Kristen Bell and all-female presenters take center stage at the 2018 SAG Awards
(CNN) — The 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards began Sunday night as it traditionally does, with actors discussing how they became actors.
But this year there was a twist — only women spoke.
It was further evidence that #MeToo and Time’s Up movements will remain a central focus of Hollywood’s award season.
Women are taking center stage at the ceremony with the SAG Awards featuring its first-ever host, Kristen Bell and all-female presenters.
Bell initially took a light approach, joking that she was the “first lady” of the event.
“I think my first initiative as first lady will be cyberbullying, as I have yet to see any progress on that,” Bell joked.
She also touched on current events, including a joke that the dystopian drama “The Handmaids Tale” was a documentary.
But Bell quickly got more serious.
“Everyone’s story deserves to be told,” she said, referring to people coming forward with experiences of being abused.
“We are living in a watershed moment,” Bell said. “And as we march forward with active momentum and open ears, let’s make sure that we’re leading the charge with empathy and diligence because fear and anger never win the race.”
The first award of the night for outstanding performance by a male actor in a comedy went to William H. Macy for “Shameless.”
Julia Louis-Dreyfus also won for her role on “Veep,” but the actress was not present to receive the award. Her “Veep” castmates acknowledged Louis-Dreyfus moments later, when they won for best ensemble performance by a cast in a television comedy.
The SAG Awards comes two weeks after the Golden Globe Awards, where most of those in attendance wore black to raise awareness of the entertainment industry’s Time’s Up campaign, which aims to curtail sexual misconduct across industries.
Several stars brought female activists with them to the Globes.
This year’s SAG Awards come as women’s marches take place around the world.
Politics aside, it’s still a night for actors to honor each other.
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” is the film to beat with four nominations. Among nominees in the TV categories, “Big Little Lies,” “Glow” and “Stranger Things” also have four nominations each.
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