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SAG Awards 2013: 5 Reasons Why the SAG Awards Matter

Awards season is here. It seems you can barely turn around and fart without running into a red carpet event that celebrates the entertainment industry. Photos of celebrities in gowns stuff the gossip rags and the public seems to eat it up with a spoon.

“What did she wear? Who is he with?” Why should we care? Here are five reasons why the first award ceremony celebrating the entertainment business is worth looking up from your computer for.

1. The SAG Awards have become known for predicting Oscar nominees.

Oscars not only mean fame for the nominees, but money. The minute the nominations come out, so do the offers, with the nominees' agents asking sky-high prices for those who have been deemed worthy. Why should you care?

If you are a filmmaker, that actor may have just fallen out of your budget. If they have already agreed to do your film there is a strong chance the nomination could bring more financing, meaning now you can shoot in Africa instead of against a green screen. If you are not in show business, watching the SAG Awards can mean you now know who is being favored by Hollywood, and will choose your office Oscar pool accordingly. Who doesn’t like to win?

2. The SAG Awards are for the actors, by the actors.

No doubt actors enjoy more attention than the average person, but most of the time they are told they're not much higher than prostitutes when it comes to social standing. This award ceremony is an opportunity for actors to say to one another, “We recognize you are an artist, and we celebrate the efforts you have made to become one.”

There is something deeply fulfilling about being chosen for recognition by a jury of your peers, and this night is like watching a party at George Clooney’s house: fun, witty, and full of talented, glamorous people. Who wouldn’t want to be invited?

3. The SAG Awards bring attention to the value of unions.

The SAG awards are the only national television show that acknowledges the work of union members. Whether or not you support the idea of unions in general, there can be no arguing that the Screen Actors Guild has played a valuable role in protecting actors who work in the film and television industry.

Without them, any actor, of any age, could be put into a life-threatening situation, without fair pay, meal breaks, or (as in the age of the studio system) choice in the matter. No job should be akin to slave labor, even if some people in our society don't value it as worthy of their attention. The SAG Awards remind us that all workers should be shown respect for their efforts and dignity for the human being behind the job.

4. The SAG Awards recognize that acting is a collaborative art.

It is the age of the cult of celebrity. One man or woman can dominate our airwaves until we simply want to vomit. But no man (or woman) is an island. Actors mostly work with other actors and sometimes, as in team sports, you are only as good as the person working with you.

The SAG Awards celebrate this fact with the award for “Best Ensemble.” Acknowledging the efforts of the cast of a film, a TV series, or a group of stunt actors, the SAG Awards recognize that sometimes it really does take a village to raise a script to its highest potential.

5. Money raised from the SAG Awards supports members in distress.

All the glamour and hoopla of a fancy TV show isn’t just to stroke the already inflated egos of the rich and famous. The SAG Foundation helps members and their families who are in economic distress and has emergency funds for members who are dealing with catastrophic illness.

It provides scholarships for members and their children, preserves the legacies of those who have gone before, and offers valuable labs and professional workshops. This one TV show helps bring awareness to how a union can successfully take care of it’s own, something worth remembering. 

Check out the full list of this year's nominees. 

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