What Sets the SAG Awards Apart From the Rest

The 2022 SAG Awards nominations were announced Wednesday, Jan. 12 and, now, in honor of the show, we're looking at what makes these awards extra special.

By Billy Nilles Jan 12, 2022 3:16 PMTags
Watch: SAG President Courtney B. Vance "Feels Good" at SAG Awards

There's nothing like being honored by your peers.

Winning an Oscar or an Emmy comes with an undeniable amount of prestige. Meanwhile, box office returns and ratings give you a window into how the public feels about your art. But to have the people who know your craft the best—your former co-stars, your audition competition, your time slot rivals—deem your performance the best in your field that year is an unparalleled sense of validation. Enter the Screen Actors Guild Awards. (Catch the full list of 2022 nominations here.)

One of the younger award shows on the block, the SAG Awards were established less than 30 years ago by what was then known as the Screen Actors Guild, the union formed in 1933 to represent film and television principal and background performers worldwide. (In 2012, SAG merged with the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists to become SAG-AFTRA.) And at the onset of the first ceremony in 1995, the legendary Angela Lansbury took the stage to emphasize why the night mattered.

Best SAG Awards Red Carpet Looks of All-Time

"Tonight is dedicated to the art and craft of acting by the people who should know about it: actors," she told the crowd of nominees and presenters gathered at Universal Studios' Stage 12. "And remember, you're one too!"

In the ensuing 20-plus years since that first ceremony, the location of the event and the overall scale may have changed, but that initial edict has always remained the same. A simple event (2018's host, Kristen Bell, marked the ceremony's first host ever) that traditionally eschews many of the distracting sideshows that bloat the run times of other award shows, the SAG Awards have never forgotten that this night is about actors celebrating actors. Period.

Getty Images; Jessica Ariel Wendroff/ E! Illustration

Between the night's signature opening montage of "Actors Stories," the yearly presentation of the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award, and awarding of the coveted Actor statuettes in thirteen categories recognizing both individual performances as well as the entire ensemble of one drama series, one comedy series, and one motion picture, the focus is squarely on the actor. (We know, we know, like they don't get enough attention.) And it's that for us, by us ethos that makes this the one award show where the sappy old "It's just an honor to be nominated" saying just might actually be true.

TBS and TNT will simulcast the 28th annual SAG Awards on Sunday, Feb. 27 at 8 p.m. ET.

(This story was originally published on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018, at 3 a.m. PT.)

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