Chadwick Boseman Snubbed? Plus More Shocks at the Academy Awards

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Image via Yahoo News Canada

Ryan Gorneault, Entertainment Editor

The 93rd Academy Awards were awarded on April 25th, 2021, during a subdued ceremony, only being brought to life thanks to surprise wins, sexual speeches, and a silly song-guessing game. The main controversy of the evening came with the reveal that Anthony Hopkins won the award for Best Performance in a Leading Role for his movie “The Father” rather than posthumous nominee Chadwick Boseman for his movie “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”

The Academy came under fire from fans who believed they capitalized on Boseman’s death for viewership. Usually, an Academy Award ceremony ends with presenting the Best Motion Picture of the Year award. However, the plan for this year was to end the show with the Best Performance in a Leading Role award; viewers of the ceremony were sure that this break in tradition was supposed to mean that Boseman would win the award. So, when Boseman lost to Hopkins, fans were upset, viewing this change in ceremonial tradition as a publicity stunt to gain more viewers. This stunt seemed not to have worked, though; this year’s Academy Awards ceremony was the least viewed in history, with only 10.4 million people watching.

The big winner of the night was the movie “Nomadland,” which gained three wins. Meanwhile, the movie “Mank,” a fictionalized account of Herman J. Mankiewicz’s development of his screenplay for 1941’s “Citizen Kane,” was nominated ten times. On top of that, Chloé Zhao made history by becoming the first woman of color (and second woman overall) to win the Best Director Award.

Outside of that, it seemed as if this year, award recipients put in extra effort to make their speeches funny. Daniel Kaluuya, winner of the Best Supporting Actor award for “Judas and the Black Messiah,” exclaimed during his speech, “You got to celebrate life, man! We’re breathing, walking, it’s incredible. It’s incredible. Like, it’s incredible. My mom met dad, they had sex. It’s amazing.” Meanwhile, Yuh-Jung Youn, winner of the Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role award, joked around that Brad Pitt could not pronounce her name and that as the executive producer for her movie “Minari,” he should have been on set more often.

Towards the tail-end of the ceremony, pre-show host and comedian Lil Rel Howery and The Roots drummer Questlove, who acted as the ceremony’s DJ, challenged the nominees to a game of “guess that song.” The most surprising moment of the game came when actress Glenn Close was successfully able to name the song “Da’ Butt” by E.U., which came from the soundtrack of Spike Lee’s movie “School Daze.” The audience’s collective shock that she guessed the song correctly did not stop her from getting out of her seat to twerk to the song in one of the funniest moments of the night.

Overall, the night was a memorable one, and no matter whether people thought the winners were deserving of their awards or not, the ceremony will be remembered regardless.