Diversity has been the talk in Hollywood the past few weeks because of the lack of black nominees at the Oscars last year and this year. The issue has even birthed the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite on Twitter. However, there is one awards show that celebrated diversity, and actress Laura Prepon talked about it during her acceptance speech at the recently concluded 2016 Screen Actors Guild Awards on Saturday.
Before the awards show, Laura Prepon took to her Instagram account to share how she prepped for the SAG Awards.
People always ask how I start the day for an awards show. I start by sweating in my infrared sauna. I always feel like it shakes off the sleep fog to break a sweat first thing, as well as sweat out those pesky toxins. Then I jump in a freezing cold pool to jump start my body and get ready for the day! Better than any cup of coffee. #sagawardsprep #coldplunge #infraredsauna #LApolarplunge
Laura Prepon, who plays Alex Vause in Netflix’s Orange is the New Black, took the stage with her fellow actors to receive the award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series, which the show won for the second time in a row, as E Online reported.
“Look at this stage, this is what we talk about when we talk about diversity — different race, color, creed, sexual orientation, thank you so much.”
Orange is the New Black is a comedy-drama series set in a women’s prison. The series was created by Jenji Kohan of Weeds. It is based on Piper Kerman’s memoir entitled Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison, which focuses on the author’s real life experiences while spending time at a minimum-security federal prison following her conviction for drug trafficking and money laundering.
The cast of Orange is the New Black is large and diverse, with 34 actors and actresses including Laura Prepon, Taylor Schilling, Laverne Cox, Uzo Aduba, Dea DeLaria, Taryn Mannin, Joel Marsh Garland, Mike Birbiglia, Yael Stone, Samira Wiley, and many others.
Uzo Aduba, who plays Crazy Eyes in the series, also bagged her second Screen Actors Guild award for Best Comedic TV Actress, and her speech was inspirational, as USA Today reports.
“I would like to just take an opportunity to acknowledge the actors who are at home, not here in this room with us but hoping to one day be in this room with us, to continue to keep trying. To keep plugging, to keep working… No matter if anyone tells you to get out of that line you are waiting in, stay in line — you have this.”
— SAG Awards® (@SAGawards) January 31, 2016
Aduba, who immigrated from Nigeria, was also emotional during a backstage interview where she talked about being told “no” so many times during auditions. However, she is grateful for past experiences, and being rejected so many times and then winning an award makes it worth all her effort.
When asked about diversity on TV, Laverne Cox, Laura Prepon’s co-star in Orange is the New Black, said that she didn’t think a show like OITNB was possible a few years back. Now, however, there are other channels where people can watch, such as Netflix, which she said has paved the way for “changing and revolutionizing television.”
Cuban-born Orange is the New Black actress Selenis Leyva also shared her two cents on the diversity issue.
“Diversity is not just black and white. Diversity is universal and it’s a lot more than what we are focusing on. It’s religions, it’s sexuality. So it doesn’t start at the Academy Awards. That’s not the solution. The solution starts before that.”
Watch the ladies of Litchfield Penitentiary when Orange is the New Black returns for its fourth season on Netflix in June. Check out the trailer below.
[Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP]