#SAGSoBlack: Black actors shine at the 2016 SAG Awards amid Oscar controversy

Idris Elba and Viola Davis

By Iyana Robertson, vibe.com

In the midst of controversy surrounding the lack of nominations for actors of color at the upcoming Oscars, the Screen Actors Guild Awards sung a different tune on Saturday night (Jan. 30). Offering a more diverse list of actors and actresses up for “The Actor” trophy, the night ended with each single black performer nominated going home with their “W.” Idris Elba became the man of the night, walking away with two awards for two separate roles, bagging Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role for Beasts Of No Nation, and Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries for Luther.

Along with Elba’s wins were that of Viola Davis, who took home Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series for How To Get Away With Murder, and Uzo Aduba for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series on Orange Is The New Black. Queen Latifah was also honored for her role in the HBO Bessie biopic, earning her the award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries.

“This is what happens when you have the SAG group — a group of very diverse people who understand the work that we all put in and that we all deserve the same opportunities,” Queen Latifah told the Los Angeles Times. “That’s about it. I feel very positive about this day.”

And in case there was any doubt that these actors won their awards from merit instead of consolation for the #OscarsSoWhite discussion, author and creator of the popular hashtag April Reign took to Twitter to clarify that the Screen Actors Guild voting began six weeks before the Oscar nominations announcement:

After the show, Davis assured that the topic of inclusion in Hollywood is not just a hot-button Twitter issue. “We have become a society of trending topics. Diversity is not a trending topic,” she said.

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