While the Harvey Weinstein scandal didn't break until early October, since the revelations hit, it's become the biggest story of Hollywood 2017 – especially with actors, directors and producers dropping like flies as new charges seemingly arrive every day. This week, the first round of 2017 nominations for movies and TV were announced, first with the Golden Globes and now with the SAG Awards. In the wake of these scandals, award shows have started to make visible changes to promote women. For example, it was announced today, Dec. 13, that the 2018 SAG presenters will all be women for the first time ever.
Executive producer Kathy Connell says she originally came up with it back last year after the Women's March in DC, and everything that's happened since has only served to cement the idea further. The idea was then floated to Sandra Dewey, who is the president of Turner Networks. TNT and TBS airs the SAG Awards in January, and have done so since the show first was broadcast in the 1990s.
Speaking to The New York Times about the decision, Connell said:
I want to salute women who are coming forward to speak at a very difficult time about very difficult subjects at great risk to themselves.
And though it may seem like an inch forward, Dewey seemed pleased with it.
For so many years there's been so much ground to cover in terms of trying to have women statistically catch up.
As a result, all 13 categories at the Screen Actors Guild Awards will be presented by women, with only one exception. The all-important "Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture" will be presented by both a man and a woman, but the award winners will be announced by the female of the pair. The "Ensemble" awards are the thing that sets this show apart from everyone else, as there is no equivalent award given out at the Oscars, the Golden Globes, or the Emmys.
That "women only" edict extended to the announcement this morning as well, where the nominations were announced by Olivia Munn and Niecy Nash. But for those who think that for some reason this means no Best Actor awards will be given out or somehow men will not win in most of the categories, you can stop being ridiculous. Connell made sure to assure anyone who jumped to such a ludicrous result of merely having more women standing at the podiums than normal that this would not be the case.
We don't want to slight the men who have given great performances this year— knowing our membership, I'm sure our men will embrace the opportunity to honor women.
Women will still likely be overlooked in plenty of places, with or without these presenters. Luckily, the focus of the SAG Awards works in their favor, and prevents them from such controversies like the Golden Globes walked smack into on Monday by failing to remember to nominate any female directors. Due to their exclusive focus on acting, and their balanced Male and Female categories for Best Actress and Best Actor, they are already somewhat designed for a more equitable future.
Meanwhile, host Kristen Bell was slightly worried that her status of the first ever host of the SAG Awards will be overshadowed by the announcement, and that her historical position will be lost.
I'm not the first female host. I'm the first host. The fact that a female was chosen to be the first one means my genitals become irrelevant.
The SAG Awards will broadcast the winners live, on Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018, on both TNT and TBS at 8:00 p.m. ET.