On Saturday, Sept. 3, the late Chadwick Boseman became an Emmy winner for his voice performance in the Disney+ animated series “What If…?.” His posthumous win comes a little over a year after he lost the best actor race at the 2021 Oscars for his performance in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” The “Black Panther” star’s wife, Taylor Simone Ledward, accepted the Emmy on his behalf.
Boseman was up against several big names, including Jessica Walter, who died in March 2021. Other actors nominated in the outstanding character voice-over performance category included F. Murray Abraham (“Moon Knight”), Julie Andrews (“Bridgerton”), Maya Rudolph (“Big Mouth”), Stanley Tucci (“Central Park”), and Boseman’s “What If…?” costar Jeffrey Wright.
In her speech, Ledward reflected on how Boseman would have felt to know he had won an Emmy for playing a version of T’Challa that becomes Star-Lord. “When I learned that Chad was nominated for this award, I started thinking about everything that was going on when he was recording — everything that was going on in the world and in our world and just being in such awe of his commitment and his dedication,” she said, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Ledward continued, “And what a beautifully aligned moment it really is that one of the last things he would work on would not only be revisiting a character that was so important to him and his career and to the world, but also that it be an exploration of something new, diving into a new potential future — particularly with everything he spoke about purpose and finding the reason that you are here on the planet on this very time.”
She concluded her speech by telling the audience how proud Boseman would have been to accept the award. “You can’t understand your purpose unless you’re willing to ask, ‘What if,’ unless you’re willing to say, ‘What if the universe is conspiring in my favor, what if it’s me?’ Thank you so much for the honor — Chad would be so honored, and I’m honored on his behalf.”
Boseman died in 2020 after a battle with colon cancer. His death shocked and saddened his fans and Hollywood alike, but as the actor’s Emmy win illustrates, his talent and impact live on.