The Butler and 12 Years a Slave blew audiences away before they even opened up in theaters this past summer and fall, respectively. So it comes as absolutely no surprise that the cast and crew from those spellbinding epic motion pictures were awarded with the most nominations for the 2014 Screen Actors Guild Award .
In total, nine black actors received nods, including Chiwetel Ejiofor and Forest Whitaker, who scored nods in the Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role for their work in 12 Years a Slave and Lee Daniels’ The Butler, respectively.
Their female supporting counterparts, Lupita Nyongo and Oprah Winfrey, were also recognized with nominations in the Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role category for their gripping portrayals in 12 Years a Slave and Lee Daniel’s The Butler, respectively.
Frequently called the greatest movie on the subject of enslavement in American cinematic history, 12 Years a Slave led all movies with four nominations, including best ensemble cast (the equivalent of a best movie Oscar at the Academy Awards). The Butler had the second-most nominations with a total of three.
On the television front, Angela Bassett was the lone black actress to be nominated in the Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries for her role as Coretta Scott King in Betty & Coretta.
Don Cheadle picked up a nomination in the Outstanding Male Actor in a Comedy Series category for his role as devious, albeit brilliant, business consultant Martin ‘Marty’ Kaan in the Showtime smash series “House of Lies.”
Finally, newlywed and mommy-to-be Kerry Washington earned a nomination for her role as Olivia Pope in “Scandal” in the Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series.
The SAG nominations signal the commencement of the beginning of the 2014 movie awards season and are often used as a barometer for the Golden Globes and Academy Awards.