It was no secret that the 2018 Screen Actors Guild Awards would be another awards show dedicated to highlighting the importance of the Time’s Up movement — the presenters were all female, and the movement was brought up in many of the red carpet interviews and speeches. So it wasn’t too surprising that Aziz Ansari was a no-show after the sexual misconduct allegations brought against him just a few short weeks ago. Ansari was nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor In A Comedy Series for his role in Master Of None, and the reactions to his name being called were, well, kind of expected.
After winning the award for Best Actor In A Musical or Comedy TV Show at the Golden Globes, Ansari was accused of sexual misconduct by an anonymous female photographer in an essay for Babe. The story has opened up a huge conversation. After acknowledging the incident and the Time’s Up and #MeToo movements, Ansari has stayed relatively quiet about the accusations, which led many to wonder if he would be at the SAG Awards. He wasn’t there, but his name was still called because he was nominated.
Viewers awaited the reaction of the audience which was…well, nothing. Or, actually, pure silence, which is a message in itself. Announcers barely gave a pause between reading Ansari’s name and moving on to the next actor nominated. So, while all other nominees heard a round of applause after their name was announced, there was only silence after Ansari’s name was read.
Twitter immediately blew up with reactions. Some viewers felt that the moment was awkward and uncomfortable:
Others were happy he wasn’t there — and that he didn’t win.
And some even wondered if a last minute switch had happened:
It’s worth pointing out that James Franco, who was also accused of sexual misconduct after the Golden Globes, showed up at the SAG Awards, and received a round of applause when his name was read during the category he was nominated in.