SANTA MONICA (CBS/AP) - In an upset, the Gloucester-based deaf family drama "CODA" took top honors at the 28th Screen Actors Guild Awards.
The ceremony, held Sunday at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California, was notably border-breaking, with historic wins for deaf actors.
It culminated with "CODA," Sian Heder's heartwarming Apple TV+ coming-of-age film featuring a trio of deaf actors in Marlee Matlin, Troy Kotsur and Daniel Durant, along with newcomer Emilia Jones, winning best ensemble. The film has been seen as a watershed moment for the deaf community in Hollywood.
"This validates the fact that we, deaf actors, can work just like anybody else. We look forward to more opportunities for deaf actors," said Matlin on stage before teaching the crowd sign language for "I love you."
Matlin is the only deaf actor to win an Oscar, but her "CODA" co-star, Kotsur, may be in line to join her. Kotsur won best supporting actor Sunday, becoming the first deaf actor win an individual SAG award. When his name was read, the 53-year-old veteran actor plunged his head into his hands. On stage, he thanked his wife for "reminding me to check my fly before walking the red carpet."
The SAG Awards are considered one of the most reliable predictors of the Academy Awards. Actors make up the largest percentage of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, and their picks often align.
CODA is nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award. The Oscars will be held Sunday, March 27.
(© Copyright 2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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