The only way Hollywood and the entertainment industry evolve and reflect the society that we live in today is by embracing diversity. As public relations professionals, it is important we pay attention to diversity issues in the media now and in the future. Seeing how representation and diversity can make a difference in the media is just the start.
On February 27th, 2022, the 28th annual Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards took place. The SAG awards stepped up in 2022 by rightfully awarding diverse actors and projects for excellence in entertainment. With the introduction of Korean entertainment in the United States, a new standard was set in the film industry. That standard allowed nominations for foreign films with closed captions being an accepted submission in film award shows. The start of this Korean entertainment wave began with the 2019 Oscar-winning film, Parasite by director, Bong Joon-ho who introduced a dark story with rich meaning.
The popular Netflix show, Squid Game was created by director Hwang Dong-hyuk. He wrote the story back in 2008 but wasn’t picked up by Netflix until 2018. Vulture reported that the reasoning behind this was that global markets didn’t have the mindset for this type of story in 2008.
Squid Game won three SAG Awards, which made it the most-awarded show of the night.. The first award was given for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series by actress, Jung Ho-yeon. This win for Jung Ho-yeon was quite phenomenal as it was her breakout role. Ho-yeon was a model before this role and even competed in the fourth season of Korea’s Next Top Model and placed as a runner-up. The following win for actor, Lee Jung-jae, was the actor’s first-ever SAG award nomination and win. He was overwhelmed with joy and stated, “Oh my thank you much! This is truly huge that it’s happened to me.” The third award of the show was Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Television Series. In addition, the elderly man who was known as Player 001 played by actor, O Yeong-su in the show won Best Supporting Actor in A Series, Miniseries, or Television film at this year’s Golden Globe Awards. These wins were a tremendous success for the show.
There was also another film titled CODA which was an unexpected winner in the film category of the SAG awards. This win made history with CODA actor Troy Kotsur being the first deaf and disabled actor nominated and winning the first Best Supporting Actor Award without being in an individual category. Another amazing win of the night was by Ariana DeBose as Anita in West Side Story directed by Steven Spielberg. DeBose made history as the first Queer Afro-Latina actress to win a SAG Award for Best Supporting Actress. DeBose and many other diverse actors are breaking Hollywood barriers; it is inspiring for the next generation.
This type of recognition for diverse actors are paving a new future for the entertainment industry. This is the change that people want to see. Can we expect the Oscars and Emmys to follow in the same footsteps in celebrating diverse talent?
Guenevere Chin is a senior at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) studying advertising and marketing communications. She is a member of FIT’s PRSSA Chapter, the Asian Student Network and Film Club. She has interned at H&S Communications Agency and Zit Sticka in New York. She would like to work in the entertainment industry in public relations and eventually become a film director to tell stories, show the world her perspective and most importantly inspire others. Connect with her on LinkedIn.