Boseman, Davis, ‘Chicago 7,’ ‘Crown’ + ‘Schitt’s Creek’ Win at 27th SAG Awards

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Photo Source: Niko Tavernise / Netflix

Each year the Screen Actors Guild Awards, Hollywood’s only accolades exclusively given by and presented to performers, celebrates the pride inherent in being able to say “I am an actor.” That refrain was repeated by a starry line-up of SAG-AFTRA members in the 27th annual ceremony’s virtual presentation April 4; even in a pre-taped format with presenters and nominees filming segments remotely, this year’s SAG Awards conveyed a sense of solidarity among the screen acting community’s very best.

The evening’s big film winner was Netflix’s “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” earning the prize for outstanding cast, shared between Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Sacha Baron Cohen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Michael Keaton, Frank Langella, John Carroll Lynch, Eddie Redmayne, Mark Rylance, Alex Sharp, and Jeremy Strong. Written and directed by Aaron Sorkin, the story of the 1969 federal trial against a group of Vietnam War protesters is currently in the running for six top Academy Awards including best picture.

In the SAG Awards’ history, roughly half of film ensemble cast winners have gone on to claim the Oscar for best picture (all but one have been nominated). At last year’s SAG ceremony, the historic win for “Parasite” ultimately predicted its success at the finish line of the 2020 awards season. While the odds of “Chicago 7” triumphing for the Academy’s top prize have now improved, it’s worth noting this year marks an unusually small nomination overlap between the SAG and Oscar categories, with only “Chicago 7” and A24’s “Minari” nominated in both.

In the individual SAG Award film categories, also a typically reliable predictor of Academy results (last year saw all four SAG winners take the Oscar), Youn Yuh-Jung of “Minari,” Daniel Kaluuya of Warner Bros.’ “Judas and the Black Messiah,” and both Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman of Netflix’s “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” triumphed. Boseman, who passed away in August, set the record for most film SAG nominations in a single year with four, for both “Ma Rainey’s” and Netflix’s “Da 5 Bloods.” This is the first time in SAG Awards history where all four winners in the individual film categories were actors of color, a massive and tangible win for representation in Hollywood.

Accepting on Boseman’s behalf was his wife, Simone Ledward Boseman, who recited a quote from the late actor: “If you see the world unbalanced, be a crusader that pushes heavily on the seesaw of the mind.”

Winners in SAG’s television categories echoed recent results from the Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice Awards: Pop TV’s final season of “Schitt’s Creek” won for comedy ensemble with Catherine O’Hara taking home an additional trophy as comedy actress, Jason Sudeikis furthered his streak as a comedy actor winner for Apple TV+’s “Ted Lasso,” and Season 4 of Netflix’s “The Crown” fared well in the drama races. Gillian Anderson bested co-stars Emma Corrin and Olivia Colman for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher, and the overall cast earned the ensemble accolade for the second year in a row. Jason Bateman, meanwhile, earned the drama actor prize for Netflix’s “Ozark,” and limited series stars Anya Taylor-Joy and Mark Ruffalo each earned yet another trophy for their work on Netflix’s “The Queen’s Gambit” and HBO’s “I Know This Much Is True,” respectively.

“Acting doesn’t happen in a vacuum,” said Ruffalo in his acceptance speech, summing up a tenet for working actors and artists everywhere. ”It happens between people.”

In this year’s stunt categories, performers from Warner Bros.’ “Wonder Woman 1984” and Disney+’s “The Mandalorian” won the film and TV honors. The SAG Awards, which benefit the union’s Foundation, are the industry’s only honors given to and voted upon by working actors. For a full list of winners, stats, and information, visit And stay tuned with Backstage for more coverage of this unusual awards season!

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