After a two-year hiatus owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, Disney started the 2022 D23 Expo with the biggest fan event of the weekend: the Disney Legends Awards Ceremony.
In order to view the Class of ’22 inductees, which featured the late Chadwick Boseman, who passed away in August 2020 during the award ceremonies’ unanticipated hiatus, about 7,000 Disney (and Marvel and Star Wars) fans lined up outside Hall D23 at the Anaheim Convention Center.
Boseman was officially inducted at the conclusion of the two-hour event, which also honored the Grey’s Anatomy, Black-ish, and Frozen ensembles. But the honor to Chadwick Boseman got a standing ovation. Brother of Chadwick Boseman and preacher Derrick Boseman accepted the honor. After a highlight reel of Boseman’s brief but notable career as Marvel’s Black Panther, Derrick Boseman entered the stage to pay respect to his late brother.
“As I think about this honor being bestowed upon him, I wish he was here to receive it. Him not being here has been a point of immense pain for my whole family,” said Boseman to the quiet crowd. “But I think about how he honored his parents, his family, his friends — he made sure his friends also had good careers. How he honored all the contracts he signed, except for the last one. He honored them with his blood, sweat, and tears, as he played these roles and was taking chemo at the same time. Chad was an amazing person. Him being honored today is no surprise to me because he spent his life, from childhood until today, always being recognized and receiving honors. He honored his widow. He was so strong, even in his last days, six days before he died, he honored the promise he made to her and he married her.”
as for the rest of the Frozen cast’s #D23Expo2022 honors — Kristen Bell made jokes about how the Legends statue is the one souvenir she won’t have to purchase today, while Idina Menzel excitedly accepted her award as a “Disney princess-turned-queen” #d23expo pic.twitter.com/Z61D0ywifF
— 🍓✨carlye wisel (@carlyewisel) September 9, 2022
Derrick continued by saying that his brother’s legacy is an illustration of how life imitates art in his opinion. Derrick states that even though it was supposed to be him, his mother gave the speech instead. Standing ovations were heard after Derrick Boseman said, “To me, you and dad are also legendary. It takes a king and a queen to create a king.” Derrick Boseman then posed for photos with Disney CEO Bob Chapek.
Earlier that evening, the Disney Legends were also admitted, including the Frozen star Josh Gad. During his speech, Gad acknowledged his “friend up there, Chadwick Boseman.”
Since it was founded in 1987, the Disney Legends award has been given to more than 300 individuals for their outstanding contributions to the wonderful world of Disney. Given that he elevated the Marvel character Black Panther to the status of a once-in-a-generation cultural icon and Oscar-nominated phenomenon, it is only natural that Boseman would be honored at the first celebration following his surprising defeat. Only one week prior, Boseman was honored with a posthumous Emmy for his depiction of Star-Lord T’Challa in Disney+’s What If…?
Along with music producer Chris Montan, lawyer Robert Price “Bob” Foster, Imagineers Rob’t Coltrin, and Doris Hardoon, and producer Don Hahn, other celebrities honored during the ceremony included Anthony Anderson, Kristen Bell, Patrick Dempsey, Josh Gad, Jonathan Groff, Idina Menzel, Ellen Pompeo, and Tracee Ellis Ross.