WaterCoolerConvos

The Diversity of the SAG Awards Brought Out the Racism of #SAGsSoBlack

Idris_Elba_SAG_AWards_2016It’s always funny to me how racists come out of the woodwork whenever they think they have the least  bit of coverage or validity in their bigoted views. And when numerous actors of color were awarded at this past weekend’s SAG Awards, they saw it as their opportunity to strike back at #OscarsSoWhite. If they had the ability to logically form an argument, they would have seen that the wins at the award ceremony only elucidated the Oscars’ race problem.

 

Among the minority winners at the ceremony were Uzo Aduba for Orange is the New Black, Viola Davis for her stellar work on How To Get Away With Murder, Queen Latifah for Bessie, and Idris Elba with a historic two wins, one for Beasts of No Nation and another for Luther. And as you might expect, white folk fearing that they may have lost the least bit of anything in life tried their best to undermine the actors’ achievements.

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This level of adult temper tantrum always throws me for a loop, but Nate Parker’s recent sweep of awards at the Sundance Film Festival may be contributing to white folk feeling extra threatened. Not only did he star in, produce, direct, and write his film Birth of a Nation, but he made the ultimate anti-slave film: slaves revolting and killing the shit out of white people. Clearly black folk are on a rampage and need to be stopped.

The whole point of #OscarsSoWhite was to draw attention to the fact that the entire list of nominees is white. We’re not even talking about winners; we’re talking about who is even being considered for the award. And as @ReignOfApril pointed out, ballots were available weeks before the Oscars nominations were even announced. So unless everyone waited until the last minute to get their votes in, there is no way that these wins were a reaction to the Oscar nominations. What is more likely is that actors (many of which are probably also in the Academy) are just more likely to vote for the work and not for political reasons.

Still, the point of here that is the most confounding is the comparison of population percentage and percentage of wins. No one has been arguing that the winners of these awards should be representative of the US population, and the idea that they should be is laughable. Still, if you are using that as your line of reasoning, shouldn’t you be just as upset that there have been no black Oscar nominees 2 years in a row?

So which one is it? Are minorities overlooked because they are deserving or are they awarded for undeserving performances? Following that framework, there is no way to ever be a legitimate winner unless the white public agrees. And if we held our collective breath waiting for that, we’d all drop dead.


 

The full list of Screen Actors Guild nominees and winners is below:

TV

Female Actor TV Movie or Miniseries

  • Nicole Kidman – Grace of Monaco
  • Christina Ricci – The Lizzie Borden Chronicles
  • Susan Sarandon – The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe
  • Kristen Wiig – The Spoils Before Dying
  • WINNER: Queen Latifah – Bessie

 

Male Actor TV Movie or Miniseries

  • Ben Kingsley – Tut
  • Ray Liotta – Texas Rising
  • Bill Murray – A Very Murray Christmas
  • Mark Ryalnce – Wolf Hall
  • WINNER: Idris Elba – Luther

 

Outstanding Female in Comedy Series

  • Edie Falco – Nurse Jackie
  • Ellie Kemper – Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus – Veep
  • Amy Poehler – Parks and Recreation
  • WINNER: Uzo Aduba – Orange is the New Black

 

Outstanding Male Comedy Series

  • Ty Burrell – Modern Family
  • Louis C.K. – Louie
  • William H Macy – Shameless
  • Jim Parsons – Big Bang Theory
  • WINNER: Jeffrey Tambor – Transparent

 

Ensemble Comedy Series

  • Big Bang Theory
  • Key & Peele
  • Modern Family
  • Transparent
  • Veep
  • WINNER: Orange is the New Black

 

Outstanding Male Actor Drama

  • Peter Dinklage – Game of Thrones
  • Jon Hamm – Mad Men
  • Rami Malek – Mr. Robot
  • Bob Odenkirk – Better Call Saul
  • WINNER: Kevin Spacey – House of Cards

 

Outstanding Female Actor Drama

  • Claire Danes – Homeland
  • Julianna Margulies – The Good Wife
  • Maggie Smith – Downton Abbey
  • Robin Wright – House of Cards
  • WINNER: Viola Davis – How to Get Away With Murder

 

Ensemble Drama

  • Game of Thrones
  • Homeland
  • House of Cards
  • Mad Men
  • WINNER: Downton Abbey

 

MOVIES

Outstanding Female Actor Supporting

  • Rooney Mara – Carol
  • Rachel McAdams – Spotlight
  • Helen Mirren – Trumbo
  • Kate Winslet – Steve Jobs
  • WINNER: Alicia Vikander – The Danish Girl

 

Outstanding Male Actor Supporting

  • Christian Bale – The Big Short
  • Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies
  • Michael Shannon – 99 Homes
  • Jacob Tremblay – Room
  • WINNER: Idris Elba – Beasts of No Nation

 

Female Leading Role

  • Cate Blanchett – Carol
  • Helen Mirren – Woman in Gold
  • Saoirse Ronan – Brooklyn
  • Sarah Silverman – I Smile Back
  • WINNER: Brie Larson – Room

 

Male Leading Role

  • Johnny Depp – Black Mass
  • Bryan Cranston – Trumbo
  • Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs
  • Eddie Redmayne – The Danish Girl
  • WINNER: Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant

 

Cast in a Movie

  • Beasts of No Nation
  • The Big Short
  • Straight Outta Compton
  • Trumbo
  • WINNER: Spotlight

 

 

Image credit: Deadline.com

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Daren W. Jackson

Co-Founder/Editor
Daren is one half of the Water Cooler Convos team. He's a writer, music connoisseur, and comic book geek who spends his free time working on his novel and other short stories.

Comments

comments

  • Viky

    Tragic — I can only interpret those types of responses as confirmation of what we all know — what Jenn has kindly described as “white male fragility” …

  • Φίλη

    I don’t understand your logic: whenever a black actor/actress wins is because of talent and whenever he/she loses is because of his color? Your way of thought is racist! Actually, all this fuss about “Oscarssowhite” is that created this scepticism so you should blame those who turned awards into racist competition: it was some black actors’ claims that literary stated that their white colleagues who are nominated for Oscar were nominated due to their white skin. So the whole racist thing is those black actors’ fault – I think black actors should be angry at them because their supposed fight for rights set in doubt their wins.