Chadwick Boseman Celebrates A Real Life Super Hero With His MTV Movie Award (Video)

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Chadwick Boseman has become a real-life superhero to millions of people around the world, thanks to his role as the fictional superhero Black Panther. In that role, he represented ideals of pride, virtue, strength and triumph over adversity. The monumental success of Black Panther at box offices worldwide only amplified what many already knew: that people love a good hero. The film became the highest-grossing superhero film of all time in the United States, not to mention its role in encouraging Hip-Hop stars like Big Boi to provide screenings of the film for those in need. It came with a critically acclaimed soundtrack executive produced by Kendrick Lamar and Top Dawg and helped ensure the success of April’s Avengers: Infinity War. It was no surprise then, that the star of Black Panther was the clear winner of the “Best Hero” award at this year’s MTV Movie & TV Awards.

The 2018 MTV Movie & TV Awards aired last night (June 18), and Boseman used his time accepting the award for Best Hero to celebrate a true, real-life champion. After thanking fans for making “this moment special,” Boseman told the audience that he and Black Panther director Ryan Coogler wanted to “make a movie that everybody could embrace.” He then continues, “Receiving an award for playing a superhero is amazing. But it’s even greater to acknowledge the heroes that we have in real life. I just want to acknowledge somebody that’s here today: James Shaw, Jr.”

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Shaw has become colloquially known as the “Waffle House Hero” after he disarmed a man wielding a semi-automatic rifle in an Antioch, Tennessee Waffle House. The armed man he took down killed four people, but Shaw attacked the shooter before any more lives were lost. Beyond that singular act of bravery, Shaw then launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for the victims’ families. In interviews following the ordeal, Shaw remained modest and at times humorous, telling NPR ” I haven’t had any specific combat training…I just fight my daughter every night, so I can put her to bed.”

When Boseman singled out Shaw at last night’s award ceremony, the audience responded with cheers. He stood up in his seat and waved to the crowd with a look of surprise. “You didn’t know we were about to do this, did you?,” Boseman asks him. Boseman then explains why he decided to share his award with Shaw, saying “He fought off a gunman and he saved lives” before inviting him on stage. “This is going to live at your house,” Boseman tells his superhero of the award.

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Elsewhere during the MTV Movie & TV Awards, Black Panther took home prizes for “Best Movie,” “Best Performance In A Movie” (Chadwick Boseman) and Best Villain (Michael B. Jordan as “N’Jadaka/Erik Killmonger”).