Chadwick Boseman’s family defends Anthony Hopkins amid best actor Oscars backlash – The Guardian

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Oscars 2021

Brother of the late actor congratulates the 83-year-old, as Academy criticised for not allowing Hopkins to make his acceptance speech on Zoom

The family of Chadwick Boseman, the Black Panther star who had been widely expected to received a posthumous best actor Oscar for his role in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, have come to the defence of the man who took the prize.

The brother of the actor, who died last August of cancer aged 43, says the family had no hard feelings towards Anthony Hopkins.

Speaking to TMZ, Derrick Boseman said his brother would have been the first to wish Hopkins the best following his Sunday night win. The late actor would have seen winning an Oscar as an achievement but never an “obsession” said Boseman, adding that he felt all the shortlisted actors were worthy of the award.

The surprise result on Sunday night was compounded by the absence of Hopkins from the telecast and the switch in the running order.

Rather than the traditional finish of the award of best picture, best actress and best actor concluded the ceremony, with many suspecting that the producers had anticipated a win for Boseman, which would have concluded the ceremony on a particular note. Instead, there was simply Hopkins’s abrupt and anti-climatic absence to finish the ceremony, its jarring nature compounded by the lack of a host.

This year’s Oscars had what had been understood to be a strict “no Zoom” policy that meant nominees needed to either turn up in Los Angeles or in one of the “hubs” – including one at the BFI Southbank in London.

Screengrab from an Instagram post by Sir Anthony Hopkins after he was named as best actor. Photograph: Instagramn/PA

Hopkins, who is 83, is currently in Wales and evidently didn’t fancy the trip. It had been thought that his The Father co-star, Olivia Colman, would be permitted to accept the award for him from the London hub.

But this is now not believed to be the case, despite Colman having been in attendance, at least for the early part of proceedings, when she was nominated for best supporting actress for the film.

Awards pundit Kyle Buchanan suggested earlier today that Hopkins had offered to be on call overnight on video but was refused by the Academy, who also stuck to their protocol of having a presenter accept non-posthumous awards (rather than a co-star) in the event of non-attendance.

Hopkins, who posted a video from his late father’s grave earlier on Sunday, posted a video expressing thanks on Monday morning, saying he did not expect to win, and that he was “very grateful to the Academy”.

“I want to pay tribute to Chadwick Boseman,” he added, “who was taken from us far too early.”

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