The 2018 SAG Awards will feature all female presenters: cool gimmick?

SAG-AFTRA Foundation's Patron of the Artists Awards 2017 - Arrivals

When the SAG Award nominations came out on Wednesday, they definitely felt more “woke” than the Golden Globe nominations. Like, the Best Ensemble nominees feature ensemble casts from two films directed by women (Lady Bird and Mudbound) and one film directed by an African-American man (Jordan Peele’s Get Out). The film nominees also feature two black men nominated for Best Actor, and an African American actress (Mary J. Blige) and a Vietnamese-American actress (Hong Chau) nominated in the supporting category. The Globe nominations definitely felt more like a sausage party, is what I’m saying, and not just a sausage party – a party for almost all-white sausages exclusively.

So here’s something interesting: the SAG Awards are actually leaning into this appearance of wokeness a little bit. Kristen Bell was announced as the host of the 2018 SAGs, and this will be the first-ever host of the SAGs. Not only that, but the SAGs are now going to do ONLY female presenters and only actresses doing the “Actor Stories” in the opening. Huh.

The SAG Awards are set to feature only female presenters at the 2018 ceremony. Nominations for the 24th annual ceremony were announced on Wednesday, along with the news that the ceremony’s 13 acting awards will all be presented by women, EW can confirm. The two stunt categories will also be presented by women prior to the televised ceremony during a live red carpet pre-show webcast. Additionally, the signature Actors Stories that open the SAG Awards will exclusively feature female actors.

Traditionally, a male and female pair hand out each award. The names of the presenters have yet to be announced. Executive producer of the SAG Awards Kathy Connell told EW the idea to feature all-female presenters arose from a conversation with her daughter after attending the Women’s March in January.

“We’re an awards show. We’re not trying to proselytize to anyone — the idea was to salute our women,” explains Connell. “So many of our women have been very, very brave, as have other women in other industries this year and we thought it was an opportunity to salute our women because it’s not just about one issue. Our women are very famous and yet they face the issues that women across this country do, which is they don’t have equality in income. They don’t have creative equality. And they have the same kind of safety issues that other women have been facing. We just thought we wanted to acknowledge as many wonderful women on our stage this year as we could, while we’re celebrating the best performances by women and men of the year.”

Men will still participate in the ceremony, introducing clips for the nominees in the film ensemble category as is tradition, and obviously male winners will take the stage. Rounding out the bevy of female talent on tap for the Jan. 21 awards, Kristen Bell will serve as the first-ever host of the ceremony as previously announced. The ceremony takes place on Jan. 21 and will air on TBS and TNT. Morgan Freeman will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award.

[From EW]

I kind of don’t hate this? I mean, having all-female presenters won’t change anything structurally in Hollywood, but it’s legitimately a cool little gimmick. It’s like that time that President Obama only called on female reporters in a press conference – it didn’t change journalism or the nature of the media, it was just a cool thing to do. My guess is that the Hollywood bros will probably be fine with it too, don’t you think? I mean, what are they going to say? I would love it if one of the bros tried to claim that the SAG Awards are oppressing them. Please let that happen.

SAG-AFTRA Foundation's Patron of the Artists Awards 2017 - Arrivals

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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25 Responses to “The 2018 SAG Awards will feature all female presenters: cool gimmick?”

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  1. Hikaru says:

    The only way female creators can have a significant presence at SAG is as decoration apparently.

  2. Hikaru says:

    That’s gonna be about as impactful as women writing the color of their bras as their facebook status to “raise awareness of breast cancer” back in the day.

  3. Nicole says:

    I mean I guess? Still feels like performative wokeness. I guess I like this better than if GG or the Oscars did it (as SAG clearly has more diversity).
    In the end it’s still Hollywood so meh

  4. Sixer says:

    Always unsure about gimmicky stuff.

    I was thinking about Strictly Come Dancing the other day, which is the biggest, most-watched show in the UK. Somehow, they have morphed from very traditional casting into a show in which the main presenter is a 40-something woman, her sidekick is also a 40-something woman, and the judging panel has a 40-something woman, a 50-something woman and two out gay men. I think it shows that permanent changes can be made without worrying about viewing figures and all the rest of it. And no gimmicks. Just casting.

    • Bex says:

      And yet the reasonably talented, reasonably good looking white man is still going to win in a landslide over two women who are far better dancers ;)

      (Love the makeup of the judging/presenting panel atm though, you’re right. Could do with Tess being a little less…Tess, but I’ll take it)

      • Ninks says:

        Yes, and the criticism that Alexandra has faced from some quarters has been vile. On the other hand, Ore won last year by beating the reasonably good looking white man who was the better dancer.

      • Sixer says:

        Oh, the voting patterns on Strictly are an embarrassment, I agree! It’s the only reality show I watch (reasons to do with missing dead mothers and being nice to living fathers) so I’ve no idea if it’s better or worse than other shows like it.

        We’re all voting for Alexandra Burke this year – father for actual dancing reasons; husband for leg lust reasons; me for anti-The Sun reasons! But I always like everyone on the show so I never care who wins.

        But it is a good exemplar of how to change representation on a show without making a song and dance about it, isn’t it? They’ve just quietly gone about it via natural turnover, while X Factor, with all its gimmicks and hype, has just lost more and more ground.

      • Bex says:

        The British voting public should never be overestimated ;)

        Our house is solidly Team Debbie (cos we’ll get so many nice Holby City winners in the future but the likelihood of one over 40 is basically nil, she’s taken more than her fair share of crap from the press, plus she’s lovely with Giovanni and once complimented my mum’s dress in a theatre lobby) but would also be delighted with Alexandra sticking it to The Sun and the Daily Fail et al. Bloody loved her joy at getting to the final.

        It is fantastic that they’ve managed to switch up the team and nobody has taken much notice. It just is. I do hope Shirley sticks around. I doubt anyone would even notice if the X Factor disappeared now.

      • Sixer says:

        Debbie has a nice story, doesn’t she? Moving on after bereavement and a life not over just because she’s pushing 60 and a widow.

        But yes, I think Joe will win. And, nice as he is, it’s just an elongated show reel for musical theatre for him, isn’t it? I love his partner’s quirky choreo though.

  5. Liberty says:

    Adding an In Memory visual montage of perps called “Asses Cancelled” to the show might be more to the point.

  6. slowsnow says:

    I agree with my fellow commentors who are on the “meh” side. Very performative wokeness and will give the men an excuse for not hiring women for a while after that. Just hire women as much as men dammit.

    Edit: Next year will be an all black cast of presenters perhaps? Feels very artificial to me and endless exposure to the “men are being set aside unjustly” kind of argument, or to the joke “oooh eye candy for the blokes”.

  7. Neelyo says:

    Unlike the Golden Globes, SAG could affect real change in the industry. I’d rather they did something meaningful to protect the members of their union than a PR stunt.

  8. QueenB says:

    SAG can actually do something. Thats what unions are for. This is mostly silly but will 100% sold to us as the most daring and feminist thing to have ever happened.

  9. boredblond says:

    It’s all about image, something everyone there lives and breathes. If this is just the ’cause celeb’ of the moment (there seems to be one every year) it won’t mean much..any real change involves men too.

  10. CharlieBouquet says:

    Or how about women skip the whole event. See how your ratings due for an awards special of all dudes with only dudes in the seats. Because honestly black attire to a black tie event is a pussy snooze to me, just my cranky opinion.

  11. Millie says:

    If that’s what it takes to ensure that Casey Affleck doesn’t present the Best Actress award, I’m all for it.

    • lucy2 says:

      Ooooh, forgot about that. I wonder if this is their way of dancing around having to un-invite him?

      Overall I feel like it’s a “let’s pat ourselves on the back for this” kind of gimmick, but at the same time, we should take whatever we can get, gimmick or not. But better would be more women in every office and on every set.

  12. kimbers says:

    feels forced and disgenuine. really don’t care how many presenters are on an awards show tbh. maybe when they have more female directors working on mainstream projects, or actually put out nicely written movies with female leads (that aren’t romcom)…I’ll give the them the gold star and good job they longingly seek.

  13. Megan says:

    I can’t be the only one cynical enough to believe they’re doing this so that as men get “outed” leading up to and near the awards that they don’t have to replace them last minute with other presenters….

  14. Ozogirl says:

    I’d rather see women actors, writers, producers, directors, etc get hired in the biz more than present a silly award.

  15. Mrs Odie says:

    It would be different if they had only female winners and men presenting the statues. Women giving gold statues to mainly men recipients is hardly “woke.”