‘Parasite’ Makes History Again With SAG Win

Parasite just made history again. On Jan. 19, the cast of Parasite won the award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. With the SAG Awards victory, Parasite became the first foreign-language film to win in that category.

Parasite SAG
Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun Gyun, Park So-dam, Choi Woo-shik, Lee Jeong-eun, and Bong Joon-ho, winner of the Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture award for ‘Parasite,’ | Terence Patrick/Getty Images for Turner

The movie made history with its Oscar nominations

Oscar nominations came out on Jan. 13, 2020, and Parasite made history with its six nominations. It became the first South Korean movie to be nominated for Best Picture and Best International Film.

Parasite was nominated for Best Picture with Ford v FerrariThe IrishmanJojo RabbitJokerLittle WomenMarriage Story1917, and Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood. Bong Joon-ho received an Oscar nomination for Best Director. The film also picked up nominations for Best Original Screenplay, Best Production Design, and Best Film Editing.

The actors in ‘Parasite’ were snubbed by the Oscars

While Parasite still made history with its Academy Award nominations, the actors of the film were wrongfully snubbed.

“… there were no nominations for any of the actors in the movie — not Song Kang Ho as the tortured father or the dry comedy of Park So-dam or Lee Jeong-eun as the housekeeper who’s really the hinge for the crucial turn midway through the film. It’s boring to talk about, but it must be said that there’s a persistent prejudice against Asian actors within Hollywood,” said Vulture writer E. Alex Jung.

He continued, “There’s an old prejudice at work here that sees Asian people as technical workers — hence the praise for Bong Joon Ho — and refuses to see us as fully human.”

The Los Angeles Times also called out the snubs by the Academy.

“Some might argue that the seamlessness and coherence of the ‘Parasite’ ensemble may actually have worked against it, keeping any single actor from standing out. To me, that argument is not just false on its face but ugly in its insinuations: It comes close to perpetuating a hoary canard about Asian actors and Asian people in general, which is that they’re indistinguishable and interchangeable,” wrote Justin Chang.

‘Parasite’ made history again with its SAG win

Unlike the Oscars, the SAG Awards got it right. Not only was the cast of Parasite nominated, the cast members took home the award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. In doing so, Parasite became the first foreign-langue film to win the award.

Parasite is only the second foreign-language film to be nominated for the award. 1997 Italian comedy-drama Life Is Beautiful was the last foreign-language film to be nominated in the same category.

The win is warranted given the talent of the cast and the acclaim surrounding the movie. It also shows just how out of touch the Academy Awards are. With the major SAG Awards win, Parasite has gained even more momentum for the upcoming Academy Awards.