Chadwick Boseman's Wife Simone Powerfully Accepts His Posthumous Critics Choice Award: 'He Deserves This'
"It is so hard to find a celebratory feeling in these moments," said Chadwick Boseman's widow, Simone Ledward Boseman, after he won best actor for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
Chadwick Boseman is continuing his winning streak.
The actor received a posthumous award for best actor at Sunday's 26th annual Critics Choice Awards for his performance in the Netflix film Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. Boseman died last August at age 43 after a private four-year battle with colon cancer.
Boseman's widow, Simone Ledward Boseman, accepted the award for him.
"Wow. It has to be said aloud that for those of us who know Chad intimately, personally, professionally, those he taught, those he gave a word of advice, those who taught him — it is so hard to find a celebratory feeling in these moments," she said as she fought back tears. "As proud as we are of him, yes for his work, but even more just for who he is as a person."
"But his work deserves this. His work in this film deserves this. He deserves this, and so he would always thank God first and foremost in everything," she continued. "He would always honor his mother and his father. He would always acknowledge those who came before him, those who charted the path, those who gave him their gifts."
"He may say something about the importance of this story. About the importance of Black voices telling Black stories. He may take this moment to give honor to August Wilson, one of the greatest playwrights of our time," added Ledward Boseman. "And, as I recently read, societies grow great when all men plant trees in their shade. They know they may never sit, and our society may be a far cry from great, but I know that the seeds you planted will grow into forests. And one day we too will be tall enough to reach the heavens. Thank you, Critics' Choice and thank you, Chad."
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Ben Affleck (The Way Back), Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal), Tom Hanks (News of the World), Anthony Hopkins (The Father), Delroy Lindo (Da 5 Bloods), Gary Oldman (Mank) and Steven Yeun (Minari) were all nominated alongside Boseman.
Last Sunday, Boseman won his first Golden Globe for best actor in a motion picture, drama for his role in the Netflix film. His wife virtually accepted the award for him, delivering a tearful speech, saying, "He would thank God."
"He would thank his parents. He would thank his ancestors for their guidance and their sacrifice," Ledward Boseman said. "He would say something beautiful, something inspiring, something that would amplify that little voice that tells you you can, that tells you to keep going, that calls you back to what you were meant to be doing at this moment in history."
Ledward Boseman said her husband would have also thanked those who worked on the film — including including director George C. Wolf, producer Denzel Washington and costar Viola Davis — but "I don't have his words."
"We have to take all the moment to celebrate those we love, so thank you HFPA for this opportunity to do exactly that," she said. Ledward Boseman ended that speech with a message to her husband, saying, "And hon, you keep 'em coming."
The 26th Annual Critics' Choice Awards aired live on The CW from Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, CA on Sunday, March 7.