Angela Bassett Is Allowed to be Disappointed

Whitney Alese
Published in
3 min readMar 13

This is a reminder that Black Women are allowed to feel emotions, whether you are comfortable with it or not.

Angela Bassett has been nominated only TWICE for the Academy Awards. TWICE. Once in 1994 and again in 2023. With a career as prolific and impactful as hers, one would think that not only would she have been nominated more, but received more. Yet, in her 38-year career, with roles in films such as Malcolm X, What’s Love Got To Do With It, and her latest powerful role in Wakanda Forever, she has not received a single Oscar. Not one.

Yet, people have the audacity to be upset at her for not clapping for the recipient of that award? Worse, people were DEMANDING that she continue to perform, despite her disappointment.

She, at 64 years old, didn’t feel like clapping for whatever reason, and that is her business. Rather than empathizing with her, too many people immediately took to social media and criticized her for expressing a natural feeling of disappointment for not winning.

Note: Angela Bassett didn’t storm out of the room, she didn’t throw anything, she didn’t boo, and she didn't walk up on the stage and demand a recount.

She simply sat there. Too many people took that personally. One user created an entire thread of bad takes on Angela Bassett’s sitting still.

Whitney Alese
Writer for

Whitney Alese is a writer & podcaster, featured in WIRED Magazine (Sept 2020) & I-D Magazine (Dec. 2021), and NBC (Jan 2023). She is based in Philadelphia.