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The SAG Awards happened and they are actually pretty important

Ah, the glamorous season of award shows. Red Carpet interviews, glowing celebrity faces and a lot of women who look like they’re being tortured as they walk in sky-high heels.

It’s one of the most fascinating times in Hollywood, a time when mere mortals like us can glimpse into these wildly anticipated, star-studded events and cheer on our favorite nominees in the hopes our favorite movies and actors will be recognized and give acceptance speeches that makes us laugh and sob, all before the music plays.

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Although it may seem as though all awards shows are the same, the Screen Actors Guild Awards, or the SAG Awards, as gurus of the entertainment industry such as myself refer to them as we sit on our couches sipping wine with one pinky up, are indeed a special event.

The SAG Awards seem to get lost in the chaos of awards season, but the event is one of the more important ones for a few reasons.

For one, the SAGs are solely dedicated to actors, the reason most people who tune in are watching in the first place. These actors are from both television and film, so we can cheer on our favorite television shows as we celebrate movies that we pretend we’ve seen already. The winners are awarded by a rather large voting committee comprised of other actors, meaning the people voting actually know what they’re voting for.

But possibly the reason people are most fascinated with this particular awards show is because it is usually predicts who and what will win at the most prestigious Hollywood event of the year: The Academy Awards.

However, while the Oscars have already sparked criticism with its white-washed list of nominees, the 21st Annual SAG awards inspired social media praise for its diverse group of winners, especially in television.

Viola Davis walked away with the award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series for “How to Get Away with Murder,” and delivered an incredibly moving speech in which she thanked the producers of the show.

“I’d like to thank Paul Lee, Shonda Rhimes, Betsy Beers and Pete Nowalk for thinking that a sexualized, messy, mysterious woman could be a 49-year-old dark-skinned African-American woman who looks like me,” Davis said at the awards.

The diverse cast of Netflix series “Orange is the New Black” also walked away with impressive wins for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series and Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series, the latter won by Uzo Aduba, who portrays the emotionally unstable yet well-meaning Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren on the popular show.

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Other winners of the evening were fairly predictable, which is not to say they were undeserving.

“Birdman” won the most anticipated film award of the night for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.

Other big awards in film included Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role and Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor, which went to Eddy Redmayne for “The Theory of Everything” and Julianne Moore for “Still Alice.”

For a complete list of this year’s Screen Actors Guild winners, visit the SAG Awards official website.

And be sure to tune into the 87th Academy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 22 to see if the SAGs really did predict the winners.

Collegian A&E Writer Erica Grasmick can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com.

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