Black Performers' Sweep Screen Actors Guild Awards; Did The Awards Bend Backwards To Please Those Who Scream Diversity?

"I feel that this year, the Screen Actors Guild awards bent backwards to please those who complaint about the lack of Black representation in the awards," writes Subhash K Jha.

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Black Performers' Sweep Screen Actors Guild Awards; Did The Awards Bend Backwards To Please Those Who Scream Diversity?
It is a great joy to see so many Black performers winning at  the just-announced Screen Actors Guild awards. And they are all so frigging talented! But I did feel that this year, the Screen Actors Guild awards were seen to bend backwards to please those who have been constantly complaining about the lack of Black representation in the awards.

So this year  both the Best  Actor and Best Actress have gone to Black performers. No doubt the late  Chadwick Boseman’s Ma Rainey’s  Black Bottom act was  worthy of  being singled out. But Viola Davis as the best actress for the same film??!! Of course she is  damn good. When is she not! But with  due respects,is  Viola Davis better in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom than Vanessa Kirby in Pieces of a Woman, Frances McDormand  in Nomadland  and Carey Mulligan  in  Promising Young Woman?

I don’t think so. In trying to set right  the imbalance between  White  contenders  and  Black, the Screen Guild awards  have gone the  other way.

Celebrating diversity is politically correct, but  not at  the  cost of merit. Even the  Best Supporting Actor award has been  given to  a Black actor Daniel Kaluuya in Judas and the Black Messiah. It should  have gone to  Leslie Odom, Jr. in  One Night in Miami who incidentally, is also Black. But that doesn’t matter. It shouldn’t matter. Awards for excellence   in  cinema must be colour-blind.

Celebrate excellence  irrespective of nationality or race. That’s the beauty of cinema.

Such a  pleasure to see  South  Korea’s veteran actress Yuh-Jung Youn win in the  best supporting actress category for  Minari. It reminds  me of  the time 68-year  old Durga Khote won Filmfare’s best supporting actress award  for Bidaai.

And  what a  joy to see Anya  Taylor-Joy win best actress for a miniseries  in  The Queen’s Gambit.

Let’s not get obsessed with diversity. Let’s focus on merit alone, shall we?

Image source: Instagram/chadwickboseman/violadavis
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