For many Oscar viewers, the end of the 2021 ceremony felt like a punch to the stomach.
In the lead-up to the ceremony, this year's Academy Awards were billed as the most diverse in the show's history. All thanks to the fact that out of the acting nominees nine were non-white, including three of the five stars in both the best actor and best supporting actor categories.
Minari star Steven Yeun entered the history books as the first Asian-American nominee in the Best Actor category, while Sound of Metal actor Riz Ahmed became the first Muslim to be nominated in the Oscars Best Actor category.
As the night wore on and the winners were called to the stage, Minari actress Yuh-Jung Youn became the first Korean performer to win an Academy Award while Nomadland director Chloe Zhao became the first woman of colour and the second woman ever to win the Best Director Oscar.
Then, in an unexpected shuffle, the Best Actor category was moved to the end of the broadcast, a slot historically reserved for the Best Picture announcement.
It was widely believed (but not confirmed) that the switch was due to the fact that the late Chadwick Boseman, who had already picked up wins at the Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild Awards, and Critics Choice Awards for his performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, was about to win the Oscar.
Instead, the award was bestowed upon Anthony Hopkins for his role in The Father.
It was an oddly flat ending to an evening, and a Best Actor category, that had started out with so much promise.