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The cast of Orange Is the New Black on Saturday took home the award for best performance by an ensemble in a comedy series at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.
The Netflix show was nominated alongside CBS’ The Big Bang Theory, Comedy Central’s Key & Peele, ABC’s Modern Family, Amazon’s Transparent and HBO’s Veep.
Laura Prepon, joined onstage by the rest of her co-stars, gave an acceptance speech on behalf of the cast, thanking SAG-AFTRA, Netflix’s Ted Sarandos and “our fearless leader, Jenji Kohan.”
“Look at this stage. This is what we talk about when we talk about diversity: different race, color, creed and sexual orientation,” the actress said at the podium, referencing the on-going #OscarsSoWhite controversy.
Later on backstage, OITNB stars Laverne Cox and Selenis Leyva commended Netflix for its groundbreaking series. “This show happened on Netflix, and four years ago, streaming shows weren’t a thing,” said Cox. “It’s really about changing and revolutionizing television. And that’s what Netflix has done, and I think that’s what our show has done.”
Leyva commented on the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, stating that she believes the issue doesn’t start with the Academy Awards. “The problem starts in the writing rooms, in the studios,” she said. “The producers, the directors and casting people need to open up their eyes that this is a different world that we’re living and diversity is not just black and white. Diversity is universal and it’s a lot more than we are focusing on — it’s religions, it’s sexuality.”
J.K. Simmons and Patricia Arquette presented the award to the OITNB cast, who won in the comedy ensemble category for the second consecutive year.
Earlier in the night, OITNB star Uzo Aduba also took home a statuette for best actress in a comedy series.
The 22nd Annual SAG Awards, honoring achievements in film and television, took place at the Shrine Exposition Center in Los Angeles.
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