Large groups of fashionable fans and VIPS gathered at the Television Academy on Monday, October 16, to celebrate TV titan, Marla Gibbs. As a part of their ten-year anniversary, Hollywood Confidential hosted an evening of joy, inspiration, and Black excellence, while creating space for gratitude and open dialogue about the highlights and challenges of breaking into the industry.
Partnering with META, panelists Michelle Mitchell of We the Culture, social media influencer Lala Milan, content creator Amber Whittington, and beloved actress Tabitha Brown, joined producer, creator, and founder of Hollywood Confidential Steve Jones, to discuss their experiences as some of the new faces of entertainment. Special guests Tichina Arnold, Tisha Campbell, and Tiffany Haddish graced the stage to share their appreciation for Gibbs as Jones guided the audience through her extraordinary catalogue.
Over the past decade Hollywood Confidential has been instrumental in spotlighting the transformative contributions of trailblazers who leave generational influence and undeniable impact. This honor for Gibbs is no different. As the first African American woman to executive produce her own show, 227, she is the blueprint for many Black actors and actresses, and comedians.
As an eight-time NAACP Image Award Winner, five-time Emmy-nominated actress, and recording artist, Marla Gibbs is celebrated for her groundbreaking roles, various contributions to television, and comedic influence. Her talent has transcended generations and has also been well awarded in her community.
The Chicago native opened the Los Angeles supper club, Marla’s Memory Lane in the Crenshaw District, and hired local and international jazz artist to help preserve the culture, co-founded the Crossroads Theatre and Acting School with her daughter, received her Hollywood Star on the Walk of Fame in 2021, and is a member of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.
After the panelist left the stage, during his opening speech Steve Jones said, “service breeds purpose”, offering a prolific idea that without each other we could not achieve our birthright. Gibbs has placed herself in a position to help others as a pioneer in the craft.
Before appearing on stage with the guest of honor, Jones curated an exceptional skit from The Jefferson’s, with actors from their Hollywood Confidential workshop, engaging the audience in the greatness that is Marla Gibbs. Her comedic genius and wittiness are still present from her past work, to her current 125+ roles and 70+ special appearances.
When asked about her legacy, Gibbs shared, “I gave love and received love. I never gave up.” With over 50 years under her belt, Gibbs’ universal appeal, versatility, and tremendous success, she is solidified as a premier entertainer. Her next venture includes a book entitled “It’s Never Too Late,” and will explore her life story and will be released next year in 2024.