Thanks to ‘Stranger Things,’ ‘Orange Is the New Black’ and ‘The Crown,’ Netflix dominates TV winners at the SAG Awards

The "Orange Is the New Black" cast gathers onstage after winning ensemble in a comedy series at the SAG Awards.

The “Orange Is the New Black” cast gathers onstage after winning ensemble in a comedy series at the SAG Awards.

(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

The past was very much present Sunday night at the 23rd Screen Actors Guild Awards as two new Netflix period pieces and one veteran show took home the top honors in the television categories and carried the streaming service to the top of the small screen heap with four awards.

“The Crown,” the grand tale of Queen Elizabeth II, copped two trophies — performance by a female actor in a drama series for Claire Foy in the title role and performance by a male actor in a drama series for John Lithgow’s portrayal of Winston Churchill.


FULL COVERAGE: 2017 SAG Awards »

The ’80-set “Stranger Things” took home the award for performance by an ensemble in a drama series. When the cast took the stage at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, star David Harbour gave one of the most impassioned speeches in a night that featured many winners and presenters alluding to the protests going on around the nation. Harbour opined on what an actor’s role can be in the world at large.

“I would just like to say that in light of all that’s going on in the world today, it’s difficult to celebrate the already celebrated ‘Stranger Things,’ but this award from you, who take your craft seriously and earnestly believe, like me, that great acting can change the world, is a call to arms from our fellow craftsmen and women to go deeper, and through our art to battle against fear, self-centeredness and exclusivity of our predominantly narcissistic culture,” he said, his thick-with-a-cold voice rising over cheers from the crowd. “And through our craft to cultivate a more empathetic and understanding society by revealing intimate truths that serve as a forceful reminder to folks that when they feel broken and afraid and tired, they are not alone.”

The cast of Netflix’s “Orange Is the New Black,” slated to start its fifth season this summer, took to the stage to accept the honor for performance by an ensemble in a comedy series, the show’s third consecutive win in that category.

Creator Jenji Kohan spoke of what became a familiar theme running through the night: “We know that it’s going to be up to us — and all of you, probably too — to keep telling stories that show what unites us is stronger than the forces that seek to divide us.”

HBO was the night’s next big winner, nabbing three SAG awards. Bryan Cranston scored performance by a male actor in a television movie or miniseries for his portrayal of President Lyndon B. Johnson in “All the Way” — another nod to the past — for which he also won the Tony. “Game of Thrones” took home the prize for action performance by a stunt ensemble in a comedy or drama series. And Julia Louis-Dreyfus won her second trophy for performance by a female actor in a comedy series for her work as Selina Meyer on “Veep.”


After making a quip about Russian hacking of the voting, Louis-Dreyfus turned serious. “I want you all to know that I am the daughter of an immigrant,” she said. “My father fled religious persecution in Nazi-occupied France, and I’m an American patriot and I love this country — and because I love this country I am horrified by its blemishes, and this immigrant ban is a blemish and it is un-American.”

Showtime and FX each claimed one prize, respectively, for performance by a male actor in a comedy series for Willam H. Macy’s shambling Frank Gallagher in “Shameless” and performance by a female actor in a television movie or miniseries for Sarah Paulson’s portrayal of Marcia Clark in yet another look back “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.” Paulson used some of her time to make a plea for donations to the American Civil Liberties Union.


2017 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Complete list of winners

Political issues, travel ban a running theme at SAG Awards


SAG voices: Five calls for empathy in politically fraught times