ABC Responds To Chadwick Boseman Oscars Upset – & The Actor’s Family Weighs In

ABC is offering an explanation for the 2021 Academy Awards ceremony’s anticlimactic ending.

Fans were outraged when this year’s Oscars were seemingly rearranged in anticipation of a posthumous Best Actor win for Chadwick Boseman. Unfortunately, despite swapping out Best Picture as the usual final category of the evening to get that big, emotional moment, the trophy ended up going to Anthony Hopkins, who wasn’t even in attendance or available via satellite. The show ended abruptly instead, leaving viewers angry and confused.

Despite the backlash, ABC’s Rob Mills seemed pleased with how the ceremony went down. The executive VP of unscripted and alternative entertainment at Walt Disney Television told Variety:

“There was a lot of really great risks that some might view didn’t pay off. But it was just great to do something different and not know what was going to happen next — and not have those glazed eyes of, ‘Oh gosh, I’ve seen this before I know exactly what’s going to happen.’”

His defense of a move that some viewed as opportunistic included the fact that “the whole show was mixed up,” not “just the final categories.” Producers apparently wanted the audience to feel like they didn’t “know what’s coming next.” However, as the night went on many viewers caught on to the fact that the show had been built around the late Black Panther star.

Mills reflected:

“It was not meant to end on somebody who was not present. It was a calculated risk, that I think still paid off because everybody was talking about it. Similarly, nobody wants the wrong envelope to happen, like it did three years ago, but everyone was talking about it.”

If ABC wanted to convince the public they weren’t exploiting a deceased nominee, bragging about a moment “everyone was talking about” probably wasn’t the way to go about it. Mills added:

“I think some people thought maybe they missed some awards. ‘Why is best picture early?’ or, ‘What’s happening, this is crazy,’ almost like, ‘How can this possibly happen? Best picture has to end it!’ Some people were upset, some people loved it and that was really the point that there was no apathy.”

Yeah, nobody’s outrage was because Best Picture “has” to close out the show. It was because the “calculated risk” was a cynical move to keep viewers watching the broadcast waiting for that emotional moment that never came, and it failed at the expense of the Marvel hero’s devoted fans watching at home — and his family in attendance at the ceremony.

That being said, Chadwick’s brother Derrick Boseman told TMZ the family does not view the loss as a “snub,” saying that all the nominees in the category were deserving. He expressed well wishes for the 83-year-old veteran actor, because:

“I”m sure would if Chad won.”

While an Oscar win would have been nice, it wasn’t the be all, end all, according to Derrick. He shared that his brother “always described to me as a campaign,” which is a pretty pragmatic — and probably pretty accurate — perspective on awards season as a whole.

What do U think, Perezcious readers? Was ABC wrong for taking a gamble on Chadwick’s win? Or do you share his brother’s more generous opinion about the situation? Let us know your thoughts in the comments (below)!

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