Many who viewed the 93rd Academy Awards were upset that the show broke from its usual format of announcing the best picture winner last, replacing it with the award for best actor. It led some to believe it was a signal that a posthumous award would be given to the late “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” star, who died in August at age 43.
However, when the award went to Hopkins for his role in “The Father” instead, viewers felt the late star was snubbed and were especially upset that Hopkins neither attended the show in person nor video called in to accept his award.
On Monday morning, Hopkins posted an acceptance speech on his Instagram in which he noted that he did not see the win coming.
Anthony Hopkins paid tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman in a video thanking The Academy for his best actor win at the 2021 Oscars. (Getty Images)
“Good morning. Here I am in my homeland in Wales and at 83 years of age I did not expect to get this award, I really didn’t. I’m very grateful to the Academy and thank you,” Hopkins says.
He then goes on to mention Boseman directly, stopping short of saying that he deserved the award more than himself.
“And I want to pay tribute to Chadwick Boseman, who was taken from us far too early and again thank you all very much,” he concludes. “I really did not expect this, so I feel very privileged and honored. Thank you.”
The win earns Hopkins his second Oscar ever after taking home the trophy for his iconic role as the articulate madman Hannibal Lecter in the 1992 film “Silence of the Lambs.” The actor would go on to reprise the role in both a sequel and a prequel.
Some viewers felt that Boseman, who earned Golden Globes in the same category this year, was more deserving of the award. In addition, many felt that the other actors in the same category, such as Steven Yeun and Riz Ahmed, would have made Oscars diversity history if they had won awards for “Minari” and “Sound of Metal” respectively.
Boseman, who played Black American icons Jackie Robinson and James Brown before inspiring audiences worldwide as the regal Black Panther in Marvel’s blockbuster movie franchise, died in 2020 at age 43 from cancer.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.