- Angela Bassett received the Academy Award at the 14th annual Governors Awards, honoring her career and contributions to the film industry.
- Bassett acknowledged other Black women Academy Award winners, calling them “beacons of possibility and hope.”
- The actress expressed her hope for a more inclusive and forward-thinking film industry, free from historical firsts and suspense over nominations and wins.
Actress Angela Bassett, known for her role in Black Panther and her decades-long career, was presented with an Oscar at the 14th annual Governors Awards. Alongside Bassett, Mel Brooks, film editor Carol Littleton and founding director of the Sundance Institute Michelle Satter were also honored. Regina King, a fellow actress and collaborator, presented Bassett’s award, commending her as a “national treasure” and “artistic excellence embodied in human form.”
While accepting her award, Bassett spoke of her passion for acting and her gratitude for being recognized. She said, “Thank you, thank you to the Academy and the Board of Governors for this award. I have considered acting my calling and not just my career…. To be recognized in this way for what I love doing is truly wonderful and I am beyond grateful.”
Bassett made a point to pay tribute to other Black women who have won Academy Awards, including Regina King, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Lupita Nyong’o, Whoopi Goldberg, Hattie McDaniel, and Halle Berry. She acknowledged them as “beacons of possibility and hope for little Black and brown girls who aspire to one day pursue the dream of becoming an actor.”
Bassett also specifically mentioned the late Cicely Tyson, who was the first Black woman to receive an honorary Oscar and whose work had a significant impact on her.
In her speech, Bassett also discussed her hope for the future of the film industry, stating: “My prayer is that we leave this industry more enriched, forward-thinking and inclusive than we found it, a future where there won’t be a first or an only, or suspense around whether history will be made with a nomination or a win.”
Many believe that Bassett’s Oscar win is long overdue, considering her Golden Globe wins for her roles in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and What’s Love Got to Do with It. Throughout her career, Bassett has appeared in numerous notable films and television shows, leaving a lasting impact on the industry. Her upcoming projects include Netflix’s fantasy feature Damsel alongside Millie Bobby Brown.
Black Panther Wakanda Forever is set to release on November 11, 2022, directed by Ryan Coogler and featuring a cast comprising of Martin Freeman, Angela Bassett, Danai Gurira, Winston Duke, Lupita Nyong’o, and Daniel Kaluuya.