Michael Ealy's fight for acting future: 'I want more say, and I think it's time'

theGRIO REPORT - Michael Ealy was honored by a Harlem-based youth organization and shared some of his own ambitions that he is currently working towards achieving.

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

Stars and supporters gathered at the Voices 10 gala Thursday in celebration of some of New York’s most ambitious and talented young minority men and women.

It was a night honoring the success of The Brotherhood/Sister Sol — a Harlem-based youth organization dedicated to uplifting and inspiring the next generation of leaders.

Among the night’s festivities were a series of spoken-word performances and highlights from students of the organization. Meanwhile, guests had the option of participating in a a silent auction where proceeds helped to fund some of the organization’s impressive programs.

“Voices is the biggest gala of the Bro/Sis fundraising plan,” the organization’s Executive Director Khary Lazarre-White told theGrio. “The idea is to raise a substantial amount of money for our programming in Harlem, which ranges from our international study programming in Africa and Latin America to after school care, rites of passage, environmental education and then also to spread awareness and bring new people into our circle of supporters.”

theGRIO: Lee Danies, Kathy Hughes and Michael Ealy to be honored at VOICES benefit gala

Each year, the gala also honors key visionaries who are celebrated for their philanthropic work and success in their respective fields. 

Among this year’s honorees were Oscar-nominated filmmaker Lee Daniels, founder and chairperson of Radio One, Inc., Cathy Hughes, and Golden-Globe-nominated actor Michael Ealy. Neither Daniels nor Hughes could make it to the event. 

Meanwhile, Ealy spoke to theGrio and shared some of this thoughts on the recognition he received.

“It’s a great honor, and in a lot of ways, it’s somewhat better than being recognized by your peers,” he said. “In my opinion, these people, they’re the ones that are making a real difference,” he said.

While the event commemorated talented youth, Ealy also reflected on his own thoughts growing up and admitted that he never anticipated earning Hollywood stardom.

“When I was 14, I wanted to be an architect,” he said. “I had no interest in acting whatsoever. This wasn’t even a realistic thing for me.”

He also shared some of his own ambitions that he is currently working towards achieving.

“I was just talking to one of the alums of Bro/Sis about how I’m starting to produce now for TV,” he said. “The goal is to try and bring talent back, to try and make projects and cast people who are going to school for this and understand the craft and who need development as opposed to just being overlooked by somebody who’s got more social media presence. I want more say, and I think it’s time.”

What do you think, Grio fam? Do you think Ealy would be as successful behind the scenes as he is in front of the camera? We want to hear your thoughts.

Follow Lilly Workneh on Twitter @Lilly_Works