Chadwick Boseman, best known for playing the titular role in the iconic Black Panther, recently won ‘Best Hero’ at the MTV Awards.
However, it was what Boseman did while accepting the award which made headlines.
Rather than giving a particularly emotional speech, or even completely fluff it – as you might expect from awards shows – Boseman chose to do something entirely different.
Instead, he invited James Shaw Jr. to join him onstage.
Shaw, 29, was working at a Waffle House in Antioch, Nashville, when an armed man entered the building with an assault rifle and opened fire, killing four people and wounding at least four more.
During the horrific incident, Shaw bravely ambushed the shooter once he realised what was happening, wrestling the gun off him and subsequently saving a number of lives in the process, People reports.
Shaw was rightly hailed a hero, so when Boseman was accepting his award for ‘Best Hero’, he invited Shaw onstage, telling him the award ‘is going to live at your house’.
During his speech, Boseman said:
Receiving an award for playing a superhero is amazing but it’s even greater to acknowledge the heroes we have in real life.
He [Shaw] fought off a gunman in Antioch, Tennessee, at a Waffle House. He saved lives… a real-life hero.
After the awards, Boseman tweeted:
During the show, I was honoured to meet James Shaw Jr. He saved countless lives by tackling a gunman who opened fire on people in Antiochm Tennessee in April. He’s a true hero that walks among us.
??? 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
After the incident at the Waffle House, Shaw set up a GoFundMe page, to raise money for the families of victims of the attack. So far, at the time of writing, it’s raised over $240,000.
Speaking to reporters, Shaw said:
I don’t want people to think that I was the Terminator or Superman or anybody like that.
Boseman himself has previously experienced the kindness of others.
Oscar-winner Denzel Washington paid part of his tuition through a scholarship programme while he took a summer class studying drama at Oxford University.
Check out the video below to see Boseman talking about it on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon:
I’ve basically been holding this secret my whole career.
When I came back [from university], I got a beneficiary letter and it said Denzel Washington paid for you.
Speaking to Rolling Stone about Washington’s gift, Boseman added:
I’m sure he has no idea. It was random. I couldn’t wait to write my thank you letter! I’ve been waiting to meet him, so I can tell him.
Luckily enough, Boseman got his chance, telling Fallon, Washington had the best response to the story.
When the two actors met finally, Washington joked with Boseman, saying:
Oh, so that’s why I’m here – you owe me money! I came to collect!
If you need reminding, check out Boseman in action in Black Panther:
It seems Washington, a nine-time Oscar nominee, backed a marvellous winner.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.