Academy Awards accused of capitalizing on Chadwick Boseman’s death after Oscars snub

Los Angeles, California - Chadwick Boseman’s legacy lives on – that much is clear from the disappointment that many of his fans felt when the Oscar for Best Actor was announced.

Chadwick Boseman was among the nominees for Best Actor at the 93rd Academy Awards.
Chadwick Boseman was among the nominees for Best Actor at the 93rd Academy Awards.  © IMAGO / ZUMA Press

After scoring a Golden Globe, SAG, and a Critics Choice Award for his performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, it was predicted and expected that the late actor would also win his first Academy Award.

When this didn’t happen, there was an uproar on social media.

Boseman, who unexpectedly died from colon cancer at the age of 43, lost to Sir Anthony Hopkins.

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The 83-year-old was not present at the ceremony, but he dedicated his award to the late star in his virtual acceptance speech. Despite all the moving words and the outpouring of tributes, many viewers were angry with Boseman’s snub and accused the Academy of "using" his death for publicity.

One tweet captured the mood perfectly: "so the academy baited everyone into thinking chadwick boseman was going to win by putting best actor off until the last moment, didn't give him a special tribute, commodified his death... and made his family sit through an entire ceremony without honoring him in any way."

Others also noted the widespread expectation that Boseman would be awarded Best Actor posthumously – and the surprise at the eventual winner.

In addition to his role in the drama, Boseman gained international stardom for his portrayal as T’Challa/Black Panther. He portrayed the Marvel character in four films, including the titular movie that was highly-acclaimed. The actor’s unexpected death shocked his fans as well as his colleagues, who were unaware of Boseman’s illness.

Following his tragic passing, there have been questions about how the Black Panther’s story can continue.

A second film is in the works, but according to director Ryan Coogler, there are no plans to replace Boseman as the Black Panther, which leaves room for various other storylines

Cover photo: IMAGO / ZUMA Press

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