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« Soundtracking: 2018 Grammy Nominees at the Movies! | Main | The SAG Nominations are Here »

"Everyone was nominated.... except you!" (Our annual SAG outrage)

by Nathaniel R

Pierre Png, who has a lot of scenes in CRAZY RICH ASIANS, was snubbed while his "replacement" for Gemma Chan's affection, who has about 2 seconds of screen time, was nominated!

We'll keep doing these posts each year until the Screen Actors Guild does something about their most unfortunate awards rule. For those who are new to the awards game, please note: If you are a working actor lucky enough to wind up in a film nominated for "Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture," that doesn't mean you are included in the nomination; you have to have your own title card for that! What this means each year is that actors who aren't really famous yet, or don't have an aggressive agent, wind up left out of the official nomination even if they contributed immeasurably to the success of the film or were highly memorable in some small but defining way.

Read on for the specific exclusions this year and the history of most embarrassing omissions from the past due this ruling...

Recent embarrassing omissions due to this ruling include but are not limited to:

2017 - Lil' Rel Howery and Betty Gabriel (both superb/crucial) to Get Out
2016 - Alex R Hibbert (so touching) as "Lil" in Moonlight
2015 - Dean O' Gorman's spot on "Kirk Douglas" in Trumbo
2014 - Lindsay Duncan as the feared critic in Birdman
2013 - Yaya Alafia in The Butler and Colleen Camp in American Hustle
2012 - Sheila Vand in Argo and Gloria Reuben & Lee Pace in Lincoln,
2011 - Corey Stoll's career breakthrough as Ernest Hemingway in Midnight in Paris
2010 - Rooney Mara in The Social Network
2009 - Matthew Beard in An Education

So who got the stealth snub in 2018, who otherwise had every reason to celebrate this morning's nomination? 

Florence Kasumba and John Kani in "Black Panther"

12 "cast" nominees: Angela Bassett, Chadwick Boseman, Sterling K Brown, Winston Duke, Martin Freeman, Danai Gurira, Michael B Jordan, Daniel Kaluuya, Lupita Nyong'o, Andy Serkis, Forest Whitaker, and Letitia Wright.
who was excluded: Florence Kasumba as Ayo and John Kani as T'Chaka are the only cast members included before the main credit scrawl who aren't nominated. The Ayo role was originally larger as Marvel axed the lesbian suggestive portion of the movie (she and Danai Gurira's Okoye were to be involved in some way). King T'Chaka died in Captain America: Civil War but reappears here in vision sequences. Other cast members, further down the list who get named roles in the credits (i.e. not one of the "elders" or "dora milaje" or random military personnel) are David S Lee as Limbani, Nabiyah Be as Linda, and all the actors playing younger versions of the main characters, mostly in the film's prologue: Atandwa Kani as Young T'Chaka, Ashton Tyler as Young T'Challa, Denzel Whitaker as James/Young Zuri, and Seth Carr as Young Killmonger.

Felix and Walter, far right, the two biggest villain roles (outside of Topher Grace's) in "BlacKkKlansman" were amongst the excluded cast members

6 "cast" nominees: Harry Belafonte, Adam Driver, Topher Grace, Laura Harrier, Corey Hawkins and John David Washington
who was excluded: We'd argue that the most egregious exclusions are Jasper Pääkkönen as "Felix" the most violent of the KKK members, and Ryan Eggold as "Walter" the more scarily measured local leader of the KKK (scary because he seems sane and obviously the KKK are anything but).

Other exclusions include Frederick Weller as the racist cop Andy Landers (and he's been working in Hollywood pictures long enough that his agent really should get him his own title card, what the hell?), Paul Walter Hauser as the buffoonish "Ivanhoe", and Ashlie Atkinson as the bomb planting "Connie". Now, some of those actors are going quite cartoonish but still... they are fairly major roles in the movie and the actors (who are not KKK members, so dont hold it against them) should thus be recognized if you're saying "outstanding cast". One actor in the film who has a fairly large role who doesn't even get a shared title card, unlike the others just listed, is Michael  Buscemi  (Yes, he's Steve's brother) as "Jimmy Creek," the other main cop who is working with Ron and Flip.

Aaron McCusker as the real life "Jim Hutton" (pictured with the real Freddie Mercury left)

9 "cast" nominees: Lucy Boynton, Aiden Gillen, Ben Hardy, Tom Hollander, Gwilym Lee, Allen Leech, Rami Malek, Joe Mazello, and Mike Myers
who was excluded
: No one but those nine cast members, who compromise the band and its managers and Freddie's first two (onscreen) sexual partners received a title card, not even a shared card. The most obvious exclusion in the list is Aaron McCusker as "Jim Hutton," Freddie's longtime partner who only gets two scenes in the movie as he 'rescues' Freddie from his awful gay lifestyle (ugh this movie) but gets a lot of camera time in those scenes. There are also no nominations for Freddie's parents and sister played by Meneka Das, Ace Bhatti, and Priya Blackburn. 

Many of "Crazy Rich Asians" most memorable players weren't included

8 "cast" nominees: Awkawfina, Gemma Chan, Henry Golding, Ken Jeong, Lisa Lu, Harry Shum Jr, Constance Wu, and Michelle Yeoh
who was excluded: SO MANY! But here are the six most egregious exclusions, pictured above from left to right: Sonoya Mizuno as "Arimanta Lee" the bride (who thrilled in Ex-Machina a few years ago... but apparently is still not famous enough to command her own title card), Tan Kheng Hua who is touching as "Kerry Chu," Constance Wu's single mother,  Chris Pang as "Colin Khoo," who is Golding's best friend in the movie and the groom of the big wedding, Jimmy O Yang as "Bernard Tai" the messy movie director friend of Golding's,  Pierre Png in the very large role of "Michael Teo," Gemma Chan's philandering husband within the movie, and Nico Santos as "Oliver T'Sien" the second cousin who is in several scenes with Wu, Awkwafina, and Yeoh. ALL of them have much much larger roles than Harry Shum Jr (don't read this wrong - we LOVE him) who just has a split second cameo at the end to hint at the sequel but is famous enough already (and a former SAG winner for the ensemble of Glee) for his own title card. 

Incredibly not all of them even get a shared title card. Mizuno, Pang, Santos, and Yang are included in the title cards (shared) but Tan Kheng Hua and Pierre Png, both crucial to the movie's narrative arcs, don't even get that honor. Other cast members who do come before the credits scrawl but have to share a card are Ronnie Chieng and Remi Hii (as the "Cheng" cousins) and Jing Lusi who plays "Amanda Ling," Goldin's bitchy ex who is out to get Constance Wu. 

ALL of A Star is Born's most adorable characters were left on SAG's cutting room floor

7 "cast" nominees:  Dave Chappelle, Andrew Dice Clay, Bradley Cooper, Sam Elliott, Lady Gaga, Rafi Gavron, and Anthony Ramos.
who was excluded:
JUSTICE FOR GAIL! Rebecca Field, everyone's favorite backstage tourguide "Gail" had to share a title card with other adorables. So did Gaga's daddy's co-workers, Barry Shabaka Henley as "Little Feet" and Michael Harney as "Wolfie". The final name on that first shared title card is Michael D Roberts as "Matty". The second shared title card is for Ron Rifkin who plays Jackson's sponsor "Carl" in the rehab center, Greg Grunberg as Jackson's patient chee-to's loving driver "Phil" and Eddie Griffin as the Pastor who marries Jackson and Ally. No other actors get title cards, but the rest of them are in bit roles so it doesnt feel that egregious. EXCEPT... 

P.S. you know that the SAG awards rules have serious problems when people like Willam Belli as "Emerald" and Shangela Pierce as "Drag Bar Emcee" aren't included when they made the first half hour of that movie so freaking funny, Immediately engaging, and suggested that the movie was taking place in a full world outside of just Jackson and Ally (which other scenes rarely do) 



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Reader Comments (40)

Here it is! Here it is!

December 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Tan Kheng Hua and Pierre Png are famous Singaporean actors but I guess their fames don't really translate to the American audiences.

December 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJeff C.

That Gloria Reuben omission from Lincoln is still draped in tragic irony.

A Star is Born for ensemble: so just an extra nomination for the three actors already nominated? Who considers it a real ensemble movie?

December 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterCash

Pierre Png is a bigger hunk than Henry Golding. Change my mind.

December 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterFR

I get the rule (eh not really) but there really should be a recourse for inclusion after nominations. You'd think a guild for actors would understand this.

December 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

So, even though the Academy axed that "Outstanding Achievement in Popular Film" idea, it looks like that whole thing still did its job judging by these nominations. Seriously? Bohemian Rhapsody for Best Cast? And Mike Myers is listed among them? Eww. I like A Star is Born well enough (think the first hour is near perfect, but the second hour seriously lags, especially in scenes dominated by Bradley Cooper), but was anyone other than Cooper, Gaga and Elliott actually good on that? I actually thought Rafi Gavron was atrocious. I'll give them Black Panther (that was a nicely put together cast that worked well off of each other), and while I have some problems with BlacKkKlansman (mostly anything having to do with Patrice and I have a hard time believing Ron Stallworth would be as reckless as he is at times), the cast works well together. As for Crazy Rich Asians, well, there are some terrific performances (mostly by the women, I don't feel like the guys are given much to do for most of it), but I'm not quite sure how much the ensemble gels. So, yeah, this looks like one of those years in which I'm going to be continually disappointed by the Oscar season (which doesn't happen often for me).

December 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRichter Scale

This might be a silly question, but why do they have the rule that your name has to have its own title card? And is this something that people voting for the nominees and winners are aware of?

For television-- do you have to appear in a certain number of episodes in order to be included in the cast nomination?

December 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterFelicity

Worst lineup ever. BlacKkKsman should be winning easy.

Having said that I am not the least surprised by the inclusion of Bohemian Rhapsody. When I leave my Twitter bubble and ask around (office, gym, family...) people really love it. Some even say it should win makeup and costumes!

December 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

I would have only supported the ensemble nod for Star is Born if it had included Willam and Shangela.

December 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAustin

Lol. I knew that there was no way you'd begin the Star is Born section with anything else than "JUSTICE FOR GAIL!."

December 12, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterchasm301

I know it’s been 8 years but the three women being excluded from The Social Network (Rooney Mara, Brenda Song, and Rashida Jones) still gets brought up in my house.

December 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterBushwick

Felicity -- i dont think the general SAG membership is aware now. Actors always seem surprised when I tell them. Corey Stoll didn't know that he'd been excluded when MIDNIGHT IN PARIS was nominated. SO INJUST!

December 12, 2018 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Willam and Shangela were robbed.

December 12, 2018 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese

@Richter, Critics && social media are just as responsible this year for championing [good but] unexceptional films that are loaded with culture significance.

It's progress that there's a fun disposable box office comedy full of Asian characters. It's progress that there's a Marvel movie with an all-black cast. Most of all it's progress that those movies were massive hits.

I don't get why that earns those movies a place in the awards conversation. Especially when representationally significant movies like Beal Street & Widows are fighting for scraps at the margins.

December 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAnon

Ashlie Atkinson gives my favorite performance in BK , what a turd in the punchbowl that she's not there

December 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJason

Peggy Sue -- agreed but it won't. I think CRAZY RICH ASIANS or BLACK PANTHER will take this.

December 12, 2018 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

FR -- i shan't attempt to change your mind because I agree :)

December 12, 2018 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

The two BlackKklansmen actors...I mean...either can argue for being the 2nd main character.

That's the most ridiculous I've heard.

December 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMe

Felicity -- i dont actually know how they determine the cast nominations for television. Anyone?

December 12, 2018 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Oh, for sure! I say Black Panther. 800 millions dollars are not enough reward anymore.

December 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

What about Regina King????

December 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRegina King


December 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterBruno

I know Seth Carr wasn't in Black Panther very long, but I would argue the Carr/Jordan & Brown scene is the best scene in the whole film.

I love that kid's performance

December 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterBen

Ouch! Alex R Hibbert (xoxo) in Moonlight and Corey Stoll in Midnight in Paris still burn, all of these years later.

Glad to see the underrepresented represented for a change (Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians specifically), but Bohemian Rhapsody is *not* good representation for the LGBTQ (or really any) community. The egregious cast omissions for the other films just make it worse.

Oh, and *Marvel* didn't axe the lesbian subtext of Ayo's and Okoye's relationship; *Disney* did. (Marvel published the comic book, after all.)

P.S. Pierre Png's body is its own reward.

December 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

Sag is the last thing I think about when checking out Pierre Png. DAMN!

December 12, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy


Agreed. Crazy Rich Asians is a decent romantic comedy whose merits have been blown out of proportion because "inclusivity"

Same for Black Panther. It's decent, but not even on the same level as the last two Captain America pictures. Progressive ideals (which are only given lip service) does not a GREAT movie make.

They should not be nominating good movies. They should be nominating great ones.

December 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterTr


I don't know why people are acting shocked that Bohemian Rhapsody can clear the bar we specifically lowered for other decent popcorn movies in 2018. You don't have one without the other. Maybe the popularity Oscar wasn't such a bad idea after all.

December 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAnon

Aren't the SAG awards like the People's Choice Awards now? I appreciate the diversity, but they don't seem to watch very many movies. Nicole Kidman and First Man got no love.

December 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJono

As a Singaporean, I’m really disappointed at the egregious of Pierre Png and Tan Kheng Hua. Especially the latter. She literally brought me close to tears in the 2 out of her 4 scenes. I think this title card rule is ridiculous and ought to be reviewed and replaced.

December 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterBlueMoon02

*egregious exclusions.

December 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterBlueMoon02

Pääkkönen and Atkinson, in BKKKM and McCusker in Bohemian Rhapsody bug me the most. Both BKKKM players would be in my top 5 supporting players this year, probably

December 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJesus Alonso

I've reviewed the rules and spoken to the SAG Awards office numerous times over the years. The studios and actors' reps are well aware of the rules about single title cards and the consequences of those actors who don't have them being excluded from cast nominations. They could easily offer those actors single cards or do what Woody Allen does in his films and put everyone on the same card (s) so that everyone is eligible. The awards office has ongoing discussions with the networks and studios about how to better include as many performers as possible but lines do have to be drawn someplace or you'd have 150 people taking the stage for most film wins.
As for TV, actors, regardless of series billing, must appear in more than half of the episodes aired to qualify for cast nominations. So a recurring guest star who is in a majority of the episodes would qualify where a series regular who may be in less than half for a particular season would not. Those folks are still eligible to be nominated in solo actor/actress categories, though.
That said, they tell me that any show, actor, rep or studio can petition the SAG Awards for special consideration if they feel it is merited. It sucks to see anyone excluded from these things. Especially if it is a situation of clout of the rep or actor versus size of the role. But the fault lies more with the studio system, the agents and managers that all know the rules and don't do anything to help their clients.

December 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterBo

Bo -- but that's not true even of Woody Allen movies. If you're on the second title card in his movies you are not included. It's a terible terrible rule. At the very least it should be expanded to be "anyone with a title card, even shared" which would prevent at least 3/4th of the most egregious snubs of people who really did bang-up work in their film but weren't famous enough to command a solo card.

December 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Oh,no! Ashlie Atkinson and Frederick Weller didn't make it for BlacKkKlansman. That's too bad.

December 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

The ones that seem truly egregious are the two BlacKkKlansman villains, the Crazy Rich Asians mom/husband/gay cousin, and Jim from Bohemian Rhapsody.

SAG, to you I say: Tsk tsk. Tsk. Tsk.

December 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

It's a shame we can't start to push for change, but we don't know any SAG members to spread word around. A pity because you know the Ann Dowds, Miss Pyles, Melanie Lynskeys, Dastmalchian's, etc of the world would be pro changing.

December 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterNatch

A very worthwhile and frustrating piece, as always! In looking closely at the TV nominations, it appears that Zazie Beetz is not included in the ensemble for Atlanta, which strikes me as crazy because she was nominated for an Emmy for the same season for Best Supporting Actress. Are there similar title card rules for television that would apply in this case but could still lead to a supporting bid from the Emmys?

December 13, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAbe

I still argue that Crazy Rich Asians is a more homophobic (and alarmingly more heteronormative) movie than Bohemian Rhapsody.

December 13, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEricB

EricB -- agreed that Crazy rich Asians is more heternormative but it's hard to get more stealth homophobic than BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY which very specifically visually argues that *gay lifestyle *= dangerous / bad with the red lighting and evil gays *luring* Freddie away from his chaste hetero marriage (which is obviously completely false in the true story of Freddie Mercury. )

December 14, 2018 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I'm also wondering how many of my favorite movies of all time are "alarmingly heteronormative."

December 14, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterHayden

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