SAG Awards: ’Black Panther’ Wins Outstanding Performance by a Cast

Marvel Studios’ Black Panther on Sunday won the SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.

Black Panther, whose ensemble includes Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nygong’o, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Danai Gurira, Andy Serkis, Sterling K. Brown, Martin Freeman, Forest Whitaker and Angela Bassett, beat out A Star Is Born, Crazy Rich Asians, BlacKkKlansman and Bohemian Rhapsody to win the SAG Awards’ top prize.

The victory marks the first time the ensemble award was won by a superhero film.

When accepting the prize, Boseman thanked “genius” director Ryan Coogler, Disney executives Bob Iger and Alan Horn, producer Nate Moore, Marvel Studios co-president Louis D’Esposito, producer and executive VP of production Victoria Alonso, and — saving “the best for last” — Marvel Studios chief and master architect Kevin Feige.

“I’m not gonna forget Kevin Feige. Kevin Feige... and this cast, this ensemble... when I think of going to work every day and the passion and the intelligence, the resolve, the discipline that everybody showed, I also think of two questions that we all have received during the course of multiple publicity runs,” Boseman said.

“And one is, did we know that this movie was going to receive this kind of response, meaning was it gonna make a billion dollars, was it going to still be around during this award season? And the second question is, has it changed the industry? Has it actually changed the way this industry works, how it sees us? And my answer to that is: to be young, gifted, and black.

“Because, all of us up here know — Andy, we include you, too,” Boseman said, laughing, as Serkis joined the assembled stars on stage. “Man, you got great timing, boy, great timing!”

“To be young, gifted and black, we all know what it’s like to be told that there is not a place for you to be featured. Yet you are young, gifted and black. We know what it’s like to be told there’s not a screen for you to be featured on, a stage for you to be featured on, we know what it’s like to be the tail and not the head. We know what it’s like to be beneath, and not above. And that is what we went to work with every day,” Boseman continued.

“Because we knew not that we would be around during awards season or that it would make a billion dollars, but we knew that we had something special that we wanted to give the world. That we could be full human beings in the roles that we were playing, that we could create a world that exemplified a world that we wanted to see.

“We knew that we had something that we wanted to give, and to come to work every day and solve problems with this group of people every day, with this director, that is something that I wish all actors would get the opportunity to experience. If you get to experience that, you will be a fulfilled artist.”

Boseman continued, facing down play off music, “The question of would we be around during award season, I just have to say, it’s a pleasure to be celebrated by you, to be loved by you, and one thing I do know, did it change the industry?

“I know that you can’t have a Black Panther now without a ‘2’ on it. So we love you and we celebrate it.”

The blockbuster also took home the trophy for Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble, beating out The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Mission: Impossible - Fallout, and Marvel’s own Ant-Man and the Wasp and Avengers: Infinity War.

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Its wins come just days after Black Panther emerged as the first superhero film to be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards.

In October, Coogler was confirmed to return as writer-director for the Black Panther sequel, yet to be officially announced by Disney. The studio is expected to formally announce the project sometime after Avengers: Endgame reaches theaters April 26.