#SAGSoBlack Trumps #OscarsSoWhite With Big Wins For Diversity
one small step
The Screen Actors Guild Awards made big waves last night by doing something the Oscars are seemingly incapable of—nominating and recognizing non-white actors and actresses for the stunning and praise-worthy performances they give on film and television. With two wins for Idris Elba and a win each for Queen Latifah, Viola Davis, and Uzo Aduba, the night felt like a great, albeit small step toward the entertainment industry recognizing and celebrating diversity on-screen. The wins also prompted new hashtag #SAGSoBlack to trend, helping people both celebrate the accomplishments and take a dig at the Oscars for being so retrogressive.
While the five awards are a huge achievement and deserve to be celebrated, it pays to remember that Idris Elba was the only non-white actor nominated for a movie award, and Rami Malek was the only non-black person of color nominated for anything, period. During her acceptance speech, Viola Davis summed up the diversity issue perfectly, saying that "Diversity is not a trending topic...I will find a way to practice my art, and all of the actors of color who I know don’t place any limitations on themselves either. So regardless of what is going on with the Academy, regardless of what is going on in Hollywood, they will find a way to be excellent. We always have and we always will." And, as Idris Elba succinctly put it, "Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to diverse TV." #amen!