In light of last year’s Women’s March and this year’s #MeToo Movement, the 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards were presented yesterday at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, awarding potential future Oscar winners for last year’s work in film and television.
Female progression, the theme inspired by last year’s Women’s March, was conveyed throughout the night via acceptance speeches, all women presenters, and through the show’s first woman host, Kristen Bell, whose words on the #MeToo Movement briefly changed the tone of her comical opening monologue. “Everyone’s story deserves to be told, especially now,” she said. “We are living in a watershed moment and as we march forward, let’s make sure we’re leading the charge with empathy and diligence, because fear and anger never win the race.”
SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris took the stage later on that night to applaud and stand in solidarity with those men and women who have been honest and vulnerable in sharing their truths. “We are in the midst of a massive cultural shift with brave voices saying ‘Me Too’ and advocates who know time is up,” she said. “We are making a difference. You are making a difference. It’s amazing. Change is coming and we are the agents of that change.”
Awkward silences could be heard throughout the room when Aziz Ansari and James Franco, both facing sexual allegations, were announced in their respective categories, but the messages of the night’s winners, celebrating inclusion, persistence, and the gradual elimination of ageism in Hollywood, dominated the night.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri led the night with three wins for best actress (Frances McDormand,) best supporting actor(Sam Rockwell,) and the award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.
Nicole Kidman won the award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie for her role in Big Little Lies, her first award after being a 10 time nominee. She acknowledged the strides made in Hollywood, especially for older women. “To receive this at this stage in my life is extraordinary,” she said. “I want to thank you all for your trailblazing performances you’re given over your career and how wonderful it is that our careers today can go beyond 40 years old….We’ve proven, and these actresses and so many more, are proving that we are potent and powerful and viable.”
Rita Moreno presented her longtime friend Morgan Freeman with the Lifetime Achievement Award, the same award he once presented it to her five years prior. While accepting his speech, he called out a distracting audience member (who we later find out is Lily Tomlin) and touched on gender inequality with his critique of the SAG trophy. “I wasn’t going to do this; I’m going to tell you what’s wrong with this statue,” he said. “It works from the back, but from the front, it’s gender specific. Maybe I started something.”
Sterling K. Brown brought home the award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series for his role as Randall Pearson in NBC’s ,This Is Us, becoming the first black actor to win this award. Holding back tears, he expressed his honor to have been recognized in a room full of peers and spoke of actors embracing their weird and strange selves. His words for aspiring actors, however, stuck out the most: “To all those people out there still hustling, trying to make it: the fame won’t sustain you, the money won’t sustain you — the love? Keep that love alive, it will keep you going!,” he advised. Later that night, the cast revelled in their victory for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series.
For a full list of the night’s winners, click here. Congratulations to them all!
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Written By: Sweenie Nicole