Award season 2018 has gotten off to a rip-roaring start, with both the Golden Globes and the SAG Awards making their nomination announcements during the second week of December 2017. While there have been some surprises and snubs in regard to who exactly got nominated, there’s one big piece of award season news that is hard to argue isn’t actually a great thing.
On Wednesday, Dec. 13, The Hollywood Reporter announced that the 2018 SAG Awards would have an all-female presenter lineup, which is a major step forward and a major first in award show history. A move of this kind certainly sends a strong message about the vision this award show has for the new year, but it also shows those behind the scenes are dedicated to giving women in Hollywood a true spotlight and not one that’s given away half-heartedly. Hell, yeah!
According to the official statement released to THR from SAG Awards executive producer Kathy Connell, “Beginning with the Women’s March in January, it’s been the year of the woman. [Having presenters all be female] is a unifying salute to women who have been very brave and speaking up.”
This conscious effort to let women’s voices be heard not just in acceptance speeches but also while presenting the awards is certainly unique, and it’s really, as previously mentioned, an unprecedented move. Much like MTV’s decision to create gender-neutral award categories at the 2017 MTV Movie Awards earlier this year, the 2018 SAG Awards are actively reminding us that it’s not just a man’s world and honorable events like awards show should be emblematic of that.
“How many times has a woman walked into a room of predominantly men? We thought, maybe for one night, it’ll be more than 50/50 [onstage],” Connell noted to THR in regard to the importance of giving the focus to women. She did also acknowledge that she hopes there aren’t any bad reactions from the men involved, going on to say, “We don’t want to slight the men who have given great performances this year — knowing our membership, I’m sure our men will embrace the opportunity to honor women.”
Sadly, we have no idea which women have been selected to present at the 2018 SAGs, although there is some promise that those in charge of choosing presenters will indeed have their eye on a broad range of women. This is evident from the fact that Kristen Bell has been snagged as the show’s host (another first for the historically host-less event!) and it was only women — Niecy Nash (who stars on TNT’s Claws) and Olivia Munn (best known from her work on HBO’s The Newsroom and X-Men: Apocalypse) — who announced the nominees early Wednesday morning.
Connell’s official statement closed out on a hopeful note, and it’s one we should all keep in mind while we celebrate this exciting news. “It’s still an awards show and a celebration — we’re not here to preach to anybody. To me, just having some of these fabulous women onstage sends its own message.”