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SAG Awards putting spotlight on women amid #MeToo, Time's Up movements

SAG Awards putting spotlight on women amid #MeToo, Time's Up movements
From CBC - January 21, 2018

It's easy to dismiss Sunday'sScreen Actors Guild Awards as just another Hollywood accolade, but this year's show could carry some hefty messages when it comes to women's empowerment,gender equality and sexual harassment.

"I think it's difficult," Canadian actress Amanda Brugel told CBC News in Los Angeles."I think there are some grey areas but I also think that it's time that we have these discussions and it's so important that when you do have a platform like the Golden Globes or the SAG Awards, that you speak."

Brugel is nominatedfor outstanding ensemble in a drama series for The Handmaid's Tale alongside her cast members.

'Celebrating and honouring women'

The SAG Awards, which are given to actors and voted on by their peers, honour both film and television. For the first time, all 13 statues will be handed out by an all-women slate of presenters,includingHalle Berry, Lupita Nyong'o,Emma Stone andBrie Larson. Frozen's Kristen Bell will host.

SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris will attend with Canadian actress-turned-activist Chantal Cousineau. Cousineau was among the dozensof women who came forward withcomplaints about filmmaker James Toback and continues to lobby for policy changes.

"We are going to be celebrating and honouring women this year," saidElizabeth McLaughlin, a SAG Awards committee member. "I think it's very telling that the Time's Up movement and the MeToo movement are so timely with our show."

MeToo, which was initiated by activist Tarana Burke andexploded as a hashtag on social media following allegations against Harvey Weinstein, became an avenue for people to share their experiences.

Time's Up,geared towardbattling sexualharassment in the workplace, has raised millions for a legal fund benefiting victims. Both featured prominently at the Golden Globe Awards two weeks ago, with most men and women wearingblack in solidarity with victims of sexual assault and harassment.

LauraGomez, who's nominated for a SAG award as part of theOrange Is The New Blackensemble, says more women behind the camera can help take the movement forward in the entertainment industry.

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