The Screen Actors Guild Awards on Saturday night couldn't help but cast a harsh light on the Oscars, what with its constant reminders that white people weren't the only people capable of award-winning performances.
Idris Elba won, twice! Queen Latifah won! Viola Davis won! Uzo Aduba won!
Of course, what's the common thread linking all these wins? Except for Elba, who was honored for his role in the film "Beasts of No Nation," all of them came from television, which is a relative oasis of diversity in the Hollywood desert. Latifah won for playing Bessie Smith on HBO. Aduba won for a Netflix show. Davis won for her star turn on ABC.
Aside from Elba, all of the SAG acting nominees for movies went to white people—just like at the Oscars. Moreover, aside from "Mr. Robot" star Rami Malek, there were no non-black people of color nominated for anything, in any category.
Still, the Oscars are so unbelievably white this year that it makes everything look better.
As ever, Davis gave the best speech about the whole issue:
"We have become a society of trending topics. Diversity is not a trending topic. It’s just not. I’ve always considered myself an actor since I got my equity card in 1988. I’ve never put any limitations on myself. I felt like I could play Chekhov, any character in Chekhov and Shakespeare in Arthur Miller, in August Wilson. I see myself as an actor. No matter what is going on in the business, I will find a way to practice my art, and all of the actors of color who I know don’t place any limitations on themselves either. So regardless of what is going on with the Academy, regardless of what is going on in Hollywood, they will find a way to be excellent. We always have and we always will."
Note: the Oscars are airing on ABC, which is a parent company of Fusion.