Sunday, January 31, 2016

Diversity not a problem at the SAG Awards

Two weeks ago, I groused about Hollywood's diversity issues for MLK Day.  In particular, I singled out Idris Elba's lack of nominations.
Elba being left out was particularly surprising, as he was nominated for a Golden Globe (he lost to Sylvester Stallone), a BAFTA Award, and three SAG Awards (two for his film perfomance and one for a TV role).  The actors and foreign press were certainly behind him, even if the rest of the voters were not.
Last night, Elba got some of the recognition he was denied at the Oscars by winning two of the three SAG Awards for which he was nominated, Performance by a male actor in a supporting role for "Beasts of No Nation" and Performance by a male actor in a television movie or miniseries for "Luther."  He had earlier won a Critics' Choice Award for the latter role, keeping "Fargo" from completely sweeping the miniseries awards at that ceremony.

TNT posted two videos of Elba accepting his awards.  The first was for "Beasts of No Nation."

The second was for "Luther."

Congratulations, Mr. Elba!

He wasn't alone in making the SAG Awards winners a diverse group.  Follow over the jump for more on how diversity reigned on the television side of the awards.

The L.A. Times headline told the tale--SAG Awards 2016: Take that Oscars -- diversity's the big winner tonight.
Members of the Screen Actors Guild proved far more inclusive than their film academy counterparts Saturday night, honoring a diverse array of actors during their annual awards show at the Shrine Auditorium and making a pointed contrast to #OscarsSoWhite.

"Look at this stage," “Orange Is the New Black” star Laura Prepon said, motioning to the show's diverse cast while accepting the TV comedy series award. "This is what we talk about when we talk about diversity. Different race, color, creed, sexual orientation.
My readers can hear Prepon say this for themselves as well as see that the cast indeed embodies what she says in her acceptance speech.

What about the individual winners, other than Elba?
Also winning, all on the television side: Queen Latifah for playing blues singer Bessie Smith in HBO's "Bessie," Viola Davis for her lead turn on ABC's "How To Get Away with Murder" and "Orange Is the New Black" actress Uzo Aduba.
Here are their acceptance speeches.  First, Uzo Aduba.

Next, Viola Davis.

Finally, Queen Latifah.

All that was on stage.  What did the winners have to say when they had more time to talk to the press?
"You know what it feels like?" Aduba asked The Times backstage. "It's amazing to see actors have the opportunity to celebrate other actors work and to feel empowered by the voting process so they can see whatever actor they want reflected up there. And I'm honored to have been chosen by my peers."
"This is what happens when you have the SAG group -- a group of very diverse people who understand the work that we all put in and that we all deserve the same opportunities," Queen Latifah told The Times backstage. "That's about it. I feel very positive about this day."
She should, too.

Here's to hoping that the rules changes for voting eligibility that the Motion Picture Academy will be instituting in time for next year's awards has a similar effect on the nominees and winners in the future.


  1. now we just need to rig the ballots for the Oscars to ensure Mad Max Fury Road wins Best Picture...

    1. Ain't happening. It's one of "The Big Short," "Spotlight," or "The Revenant." If you want "Mad Max: Fury Road" to win something, join the group that gives out the Saturn Awards, the Science Fiction Film Society. Then you can vote for it yourself. That's what I'm going to do.