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The Oscars continued its long-standing tradition of not nailing the ending (coughLaLaLandMoonlightcough) at the 2021 Academy Awards with a very anti-climatic conclusion that overshadowed what was mostly a pleasant and history-making event (opens in new tab).
The producers made a baffling decision to rearrange the ceremony's final categories, giving out the trophy for "Best Picture" before the "Best Actress" and "Best Actor" awards (the "Supporting Actor/Actress" categories also didn't open the show, per tradition). Though the switcheroo quickly turned into a snafu, thanks to some poor planning—which subsequently robbed Anthony Hopkins, Chadwick Boseman, and Nomadland of their special moments.
Many viewers made the assumption that the change in the run-of-show was to allow for a memorable celebration of the late Boseman. The actor—who died in 2020 of colon cancer—was nominated for Best Actor for his role in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. Boseman had posthumously swept the award season, with his widow graciously accepting (opens in new tab) on his behalf during the Golden Globes and SAGs earlier this year. While it would have been a somber note to end the ceremony on, it would have also been a fitting way to honor Boseman's legacy in the film industry and beyond. But the Oscars producers clearly counted their chickens before they were hatched, because Boseman was not awarded the trophy; instead, Best Actor went to Hopkins for The Father.
To make the situation more awkward, Hopkins wasn't in attendance Sunday night, meaning that presenter Joaquin Phoenix was forced to accept the statue in his honor, swiftly closing out the entire night with very little fanfare. (If the Best Picture category had gone last, as usual, the ceremony would've ended with the zany Frances McDormand howling. Which, yes, please.)
Of course, no one could've predicted the Boseman snub (and Hopkins is always deserving of an Oscar) but nonetheless, the Internet wasn't thrilled with the conclusion to the over-three-hour event.
See the best Twitter reactions, below, and remember Oscars season 2022 begins...now.
pic.twitter.com/kPc4W1fULtApril 26, 2021
And that is why you don't gamble on an outcome by rearranging the awards. -HApril 26, 2021
Wait what was that Game of Thrones style ending?? Andra Day and Chadwick Boseman were robbed... #Oscars pic.twitter.com/ykMorfq6qyApril 26, 2021
Wait, did the Academy hold Best Actor until the end because they assumed Chadwick Boseman would posthumously (and rightly) win and then he didn't, so they're like "WELP, good night!"#OscarsApril 26, 2021
well that was the al capone’s vault of Oscar endingsApril 26, 2021
this #Oscars just ended like the Sopranos series finaleApril 26, 2021
Y’all had Best Actor for the end, the set up. And ends like that. Wow. Oscars never disappoint. They almost got me with the game.April 26, 2021
The Oscar producers said they’d designed this year’s show to play like a movie. Name a movie that was surprisingly good and heartfelt for most of it and then totally botched the final 30 seconds. #oscarsApril 26, 2021
that ending was somehow the exact opposite of the moonlight endingApril 26, 2021
joaquin phoenix giving social studies teacher giving announcements at the school dance vibesApril 26, 2021
Look, taste aside, I hope the producers looked at the envelope early and did not make Chadwick Boseman's wife sit in a gown for three hours just to not be up there. Fuck that. #OscarsApril 26, 2021
the end of the oscars was like having the lights come on at the bar with no last call warningApril 26, 2021
Are you seriously telling me the #Oscars rearranged traditional award presenting order just on the prospect Chadwick would posthumously win Best Actor and have a big celebration for him, only for Hopkins to win and not even be there for a speech so it just... ends??Lmfao. pic.twitter.com/nfjTUIWWDVApril 26, 2021
Everyone watching the end of the #Oscars like ... pic.twitter.com/wWF2AB6Ci1April 26, 2021
me at the end of Oscars 2021 pic.twitter.com/P1KKoODcc0April 26, 2021
When they don’t end with Best Picture #Oscars pic.twitter.com/pPD39dQ0g9April 26, 2021
all of us watching the end of the oscars after thinking they purposely rearranged the categories so that they could pay tribute to chadwick boseman #Oscars pic.twitter.com/N7am6rCT6KApril 26, 2021
Wow. I kinda have no words now. They clearly rearranged all this hoping to end on Chadwick. And now this great moment for Hopkins also feels ruined. What a bad way to end all this. #OscarsApril 26, 2021
They clearly expected Chadwick Boseman to win, so they could end on a touching moment. Instead they got the worst ending to the Oscars ever. At least Moonlight/La La Land was exciting and memorable. This was just poor planning.April 26, 2021
The Oscars gonna end like this pic.twitter.com/CY3nUCtjcQApril 26, 2021
As Marie Claire’s Entertainment Director, Neha oversees and executes strategy for all editorial talent bookings and culture coverage across the brand's print and digital entities, including covers, celebrity profiles and features, social takeovers, and video franchises as well as handles talent relations for our flagship summit, Power Trip. She's passionate about elevating diverse voices and stories, loves a hot-take, and hates TV reboots. Her bylines have appeared on Glamour, Vanity Fair, GQ, Allure, Teen Vogue, Brides, and Architectural Digest, and she is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism.
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