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Oscars 2021: Switched Ending And Surprise Chadwick Boseman Loss Prompts Confusion And Anger

Published 22 days ago
By Forbes

TOPLINE The abrupt ending to the Oscars, which saw the late Chadwick Boseman—the favorite to win the Best Actor prize— lose out to Anthony Hopkins, has drawn confused and angry reactions from viewers on social media in what is the latest instance of an Academy Awards ceremony failing to pull off a satisfying ending.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 25: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) In this handout photo provided by A.M.P.A.S., a general view of the trophies during the 93rd Annual Academy Awards at Union Station on April 25, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Troy Harvey/A.M.P.A.S. via Getty Images)

KEY FACTS

  • The decision by the Oscars producers to switch the traditional order of the awards—choosing to end with the Best Actress and Best Actor prize instead of the Best Picture—had raised hopes for a memorable posthumous win for Boseman to close out the show.
  • However, Boseman’s performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottomlost out to Hopkins’ role in The Father.
  • As Hopkins was not in attendance to accept the award, the ceremony ended abruptly after his name was announced, prompting confusion among viewers on Twitter who compared it to other botched finales, like ones from The Sopranos and Game Of Thrones.
  • It’s unclear if Steven Soderbergh, who produced this year’s awards, made the decision to switch the order of things expecting an emotional win for Boseman—who had won the top prize at this year’s Golden Globes and SAG Awards.
  • Viewers on Twitter were annoyed that the ceremony failed to deliver after it seemed like things were building up to a memorable win for Boseman, and many also slammed the snafu for taking away from Hopkins’ big moment as well.
  • If things had played out in the traditional order, the show would have ended with Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland winning Best Picture, which many argued would have been a more historic and celebratory moment.

SURPRISING FACT

Chloé Zhao won the Oscar for Best Director becoming only the second woman to win the category in 93 years, and the first woman of color to do so.

KEY BACKGROUND

Sunday’s botched ending to the ceremony has drawn comparisons to the 89th Academy Awards, where presenters Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty incorrectly announced that La La Land had won the Best Picture awards. The mistake was fixed several minutes later—after La La Land’s cast and crew had come up to the stage, and a few of them had already delivered their speeches. The film Moonlight was then announced as the actual winner. Apart from the controversial final award, Sunday’s ceremony was swept by Chloe Zhao’s Nomadland, which won the Best Picture prize, along with Zhao winning Best Director and Frances McDormand winning Best Actress for her role in the film.

TANGENT

Things weren’t entirely gloomy on social media, as Glenn Close won instant accolades for immediately recognizing the dance single “Da Butt” and doing a little jig to it during the ceremony. In a skit during the ceremony, comedian Lil Rel Howery walked around asking a few actors to identify Oscar-nominated songs. When Howery walked up to Close, DJ Questlove played 1988’s “Da Butt” by the Washington D.C. go-go band Experience Unlimited. The song had been featured in one of Spike Lee’s early films, School Daze, a musical set at a fictional historically Black university. Close seemed to recognize the song instantly, and followed it up by twerking to the song. The Los Angeles Times has since confirmed that the moment was scripted for laughs. But it seems to have done its trick and has garnered near-universal approval on social media.

FURTHER READING

Chadwick Boseman Loses Best Actor Oscar To Anthony Hopkins (Forbes)

Chloé Zhao Becomes First Woman Of Color To Win Best Director Oscar (Forbes)

Netflix Once Again Loses Out In Best Picture Sweepstakes (Forbes)

Oscars 2021: The Full Winners List (Forbes)

By Siladitya Ray, Forbes Staff

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