Skip to main content

Samuel L. Jackson's Honorary Oscar Was Handed Out By Denzel Washington Ahead Of Telecast, And Fans Are Confused

Samuel L. Jackson looking around a corner in Jackie Brown
(Image credit: Miramax)

It’s no question that Samuel L. Jackson is a living Hollywood legend. Between his incredibly quotable lines in movies like Pulp Fiction, Snakes on a Plane, massive roles in Marvel, Star Wars and more, many movie fans (even casual moviegoers) would surely love to see the actor accept his only Oscar thus far and celebrate with the rest of Hollywood. Unfortunately, Jackson was awarded his honorary Oscar on Friday night instead of Sunday’s telecast, and fans are calling out the Academy once again. 

Samuel L. Jackson was honored at the Governors Awards with his first-ever Oscar after fifty years in the industry, with Denzel Washington introduced the Academy Award. New York Times journalist Kyle Buchanan shared the moment on Twitter, leading to an outcry of fans who would have preferred to see him accept the award on Oscar night. Check it out: 

See more

It’s a sweet moment between the two, who shared the stage after the famed Oscar winner highlighted the Nick Fury actor's achievements. Denzel Washington made light of some of his colleague's incredible stats, like having the largest collective box office haul of any other actor at $27 billion. He also listed all his charitable work for nearly a minute straight. 

When Samuel L. Jackson hit the stage, he and hsi shared an adorable embrace. And once he got to the podium, he couldn’t help but reach in for another one. During his speech, he spent some time thanking his wife of 42 years, LaTanya Richardson Jackson. Per Buchanan, when Jackson accepted the award, he also said this: 

When I got this call last year, it was unexpected, but I guarantee you, this thing is gonna be cherished.

Samuel L. Jackson has been in over 150 movies since getting his start in the ‘70s, and he’s still got it. After all those roles, it’s honestly incredible Jackson has yet to be recognized by the Academy until this weekend. The actor was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar once for his work in 1994’s Pulp Fiction. Ed Wood’s Martin ultimately Landau won that year though, a development that Jackson got bluntly honest about recently. The actor has also been outspoken in the past about the Academy’s lack of inclusion with nominees

Fans on Twitter who watched the moment via the video a couple days before the Oscars were not happy about it. As Twitter user @AmandaSmithSays shared in a tweet: 

I can’t believe that The Oscars missed the easy slam dunk of presenting this live to Samuel L Jackson, probably the most well-known actor to receive an Oscar this year, and definitely one of the most well-liked actors by the general public.

There’s especially some tension at this year’s ceremony because the Academy chose to cut eight categories from the broadcast, perhaps to later announce an additional Encanto performance, among a new Fan Favorite award and other festivities less about the actual nominees. As another @JohnDiLillo wrote on Twitter: 

Samuel L. Jackson is the highest-grossing actor of all time, one of the most famous and beloved faces in movies, and ABC would rather introduce a twitter-voted award than televise him getting an Oscar.

Many movie fans feel there is a sense of the Oscars moving away from elements of the ceremony that are movie-focused to please a broader audience. Here’s one more reaction via @BenLikesMovies

Are you trying to tell me that having Tony Hawk and Shawn White on the live telecast is going to attract more ratings than Denzel Washington presenting a lifetime achievement award to SAMUEL L. JACKSON?!?! @TheAcademy, you are so fucking dumb, it hurts. #Oscars

It honestly would've been great to see Samuel L. Jackson receive his honor on the big night. But if there's any kind of positive to take from this, it's that the actor is being honored in the first place. The Oscars air this Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. You can check out how to watch the Best Picture nominees here on CinemaBlend. 

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.