The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences is checking off some “it’s about damn time” items off of its To Do List today, announcing that its Board Of Governors has decided to bestow honorary Oscars to Samuel L. Jackson, Elaine May, and Liv Ullmann, and that Danny Glover will be getting the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. The awards will be given out on January 15, 2022, at the Academy’s Governors Awards event, and—if previous Academy Awards ceremonies are anything to go by—there will then be a little highlight reel during the regular Academy Awards and these four will get to walk out onstage and do their little nods and waves. Maybe they’ll get to make speeches, because Samuel L. Jackson should be allowed to make a damn Oscars acceptance speech at some point. As the only guy who was in a bunch of Star Wars movies and Marvel movies, he’s the highest-grossing actor of all time! Give him more trophies!
The rest of these honorary recipients are just as deserving, of course. In a statement, Academy President David Rubin offered his pitch for each of them, saying that Jackson “is a cultural icon whose dynamic work has resonated across genres and generations and audiences worldwide,” that May’s “bold, uncompromising approach to filmmaking, as a writer, director, and actress, reverberates as loudly as ever with movie lovers,” and that Ullmann’s “bravery and emotional transparency has gifted audiences with deeply affecting screen portrayals.” As for Glover, who is getting a specific thing instead of a general honorary statue (though they’re all Oscar statuettes), Rubin said that his “decades-long advocacy for justice and human rights reflects his dedication to recognizing our shared humanity on and off the screen.”
The 2022 Oscars are going to be slightly unusual, but rather than being forced to shake things up because of COVID, it’s happening to ease back into post-COVID normalcy. The show is happening on March 27 next year, but the eligibility window for this year is still ending on December 31, so you’ve only got a few more months to make and release your film if you want to win an Oscar now that the honorary ones have already been claimed.