On Saturday at the annual Governors Awards, the Chinese actor and martial arts star finally received his little gold statuette, an honorary Oscar for his decades of work in film.
“After 56 years in the film industry, making more than 200 films, after so many bones, finally,” Chan, 62, quipped at the star-studded gala dinner while holding his Oscar.
The actor recalled watching the ceremony with his parents and his father always asking him why he didn’t have Hollywood’s top accolade despite having made so many movies.
He praised his hometown Hong Kong for making him “proud to be Chinese,” and thanked his fans, saying they were the reason “I continue to make movies, jumping through windows, kicking and punching, breaking my bones.”
The actor was introduced by his “Rush Hour” co-star Chris Tucker, actress Michelle Yeoh and Tom Hanks, who referred to him as “Jackie ‘Chantastic’ Chan.”
Hanks said it was especially gratifying to be able to acknowledge Chan’s work because martial arts and action comedy films were two genres often overlooked during awards season.
Prior to receiving the award, Chan wrote in a Facebook post that he felt “absolutely honored to be the first Chinese in history” to receive the distinction.
In the past five years, only nine actors of color have been nominated in an acting category at the Academy Awards. And while Chris Rock, who hosted the event last year, made note of the lack of diversity, he made offensive jokes at the expense of Asians causing a huge backlash on social media.