It is a great joy to see so many Black performers winning at the just-announced Screen Actors Guild awards. And they are all so frigging talented! But I did feel that this year, the Screen Guild awards were seen to bend backwards to please those who have been constantly complaining about the lack of Black representation in the awards.
So this year both the Best Actor and Best Actress have gone to Black performers.No doubt the late Chadwick Boseman’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom act was worthy of being singled out.But Viola Davis as the best actress for the same film??!! Of course she is damn good. When is she not! But with due respects,is Viola Davis better in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom than Vanessa Kirby in Pieces of a Woman,Frances McDormand in Nomadland and Carey Mulligan in Promising Young Woman?
I don’t think so. The voting pattern here is clearly askew. In trying to set right the imbalance between White contenders and Black, the Screen Guild awards have gone the other way.
Celebrating diversity is politically correct, but not at the cost of merit. Even the Best Supporting Actor award has been given to a Black actor Daniel Kaluuya in Judas and the Black Messiah. It should have gone to Leslie Odom, Jr. in One Night in Miami who incidentally, is also Black. But that doesn’t matter. It shouldn’t matter. Awards for excellence in cinema must be colour-blind.
Celebrate excellence irrespective of nationality or race. That’s the beauty of cinema.
Such a pleasure to see South Korea’s veteran actress Yuh-Jung Youn win in the best supporting actress category for Minari. It reminds me of the time 68-year old Durga Khote won Filmfare’s best supporting actress award for Bidaai.
And what a joy to see Anya Taylor-Joy win best actress for a miniseries in The Queen’s Gambit.
Let’s not get obsessed with diversity. Let’s focus on merit alone, shall we?