Oscars Viewers Are Still In Shock That Chadwick Boseman Did Not Win Best Actor

There have been 16 posthumous winners in the nearly century-old history of the Academy Awards, including two actors: Peter Finch for Network and Heath Ledger for The Dark Knight. Nearly every Oscar prognosticator had Chadwick Boseman, who died at 43 years old last August from colon cancer, becoming the third member of the club for his electric performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. But then chaos reigned.

For the first time in apparently decades, the Oscars ended on Sunday not with Best Picture (which went to Nomadland), but Best Actor, presumably because the Academy assumed that Boseman would be posthumously awarded in the category. Instead, Anthony Hopkins won for The Father, leading to an ending that was not only anti-climatic but also unfair. Unfair to Hopkins, who’s fantastic in The Father and doesn’t deserve the amount of scorn he’s getting; unfair to Nomadland director Chloe Zhao, whose historic win felt like an afterthought due to the category shuffling; and unfair to Boseman. The ceremony was built around his win, including his family being in attendance and his head being turned into an NFT (“They made him a literal token”), but then… nothing.

Hopkins handled the controversy well (once he got out of bed).

“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,” Hopkins said in a video posted to Instagram after someone woke him up to tell him he won. The Silence of the Lambs star also paid tribute to Boseman, “who was taken from us far too early,” and added, “I really did not expect this, so I feel very privileged and honored.” No one expected this.

The morning after, people are still in disbelief.