Native American actor to get Oscar, a first, at honorary awards
A Native American actor will receive an Oscar for the first time, organizers said Monday, as the Academy published a list of honorary prizes following years of controversy over the awards' diversity.
Wes Studi, who is best known for his roles in "Dances with Wolves" and "The Last of the Mohicans" – is one of three industry veterans who will receive honorary prizes at the glitzy Governors Awards ceremony on October 27, along with filmmakers David Lynch and Lina Wertmuller.
Actress Geena Davis, already an Academy Award winner, will receive a special prize for her humanitarian work.
Studi, 71, has appeared in more than 30 films and is "known for portraying strong Native American characters with poignancy and authenticity," the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said in a statement.
It also praised Studi's activism and involvement in Native American politics.
"I am deeply honored and humbled. I finally get to say 'I'd like to thank the Academy...'," tweeted Studi, who is of Cherokee descent.
The award comes almost half a century after Marlon Brando memorably declined his best actor Oscar for "The Godfather" in protest at the movie industry's treatment of Native Americans.
Academy president John Bailey said the recipients of this year's honorary Oscars were chosen for their "lifetime of artistic accomplishment" and had "brought outstanding contributions to our industry, and beyond."
The Governors Awards ceremony was created as a separate event in 2009 to allow more time for the honorees to accept their prizes and to declutter the main show's packed schedule.
(Top image: Wes Studi is seen in New York City, December 18, 2017. /VCG Photo)