From Reel Hero To Real Hero: Chadwick Boseman Gives His MTV Award To The Man Who Stopped The Waffle House Mass Shooting
The gesture makes the award-winning actor all the more admirable, while also highlighting the efforts of America's true heroes.
Chadwick Boseman, the silver screen talent who plays Black Panther's titular character, swept the 2018 MTV Movie & TV Awards alongside his cast members.
The action and fantasy film, an adaptation of a popular Marvel graphic novel title, made history this year by becoming a massive critical hit and box office success, featuring a predominantly colored cast. Its beautiful portrayal of different elements of African culture was also well-received by its global audience, and ultimately, became the first superhero film that individuals of African descent could truly identify with.
It then came to no surprise that the Ryan Coogler-directed masterpiece earned nominations in several major categories and brought home awards for Best Villain (won by Michael B. Jordan), Best Hero and Best Actor in a Movie (both won by Chadwick), and best of all, Best Movie.
As Chadwick received his award for Best Hero onstage, no one could have predicted what he had in mind.
?????? and more ??… THANK YOU #MTVAwards! #BlackPanther fans, you’re incredible. During the show, I was honored to meet @JamesShawJr9. He saved countless lives by tackling a gunman who opened fire on people in Antioch, Tennessee in April. He’s a true hero that walks among us. pic.twitter.com/bIF8vOk3v3— Chadwick Boseman (@chadwickboseman) June 19, 2018
Holding onto his golden popcorn trophy, the 40-year-old began his acceptance speech by acknowledging Black Panther's achievements and its cast and crew members' contributions, only to shift gears to honor a name that the glitzy crowd failed to recognize: James Shaw Jr.
James was responsible for stopping the gunman that fatally shot four diners and wounded four more individuals at popular diner Waffle House in Tennessee in April. The 29-year-old electrician was grazed by a bullet during the encounter and even suffered severe burns on his hands from grabbing the barrel of the shooter's rifle.
"Receiving an award for playing a superhero is amazing, but it's even greater to acknowledge the heroes that we have in real life," Chadwick announced.
"So I just want to acknowledge somebody that's here today. James Shaw Jr. Where are you? Stand. If you don't know James Shaw Jr., he fought off a gunman in Antioch, Tennessee at a Waffle House. He saved lives. Come on up here," he continued.
Invited to the A-list event, James was given a standing ovation as he joined Chadwick onstage, and another as he made his way back to his seat. Chadwick assured the real-life hero that the trophy would indeed be his, and would find its permanent place in his home.
With a praiseworthy gesture like this, Wakanda's ruler proves that he is, indeed, deserving to be called a king!
Photo from @chadwickboseman