23rd Annual SAG Awards Quickly Turns into Political Protest


Rebecca Boyajian

The 78th Annual Golden Globes were full of attendees openly sharing jokes and concerns pertaining to the recent state of American politics, and the 23rd Screen Actors’ Guild Awards closely followed suit.  Airing in the wake of Donald Trump’s new controversial ban on visitation and immigration into the United States by certain countries, the 2017 Sag Awards ceremony quickly turned into a political protest.

Recipients and presenters alike used the show as a platform to broadcast their disapproval of the United State’s newly established immigration and visitation policies in order to create a sort of call to action. Politically centered and powerful speeches, similar to Meryl Streep’s Golden Globe speech, were delivered with gusto throughout the ceremony. Ashton Kutcher, Julia Louis Dreyfus, Mahershala Ali and David Harbour are only a few of the celebrities who took advantage of what little stage time they had to sharply jab at Trump’s new policies.

Julia Louis Dreyfus used her acceptance speech  as an opportunity to declare her belief that the new immigration laws are a blemish on the country that she loves. She then continued on to read a statement issued from the writers guild: “Our guilds are unions of storytellers who have always welcomed those from the nations and of varying beliefs who wish to share their creativity with America. We are grateful for them. We stand with them, and we will fight for them.”

One of the night’s most talked about speeches came from David Harbour (who plays Jim Hopper in Netflix’s “Stranger Things”) who spoke following the show’s win for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series. Harbour stepped on stage and said quite passionately, “Now, as we act in the continuing narrative of ‘Stranger Things,’ we 1983 midwesterners will repel bullies. We will shelter freaks and outcasts, those who have no home. We will get past the lies. We will hunt monsters and when we are at a loss amidst the hypocrisy and the casual violence of certain individuals and institutions, we will, as per Chief Jim Hopper, punch some people in the face when they seek to destroy the weak and the disenfranchised and the marginalized.”

Current star of Netflix’s “Grace and Frankie” Lily Tomlin took home the Lifetime Achievement award, presented to her by long time friend Dolly Parton.  The comedian, actress, and producer who starred in numerous films like  1980 comedy hit “9 to 5” and 2015 drama  “Grandma,” only indirectly made political references with her acceptance speech. She encouraged and motivated young actors with her speech by saying “Don’t be anxious about missing an opportunity, behind every failure there is an opportunity that someone is wishing they had missed.”

Viola Davis won Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role for her performance as Rose Maxson in “Fences.” She delivered her moving acceptance speech with a proud Black Lives Matter undertone. She thanked  author August Wilson who wrote the 1983 playwright “Fences” saying: “We deserve to be in the canon of any, in the center of any narrative that written out there. And that’s what August did. He elevated my father, my mother, my uncles who had eight and fifth-grade educations. And he just encapsulated them in history. So thank you, August.”

With the Golden Globes and Sag Awards over, those on a mission to predict the Oscar winners can now accurately make their predictions. Below are the results of the politically driven and entertaining 2017 Sag Awards, which will likely serve as an accurate foreshadow of things to come for the 89th Annual Academy Awards that air February 26th on ABC.


Cast In a Motion Picture

Hidden Figures


Male Actor in a Leading Role

Denzel Washington- Fences


Female Actor in a Leading Role

Emma Stone- La La Land


Male Actor in a Supporting Role

Mahershala Ali – Moonlight


Female Actor in a Supporting Role

Viola Davis – Fences


Ensemble in a Drama Series

Stranger Things


Male Actor in a Drama Series

John Lithgow- The Crown


Female Actor in a Drama Series

Claire Foy – The Crown


Ensemble in a Comedy

Orange is the New Black


Male Actor in a Comedy Series

William H Macy – Shameless


Female Actor in a Comedy Series

Julia Louis Dreyfus – Veep


Male Actor in a Televised Movie or Limited Series

Bryan Cranston – All The Way


Female Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series

Sarah Paulson- The People vs. OJ Simpson


Stunt Ensemble in a Comedy or Drama Series

Game of Thrones


Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture

Hacksaw Ridge