This year’s Academy Awards ceremony was already going to be one of the strangest ever before a single winner was announced thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic, but the show itself has been coming in for severe criticism after it appeared as though the entire telecast had been built around Chadwick Boseman being named Best Actor, only for Anthony Hopkins to win instead.
Best Picture is usually the last trophy of the night, but the Oscars decided to change it up this year and have the Best Actress and Best Actor victors named last. Naturally, this led many folks to believe that Boseman’s coronation was inevitable, something that the producers no doubt fully expected to happen as well, only for Hopkins’ devastating turn in The Father to win out over the late Black Panther star’s performance as Levee in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
What made it worse was that Hopkins wasn’t even there in person or virtually, and had to deliver his acceptance speech the following day, where he paid tribute to Boseman. The Oscars ended on a controversial whimper rather than the triumphant bang everybody had been hoping for, then, and now the Academy is facing accusations of exploiting the actor’s death for publicity and views, as you can see below.
i mean if we’re being honest, awards literally don’t mean anything and art is dead. HOWEVER it’s obvious that the academy capitalized on Chadwick’s death and used it for views. so to then snub him of the oscar win when it’s literally the LEAST you could do to honor him? shameful
— sav 💫 (@jedileiasolo) April 26, 2021
They build the entire show around a Chadwick Boseman ending and then Anthony Hopkins won and didn't show up
— Kyle Buchanan (@kylebuchanan) April 26, 2021
either way, re-organizing the show to make it end that was instead of best picture was not cool
— gen🪴 (@genevievecheng) April 26, 2021
Yeah, this just feels so wrong. How do you save the Best Actor category for last & then snub Chadwick Boseman… posthumously?!
He had a truly phenomenal year. He will never win an Oscar now. #Oscars
— 𝕁 (@JesTheMermaid) April 26, 2021
They exploited Chadwick Boseman’s name for the advertising of the Oscars then didn’t give him the best actor award. That’s why he was surprised.
— rusty shackleford (@microwvblgrapes) April 26, 2021
just cancel the oscars at this point cause they just exploited chadwick boseman for views
— athena | hang in there bucky! (@asgardianwreck) April 26, 2021
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so from what i can gather the oscars producers pushed best actor to the end of the show assuming chadwick would win and it would be a nice moment, but then anthony hopkins won and he wasn't even there so they just read the card and ended the show?
— Law Boy, Esq. (@The_Law_Boy) April 26, 2021
them pushing best actor till the end just for chadwick not to win was very fucked up and it feels like they exploited his death for views
— holli (@fllenangeIs) April 26, 2021
How could any voter not choose Chadwick Boseman? What the hell?#Oscars
— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) April 26, 2021
Didn't watch the Oscars but I am on the phone with friends who are watching and yes, I agree that the Oscars exploited Chadwick Boseman's death for views when they rearranged the order of the awards presentation and put Best Actor for last.
But are we surprised, really
— Kaye (@kaye_fangirl) April 26, 2021
Soderbergh really exploited Chadwick Boseman’s death & high win probability / one of the most diverse Best Actor pools in Oscar history to make us watch til the end huh
— Rachel Roderman (@rachelroderman) April 26, 2021
everything has been said already regarding Chadwick Boseman’s snub last night but what’s truly sick is how it was known how ill he was during filming. that raises the performance to a whole new level. The Academy exploited his death, suffering and his families’ pain and for what?
— hettie mcintyre (@hettiehmcintyre) April 26, 2021
Of course, Oscar winners are determined by ballots, which are collated and counted by an independent company, with the envelopes then being locked away until they get opened and read aloud on stage. Still, it’s certainly an unfortunate turn of events that the Academy was so sure Chadwick Boseman would win that they hinged the entire broadcast on it, only for it to backfire spectacularly when presenter Joaquin Phoenix named Hopkins as the winner, in what has to rank as one of the biggest upsets of the 21st Century.