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Angela Bassett's emotional confession on comforting Austin Butler after Oscar loss

Angela Basset recalls the heartbreaking moment at the Oscars

Angela Basset
Faye James
Faye JamesSenior Editor
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One of the standout moments from the 2023 Oscars was the touching image of Angela Bassett tenderly holding Austin Butler's hand as the Best Actor category was announced. 

Austin, nominated for his portrayal of Elvis Presley in "Elvis," lost out to Brendan Fraser, who starred in "The Whale." 

This heartfelt gesture from Angela resonated with fans, especially as she experienced her own Oscars loss earlier that night. 

Angela, nominated for Best Supporting Actress in "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever," saw the award go to Jamie Lee Curtis for "Everything Everywhere All at Once."

Angela Bassett paid tribute to "extraordinary" black actresses who paved the way for women like her in the industry during her Critics Choice Awards acceptance speech

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Reflecting on the experience, Angela shared her thoughts in a tribute to Austin, as part of Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential people of 2023. 

She wrote: "On the evening of the Oscars, with Austin seated next to me, I understood intimately what he felt when it was time to learn if he would climb those stairs to the stage. 

"So, I took his hand and held it softly as the winner was announced. Although his name wasn't called, Austin is no less a winner. 

“The time had come for Austin to say goodbye to Elvis as he began to embrace an infinite universe of possibilities as an actor. I can't wait to see what he brings us next."

Angela, who portrayed music icon Tina Turner in the 1993 biopic "What's Love Got to Do with It," expressed her admiration for Austin's performance in "Elvis." 

She said: "I watched 'Elvis' with a deep appreciation for all the work I knew Austin put into his performance. A lot goes into an actor's finding their way into an icon, not pretending to be them but offering a perspective on the artist as we perform slices of their story. You walk away from that set forever changed."

"Your hope is that when people see the film, they don't see you — they see an artist's journey through a different lens. Austin accomplished this with a brilliantly nuanced performance."

Jamie Lee Curtis took home the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Everything Everywhere All At Once

Angela's reaction when Jamie Lee's name was read out went viral online, and many took to Twitter to share their reaction, throwing support behind Angela and claiming she had been "robbed."

One person wrote: "The Academy is SO nasty like first y’all ROBBED Chadwick Boseman after his death and then you rob Angela Bassett of her Oscar that she was nominated for in a movie that honors Chadwick?? Every member of The Academy got a permanent spot in hell."

A second agreed, tweeting: "They really robbed Angela Bassett out of another #oscar." A third, meanwhile, shared the moment Michael B. Jordan and Jonathan Majors took to the stage to present and quoted their tribute to Angela: "'Hey Auntie, we love you', they know Angela Bassett got robbed. #Oscars."

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