Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Celebrating Excellence: Angela Bassett's Honorary Oscar a Highlight of Governors Awards

Angela Bassett, a trailblazing figure in Hollywood, took center stage as she received an honorary Oscar at the 14th Governors Awards on Tuesday night. The event, held at the Hollywood and Highland Center, celebrated Bassett's remarkable career, showcasing her impact on the industry.

Wearing a tuxedo, Bassett, known for her powerful performances, delivered an impassioned speech that delved into the history of Black actresses in Hollywood. She expressed gratitude for being recognized, acknowledging the significance of being only the second Black actress to receive an honorary Academy Award after Cicely Tyson.

Bassett reflected on the achievements of Black actresses who paved the way, from Hattie McDaniel's historic win in 1940 to the present day. In her acceptance speech, she emphasized the importance of creating a future where the recognition of Black talent is the norm, not the exception.

"I hope this moment means we are taking the necessary steps toward a future in which it is the norm, not the exception, to see and embrace one another’s full humanity, stories, and perspectives," Bassett declared. She urged fellow Black actresses to stand strong, emphasizing that their contributions matter.

The 65-year-old actress closed her speech with optimism, stating, "The best is yet to come."

Oscar winner Regina King, a close friend and colleague, presented the honorary award to Bassett, describing her as a "national treasure" and "a sister." King celebrated Bassett's ageless artistry and highlighted her significant roles in iconic films like "Boyz N the Hood" and "How Stella Got Her Groove Back."

The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award was also presented at the ceremony, honoring Michelle Satter, the founding director of the Sundance Institute. Satter, the 45th recipient of the award and only the 10th woman to receive it, was recognized for her impactful work in supporting indie filmmakers.

The event, initially scheduled for November 18, had been delayed due to strikes in the industry. Despite being an untelevised ceremony, it drew attention as Hollywood's luminaries gathered to honor outstanding individuals in the film industry. The honorary Oscars were also awarded to legendary filmmaker Mel Brooks and film editor Carol Littleton.

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