Long-standing criticism of the lack of diversity in movies and TV — and the award shows that honor them — seems to have finally made an impact as Thursday’s SAG Award nominations celebrated diverse projects of the past year.
Three of the five movies nominated for best cast, “Da 5 Bloods,” “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and “One Night in Miami,” feature predominantly Black actors, while a fourth, “Minari,” is the story of a Korean-American family in Arkansas.
Aaron Sorkin’s “The Trial of the Chicago 7 1/4 u2033 rounded out that category.
On the TV side, Netflix’s soapy Regency series “Bridgerton,” which upended tradition with its diverse cast, was nominated for ensemble in a drama series, as was “Lovecraft Country,” which rooted its story in the Jim Crow South. “Better Call Saul,” “The Crown” and “Ozark” were also nominated in that category.
The SAG Awards nominations are typically viewed as a precursor for their Oscar counterparts; in 2017, “The Shape of Water” was the first to win best picture at the Oscars without a SAG nomination since “Braveheart” in 1995.
But there’s always a little room for chaos.
“Mank,” which dominated the Golden Globes nominations a day earlier, only received one nod from SAG for male lead Gary Oldman.
“Minari,” which conversely had a dismal showing about the Globes nominations, earned two acting nods beyond best cast: lead actor for Steven Yeun and supporting actress for Yuh-Jung Youn, who plays his mother-in-law.
Chadwick Boseman, who died in August after a private cancer battle, earned two posthumous nominations: lead actor in a movie for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and supporting actor for “Da 5 Bloods.”
Among the more surprising nominations were Amy Adams for “Hillbilly Elegy” and Jared Leto for “The Little Things.”
Carey Mulligan was nominated for her lead role in “Promising Young Woman,” but Emerald Fennell’s #MeToo thriller was snubbed for its ensemble cast, which includes Laverne Cox, Alison Brie, Bo Burnham and Chris Lowell.
None of the four 2020 SAG TV acting winners (Jennifer Aniston, Peter Dinklage, Tony Shalhoub and Phoebe Waller-Bridge) were eligible this year, leaving the categories wide open.
“The Crown” and “Ozark” completely dominated the female actors in a drama series category, with all five nominations going to the two shows: Gillian Anderson, Olivia Colman, Emma Corrin, Julia Garner and Laura Linney.
Michaela Coel was nominated for best female actor in a TV movie or limited series for her breathtaking “I May Destroy You,” which raised eyebrows after being shut out at the Golden Globes nominations.
“Bridgerton” and “Dead to Me” also earned nominations after the Globes snubs.
“Schitt’s Creek,” which has dominated recent TV award shows, and “The Crown” tied with five nominations each, followed by “Ozark” with four and “Dead to Me” with three.