The Governors Awards happened last night, an event that is more important than the Golden Globes two nights before. Because this is the actual Oscar Academy – the people who vote on Oscars are in that room, and during such a tightly contested award season, visibility is critical, which is why so many of this year’s contenders were present, trying to get in as much facetime as possible with the people who will be filling out those ballots.
Oscar nomination voting begins tomorrow, open for just six days and ending next Tuesday 16 January. So it’s impossible to overstate the importance of the Governors Awards for those who are campaigning.
There were four honorary Oscar recipients who were recognised last night: Mel Brooks, Michelle Satter, Carol Littleton, and Angela Bassett. Just a year ago, Angela was in the running for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar which Jamie Lee Curtis ended up winning. Three months after that, back in June 2023, the Academy’s Board of Governors announced that Angela would finally get her man – but as Sarah wrote at the time, the Governors Awards are not televised so, even though Ms Bassett obviously deserves this award and it’s amazing that she finally has her Oscar, it’d be even better if more people could share in this moment since she noted herself during her acceptance speech, she’s now only the second Black actress to receive this honour after Cicely Tyson in 2018. Angela’s remarks, then, were not about what this means to her, but to an entire community. She talked about Hattie McDaniel, the first Black person to win an Oscar in 1940 and the doors that she opened, the walls she pushed back, the legacy that she started – a legacy that made it possible for Angela to be on that stage last night. And also Whoopi Goldberg, Halle Berry, Octavia Spencer, Viola Davis, Mo’Nique, Jennifer Hudson, Lupita Nyong’o, Ariana DeBose, and Regina King who presented the Oscar to Angela, the small club of now ten Black women who have won Oscars.
As Angela put it, together they are made of history and are now making history for the ones who will come through the door behind them. It’s a magnificent speech and I guess the upside of it not being televised is that she had the time to give it. This is 15 minutes of purpose and beauty and resolve and it is worth all of your time and I hope you watch it in its entirety.
And when you have the chance, here’s the link to Regina’s introduction before presenting the Oscar to Angela.
More coverage of the Governors Awards to come through the day.
Yours in gossip,