Chadwick Boseman fans shed another tear Sunday at the 2021 Oscars after he was snubbed from receiving the Best Actor award for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”
Anthony Hopkins won the prestigious award for his role in the drama “The Father.” However, the 83-year-old actor was unable to attend the ceremony itself despite winning the honor, over Boseman, who passed away from cancer at 43 in August.
Many fans took to Twitter to express their anger and sadness over the “Black Panther” star’s shocking loss.
One fan tweeted, “Chadwick Boseman didn’t win the award for the best actor in a leading role even though he gave one of the best performances last year… #Oscars.
“Chadwick boseman DESERVED the best actor award. his performance as levee in ma rainey’s is the epitome of what an actor should be im so upset wtf,” wrote another user.
One fan chimed in, “You’re telling me they ended the show with best actor that should’ve gone to Chadwick and they gave it to Anthony Hopkins WHO WASNT EVEN THERE?!?!?”
“Are you serious #Oscars ? You had one thing to do this year, which was to honor Chadwick Boseman with Best Actor. The only sure thing this year, and you gave his Best Actor trophy to Anthony Hopkins for a movie NO ONE saw.. and Hopkins didn’t even show up?! Ridiculous #Oscars2021,” tweeted one fan alongside a gif of Meryl Streep clapping.
“Ma Rainey” wrapped filming a year before Boseman died after a brave battle with colon cancer in August 2020. The film debuted on Netflix in December.
Boseman’s legacy was celebrated in a Netflix documentary short, “Chadwick Boseman: Portrait of an Artist,” which premiered April 17 and featured his “Ma Rainey” co-star Viola Davis.
“We were just watching a great artist absolutely give himself over to a role, which is what you do,” Davis told “60 Minutes.” “You give yourself. You sacrifice yourself.”
Boseman had all but swept the awards season for his incredible portrayal of hot-headed musician Levee, scoring multiple top honors. His wife, Taylor Simone Ledward, has been there throughout the awards season to represent the talented actor, accepting his trophies and delivering powerful speeches, beginning with the Actor Tribute prize at the Gotham Awards in January.
And, despite being remote, there wasn’t a dry eye during her emotional speech at the Golden Globes in February.
“He would thank God. He would thank his parents. He would thank his ancestors for their guidance and their sacrifices,” Ledward said through tears. “He would say something beautiful, something inspiring. Something that would amplify that little voice inside of all of us that tells you you can. That tells you to keep going. That calls you back to what you are meant to be doing at this moment in history.”
During the NAACP Image Awards, Ledward issued a heartbreaking plea for colon cancer screenings and awareness about the disease.
“Black people in this country are 20% more likely to be diagnosed with colon cancer and 40% more likely to die from it. The age for routine screening has recently been lowered to 45 so if you are 45 years of age or older, please get screened. Don’t put it off any longer, please get screened,” she said.
“It is so hard to find a celebratory feeling in these moments, as proud as we are of him,” Ledward said during the Critics Choice Awards in March. “Yes, for his work but even more just for who he is as a person. His work deserves this, his work in this film deserves this, he deserves this.”
Earlier this month at the SAG awards, Ledward began by thanking God, but finished with a quote from Boseman himself.
“If you see the world unbalanced, be a crusader that pushes heavily on the see-saw of the mind,” she said, adding, “That’s a quote by Chadwick Boseman.”
The “Black Panther” star also set the record for most SAG film nominations in a single year for one person, scoring two nods for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and two for his role in “Da 5 Bloods.”
His final role also meant something very special to him. The movie is based on a play of the same name by August Wilson, whom Boseman admired and wrote about years before his tragic death. Wilson died in 2005.
“The blood spilled by Wilson’s quill made living words that have the power to inhabit the devoted actor and light a spark inside his breast so that inhalations taken for their utterance make the soul of the character blaze up and take shape in the actor’s body and face when he/she exhales them in speech,” he wrote, in a 2013 column for the Los Angeles Times. “Wilson mastered the ability of consistently reaching such hypnotic incantations in his writing that, in my opinion, no other playwright rivals him, including Shakespeare. Wilson’s text has outlined a passion, a ceremony of sorts, in which the actor, if he digs deep enough to make a connection, can move the audience to a catharsis.”