2014 was a pretty important year in my TV-viewing history because there were more diverse representations than ever before. And a look at the 2015 Screen Actors Guild Award winners reflects just how colorful and beautiful our television landscape has become.
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series: "Orange Is the New Black"
Now, I realize I'm partially biased because I love "Orange Is the New Black," but there's just no way to deny how incredibly diverse and gorgeous this cast is. Just take one look at that epic camera pan. Damn! Not only is the cast made up almost entirely of women, there are all different TYPES of women represented in a variety of shapes, sizes, sexual orientations, and ethnic backgrounds. And in another historic moment, cast member Laverne Cox became the first trans woman to win a Screen Actors Guild award.
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series: Uzo Aduba, "Orange Is the New Black"
"I just really, really, really, truly want to say that the day I got this job was the day I had stopped acting, and to be in a room with all you amazing human beings, amazing talents for what I respect and love so much is really, truly the greatest honor. Thank you so very much. God bless you all." — Uzo Aduba
Nigerian-American Uzo Aduba has never been shy about her struggles to accept herself, starting from her name all the way down to her teeth. So her win isn't just monumental because she's a woman of color, but it's also a win for breaking Eurocentric beauty standards too.
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series: Viola Davis, "How to Get Away with Murder"
This win is a big deal for numerous reasons. First off, Viola Davis is now the third woman of color in SAG history to win the award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series. To top it off, "How to Get Away with Murder" is produced by the most successful black female showrunner in TV history, Shonda Rhimes. It's also pretty cool (and quite telling) that the other two women of color to win the award, Sandra Oh and Chandra Wilson , were also on series produced by Shonda.
Finally, Viola's speech was incredibly moving not only because it called out the need for representation, but because she also made a dig in reference to the New York Times' fumble of describing her as "less classically beautiful." In an industry where dark-skin, African-American features are looked down on and ageism runs rampant, seeing Viola up on that stage was nothing short of monumental. Check out the full speech below.