Actresses Niecy Nash and Olivia Munn slammed the 2018 Screen Actors Guild Awards for its lack of Asian nominees.
The awards night was held on Sunday, Jan. 21, at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.
Presenting the award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series, the comedic duo pointed out the lack of Asians among this year’s nominees as they opened the envelope.
Those nominated in the category included Bob Odenkirk of “Better Call Saul,” David Harbour of “Stranger Things,” Jason Bateman of “Ozark,” Peter Dinklage of “Game of Thrones” and Sterling K. Brown of “This Is Us.”
“Wait, wait, wait. If it’s Sterling K. Brown, can I say it?” Nash interrupted, requesting to announce the winner, according to the SFGate.
Munn replied, “Yes, why?”
“‘Cause he black,” Nash snapped. “I mean, but you can say anybody’s name who is Asian that’s nominated.”
Nash apparently referred to Munn’s Asian heritage, with her mother of Chinese descent.
“I think there’s just white guys and Sterling K. Brown. But thank you I’ll take one of the white guys,” People quoted Munn as answering.
Brown, who eventually won the award over four white males, held up a fist in response to Nash’s comment.
Nash’s punchline drew mixed reactions on Twitter. Some praised her for pointing out the lack of representation, while others called her a racist.
— Fonzworth Pontiac (@THEPERFOURMER) January 22, 2018
— Marcus (@marcusuntrell) January 22, 2018
“Can I say the winner of it’s Sterling K. Brown?”
“Because he’s Black!”
I love Niecy Nash. #SAGAwards
— Alternative Fine (@Miss_TiffyBaby) January 22, 2018
— Chris Smith (@peyton52) January 22, 2018
#sagawards @NiecyNash Come on Niecy, you just had to open your mouth and do the whole race thing and it fell flat. #racism If anyone else said they wanted to read only the white winners, they would be done. Be careful!
— Tom Taylor (@TGTaylor3rd) January 22, 2018
Niecy Nash should never be allowed to speak at the SAG awards again #SAGAwards
— Amy Surgoth (@asurgoth) January 22, 2018
Of the whole show, only three Asians were nominated, including Aziz Ansari of “Master of None,” Hong Chau of “Downsizing” and Kumail Nanjiani of “The Big Sick.”
Ansari, who was recently caught up in sexual assault allegations, was absent.
Other than Munn and Nanjiani, Kelly Marie Tran was another Asian who presented an award.
During the SAG Awards nominations in December, Nash and Munn were also criticized for a racially-charged moment when ABC comedy “Black-ish” was nominated.
“You coulda pointed to me. You coulda been like, ‘Black-ish,’” popculture.tv quoted Nash as saying.
Munn replied, “Then that’s what all the press would be about — is that I pointed to you! If ‘Fresh Off the Boat’ comes up, don’t point at me.”