Chadwick Boseman won a posthumous SAG Award for outstanding performance by a male actor in a leading role for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”
His widow Taylor Simone Ledward accepted the award and gave an emotional speech on his behalf during the virtual ceremony, which aired on Sunday night on TNT.
Ledward thanked the cast and crew of the film, including playwright August Wilson whose 1984 play was adapted into the Netflix film starring Boseman and Viola Davis.
“If you see the world unbalanced, be a crusader that pushes heavily on the seesaw of the mind,” Ledward said. “That’s a quote by Chadwick Boseman.”
The speech was a fitting tribute to Boseman. The star of “Black Panther” died in August 2020, at the age of 43, from colon cancer. “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” is Boseman’s final screen performance, one that has won him many prizes throughout this year’s awards season, including a Golden Globe in February. .
The SAG Awards are seen a reliable precursor to the Oscars. Boseman beat out Riz Ahmed (“Sound of Metal”), Anthony Hopkins (“The Father”), Gary Oldman (“Mank”) and Steven Yeun (“Minari”) for the trophy, which is voted on by roughly 160,000 actors.
In “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” directed by George C. Wolfe, Boseman plays Levee Green, a troubled trumpet player who sets his sights on bigger dreams outside of just being a band member for Ma Rainey (Davis).
Boseman also appeared in Spike Lee’s “Da 5 Bloods” last year. His win marks the fourth time a Black actor has won in the lead actor SAG category following Forest Whitaker in “The Last King of Scotland,” Jamie Foxx in “Ray” and Denzel Washington in “Fences.”