Black Twitter outraged over Chadwick Boseman, Viola Davis Oscar snubs
The late Chadwick Boseman was heavily favored to be the first Black actor to posthumously win Sunday night’s last Academy Award for his stellar final performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
However, film fans on social media were stunned and disappointed Sunday night when Boseman lost the Best Actor Oscar to screen legend Sir Anthony Hopkins.
The ever-acclaimed Hopkins, 83, played an elder stricken by Alzheimer’s disease in The Father, a drama that follows the man’s harrowing descent as the ailment decimates his life.
The trophy was presented by Joker star Joaquin Phoenix, 2020’s Best Actor Academy Award winner, who announced Hopkins’ win, that he was not in attendance and that the Academy would be accepting it on his behalf.
The immediate disappointment expressed on social media was summed up, in part, by LaToya Morgan, a television writer, who tweeted: “For those keeping score, people aren’t mad that Chadwick lost. It’s the way it played out.”
“The build up… the let down,” Morgan added. “Chaos achievement: unlocked.”
New York Times contributor Kyle Buchanan echoed her sentiments. “They build the entire show around a Chadwick Boseman ending,” he tweeted, “and then Anthony Hopkins won and didn’t show up.”
Another Twitter user opined, “A dying man gives the performance of a lifetime… The last performance of his lifetime… Leaves it all up there… and you don’t give him the trophy?!”
In a short speech of gratitude shared this morning on Instagram from his home in the English countryside, Hopkins had his say: “I want to pay tribute to Chadwick Boseman, who was taken from us far too early.”
Boseman’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom co-star, four-time Academy Award nominee Viola Davis, was also snubbed Sunday night. The Best Actress Oscar instead went to Frances McDormand for Nomadland.
On Twitter, MSNBC’s Joy Reid wrote, “Disappointing ending to what otherwise was an inspiring #Oscars – Chadwick Boseman, Viola Davis and Andra Day were obvious candidates for the win.”
Davis was dressed in a stunning white gown by Alexander McQueen. A clip of her and husband Julius Tennon on the red carpet pretending to take a shot is going viral, with Blk Girl Culture writing, “One thing about Viola Davis is that she’s going to outact your fave from the carpet to the screen.”
Still, the disappointment of the night’s losses recall common themes of #OscarsSoWhite and calls for Black Americans to recognize themselves, which we do.
Journalist Ernest Owens summed it up best, maintaining “Viola Davis could have been second Black woman to ever win the Oscar for Best Actress, could have been the most awarded Black actress in Oscars history! She could have been the first Black woman to ever win a Best Leading Actress Tony, Oscar, and Emmy…but whiteness.”