Ever since the 2016 Academy Award nominees were announced, it seems like a new angle on #OscarsSoWhite outrage pops up by the hour. While the Academy did make a swift change to how its membership — currently composed mostly of white males — gains and retains voting rights, the February 28 ceremony will still play out with every major acting category featuring five white nominees. So the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards' very diverse crop of winners is likely to be referenced before, during, and after the Oscars as a stark contrast.
Although Leonardo DiCaprio and Brie Larson took home the top male and female acting honors, which could be an Oscars preview, several other awards went to actors of color. Uzo Aduba and Viola Davis won the same awards they did last year, Queen Latifah won best actress in a limited series, Idris Elba won acting awards for both Luther and Beasts of No Nation, and Aduba's Orange is the New Black castmates all got their due for a second year in a row as best TV ensemble. "Welcome to diverse TV," said Elba as he came on stage to present a clip from Nation.
It's worth noting that although the film industry has a long way to go, TV is at least doing marginally better highlighting and honoring actors of color. However, as much as that's true, a bunch of media coverage best summed up on a hashtag isn't going to do much change — it's the attitudes that need modification. "We've become a society of trending topics," Davis said at SAG's event. "Diversity is not a trending topic, it's just not."
So to avoid further cycling on the same issue, we'll just leave it up to her to capture that important message fully:
Cover image: Netflix US & Canada via YouTube