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Will Aziz Ansari Show Up at the SAG Awards?


The biggest question for the Screen Actors Guild Awards Sunday night is: Will Aziz Ansari attend?

Fresh off his Golden Globe award, Ansari has a good chance of winning a SAG award for Best Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series. Ansari plays an Indian American comedian trying to have a successful career in New York City.

He is also still licking his wounds for accusations from a woman who described what she alleges is a form of sexual assault at the end of dinner date with Ansari.

Her date, as published in Babe.net, allegedly resulted in her performing oral sex on Ansari after fending off his repeated sexual advances physically and verbally.

Ansari’s conduct during the date is not on the level of a Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer or Donald Trump.  The accusations by “Grace” has sparked a debate among the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements about a question of degrees of sexual misconduct. The argument asks: At what point does unwanted flirtation turn into bad, and even gross behavior, or turn into a sexual assault by use of the power dynamics by powerful men?

Ansari has released an apology that he made public but he now faces the dilemma.

How will he be received by his peers? He has his supporters and sympathizers among the SAG members, but he also might hear jeers and boos if he should win in his category. The Guild, riding the theme that began at the Golden Globes when everybody wore black, will have all women presenters as its statement on the topic.

Another actor in a similar situation, James Franco, has announced that he will be at the SAG awards regardless of the women accusing him of sexual misconduct.

The Big Sick
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Among the other nominees, are a small handful of potential Asian American winners, including:

The cast of The Big Sick is a nominee for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. The movie was written by Kumail Nanjiani and his wife, Emily V. Gordon based on their courtship. If they win against some stiff competition, expect  Nanjiani to be joined by more Indian Americans up on the stage, including Adeel Akhtar, Anupam Kher, and Zenobia Shroff.

In the category of Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role, Hong Chau was nominated for her role in the movie Downsizing. Her competition is almost the same group that she faced in the Golden Globes where Allison Janney won for her role in I, Tonya.Screen Actor Guild Awards 24th Annual

As a winner in the Golden Globes, Ansari is expected to repeat for the SAG awards. The Guild members voted before the Babe.net article came out last week so most likely, that issue won’t affect the outcome. It will be interesting to see how the audience reacts.

The SAG Awards air Sunday, Jan. 21, at 8 p.m. ET on TNT/TBS. 

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