Making history at the 2018 SAG Awards

Published on January 30, 2018 in Pacer Times, University of South Carolina Aiken’s college paper

The 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards that aired on Jan. 21 reflected just how progressive society is becoming, with many awards going to women and minorities.

The Guild was founded in 1933 and has a rich history in labor reform and eventually helped dissolve the disadvantageous studio system. It won better working conditions for actors and has fostered the growth in realizing actors as individuals.

In 1935, SAG boycotted the Oscars but as time goes on SAG Awards are becoming accurate predictors of those who will win Oscars.

SAG, a guild comprised of all actors, has provided the foundation for the self-empowerment of actors. To no surprise, awards were gifted to those deserving of them, regardless of gender or skin color.

The Guild hasn’t had a host until this year and it was Kirsten Bell. All presenters were female, too.

Bell set the tone with a heartfelt line, “As we march forward with active momentum and open ears, let’s make sure we’re leading the charge with empathy and with diligence, because fear and anger never win the race.”

There were several innocuous political commentaries, such as introducing “The Handmaid’s Tale” as a documentary. “The Handmaid’s Tale” is not a documentary but is a drama show about a dystopian world harshly oppressing women.

This year is the first year that the award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series was given to an African American, Sterling K. Brown.

And this year, a talented Morgan Freeman won the SAG Life Achievement Award.

In the past, diversification of nominees was not as varied but for years to come, there is no longer a strong foreboding of exclusionary nominating and prejudice. Talent and promise is the true focus. Awards are based on ability, not presumptions or unsolicited favoritism.

Bell talked about fear not winning any race and with the way in which awards were presented this year and what controversial statements were fearlessly said, instinctual apprehension seems to be waning in these kinds of ceremonies.

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