Jackie Chan is a Hong Kong martial artist, director, and actor known primarily in the United States for his stunts in movies such as the Rush Hour Series, The Karate Kid, and Shanghai Noon. He received this honorary award for after 56 years in the film industry.
“As you know, the Governors Awards are a chance for the Academy to recognize unique achievements across an artist’s whole body of work, because Jackie Chan … has worked mostly in martial arts films and action comedies, two genres that have been, for some reason, shall we say, historically underrepresented at the Oscars, a fact that will change if I have any pull on the Board of Governors,” Hanks, 60, said during the introduction speech.
This means a lot for not just Jackie Chan, but also for martial arts movies and Asian American culture as a whole. For so long, Jackie Chan has been a symbol of what can be achieved by an Asian American in the film industry, rather than just Americans. He now has an award to show for all of the work he has put in, and how he has shared many different cultures with America, the world, and the film industry.
During the award speech, Chan gave mention to his hometown, neighborhood, and country. “I want to thank you, Hong Kong, such an incredible city, my hometown, my hood, who make me,” Chan continued. “China, my country, I am proud to be Chinese. Thank you, Hollywood, for all of those years teaching me so many things, and also [for making] me a little bit famous. I’m just honored to be here.”