To say Jamie Foxx was a fan of “Black Panther” would be an understatement.
The BET Awards host focused almost his entire monologue on the film’s success and impact, beginning in the audience holding a stuffed animal black panther before handing it off to star Michael B. Jordan and joining Jay Rock on stage for his opening performance.
“I’m not here to host, I’m here to celebrate,” Foxx declared as his monologue began. “Black excellence televised!” he added.
He went on to praise “Black Panther” director Ryan Coogler, highlighting the movies record-breaking box office success and thanked the director. “We don’t need a president right now, because we got our king,” Foxx said. “Ryan Coogler gave us our king.”
He also shouted out Jordan’s character in the film, Erik Killmonger, a complex villain who Foxx joked brought “gang banging” to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
But he still took the film’s impact seriously, addressing Jordan in the audience. “Everybody was moved by that. You changed the culture.”
Foxx even brought Jordan on stage to close out the monologue with his favorite line from the movie, which he said was, “so significant for today, right now. I want you to say that line.”
Jordan hesitated, and recited Killmonger’s last line. “Bury me in the ocean with my ancestors who jumped from ships, ’cause they knew death was better than bondage.”
With that, Foxx repeated the fact that he was there “to celebrate” not host, and introduced the second performance of the night, by J. Cole.
On the carpet, Foxx revealed why he insisted on calling the night a “celebration.”
“It is because you think about what ‘Black Panther’ did, what ‘Get Out’ did, what ‘Jumanji’ did. What Cardi B did and all of this is coming from black folks so I was like, I begged. I was like, ‘Please just let me come’,” he told ET’s Nischelle Turner.
Foxx continued, ” I said this is the moment. This is the moment and to have Michael B. Jordan show up, Ryan Coogler show up, Donald Glover show up and be there – it’s like every person that’s ever had that thing where it jumps off they all come to BET.”
The actor also took a moment to pay tribute to rapper XXXTentacion, who was shot and killed last week at age 20, and called for an end to gun violence.
For more on Foxx hosting (and celebrating) watch the video below!
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