Hollywood’s favorite auntie has finally received her flowers.

On Jan. 9, Bassett, 65, was awarded an honorary Oscar for her iconic legacy in Hollywood during the 14th annual Governors Awards in Los Angeles. Determined by the Academy’s Board of Governors, the honorary Oscar is an award given to individuals who have shown exceptional contributions and lifetime achievements in service to the Academy and the motion picture industry.

At the 2023 Oscars, Bassett was nominated for Best Supporting Actress thanks to her role as Queen Ramonda in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, but fans of the Tinseltown legend harped allegations of snubbing when she lost the award to Jamie Lee Curtis last year. Now, it looks like somebody on the board of the Academy has finally woken up out of their slumber. 

Regina King presented Bassett with her honorary Oscar on Tuesday, calling the mother of two “a national treasure.” The 53-year-old actress and director, who played alongside the actress in How Stella Got Her Groove Back and Boyz n the Hood, gushed about her close friendship with the acting luminary. 

“Angela really is a sister to me,” she said. 

Moved by King’s kind words, when she got to the stage, Bassett pulled her close friend in for a kiss and a hug before she launched into an emotional acceptance speech. The famous celeb thanked her family, friends and team for their support over the years.

“I sincerely appreciate all that you do with me and for me each day,” Bassett told the audience at the Governors Awards, struggling to hold back tears. 

“Thank you to the Academy and the Board of Governors for this award. I have considered acting my calling and not just my career. I do this work because I find it meaningful,” she continued. “And I hope in some way that it makes a difference and has an impact. To be recognized in this way for what I love doing is truly wonderful, and I am beyond grateful. You know, Lena Horne once said, ‘It’s so nice to get flowers while you can yet still smell the fragrance — and indeed it is.'”

Bassett is the second Black actress to receive an honorary Oscar.

The late great Cicely Tyson was the first Black actress to receive the coveted award in 2018. During her speech, the 227 alum thanked Tyson for being “a dear friend” and a close “mentor.”

“Having a chance to work with and learn from Ms. Tyson is one of the most memorable and treasured experiences of my career and life, and I hope that she is smiling from the heavens that I’m able to join her in this circle of recognition knowing that she was so impactful to me as an actress and as a woman.”

The veteran performer added, “My prayer is that we leave this industry more enriched, forward-thinking and inclusive than we found it. At the end of the day, we all just want to have the opportunity to do great, meaningful work.”

On X, formerly Twitter, fans of the Hollywood icon threw shade at the Academy for waiting decades to award Bassett with an Oscar.

Some fans pondered whether they were just giving her an award to make up for last year’s snub and Bassett’s loss in 1994. The New York native was nominated for an Oscar at the 66th Academy Awards for her outstanding portrayal of Tina Turner in What’s Love Got to do With it. Sadly, Bassett lost to Holly Hunter that year.

During an interview with People in March, the actress confessed that she was upset by the loss in 1994, but the slight did not turn into defeat.

“Of course, in the moment– you’re hoping and praying and wishing [you’ll win]. But I never – I don’t walk away thinking: ‘I’ve been robbed,'” Bassett said. “That’s too negative of an emotion to carry with me for the rest of my life. I choose to believe there was a reason why it didn’t happen.”

Check out some of the reactions below.


Congrats to Angela Bassett, and shame on the Academy for waiting this long to honor the queen.


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