As the brightest stars in Hollywood gather at the SAG awards to celebrate the best films of the year, these time-honored celebrations may look a little different — and for good reason.
For the first time ever, the 2018 Screen Actors Guild Awards will be hosted by a woman, Kristen Bell, and all of the night's presenters will be women.
This is not a coincidence. It's a very intentional, kickass decision to honor the women who made 2017 such a game-changing year when it comes to speaking up about attacks on women and families, sexual harassment, and misconduct.
“Beginning with the Women’s March in January, it’s been the year of the woman," SAG Awards Executive Director Kathy Connell told The Hollywood Reporter. “This is a unifying salute to women who have been very brave and speaking up.”
Kristen Bell attends the SAG-AFTRA Foundation Patron of the Artists Awards. Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for SAG-AFTRA Foundation.
Putting women front and center is not an attempt to slight or punish men for their performances or contributions to the industry this year. (Though frankly, some of them may deserve it.) Instead, the all-women lineup is a way to honor the strength and talent of women in a unique and highly visible way.
"It’s still an awards show and a celebration — we’re not here to preach to anybody,” Connell said. “To me, just having some of these fabulous women onstage sends its own message.”
Niecy Nash and Olivia Munn speak at the Screen Actors Guild Awards Nominations Announcement. Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images.
Just prior to the SAG Awards, women attending the 2018 Golden Globes will make a statement before the show even begins by wearing black on the red carpet.
According to US Weekly, a small group of actresses decided to wear black to protest the pervasive sexual harassment and misconduct against women in the industry. The idea has since spread, and some stars are even changing their gowns in time for rapidly approaching Jan. 7 award show.
Since the fashion at these award programs is as closely watched as the talent, every photo and red carpet interview will be an opportunity for women to share their own story or the impact sexual misconduct has had on the industry.
It's sure to be a powerful demonstration.
Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images.
Official or unofficial, these coordinated efforts to center women and equality are right on time.
As more women (and folks who aren't women) break the crushing silence that often follows sexual harassment or assault, it is becoming abundantly clear just how toxic and pervasive this problem is. Not just in Hollywood, but across every industry.
By prompting the discussion of these important issues at some of the most-watched events of the year, this long-overdue conversation continues — hopefully leading toward safe and comfortable workplaces for all.