Regina King opened the 2021 Academy Awards ceremony with a bold statement. She spoke of the difficulties of the past year and referenced the trial of Derek Chauvin, the police officer who killed George Floyd. She said in her opening that if things had gone differently this last week, she would have “traded her heels for marching boots.” Regina then went on say “I know many of you want to reach for your remote when you feel Hollywood is preaching to you, but as the mother of a Black son who fears for his safety, no fame or fortune changes that,” (via Entertainment Tonight). “But tonight, we are here to celebrate. This was a hard year for everyone, but our love of movies got us through.”
Regina used the remainder of her allotted time on stage to speak of the protocols attendees endured in order to sit near one another without masks during the ceremony. She explained that just like when making a movie, when the camera is on masks are off, when the camera is off, masks are worn. The actress, who made her directorial debut with the film “One Night in Miami” then read the nominees for Best Original Screenplay and announced Emerald Fennell as the winner for the film “Promising Young Woman.”
Viewers reacted to Regina King's remarks
Some fans reacted strongly to the actress and director’s remarks. Many viewers felt that politics did not have a place at this awards show and that the job of a presenter was to not fill airtime with their own personal feelings.
“Too late ABC, I shut it off immediately after her boots comment. Quit preaching to the public,” said a Twitter user.
“Nobody wants to be preached at, by Hollywood especially. They’re actors only and should stick to that,” claimed a second viewer.
“Actually most of us know this is what we will get with this circus. So we never had it on from the beginning,” penned a third person.
This is not the first time Regina has used an awards show to make a political statement. In September of 2020, People reported that the actress accepted an Emmy Award in the category of Lead Actress for the Limited Series “Watchman” wearing a T-shirt honoring Breonna Taylor, who was fatally shot by police in her own apartment. Lettering above the image of the young woman were the words “Say Her Name.”
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