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The nominations for the 28th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards feature a couple of notable firsts on the inclusion front, although white or non-disabled performers continue to comprise the majority of the landscape.
CODA continued its groundbreaking run of acclaim on Wednesday morning, picking up SAG Award nominations for outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture, as well as supporting male actor for Troy Kotsur. Kotsur is among the half of CODA‘s ensemble who are deaf, and they are the first disabled performers to receive nominations in the SAG Awards’ 28-year history.
King Richard, which features a majority nonwhite cast, also received a nomination, as did its leading man, Will Smith. He shares his category with The Tragedy of Macbeth‘s Denzel Washington. Respect‘s Jennifer Hudson received her second career SAG Award nomination, this time in the lead female actor category, while the supporting race features West Side Story‘s Ariana DeBose, who is Afro-Latina, and Passing‘s Ruth Negga.
In television, Squid Game becomes the first non-English series and first Korean series to earn a nomination for outstanding performance by an ensemble in a drama (its stunt ensemble has also received a nomination for action performance). Previously, only three projects with completely or majority Asian casts have been recognized, all on the film side: Slumdog Millionaire in 2009, Parasite in 2020 and Minari last year.
Parasite (which won) was also the first Korean project to receive a nomination, though its individual performers were snubbed across the board that awards season. This time, Squid Game‘s Lee Jung-jae and Jung Ho-yeon add SAG Award nominations for male and female actor, respectively, to its shelf of individual honors (including a Golden Globe win for their castmate O Yeong-su over the weekend). Lee is the first male actor from Asia and Korea to receive an individual SAG Award nomination, and the second of Asian descent (following Darren Criss in 2019) to receive one on the TV side. In her acting debut, Jung is the second actress of Asian as well as Korean descent to do the same. The first was Sandra Oh, who earns her third career nomination this year, this time in the comedy category for The Chair.
Rounding out the nominees from the global majority are one nomination each for male and female actor in a television movie/limited series: Scenes From a Marriage‘s Oscar Isaac and Genius: Aretha‘s Cynthia Erivo, making actors who portrayed the Queen of Soul two for two for SAG Award nominations this year.
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