Little gold man, that is. After going viral earlier this year when Jamie Lee Curtis won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, Angela Bassett will at last get her Oscar. Bassett, who was previously nominated for Best Actress in 1994 for playing Tina Turner in What’s Love Got to Do with It, will receive an honorary Oscar at this year’s Governors Awards. Better late than never, I GUESS. 


The ceremony, which is not televised, will be held in November in Los Angeles. The other recipients of honorary Oscars are legendary filmmaker and comedian Mel Brooks (who won Best Original Screenplay in 1969 for The Producers but has never won for directing or producing), and editor Carol Littleton (who has edited such films as Body Heat, E.T., The Big Chill, Benny & Joon, Wyatt Earp, and Margot at the Wedding). The Sundance Institute’s Michelle Satter will receive the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.

Angela Bassett is WAY overdue for an Oscar, which is why everyone was upset on her behalf when she lost earlier this year, even though Jamie Lee Curtis is generally beloved, too. So, it definitely has a “sorry about that, here’s your trophy Ms. Bassett” feel to it. The only problem is that the Governors Awards aren’t televised, nor are the recipients of the honorary Oscars and Hersholt Award included in the annual telecast. They used to be, but the practice ended in 2009, presumably to shorten the runtime of the telecast.


Are you really telling me you don’t think people would tune in to see Angela Bassett finally get her Oscar? Never mind Mel Brooks getting one, he’s a literal legend! This is the whole problem with the “shorten it at all costs” mindset that has plagued the Oscars over the last decade. Firstly, no matter what they do, they never substantially shorten the telecast. It’s a long show, get over it. Short of pre-taping and editing it down, like the BAFTAs, there’s nothing doing and it’s going to be a long show. Secondly, the people who are still tuning into the Oscars WANT to see moments like Angela Bassett getting an Oscar. 

Once again, I am begging the Academy to turn the Oscars into a proper celebration of cinema and the people who make it. Include the presentation of the honorary Oscars in the telecast, let audiences enjoy moments like Angela Bassett and Mel Brooks being honored for their long, accomplished careers. 


They could even try something like taping the presentation at the Governors Awards, editing it for time, inserting it in the telecast, and then bringing the recipients on stage to, like, introduce a Best Picture clip or something. It doesn’t have to mean giving up ten minutes of time to each person to give a speech live, they could get creative and incorporate the honorary recipients in other ways, but the key is putting these beloved figures on stage with their trophies in the live telecast.

Just figure out some way to involve them in the Oscars proper, because every year there is inevitably someone audiences would tune into see get an Oscar. Last year, Diane Warren finally got one after 14 nominations, and the year before that, the recipients were Liv Ullman, Elaine May, and Samuel L. Jackson. Again, the people who are still watching the Oscars actually want to see people like Liv Ullman, Elaine May, and Samuel L. Jackson get an Oscar. Give the people what they want! 


Attached - Angela at a Tribeca Festival screening of How Stella Got Her Groove Back.