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SAG Awards: Actors of color sweep film acting nods for the first time

Chadwick Boseman and Viola Davis won for their leading roles in "Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom."
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For the first time, actors of color swept all four film acting categories at the 2021 Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Actors Viola Davis and the late Chadwick Boseman won top screen acting honors for their leading roles in the film "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom." Meanwhile, Daniel Kaluuya took home the award for best supporting male actor in "Judas and the Black Messiah," and Yuh-jung Youn, a South Korean actress, won best supporting female actor for her work in "Minari."

The historic moment marked a number of other firsts: Boseman, who died of colon cancer in August, is the first posthumous winner in a lead actor role, and Youn is the first Asian actor to win a best acting SAG award.

Steven Yeun, Alan S. Kim, Yuh-Jung Youn, Yeri Han, Noel Cho in "Minari."
Steven Yeun, Alan S. Kim, Yuh-Jung Youn, Yeri Han, Noel Cho in "Minari."Josh Ethan Johnson / A24

The 27th SAG Awards aired on Sunday night in an hourlong, pre-recorded show honoring the best performances on screens both big and small. The awards ceremony was a departure from its past — without a red carpet, host or set — because of Covid-19 restrictions.

Among the night's top prizes were Netflix's "The Trial of the Chicago 7" for the guild's film ensemble award; "The Crown" for drama series ensemble; and "Schitt's Creek" for comedy series ensemble. Other winners included Anya Taylor-Joy for "The Queen's Gambit," Gillian Anderson for "The Crown," and Jason Sudeikis for "Ted Lasso."

The SAG Awards, which are voted on entirely by actors, are often cited as harbingers for the Oscars. Last year, “Parasite,” which won for best ensemble at the SAG Awards, went on to win best picture at the Academy Awards, and all of the individual SAG winners — Renée Zellweger, Brad Pitt, Laura Dern, Joaquin Phoenix — won at the Oscars, too.

In February, SAG made headlines after the guild prepared to expel former President Donald Trump, whose credits include "The Apprentice" and "Home Alone 2," for his role in the U.S. Capitol riot that left five people dead, including one Capitol police officer. Trump resigned from the guild before his expulsion.