At age 83, Anthony Hopkins became the oldest actor ever to win a “Best Actor” Oscar at the 93rd Academy Awards on Sunday night. But some movie fans are incensed that the statuette wasn’t awarded to the late Chadwick Boseman.
Hopkins received the award for his portrayal of an elderly man who’s struggling with dementia in The Father. Boseman, the Black Panther star who succumbed to colon cancer in 2020 at age 43, was a favorite to win “Best Actor” for his co-starring role as trumpeter Levee Green in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
“Good morning. Here I am in my homeland of Wales — and at 83-years-of-age I did not expect to get this award,” Hopkins said in a video posted to Instagram. “I really didn’t. I am grateful to the Academy, and thank you.”
Hopkins, who was apparently aware of the uproar over Boseman’s perceived snubbing, added, “I want to pay tribute to Chadwick Boseman, who was taken from us far too early. And again, thank you all very much. I really did not expect this, so I feel very privileged and honored. Thank you.”
“The way the #Oscars had so much diversity progress only to then end on an old white man winning the last award and his not being there to accept it oop,” filmmaker William Yu tweeted dismissively, per the New York Post.
“They build the entire show around a Chadwick Boseman ending and then Anthony Hopkins won and didn’t show up,” added New York Times pop culture reporter Kyle Buchanan.
Other major stars celebrated Hopkins’ record-setting win in the replies to his video.
“Holy wow!” Alec Baldwin said, while Kate Beckinsale and Catherine Zeta Jones offered “congratulations.” Hugh Jackman praised his “gorgeous performance!”
However, Boseman was honored by the Academy in a very 2021 way: According to BroBible, 3D animator Andre O’Shea created a non-fungible token (NFT) featuring Boseman’s head included inside the nominees’ gift bags.
“They rushed the ‘in memoriam’ section to get to Chadwick’s face last…and then at the end of the night everyone gets an NFT of Chadwick’s head? This all feels wrong,” one Twitter user wrote.
Another said, “Creating a Chadwick Boseman NFT and not even giving him an posthumous Oscar is the best example of everything wrong today.”