Sunday, April 21, 2024

Notes on the SAG Awards: Stealth Move to Streaming Produces Just 871K Viewers on YouTube, Plus Fran Drescher’s Speech Bombs, Sam Elliott’s Sweet Win, Sally Field and Andrew Garfield, But…Mark Wahlberg?


The SAG Awards were a stealth affair, presented just like the Critics Choice Awards two months ago in the same Fairmont Ballroom. Why?

And they were not televised. Less than a million people were watching on YouTube, which is probably just as well. The production was a mess on and off the stage.

I’ve never ever seen a speech go over as badly as Fran Drescher’s. She won the last election as SAG president by a nose. The union is very fractured, which showed in the ballroom. No one laughed or clapped during that speech. There was a frightening silence.

There were some sweet moments. Andrew Garfield was lovely introducing Sally Field, and she reciprocated with a beautiful speech. Her clip reel is pretty stunning. Sam Elliott, one of my favorite people, won for his work on “1883.” It’s about damn time. Jessica Chastain also gave a touching speech, as her win was unexpected. So was Jason Bateman’s. I would have given all the TV drama awards to “Ozark.” But then we would have missed Jennifer Coolidge telling us about her father pulling her out of first grade to go to a Charlie Chaplin Film Festival. This was Jennifer’s year.

As odd as the show was, nothing was weirder than Mark Wahlberg presenting the final award. I mean, he’s a nice guy, but really? That was kind of a throwaway.

Next year SAG moves to actual Netflix. They’d better do some work making friends in the next year to remedy this bizarre outing.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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