And “The Actor” goes to... Blackness!
On a warm and sunny January 27th evening in Los Angeles, the 25th Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards shined at the Shrine Auditorium so thespians could celebrate their peers.
While not as lauded as the Emmys or Oscars, award ceremonies by unions such as SAG-AFTRA and WGA always seems extra special because I can imagine your direct peers recognizing you, like “biiiitch, you did that shit” is... well, the shit.
Hosted by Megan Mullally, the ceremony kicked off with the traditional opening montage of actors introducing themselves and their craft. Undoubtedly, my favorite of the night was Geoffrey Owens. Given his rollercoaster of a ride from Trader Joe’s to the resurgence of a respected career, the 57-year-old actor’s beaming and proud face brought a similar smile to mine.
Continuing his smooth streak this awards season, Green Book’s Mahershala Ali picked up the award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role.
Sandra Oh’s win for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series (Killing Eve) not only stood as fantastic representation for Asian actors (along with her awards season vast recognition being long overdue); the moment she stepped onstage to thank the people who supported her... it unexpectedly became a black moment, as well.
“I just want to thank my fellow actors. I have felt your support so tremendously in the past years,” Oh mused. “I want to thank Alfre Woodard. In 1997 — she’s never going to remember this — she whispered in my ear, ‘I’m so proud of you out there; we fight the same fight.’ Jamie Foxx, in 2006, pulled me aside and he said, ‘Keep going.’ And in 2017, Lena Waithe, she just embraced me and said, ‘You already won. It’s in the work.’ So, thank you to my fellow actors. Thank you!”
This is what minority solidarity looks like. This here. It doesn’t look like hijacking one’s progression to place the spotlight on yours, it celebrates the mutual support you receive from the community as you each strive to win. Together. We all gon’ eat. We all gon’ win.
The cast of This Is Us celebrated a big two, taking home the Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series win for the second consecutive year. Check out the cuteness that is Sterling K. Brown and his lovely wife and fellow actor, Ryan Michelle Bathe (who made a guest appearance on the show, too!). They are so damn goofy and I fucking love it.
And then, there was “Wakanda Forever.”
Along with the sheer optics of the Black Panther cast happily shuffling onstage to celebrate their big win for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture (the film also won for Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture), the fact that the film made SAG Awards history was pretty huge. With the win, it became the first film in the ceremony’s history to score wins for Best Cast and Best Stunt Ensemble.
The complete winners list for the 25th SAG Awards can be viewed at SAGAFTRA.org.