Chadwick Boseman earned his first ever Oscar nomination at the 93rd Academy Awards on Sunday night, but the late actor ultimately lost out to The Father star Anthony Hopkins. Featuring Boseman in a lead role, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom was up for five Oscars at the event, including Boseman for Best Actor. In what many are saying is an upset win, Hopkins was named as the winner in the final reveal of the night.
While everyone can agree Anthony Hopkins was fantastic in The Father, the consensus from many viewers is that Boseman should have been posthumously given the honor. One tweet from a Black Panther 2 fan account says, “Chadwick Boseman was an icon, delivering so many incredible performances throughout his career. The #Oscars have proven once again that they have no idea what they’re doing. Sending love to Chadwick’s family & friends.”
“If Anthony Hopkins won Best Actor for this movie any other year, that’d still be great because he is amazing in I,” says someone else, feeling that the end of the show was a bait-and-switch. “But if you’re gonna save Best Actor for last as if it’d be a tribute for Chadwick Boseman only for him to not win? Come the f**k ON.”
“I don’t care what you say,” another disappointed fan says. “Chadwick Boseman will forever be one of the greatest actors of this generation and he deserved to win that Oscar. He did NOT deserve to be used as bait.”
And another popular tweet reads: “Nothing changes the fact that Boseman was one of the most brilliant actors of this era who made a tremendous impact in a short period of time & that he’ll be remembered forever. Awards don’t make or break that.”
Boseman had been impressing audiences with his acclaimed acting performances for years, so it’s a bit odd the actor hadn’t been nominated for an acting award at the Oscars before now. His breakthrough performance as baseball legend Jackie Robinson in 2013’s 42 earned Boseman tremendous praise, but it didn’t get him any Academy Award nominations. Some fans would argue that his lead roles as James Brown in Get on Up and Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall in Marshall were also Oscar-worthy performances.
Of course, Boseman earned a lot of attention at awards season for his unforgettable role as T’Challa in 2019’s Black Panther. That role brough the actor many accolades, including an NAACP Image Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award. The movie itself was up for Best Picture at the Academy Awards, though Boseman wasn’t nominated for Best Actor at the time. As Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is his final movie role, this was perhaps the last opportunity to bestow the honor upon him.
When Boseman died last fall, his death came as a tremendous shock to his fans as well as many of his friends and colleagues. The actor had been keeping his years-long battle with colon cancer a secret, determined to win the battle on his own. In fact, Boseman had even begun preparing to return as T’Challa in Black Panther 2 at the time of his death. Sadly, his health took a turn for the worse in August, and Boseman died at the young age of 43 years old.
Directed by George C. Wolfe and written by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom follows blues singer Ma Rainey and her band in 1920s Chicago. Viola Davis stars as the titular singer with Boseman co-starring as trumpeter Levee Green. The Netflix Original pulled in five Academy Award nominations this year, but the only two that brought in wins were Best Makeup and Hairstyling along with Best Costume Design.
To see Boseman’s final performance that many are saying should have won him the Oscar, you can stream Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom on Netflix. You can also check out the full list of award winners and nominees at the official website for the Oscars.