Oscars Massively Screwed Up With Rushed Segments, Terrible Programming, and Use of Chadwick Boseman’s Legacy
One of the biggest upsets last night at the 93rd Academy Awards was Chadwick Boseman not receiving a posthumous Oscar, and the Best Actor award going to Anthony Hopkins instead. Let the record show that I think Hopkins is a fantastic actor who delivered a fantastic performance in The Father. For me, that is not the issue. The issue is how the Academy used Chadwick’s imagine and structured the award ceremony in a way that anticipated a posthumous win that didn’t happen.
Usually, Best Picture is the award that ends the night, which makes sense because it is the big award of the evening. If that had happened, then it would have ended with Chloé Zhao, who became the first woman of color to win Best Director, celebrating another win—a superb high note, and it would have highlighted that we had two back-to-back Asian directed films winning Best Picture.
It wouldn’t have made things perfect, but it would have ended the night on a high note celebrating the many big Asian wins of the evening.
The next mess on the fire was that terrible “In Memoriam” reel that went by so quickly and didn’t give time to highlight any of the people featured, and had some glaring omissions like Naya Rivera, Jessica Walter, Adam Schlesinger, and Adolfo “Shabba-Doo” Quiñones. Considering we didn’t have hosts or any of the usual things, how could they not put together a cool, longer tribute?
2020 was a year where so many didn’t get to mourn properly, and if there was a place to publicly celebrate the loss talent of the past year and a half, it was at these Oscars. Come on.
Especially when one of the people audience tuned in to see celebrated was Chadwick Boseman.
But what they did do was put Chadwick Boseman NFT art (NFT= a non-fungible token) in the gift bags for everyone.
According to USA Today, the NFT itself will be auctioned off, with proceeds donated to The Colon Cancer Foundation, the same form of cancer Boseman battled.
“This rare special edition NFT is the very first offered as a tribute to the prolific actor, a unique piece of art which is limited to just 1 edition and will never be minted again,” said Isaac Rudansky, founder of AdVenture Media.
He went on to say that the NFT “commemorates Chadwick’s incredible legacy while supporting the nationwide initiative to bring 10,000 colorectal screenings to underserved communities in 2021 through CCF.”
That is a good thing, but the idea of the image of this late actor being given away as a gift bag token is just so … macabre.
Another big snub that hurt was Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution, the Netflix film about a 1970s summer camp for people with disabilities, losing Best Documentary—especially when Marlee Matlin presented that night. However, it did mark the first time a ramp was accessible at the Oscars.
Then, the final turn of the screw was the continued snubbing of a second Black actress finally winning Best Actress. Not to take anything against Frances McDormand, it is just a frustration with the industry itself seemingly being content to put BIPOC actors in supporting and allow them to win for that, but overwhelmingly keeping us out of the lead spots.
So yeah, it’s frustrating that the producers thought it would be a good idea to move the Best Actor category to the last slot of the night, making us get hype for Chadwick Boseman to win, and then it goes to Anthony Hopkins, who wasn’t even in attendance, nor even available by satellite, because he made the right choice and slept. That, however, forced the event to end suddenly and unceremoniously.
Los Angeles Times editor Matt Brennan said on Twitter, “That’s the worst TV ending since Game of Thrones.”
It was a mess all around, and so we ended the night with no tribute to Chadwick or any of the late actors we lost because of how this entire fiasco played out.
Once again, this isn’t about Anthony Hopkins or the quality of his performance. It is just the frustration at the Academy for doing this over and over again.
But I do want to include, down below, Hopkins’ speech that he made in the morning in Wales after a good night of sleep:
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“Good morning,” Hopkins said in his speech that was posted on Instagram in the morning. “Here I am in my homeland in Wales, and at 83 years of age, I did not expect to get this award. I really didn’t.”
“I want to pay tribute to Chadwick Boseman who was taken from us far too early,” Hopkins said. “I really did not expect this, so I feel very privileged and honored. Thank you.”
Despite everything, I am overwhelmingly happy for the Asian and Black winners last night. They do not deserve to have their night overshadowed by messy programming.
(image: Richard Harbaugh/A.M.P.A.S. via Getty Images)
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