LOS ANGELES – We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Chadwick Boseman and our hearts go out to his wife and family.
“The absolute pinnacle of our profession is not fame, fortune or accolades. It is the simple act of touching someone’s heart, nourishing their soul and giving voice and meaning to our hopes and dreams,” said SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris. “Chadwick soared far above those heights inspiring a thousand possibilities in the minds of our children while elevating our culture. He exemplified the best of storytelling and the best of who we can be leaving a lasting legacy that sustains us. Rest in peace.”
"He was more than a rising star,” said SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director David White. “He showcased the stories of our past AND our future. He was a true storyteller through his performance. With 42 he anchored our understanding of the past and showed us a path towards magnificent futures with Black Panther."
Boseman led the ensemble cast in the title role of Black Panther, which won the SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture in 2019.
In his powerful acceptance speech, which can be seen here, Chadwick spoke to the power of storytelling to create change and to the experience of being "young, gifted and black”:
“We know what it’s like to be told there’s not a screen for you to be featured on, a stage for you to be featured on. We know what it’s like to be the tail and not the head. We know what it’s like to be beneath and not above. And that is what we went to work with every day because we knew — not that we would be around during award season or that it would make a billion dollars, but we knew we had something special that we wanted to give the world. That we could be full human beings in the roles that we were playing, that we could create a world that exemplified a world that we wanted to see,” said Boseman.
Photo: Chadwick Boseman, center, with the cast of Black Panther at the 2019 SAG Awards. Photo by Terence Patrick/Getty Images for Turner.