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SAG Awards: Aziz Ansari is a no-show, James Franco attends, and 'Three Billboards' wins big

Washington Post

For the third time in two weeks, a group of movie and television stars gathered for an award show Sunday night -- and quite a few of the same celebrities won again.

At the SAG Awards, voted on by members of the Screen Actors Guild, "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" was the big winner. The darkly comedic - and controversial -- drama won for best cast in a motion picture, while Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell picked up individual acting prizes. Other repeat winners from the Golden Globes and Critics' Choice Awards included Allison Janney of "I, Tonya" and Gary Oldman of "Darkest Hour."

On the TV side, voters were impressed again by HBO's "Big Little Lies," as Nicole Kidman and Alexander Skarsgård took home awards. Although in a bit of an upset, Hulu's "The Handmaid's Tale" was shut out in favor of NBC's "This Is Us" for drama series ensemble, while Claire Foy of Netflix's "The Crown" won for best actress in a drama over Elisabeth Moss.

And this award season, in the midst of the fallout from Hollywood's flood of sexual harassment scandals, viewers notice who is not in attendance. Netflix's "Master of None" star Aziz Ansari, accused of sexually inappropriate behavior by a woman in a story that engulfed the Internet last week, was a no-show. (The actor responded that his encounter with the woman "by all indications was completely consensual.") Ansari, nominated for best actor in a comedy series, lost to William H. Macy of Showtime's "Shameless."

James Franco of "The Disaster Artist" did attend, and lost to Oldman. The Los Angeles Times recently published a story in which five women accused him of sexually exploitative behavior. (Franco has called the accusations "not accurate.") He skipped the SAG red carpet, though E!'s Giuliana Rancic asked actress Alison Brie -- married to Franco's brother, Dave -- about the allegations.

"I think that, above all, what we've always said is it remains vital that anyone who feels victimized should and, you know, does have the right to speak out and come forward," said Brie, nominated for her role on Netflix's "GLOW." "I obviously support my family. And not everything that's been reported reported is fully accurate. So I think we're waiting to get all of the information. But of course now is a time for listening and that's what we're all trying to do."

In case you missed the two-hour telecast that aired on TNT and TBS, here are eight other things to know -- a complete list of winners and nominees is below.

1. Kristen Bell's monologue.

For the first time ever, the SAG Awards enlisted a host: NBC's "The Good Place" star Kristen Bell. She only showed up a few times during the ceremony, and kicked things off with a politics bit.

"There has never been a host for this award show before. It's the first time. First person. First lady . . . I think my first initiative as first lady will be cyberbullying, because I have yet to see any progress made on that problem quite yet," Bell said, poking fun at Melania Trump's initiative. Though Bell followed up with a joke about a "Veep" actor: "I'm looking at you, Tony Hale. You're a bully! Guys, he is a savage on Twitter."

Bell ended her monologue on a serious note. "Everyone's story deserves to be told, especially now," she said. "We are living in a watershed moment in time. And as we march forward with active momentum and open ears, let's make sure we are leading the charge with empathy and diligence, because fear and anger never win the race."

2. Political references.

Seems like this is no longer the dominant trend at award shows -- the name "Trump" didn't come up at all. Although there were a few digs about the current state of affairs.

"Hey, I love your show about living in hell. What's it called again?" presenter Maya Rudolph asked Bell.

"Thanks!" Bell replied. "It's called 2018."

During his acceptance speech, William H. Macy addressed the importance of actors: "Even though our lines and the stories we're told are given to us by writers, it's our job under those imaginary circumstances to find the truth. And I think it's a glorious way to make a living, especially in this day and age when so many people can't either recognize the truth or don't think it's important."

3. Julia Louis-Dreyfus's win.

The "Veep" star won again for her starring role on the HBO show, which was also named best comedy ensemble. Louis-Dreyfus just completed chemotherapy after being diagnosed with breast cancer last year, and tweeted that she was watching the show in her pajamas.

Presenter Connie Britton accepted the trophy for her fellow actress. "Julia, we're thinking of you and we love you," she said.

4. Sam Rockwell's speech.

After the Golden Globes, many people criticized actors for wearing Time's Up pins -- which support a legal fund to fight sexual harassment -- while not actually talking about the issue. When Rockwell of "Three Billboards" accepted his prize for supporting actor, he alluded to the movement while praising his co-star.

"Frances McDormand, you're a powerhouse! I'm in awe of you," he said. "And I stand shoulder to shoulder with you and all of the incredible women in this room for trying to make things better. It's long overdue."

5. Sterling K. Brown makes award show history again.

Brown won best actor in a drama series for his emotional role on "This Is Us," where he plays a man adjusting to life after he reunites with his biological father. He's the first black actor to win this SAG category; he also made history in the same category at the Golden Globes.

6. Nicole Kidman's and Gary Oldman's speeches.

Neither Kidman nor Oldman had ever won a SAG Award before, and both were visibly moved when they accepted their respective trophies.

"I've become very emotional," said Oldman, who looked like he was in tears. "Thank you SAG-AFTRA for this tremendous honor."

Kidman, who attended despite battling the flu, was also thrilled. "To receive this at this stage in my life is extraordinary and at this time in the industry when these things are going on," she said. "How wonderful it is that our careers today can go beyond 40 years old. Twenty years ago, we were pretty washed up by this stage in our lives."

She also urged Hollywood to keep funding female-centric projects: "We have proven, and these actresses and so many more are proving, that we are potent and powerful and viable. I just beg that the industry stays behind us because our stories are finally being told. It's only the beginning."

7. Morgan Freeman's lifetime achievement award.

The 80-year-old actor thanked all the important people in his life - including Rita Moreno, his friend since they starred together on "The Electric Company" in 1971. Moreno introduced him; he introduced her when she was awarded the prize five years ago. Like many on social media, she was fixated by the fact that he wore a baseball hat.

"Lift up your hat!" she called to him as he started speaking. "Now we can see you."

8. References to the cultural reckoning in Hollywood.

Presenters Rosanna Arquette and Marisa Tomei honored people who have spoken out about traumatic experiences and sexual harassment. "We are honored to be a part of this supportive and creative community and we are inspired that so many powerful voices are no longer silenced by the fear of retaliation," Arquette said. "We can control our own destiny."

"Rosanna, you are one of those voices. You are one of those silence breakers and we all owe you a debt of gratitude," Tomei said of Arquette, who told the New Yorker about a disturbing encounter she had with Harvey Weinstein. They listed others who have spoken out: Asia Argento, Annabella Sciorra, Ashley Judd, Daryl Hannah, Mira Sorvino, Olivia Munn and Anthony Rapp.

Later, presenter Brie Larson announced that the Time's Up initiative and members of SAG are working together on a new code of conduct for the industry "to ensure there is safety on set so that we can continue to be vulnerable, continue to be empathetic, and do the strong and brave performances that we've seen brief glimpses of tonight."

SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris also gave a speech. "I am inspired by the women and men across the country who have shared their truths with such courage and such candor. Truth is power. And women are stepping into their power. We are in the midst of a massive cultural shift," she said. "With brave voices saying 'me too' and advocates who know time's up, we are making a difference . . . we can and we must create an environment in which discrimination, harassment, and abuse are no longer tolerated."

TV winners and nominees

Male Actor in a Comedy Series Anthony Anderson, "Black-ish" (ABC) Aziz Ansari, "Master of None" (Netflix) Larry David, "Curb Your Enthusiasm" (HBO) Sean Hayes, "Will & Grace" (NBC) William H. Macy, "Shameless" (Showtime) - winner Marc Maron, "GLOW" (Netflix).

Female Actor in a Comedy Series Uzo Aduba, "Orange Is the New Black" (Netflix) Alison Brie, "GLOW" (Netflix) Jane Fonda, "Grace and Frankie" (Netflix) Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "Veep" (HBO) - winner Lily Tomlin, "Grace and Frankie" (Netflix).

Ensemble in a Comedy Series "Black-ish" (ABC) "Curb Your Enthusiasm" (HBO) "GLOW" (Netflix) "Orange is the New Black" (Netflix) "Veep" (HBO) - winner

Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries Benedict Cumberbatch, "Sherlock" (PBS) Jeff Daniels, "Godless" (Netflix) Robert De Niro, "The Wizard of Lies" (HBO) Geoffrey Rush, "Genius" (National Geographic) Alexander Skarsgård, "Big Little Lies" (HBO) - winner.

Female Actor in a Television Movie or MiniseriesNicole Kidman, "Big Little Lies" (HBO) - winner Jessica Lange, "Feud: Bette & Joan" (FX) Susan Sarandon, "Feud: Bette & Joan" (FX) Reese Witherspoon, "Big Little Lies" (HBO) Laura Dern, "Big Little Lies" (FX).

Male Actor in a Drama Series Jason Bateman, "Ozark" (Netflix) Sterling K. Brown, "This Is Us" (NBC) - winner Peter Dinklage, "Game of Thrones" (HBO) David Harbour, "Stranger Things" (Netflix) Bob Odenkirk, "Better Call Saul" (AMC).

Female Actor in a Drama Series Millie Bobby Brown, "Stranger Things" (Netflix) Claire Foy, "The Crown" (Netflix) - winner Elisabeth Moss, "The Handmaid's Tale" (Hulu) Robin Wright, "House of Cards" (Netflix) Laura Linney, "Ozark" (Netflix)

Ensemble in a Drama Series "The Crown" (Netflix) "Game of Thrones" (HBO) "The Handmaid's Tale" (Hulu) "Stranger Things" (Netflix) "This Is Us" (NBC) - winner

Stunt Ensemble in a TV Series"Game of Thrones" (HBO) - winner "GLOW" (Netflix) "Homeland" (Showtime) "Stranger Things" (Netflix) "The Walking Dead" (AMC)

Movie winner and nominees

Female Actor in a Supporting Role Mary J. Blige, "Mudbound" Hong Chau, "Downsizing" Holly Hunter, "The Big Sick" Allison Janney, "I, Tonya" - winner Laurie Metcalf, "Lady Bird."

Male Actor in a Supporting Role Steve Carell, "Battle of the Sexes" Willem Dafoe, "The Florida Project" Woody Harrelson,"Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" Richard Jenkins, "The Shape of Water" Sam Rockwell, "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" - winner.

Actor in a Leading Role Timothee Chalamet, "Call Me by Your Name" James Franco, "The Disaster Artist" Daniel Kaluuya, "Get Out" Gary Oldman, "Darkest Hour" - winner Denzel Washington, "Roman J. Israel, Esq."

Actress in a Leading Role Judi Dench, "Victoria & Abdul" Sally Hawkins, "The Shape of Water" Frances McDormand, "Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri" - winner Margot Robbie, "I, Tonya" Saoirse Ronan, "Lady Bird."

Cast in a Theatrical Motion Picture "The Big Sick" "Get Out" "Lady Bird" "Mudbound" "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" - winner.

Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture "Baby Driver" "Dunkirk" "Logan" "Wonder Woman" - winner "War for the Planet of the Apes."


SAG Awards’ platoon of pink, a colorful women's march callback, replaces the black-dress blackout

What the SAG Award winners mean for the Oscars

Backstage with Frances McDormand and the SAG Award-winning cast of 'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri'




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