“Hey auntie,” Michael B. Jordan gushed when he stepped on the Oscars stage on Sunday, March 12, to present the Best Cinematography category alongside Creed III costar Jonathan Majors, pointing toward Bassett’s seat.
The 9-1-1 star, 64, portrays Queen Ramonda in 2018’s Black Panther and 2022’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the latter of which earned her a Best Supporting Actress nomination at the 2023 Oscars. The Journal for Jordan star, 36, played Ramonda’s nephew, Killmonger, in both films, where he addresses her as “auntie” when they first meet in the 2018 MCU flick.
“I know it looks like I am standing up here by myself, but I am not. I am hundreds of people,” the Everything Everywhere All at Once actress, 64, said in her victory speech. “My bae Michelle [Yeoh], Ke [Huy Quan], Stephanie [Hsu] — the entire group of artists who made this movie — we just won an Oscar.”
The moment marked Curtis’ first Academy Award win, but speculation about Bassett’s reaction soon sparked backlash. On the televised broadcast, it appeared as if the How Stella Got Her Groove Back actress did not stand up to applaud the Halloween star’s win. While Bassett has not addressed the supposed snub, Majors, 33, showed her plenty of support.
“We love you,” the Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania actor added on Sunday during his segment with Jordan.
Bassett’s Wakanda Forever role, while snubbed from an Oscars victory, was an awards season fan-favorite all year. She previously beat out Curtis and their fellow nominees — Kerry Condon, Dolly de Leon and Carey Mulligan — for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture at the Golden Globes in January.
“We embarked on this journey together with love. We mourned. We loved. We healed,” the Otherhood star said in her acceptance speech before addressing Black Panther son Chadwick Boseman, who died in 2020 after a private cancer battle. “And we were surrounded each and every day by the light and the spirit of Chadwick Boseman.”
She continued at the time: “And we have joy in knowing that with this historic Black Panther series, it is a part of his legacy that he helped to lead us to. We showed the world what Black unity, leadership and love looked like. We just made history with this nomination and with this award.”