Laila Alawa’s other work for Coming of Faith can be found here.
This past weekend, the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards took place. In case you didn’t know, these awards happen every year, in order to recognize outstanding performances in film and primetime television. This year, the SAG Awards decided to break the homogeneity streak that the 2015 Golden Globes and 2015 Oscars have been keeping up, opting instead to recognize diversity and representation.
This year, the race for Female Actor in Drama Series was pretty stiff, but I was secretly rooting for Viola Davis, who has been phenomenal as Annalise Keating in “How to Get Away with Murder.” Episode after episode, she has delivered stunning performances, playing a complex, sexually aware and brilliant prosecutor on what was really the hit show last season.
So of course, it was the most talked about moment when Davis won the SAG Award for Female Actor – and then chose to give a touching, important speech about diversity and ageism that brought tears to my eyes. Davis beat out Claire Danes (“Homeland”), Julianna Margulies (“The Good Wife”), Tatiana Maslany (“Orphan Black”), Maggie Smith (“Downton Abbey”), and Robin Wright (“House of Cards”), but that’s not what made her win so incredible.Davis' speech at the SAG awards brought tears to my eyes. Click To Tweet
Really, it was when Davis tearfully thanked the ABC show’s creator and innovator Shonda Rhimes, among others that make her show possible, “for thinking that a sexualized, messy, mysterious woman could be a 49-year-old dark-skinned African-American woman who looks like me.”
She added, “And thank you to all the people who love me exactly how God made me,” including her husband Julius, her daughter Genesis and her mother.
The victory for Viola Davis wasn’t just a simple prize. It’s a victory for those that find themselves underrepresented, for women of color, and for Davis, who truly deserved the honor. Here’s to more moments like hers in the future.Viola Davis' victory for those who are underrepresented. Click To Tweet