Diversity celebrated at Screen Actors Guild Awards
LOS ANGELES – “Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to diverse TV,” Idris Elba joked on stage after winning twice at Saturday’s Screen Actors Guild Awards, where actors of colour claimed a slew of wins amid a furore in Hollywood over the lack of on-screen diversity.
Leonardo DiCaprio, Brie Larson and the cast of Spotlight – all white actors – won the top three film awards of the night, but the rest mainly honoured diverse cast and roles. That is in stark contrast to the Oscars, where no actors of colour are nominated this year for the industry’s highest honours.
Spotlight, about the Boston Globe’s probe of child abuse in the Catholic Church, beat out hip-hop biopic Straight Outta Compton for best film ensemble. The movie starred Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams.
“This is not only for survivors of this horrific situation, this is really for the disenfranchised,” Keaton said. “This is for the Flint, Michigans in the world, for the powerless.”
DiCaprio was named best actor for playing a fur-trapper in pioneer-era retribution drama The Revenant.
“We all stand on shoulders of giants, so thank all those actors from past who have inspired me and all the actors in this room,” DiCaprio said.
Larson, who played a woman held hostage with a young son in Room, was named best actress, while Sweden’s Alicia Vikander won best supporting actress for playing the wife of transgender artist Lili Elbe in The Danish Girl.
Spotlight, DiCaprio, Larson and Vikander are all nominated for Oscars, and with their Saturday wins, are cemented as front-runners in their respective categories.
Elba, a black British actor, won two SAG awards: best supporting actor for playing a mercenary commander in Netflix’s West African war drama Beasts of No Nation, and best actor in a limited series for BBC’s crime drama Luther.
“We made a film about real people and real lives, and to be awarded for that is very special,” Elba said of his Beasts win.
In the television categories, which featured far more diverse actors and roles, Netflix’s women’s prison show Orange Is the New Black, won the best comedy series ensemble award for the second consecutive year.
Best Ensemble Cast: Spotlight
Best Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
Best Actress: Brie Larson, Room
Best Supporting Actor: Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation
Best Supporting Actress: Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
Life Achievement: Carol Burnett
Best Ensemble Cast, Drama Series: Downton Abbey
Best Ensemble Cast, Comedy Series: Orange Is The New Black
Best Actor, Drama Series: Kevin Spacey, House of Cards
Best Actress, Drama Series: Viola Davis, How To Get Away with Murder
Best Actor, Comedy Series: Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent
Best Actress, Comedy Series: Uzo Aduba, Orange Is The New Black
Best Actor, TV Movie or Miniseries: Idris Elba, Luther
Best Actress, TV Movie or Miniseries: Queen Latifah, Bessie (Reuters)