The hashtag #SAGsSoBlack trended this weekend as Saturday (January 30) night’s Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards ceremony recognized Black performers and diverse ensembles in almost every nominated category.
Included among the winners were Viola Davis (“Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series” for “How to Get Away with Murder”), Uzo Aduba (“Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series” for “Orange is the New Black”) and Queen Latifah (“Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries” for “Bessie”).
Idris Elba, shut out by the Oscars, scored a notable twofer with awards for ”Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role” for “Beasts of No Nation” and “Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries” for “Luther.” ”Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Diverse TV!” Elba said during the telecast.
The recognition of these Black actors and actresses was interpreted as a rebuke to the ongoing #OscarsSoWhite controversy, as #SAGsSoBlack took over social media:
— Julee A. Wilson (@MissJulee) January 31, 2016
— جوليا عبدالله (@Julia_Abdulla) February 1, 2016
— robert e g black (@robertegblack) February 1, 2016
But Viola Davis made a point of noting backstage that “diversity is not a trending topic,” adding, that ”all of the actors of color I know don’t place any limitations on themselves either, so regardless what is going on with the Academy, what is going on with Hollywood, they will find a way to be excellent. We always have and we always will.”