The Internet Can’t Get Over Chadwick Boseman Not Winning at the Oscars
"Robbed," "Snubbed," "Used"…they all apply to the situation.
When the 2021 Academy Awards were wrapping up on April 25th and the Best Actor category finally arrived, most people—including the actors nominated—were ready to hear Chadwick Boseman’s name read as the winner. Boseman, who was posthumously nominated for his role in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, was projected to win Best Actor by both fans and seemingly those in charge of producing the Oscars—the Best Actor category was pushed to the very end, the time slot usually saved for Best Picture, in order to build suspense for a warranted payoff for Boseman’s loved ones. But, instead, Anthony Hopkins won for his role in The Father, and the internet isn’t pleased.
Hopkins, who filmed an acceptance speech from his home in Wales, was just as surprised to have won this award as everyone else. “At 83 years of age, I did not expect to get this award,” Hopkins said in his video. “I really didn’t. I’m very grateful to the Academy, and thank you.”
He then gave credit where he saw credit was due: “I want to pay tribute to Chadwick Boseman, who was taken from us far too early,” Hopkins added. “I really did not expect this. So I feel very privileged and honored.”
This year was a historic year in regards to who nominated for Best Actor in terms of diversity. Hopkins and fellow actor Gary Oldman were the only two white men nominated. Steven Yeun (Minari) is the first Asian-American to be recognized in the category, and Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal) is the first Muslim to receive a Best Actor nomination.
Hopkins, of course, has nothing to do with the Academy going rogue and handing Best Actor to yet another white man when the category was so flush with fresh and diverse talent. Nor is he responsible for what the Internet sees as a massive snub for Boseman…who was simply supposed to win.
Boseman posthumously won Golden Globe, Critics’ Choice, and Screen Actors Guild awards for his work in Ma Rainey, which are wins that usually predict an Oscar win as history shows us. But, that didn’t happen.
Boseman’s image was also used to create a piece of digital art by Andre Oshea, redeemable via NFT (non-fungible token), which was included in the gift bags Oscar nominees received last night. The NFT will reportedly be auctioned off later this week, with proceeds going to The Colon Cancer Foundation, which aids patients going through the same diagnosis Boseman lost his life to.
But to many, the situation reads like the Academy used Boseman and then didn’t give him the credit he deserved.
Simply put, the snub is not sitting well with the masses, and in a year where the Academy was seemingly turning over a new leaf with the lineup of diverse talent nominated, most are disappointed with the apparent bait and switch.
So, yes, the Academy made an effort in the nomination process. But they were ultimately up to their same old tricks in the end, and once again, a bad taste lingers in the mouths of those who gave the Academy yet another chance at redemption.