Published: Mon, February 25, 2019
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

Mahershala Ali Wins Best Supporting Actor For ‘Green Book’

Mahershala Ali Wins Best Supporting Actor For ‘Green Book’

Shirley's nephew said in an interview that Ali called to personally apologize.

The Universal release re-creates the concert tour of Shirley, an African-American musician touring the Deep South in 1962 with only a Bronx-bred Italian driver and temporarily unemployed bouncer by his side.

During his award speech, Ali thanked his grandmother.

(L-R) Jim Burke, Charles B. Wessler, Nick Vallelonga, Peter Farrelly, and Brian Currie, winners of Best Picture for "Green Book", pose in the press room during the 91st Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood on Sun., Feb. 24, 2019. "I want to thank Dr. Shirley ..."

He dedicated his award to his grandmother, who he said has pushed him his entire life to keep trying time and time again and to remain positive.

"I know I would not be here without her", he said on stage. Ali's competition this year included Adam Driver in "BlacKkKlansman", Richard E. Grant in "Can You Forgive Me?", Sam Elliott in "A Star Is Born" and Sam Rockwell in "Vice".

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The only other years that saw more than one actor of color winning at the same Oscar ceremony are 2007 (Forest Whitaker for The Last King of Scotland, Jennifer Hudson for Dreamgirls), 2005 (Jamie Foxx for Ray, Morgan Freeman for Million Dollar Baby), 2001 (Washington for Training Day, Halle Berry for Monster's Ball), and 1983 (Ben Kingsley for Gandhi, Louis Gossett Jr. for An Officer and a Gentleman). Ali previously won this category in 2017 for Moonlight.

While Green Book has been well-received by audiences and critics alike-and has picked up several other notable awards-it has received criticism from some of Shirley's living relatives. It is probably the biggest night in film thanks to the fact that it honors all of the best movies, actors and behind the scenes people from that particular year.

"It's once again a depiction of a white man's version of a black man's life", his niece Carol Shirley Kimble told NPR's 1A Movie Club. "To depict him as less than, and to depict him and take away from him and make the story about a hero of a white man for this incredibly accomplished black man is insulting, at best".

He won the Oscar despite assertions by some of Shirley's family members that the portrayal of the pianist contained inaccuracies, and the resurfacing of accusations of sexual impropriety by director Peter Farrelly.

Ali won his second Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.

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