Chadwick Boseman might not have landed an Oscar this year, but the 2021 MTV Movie & TV Awards are giving him the posthumous honor he deserves.
The Black Panther star, who died last August at just 43 years old after a long but private battle with cancer, won Best Performance in a Movie on Sunday (May 16) for his role in Netflix’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. In the film adaptation of the beloved August Wilson play, Boseman plays Levee Green, an overconfident musician who plots to leave Ma Rainey’s band and score his own record deal. The scene-stealing performance was also Boseman’s final film role.
“Chadwick’s impact is everlasting, and we are eternally grateful for the ways his presence and his art have changed the world,” said presenter Yara Shahidi, who accepted the Golden Popcorn on his behalf. “We love you, and we miss you.”
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Boseman was nominated posthumously and beat out Carey Mulligan for Promising Young Woman, Daniel Kaluuya for Judas and the Black Messiah, Sacha Baron Cohen for The Trial of the Chicago 7, and Zendaya for Malcom & Marie. His portrayal of Levee also scored him wins at the Critics’ Choice Awards, the Screen Actors Guild Award, and the Golden Globes.
At last year’s Movie & TV Awards: Greatest of All Time special, Boseman received the Hero for the Ages honor from his Marvel co-stars Don Cheadle and Robert Downey Jr.
“Each time he stepped on the set, he inspired and influenced there,” Cheadle told the audience at the time. “He had an incredible power to unify people in their love for his work and their respect for him as a person. The way he lived his life united people behind a higher purpose, and that will be his legacy.”
The 2021 MTV Movie & TV Awards are airing live right now from the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles. Find the complete winners list right here.