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Angela Bassett Is Allowed To Be Upset

Criticism of Actress' reaction to losing Best Supporting Acfress Oscar is unwarranted.

By Chere Roshawn HamptonPublished about a year ago 3 min read
Top Story - March 2023

I stream everything I watch these days, so I didn’t watch the Academy Awards, but I read the live updates posted on The Hollywood Reporter’s website. When I read that Angela Bassett lost the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress last night, I headed over to my favorite town crier app, Twitter, to see what was being said about it. Black Twitter was up in arms, as well they should be, but I also saw some questionable tweets from White people regarding Ms. Bassett’s reaction when her name was not called as the winner of the award. Some of the tweets I saw were saying her reaction to not winning was classless, that she is an entitled Black actress who was upset at not winning an award because she is Black, that she should have smiled and applauded the woman who won.

Here’s what I know: 1.) People are allowed to feel their feelings. We have seen much worse reactions from people who are not Black when they lose something that they feel they should have won (i.e. January 6, 2021.) 2.) Policing the behavior of Black people and stating how they should react in White spaces because it makes White people uncomfortable is racist as hell. People are allowed to feel their feelings. There are worse ways this woman could have reacted, but she did not. She sat in her seat, stone-faced, with disappointment and sadness in her eyes, in a room that was at least 85% White. She didn’t storm the stage, she didn’t yell, she didn’t slap anyone. She sat in her seat and didn’t clap. Angela Bassett is allowed to feel her feelings. I’m sure that being a Black actress in Hollywood is exhausting. Angela has handled herself with the grace and demeanor of a queen. Last night, she lost an award that she has been striving to win for over thirty years. She was favored to win it, and she lost. This woman is allowed to feel her feelings. She’s allowed to be disappointed. She’s allowed to show that disappointment on her face. She’s allowed to be a freaking human.

One thing that White Supremacy has done is take away the ability of Black Americans to show their humanity and have it be considered as such. We are told to smile in the face of disrespect and indignity. We are told to not be angry over blatant disrespect towards us and our work. Black women in particular are told to not express their anger and frustrations in public because we are automatically considered to be angry and bitter. The policing of our humanity must cease. We are just as human as anyone else and we do not flip over cars, burn things in the street, destroy property, or try to take over governments when things don’t go our way. The media may try to shame Angela Bassett for not being a gracious loser, but after being denied a coveted award after thirty plus years, she’s allowed to be disappointed. She’s allowed to feel whatever she is feeling, and most of all, she doesn’t have to smile about it just because you want her to. Let this woman show her humanity in the moment. Let Black people be human. Focus your attention on why the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in its ninety-four year history has awarded 3,140 Oscars and only 18% of those awards have gone to people of color. That’s the real issue here, not the reaction of an actress who showed her disappointment last night in the most graceful way she knew how at that moment, in a room full of stuffed shirts rewarding mediocrity.


About the Creator

Chere Roshawn Hampton

Chere Hampton is a powerful Black writer. She is an earth mother and faithful friend to many. She believes in social justice, that Black Lives Matter, and that everyone deserves the right to be seen and heard.

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Comments (11)

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  • Komal11 months ago

    woow! waiting for more of your articles!

  • Akiiabout a year ago


  • Kimabout a year ago

    Well said. As a White person, I would never fully understand what it feels like to be Black in a space like that or what it feels like to lose publicly as a Black woman. I appreciate you sharing your perspective. Disappointing to see White people continuing to push people of color to educate us.

  • {L.B.}about a year ago

    I appreciate this because I have chosen to not even subject myself to the viewing of these assemblies. Openly for the obtuse arc in how when black people react or the lack there of we are still in some way, set back. No need to fake it…. She already made it. The fact that people are requiring a sportsman like reaction is over necessary when we all know a NON REACTION IS GOLDEN.

  • DJ Robbinsabout a year ago

    No one is saying she doesn't have the right to be upset. She could have handled it better.

  • Lana V Lynxabout a year ago

    The Twitter fake outrage machine is at it again. Angela's reaction was natural and human. Everyone has the right to be upset in a situation like that.

  • Jason Ray Morton about a year ago

    Personally, I don’t give a damn who wins. It’s was a good nomination. Did I think she would have a chance? Yes, and a good one. Did I think Jamie Lee had a shot, absolutely. Had it not been for another marvel movie she might’ve gotten the win but that was not a gracious loss. However, had the cameras not panned on her and held there we wouldn’t have known. As to the race card, percentages wise based on population and black people in front of the camera, the numbers aren’t that out of alignment with the number of Black actors or actresses in Hollywood. Angela Bassett is a talent but even the best talents sometimes take longer to get there than others.

  • Rising Phoenix about a year ago

    Beautiful break down of points. Freedom of speech and expression is everything we all have as humans.

  • Roy Stevensabout a year ago

    She was robbed- plain and simple. The fact that it happened in front of the entire society is its own indictment! And yes, she handled it like Angela Bassett- class!

  • John Anthonyabout a year ago

    I like the evenness of the capitalization of Black and White...something I've noticed lacking in most journalism. I question whether the art or the award is more important to celebrities. Maybe the best way to lose is to arrive cross-dressed high on acid and laugh at the absurdity of awards #treyparkermattstone

  • Rasheek Rasoolabout a year ago


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