LGBTQ-inclusive content and talent in the spotlight at tonight's SAG Awards

Nervous energy is mounting as the 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards are being Simulcast Live tonight on TNT and TBS at 8 pm (ET) / 5 pm (PT).  Notable nominees include:  Moonlight, garnering 3 nominations, Netflix, surpassing all other television networks with 17 noms, and Paramount ehich leads the motion picture studio pack with 6.  Announced presenters include: Riz Ahmed, Viola Davis, Michelle Dockery, Kathryn Hahn, Salma Hayek, Jonah Hill, Kate Hudson, Nicole Kidman, Ashton Kutcher, John Legend, James Marsden, Gina Rodriguez and Denzel Washington.

Continuing the streak of awards and nominations from major critics and industry associations, the intensely honest and beautiful film about a black inner city queer youth’s struggle to find himself, his voice and his own sexuality as told through three stages in his life, Moonlight is nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. Additional noms went to Naomie Harris (Paula) and Mahershala Ali (Juan) for Outstanding Performance by a Female and Male Actor in a Supporting Role respectively.

 

Nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series for FX’ The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story was out actress Sarah Paulson as prosecuting attorney Marcia Clark.  Joining her in this category is Tony, Grammy and Emmy Award-winning performer, Audra McDonald who, as the openly bisexual jazz vocalist and song stylist Billie Holiday, delivered a tour de force performance in HBO’s Lady Day in Emerson’s Bar & Grill.

 

Tituss Burgess is up for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series for his hilarious and dynamic performance as Titus Andromedon on Netflix’ Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.  And continuing his streak of accolades for portraying Maura Pfefferman, a transgender woman who came out to her family in Season One of Transparent (Amazon), Jeffrey Tambor was also nominated in this category.  Earlier this year, when accepting his latest Emmy for this role, Tambor stated that:

"I would not be unhappy were I the last cisgender male to play a female transgender on television."

 

With the exception of  HBO’s Veep, Netflix rules the roost in nominations within the Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series category.  Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin received their individual noms for Grace and Frankie (respectively).

Ellie Kemper was also nominated in the above category for the title role in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt; and Uzo Aduba for her larger-than-life portrayal of Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren in Orange Is the New Black.

Orange is the New Black SAG AwardsThree fan favorites received nominations for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series.  Now into its 10th season, CBS’ The Big Bang Theory, led by multiple award winning out actor Jim Parsons, has been nominated in this category for the last four consecutive years.  ABC’s Modern Family  is a 7 time nominee in this category, taking home 4 “Actors”.  It has also been nominated for 7 GLAAD Media Awards, winning twice.  Netflix’ Orange Is the New Black has won in this category for the last two years and continues to be a favorite for its groundbreaking, creative and moving storylines. OITNB is also a GLAAD award recipient.

For those keeping scorecards: Moonlight garnered 3 nominations (Male and Female Actors in Supporting Roles, and for Motion Picture Cast); Paramount Pictures movies received 6 noms; and Netflix topped all networks with 17 nominations, followed by HBO with 13.

Lily TomlinOne significant highlight of tonight's ceremony has already been announced.  In celebration of decades of being at the top of her career – comedy, acting, writing, and producing – Lily Tomlin will be honored with the SAG Life Achievement Award “for career achievement and humanitarian accomplishment.  As the 53rd recipient of SAG-AFTRA’s highest tribute, her body of work reflects excellence at all levels of the entertainment industry.  In fact, Grace and Frankie was a GLAAD Media Award 2016 nominee.

Tomlin is well-known for her support of philanthropic organizations, particularly within the LGBTQ community, overcoming homelessness, civil rights and animal welfare.  She co-founded the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Lily Tomlin/Jane Wagner Cultural Arts Center.  On January 7, GLAAD shared that Lily and Jane, her partner of 42 years, married in a low key ceremony on New Year’s Eve in Los Angeles.  GLAAD congratulates Lily Tomlin for this well-deserved SAG recognition of a lifetime’s contribution of talent, mind and heart.

Within its third decade of actors celebrating actors, the SAG Awards have risen to be a standard bearer of excellence, and a signal to what the upcoming Academy Awards just might recognize.  So let's tune in. The 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards are being Simulcast Live tonight on TNT and TBS at 8 pm (ET) / 5 pm (PT)   See you on our Facebook page and on Twitter