#OscarsSoWhite? Not SAG, Sundance

Big wins for diverse actors, productions Saturday night at 2 ceremonies
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 31, 2016 6:33 AM CST
#OscarsSoWhite? Not SAG, Sundance
Queen Latifah and Laverne Cox speak at a cocktail reception at the 22nd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016, in Los Angeles.   (Photo by Vince Bucci/Invision/AP)

In a flurry of wins at the Screen Actors Guild Awards and the Sundance Film Festival, diversity made itself forcefully heard, reports the AP. Over a few hours Saturday night, the SAG Awards and Sundance showered honors on performers and films that presented a stark contrast to the crisis that has plagued the Oscars after a second straight year of all-white Academy Award acting nominees. Shortly after SAG handed out awards to Queen Latifah, Uzo Aduba, Viola Davis and Idris Elba (twice), Nate Parker's Sundance sensation, The Birth of a Nation, a drama about Nat Turner's slave rebellion, swept the festival. "Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to diverse TV," said Elba in his third trip on stage as a SAG presenter; he won for supporting performance in Beasts of No Nation, and for lead performance in Luther.

Soon thereafter, Parker took Sundance's grand jury prize and its audience award. "Thank you, Sundance, for creating a platform for us to grow, in spite of what the rest of Hollywood is doing," said Parker, whose directorial debut sold for a record sum to Fox Searchlight Pictures. The SAG Awards top honor, best ensemble in a film, went to the newspaper drama Spotlight, which was badly in need of some momentum. "All of the actors of color I know don't place any limitations on themselves," said Davis. "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." Chimed in Latifah, in one of the evening's most stirring speeches: "I hope that anyone out there who does not come in the package that people say you should, keep fighting for it." For the full list of winners, click here. (More Screen Actors Guild stories.)

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