardwick for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series ("Power"), and Jay Ellis for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series ("Insecure").

"black-ish" won for Outstanding Comedy Series. "Power" won for Outstanding Drama Series.

Winners in film categories included Tiffany Haddish for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture ("Girls Trip"), Daniel Kaluuya for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture ("Get Out"), and Idris Elba for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture ("Thor: Ragnorak").

"Girls Trip" won for Outstanding Motion Picture. 

Director Ava Duvernay, whose "A Wrinkle in Time" opens in March, won the prestigious Entertainer of the Year award, which was presented to her by Mary J. Blige. 

The In Memorial segment honored an array of amazing entertainers lost this past year, ranging from musicians Chuck Berry and Joni Sledge to actors Robert Guillame and Della Reese.

Danny Glover received the honorary President's Award, quoting James Baldwin in a stirring speech about the state of race in America. William Lucy received the Chairman's Award.

A particularly moving performance was delivered by Andra Day, who sang "Strange Fruit" before being joined on stage by Common for their duet "Stand Up For Something" from the film "Marshall."

Click here for a full list of the night's nominees and winners.