On Jan. 21, 2018 the “Screen Actors Guild” (SAG) awards took place in Los Angeles. Host Kristen Bell, an actress most known for her role in Disney’s “Frozen” as well as “The Good Place,” tried to make the event special. Bell’s power as host and connection to the “Timesup” led her to create a show that exclusively had women presenting the awards to the winners.
While men did appear on stage, including Woody Harrelson (nominated for his role in “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri”) and a few others who presented clips of the nominated movies, it was a primarily female-led event. Many female winners gave tear-filled speeches commenting on the state of Hollywood today and what they envision for the future.
Nicole Kidman, winner of the Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie, gave an emotional speech about equality in the workplace after receiving her award . Later, Frances McDormand, who won best actress, said, “Trust me. The women in this room tonight are not here for the food. We are here for the work. Thank you.”
Olivia Munn and Niecy Nash exchanged funny quips, and Kelly Marie Tran and Dakota Fanning excitedly announced a winner. Rita Moreno delivered a gushing speech for Morgan Freeman and received a standing ovation from the audience. The ceremony revealed a strong sense of female camaraderie among the presenters, as well as a deeper connection to the women who won.
It seemed that the SAG awards were piggybacking off the atmosphere of the Golden Globes. Held a few weeks prior to the event, the Golden Globes also were politically charged. But this event dropped the black dresses and opted for a something different and more subtle. It was not highly advertised prior to the event and was only addressed a view days before the awards.
Entertainment Tonight’s Keltie Knight sat down interviewed Kristen Bell to provide some context for the decision to have an all-female presenter group. Bell said “[We’re] really celebrating and honoring every one of the actors, but we’re letting the women take center stage and attempting to balance the conversation a little bit. This might be ladies’ night.”
It definitely left a stronger mark on the audience than the planned blackout protest from “Timesup” meant for the Golden Globes. Bell’s efforts were a clear success. While this event wasn’t as high profile as previous efforts for equality, it was in line with the women of Hollywood’s new, steadfast mission of justice and safety for women.