A best ensemble win — the equivalent of SAG-AFTRA’s best picture prize — for the Black Panther cast left star Chadwick Boseman in shock, as he admitted he did not expect that he would have to speak. The win for the Marvel film counts not only as a win for the cast, but as a win for young, gifted black actors, he said.
Boseman expressed how he is constantly asked the question: Is this film changing the industry? He said, “We all know what it’s like to be told, ‘There is not a place for you to be featured,’ yet you are young, gifted and black. We know what it’s like to be told, ‘There’s not a screen for you to be featured on, a stage for you to be featured on.’ We know what’s it like to be the tail and not the head. We know what it’s like to be beneath and not above.”
His speech, while inspirational and important, was interrupted by music that was meant to cue Boseman to wrap it up. “Don’t give me the music,” he said. “I just have to say, it’s a pleasure to be celebrated by you and loved by you. I know you can’t have a Black Panther now without a 2 on it.”
The movie made history as the first superhero pic and the biggest box-office earner to ever win the guild’s top prize.