Sir Anthony Hopkins was not allowed to make an acceptance speech on Oscars night due to the no Zoom calls rule initiated. Hopkins, who won Best Actor, shocked many as it was being expected that the award would go to the late Chadwick Boseman for his role in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
However, in a surprise upset, Hopkins won for his performance in Florian Zeller’s The Father. IndieWire has reported the actor requested the Academy for a Zoom acceptance call which was denied by producers of the telecast.
At 83 years old (which also makes him the oldest acting Oscar winner), Hopkins chose to stay home instead of traveling to the Oscar hubs stationed in London and Dublin. In fact, he was asleep when his win was announced. The same case went for Ann Roth, who is 89 and won the Academy Award for Best Costume Design for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
Furthermore, considering the eight-hour time difference between Los Angeles and Wales (where the actor currently is), Hopkins would have to travel to either of the awards locations and be up till 4 a.m. Since Boseman was expected to be the projected winner for the night, Hopkins decided against traveling during the pandemic, especially when it can be dangerous for older people.
But, the actor did release an acceptance speech after he awoke, thanking the Academy and honoring the late Boseman.
Unlike most award shows of the season, the Academy was the only one to veto Zoom calls, so nominees had to be present in person at the hubs set up in many places across the globe. Due to Hopkins being absent, the award was accepted on his behalf by the Academy.
This resulted in the show ending on a lackluster note with no acceptance speech or hurrah moment as is tradition. Many argued that the Academy could have averted the situation if they had just made an exception for Hopkins to accept his award via Zoom or instead not saved the Best Actor category until the last.
But irrespective of the disappointing finale, the 2021 Oscars was a grand event filled with many celebratory wins and stunning red carpet appearances. It will definitely be one for the books.