The 2021 SAG Awards


SCREEN ACTORS GUILD AWARDS LOGO Art Photo Credit: Screen Actors Guild Awards, LLC

The 2021 Screen Actors Guild Awards took place this past Sunday at the Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall, as well as over Zoom, in the way that many award shows have been conducted this strange year. The entire show lasted only an hour, but there were still many noteworthy wins. 

The biggest win of the night was the anticipated award for outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture, which went to the 2020 film The Trial of the Chicago 7. The film was written and directed by Aaron Sorkin and depicted the true events of the Chicago Seven in the 1968 Vietnam War Protests. Notably, Michael Keaton, who portrayed United States attorney general Ramsey Clark in the movie, made SAG Awards history by becoming the first actor to win in this category three times. Frank Langella, award-winning actor and Judge Julius Hoffman in the film, accepted the award on behalf of the entire cast and gave a speech focused around unification.

The cast of “The Trial of the Chicago 7” over Zoom via

As People Magazine explains, Langella stated, “Aaron Sorkin was determined to tell their story, and his loving and respectful direction transformed a group of disparate actors into an ensemble. Reverend King was right, we need leaders to guide us toward hating each other less. We owe a debt of thanks to the voices of the Chicago Seven, and most especially, Aaron Sorkin, our leader whose voice is the soul of this movie. Thank you SAG-AFTRA.”

The lead actors awards categories were, too, strongly desired wins for the night. The female actor in a leading role was an extremely competitive category, with performances from Frances McDormand in Nomadland and Carey Mulligan in Promising Young Woman. However, Viola Davis came out on top for her role as blues singer Ma Rainey in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Soon after Davis accepted her award, the male actor in a leading role award was won by the late Chadwick Boseman for his performance as Levee Green alongside Davis.

Chadwick Boseman and Viola Davis in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” via

According to the Washington Post, Boseman’s wife accepted the award on his behalf and dedicated a quote to him by stating, “If you see the world unbalanced, be a crusader that pushes heavily on the seesaw of the mind.” 

Along with critically-acclaimed films of the year, TV shows also won big. Netflix’s historical drama The Crown picked up two awards: ensemble in a drama series and female actor in a drama series, which was awarded to Gillian Anderson. Pop TV’s Schitt’s Creek was nominated for a total of five awards, and it ended up winning two of those. Catherine O’Hara won female actor in a comedy series for her role as the iconic Moira Rose, and she shared this win with Annie Murphy, her co-star and daughter on the show, who was also nominated. The sitcom’s cast was awarded the ensemble in a comedy series prize, and Dan Levy, co-creator and David Rose on the show, accepted this award over Zoom beside his sister and his father Eugene Levy, who portrays Johnny Rose and is the show’s other co-creator. Jason Bateman won the award for male actor in a drama series for his role as Marty Byrde in Netflix’s Ozark. Bateman had won this prize once before in 2019.  

Sarah, Dan, and Eugene Levy reacting to “Schitt’s Creek” win over Zoom via

Although the 2021 Screen Actors Guild Awards were different than they had been in years past due to the pandemic, audiences were still excited to honor their favorite actors, films, TV shows, etc. for the art they had presented over 2020.