The nominees for Black Hollywood are in! Let’s not get too excited, however. This list of nominees is solid with a couple firsts, but distant from last year’s Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards nominee “Black-out”. This year, the focus has shifted to a bolder representation of women in Hollywood, one that’s all about reclaiming time and power. The change has come on the heels of many women who have been at the forefront of speaking out against alleged sexual misconduct, harassment, rape and assault in the entertainment industry, once a subject considered taboo to speak out against.
As such, Executive Producer of the SAG Awards, Kathy Connell, says this year’s ceremony will feature all female presenters, an idea she conceptualized after her experience at the national Women’s March in Washington, D.C. earlier this year. The change, Connell says, also comes in response to the countless accusations being cast on Hollywood’s top dogs. “Women stepped forward in such a huge way in this last year,” Connell said. “I want to salute women who are coming forward to speak at a very difficult time about very difficult subjects at great risk to themselves,” she continued. And that’s not the only surprise. The SAG Awards will also feature its first host ever who happens to be a woman, Kristen Bell.
Speaking of a woman’s power and redemption, Mary J. Blige has secured her first series of SAG Awards nominations for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role” and “Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture”. Accompanying Blige with two nominations is Uzo Aduba, nominated for “Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series” and “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series” for her role in the Netflix series “Orange is the New Black”.
In the male categories, one of our favorite actors of all time, Denzel Washington, has done it again. He has been nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role” for his role in the American legal drama film “Roman J. Israel, Esq.” Daniel Kaluuya is also up for nomination in the same category for his highly successful role in the Blockbuster film “Get Out”.
Meanwhile, Anthony Anderson continues his hot streak on “Black-ish”, being nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series” and “Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series”. Sterling K. Brown also experiences continued success in his role on “This Is Us” for which he’s been nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series” and “Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series”. In a well-deserved honor, it has been announced that Morgan Freeman will be receiving the SAG Life Achievement Award during the ceremony.
With the attention of this awards season now focused on women in Hollywood as opposed to last year’s answered prayer for diversity inclusion, you can’t help but wonder if the changes we see are trendy, drifting in the wind with each new uproar in Hollywood. Well, who’s to say? What remains true, however, is that there’s still some work to do on the equality train in Hollywood.
In the meantime, be sure to tune in to the 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards simulcast live on Sunday, January 21, 2018 on TNT and TBS at 8 p.m. Eastern Time, 5 p.m Pacific Time. Also, be sure to catch our exclusive interview with actor and SAG Committee Chair Jason George on www.lasentinel.net.