A Hollywood beset by a crisis over diversity will convene for the 22nd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, where the night's top film honor may be a toss-up between the ensembles of two fact-based tales: "The Big Short" and "Spotlight."
The awards, to be broadcast live from Los Angeles' Shrine Auditorium on TNT and TBS on Saturday beginning at 8 p.m. EST, come amid uproar over a second straight year of all-white Academy Awards acting nominees, which has spawned cries for an Oscar boycott and precipitated membership changes for the film academy.
Yet this year's SAG nominees in 15 film and television categories aren't as homogenous as the Oscars. Among the five film nominees for best ensemble are the N.W.A biopic "Straight Outta Compton" and the child soldier drama "Beasts of No Nation," whose star Idris Elba is also nominated. Another film in the hunt is the Dalton Trumbo tale "Trumbo."
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The SAG Awards are, in part, a dress rehearsal for likely Oscar winners to try out their acceptance speeches. This year, those nominees include Leonardo DiCaprio ("The Revenant"), Brie Larson ("Room") and Alicia Vikander ("The Danish Girl"), and their podium remarks could also be an indication of whether or how they might address the diversity turmoil surrounding this year's awards season.
The great comedienne Carol Burnett will accept the SAG lifetime achievement award from presenters Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.
In the SAG television categories, best ensemble in a drama will be decided between "Downton Abbey," ''Game of Thrones," ''Homeland," ''House of Cards" and "Mad Men." The comedy side pits "The Big Bang Theory," ''Modern Family," ''Key & Peele," ''Orange Is the New Black," ''Transparent" and "Veep."