Though all eyes are on Will Smith and Denzel Washington for this year’s Academy Awards, another Black living legend received an honorary Oscar in a moment that singlehandedly radiated Black boy joy. Washington presented his esteemed colleague and friend, Samuel L. Jackson, with his first Academy Award of Merit at the 12th annual Governors Awards on Friday night (March 25).
As opposed to a formal and structured toast, Washington reportedly opted to roast the Pulp Fiction actor before he accepted the award. “Let me tell you something: We go back so far,” he said.
According to USA Today and a New York Times reporter’s live tweets (see below), the Training Day star listed Jackson’s career achievements prior to mentioning his list of philanthropic endeavors. “That’s what he’s been doing. I don’t know what y’all been doing.”
Here’s Denzel giving Samuel L. Jackson an honorary Oscar! pic.twitter.com/lm6Dqrp2YX
— Kyle Buchanan (@kylebuchanan) March 26, 2022
As Jackson accepted his monumental honor, he shared, “When I got this call last year, it was unexpected, but I guarantee you, this thing is gonna be cherished.” He later added, “It’s been a real pleasure making indelible impressions on audiences” and revealed that his favorite, signature curse word was the tool that helped him stop stuttering as a child.
Jackson closed out his speech by thanking the Academy before warmly embracing Washington. The 73-year-old actor, who currently stars in The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey on Apple TV+, is considered to be the highest-grossing actor of all time, with a collective gross of over $27 billion globally.
Danny Glover was another Black Hollywood icon to receive an honorary Oscar at last night’s ceremony. The 75-year-old accepted the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, presented by Alfre Woodard.
During his acceptance speech, the Almost Christmas star honored the strife his grandparents had to endure to allow his mother to become the person she needed to be to raise him.
“And because of these heroic, amazing people in Louisville, Georgia, (my mother was) the first person to graduate from college in her family and in her community,” Glover said. “She inspired me, my mother, because no one worked harder. No one dreamed harder … and fought for justice.”
He continued, “How do you move and keep moving? It’s because people move, and they continue to move. I am proud of being a part of that.” Glover later expressed his gratitude for the honorary recognition.