SAG Awards Break Barriers

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Orange is the New Black’s Uzo Aduba accepting her award.

Helen Burdier, Entertainment Editor

The 21st annual Screen Actors Guild award ceremony marked the second tier on the race to next month’s Academy Awards. Throughout the show, the power of online streaming was solidified, the movie Birdman proved it’s ability to stand tall against Boyhood, and the void in racial diversity in the recently released Oscar nominations was nonexistent in the night’s winners.

This month’s earlier Golden Globes were taken over by Amazon Streaming’s Transparent, and in similar fashion Netflix’s Orange is the New Black dominated the Television category and ended Modern Family’s long winning streak. The female driven show took home awards for outstanding female actor in a comedy, which went to Uzo Aduba for her role as Litchfield prison inmate Crazy Eyes, and also for best ensemble cast. 

Not only does Orange is the New Black’s win signify a change in the way television is watched, but the show, whose cast include black, Asian, Latino, transgender, and lesbian actors, also stomps on the white-men-prevail idea still evident in Hollywood, specifically the recent Academy Award snubs. Diversity won again when Viola Davis picked up the Actor for outstanding female actor in a drama series for her lead role in ABC’s How to Get Away With Murder. In her speech, Davis thanked Shonda Rhimes, the shows creator, for “thinking that a sexualized, messy, mysterious woman could be a 49-year-old dark-skinned African-American woman who looks like me.”

The Golden Globes are typically a foreshadowing of who will win in later award shows, but Birdman played the role as the exception to that rule by taking home the honor of outstanding cast in a motion picture. However, the films lead actor, Michael Keaton, didn’t add another award for his own acting to his trophy collection, instead Eddie Redmayne won male actor in a leading role for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything.

Other awards were handed to the same Globe winners. Julianne Moore won for best actress in a leading role for Still Alice, J.K. Simmons for best supporting actor for his role as an overbearing drum teacher in Whiplash, and Boyhood’s Patricia Arquette won  for outstanding female actor in a supporting role.

The night also featured the Lifetime Achievement award being presented to Debbie Reynolds, whose array of roles include Kathy Seldon in Singing in the Rain and Aggie Cromwell in Halloweentown. When accepting the honor, which was given to her by her daughter Carrie Fisher, who herself is famous for playing Princess Leia, Reynolds said that in the film The Unsinkable Molly Brown “I got to sing a wonderful song called ‘I ain’t Down Yet.’ Well, I ain’t.”

The next stop in award season is the Neil Patrick Harris hosted 87th Academy Awards on February 22nd.

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