We awards nuts are always looking for trends to slice and dice. So, when the SAG Awards only foresaw 13 of the eventual 20 Oscar nominees for acting last year, 17 in 2014 and just 14 in each of 2013 and 2012, we wondered if this bellwether wasn’t ringing so true anymore.
Historically, we had counted on these kudos for presaging upwards of 18 of the one score of performers that reaped Oscar bids. Has the merger of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) with the American Federation of Radio and Television Artists (AFTRA) changed the composition of the nominating committee enough that it no longer mirrors that of the acting branch at the academy?
At the time of the merger, SAG had more than 125,000 members of whom approximately 40,000 were also AFTRA members and already eligible to vote on the SAG Awards. The AFTRA membership list totaled 65,000, so that means 25,000 new voters have been added to the ranks of award voters.
Most of those newbies are not actors. Many of them are TV news and sports anchors, reporters, political commentators, meteorologists and soap stars. So how are they affecting the award results?
Everyone in the combined union can vote for the winners of BOTH the film and TV awards. Until this year, some of those one-time AFTRA folk — like the talking heads on CNN and Fox News — were eligible to take part in the nominating process to determine the best thespians on television. But the guild just changed the rules so that both committees are composed of only those rank and film members over the age of 16 who are listed in the database as an actor/performer, dancer singer or stunt person;
Make your SAG Awards picks now and tell industry insiders which TV ensembles and stars you have out front to win on January 29. You can keep changing them until just before show time. Be sure to make your predictions right here. You’ll compete for a place of honor on our leaderboard and a starring role in next year’s Top 24 Users (the two dozen folks who do the best predicting this year’s winners). Read our contest rules.