Gwendolyn Purdom
January 18, 2018 3:07 pm
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images for Turner

There’s a ton of planning that goes into putting on a major Hollywood awards show. There’s coordinating the red carpet arrival times. There’s arranging what order the trophies are handed out in. There’s putting together the swag bags. And, of course, there’s figuring out who the hell’s sitting where. This year it appears that last task is proving to be a little more difficult than it’s been in SAG ceremonies of yore.

According to USA Today, the producers behind the telecast have been spending late nights trying to nail down seating configurations for the show. The arrangement needs to get this year’s nominees plenty of screen time while also considering what layout would celebrate the night’s women-forward theme best and downplay any power players whose reputations have come into question in recent weeks (James Franco, that means you). Running with the #TimesUp vibe, the Screen Actors Guild announced last month that it would feature only female presenters this year and focus on women in its opening “Actors Stories” segment as well.

Like making sure your often-belligerent uncle and his estranged son aren’t anywhere near each other at your wedding reception, curbing potentially problematic table arrangements is just one issue the SAG production team is dealing with in creating its final chart.

Other fun facts we learned from the planning meeting THR observed: The Handmaid’s Tale cast will be seated near the front of the theater (because, duh). A “famous dates” list exists. Power women including Lupita Nyong’o, Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Jessica Lange *may* all be sitting at the same table. And “floaters” like Steve Carrell who are maybe nominated or presenting but don’t show up with a big cast are the event organizers’ favorite attendees because they can have more fun seating them in unexpected places.

No matter where the stars find themselves at the SAG Awards, we’re just happy we’ll have the best seat in the house: on our comfy couch in sweats instead of in a gown (unless that’s how you roll, in which case, cheers).

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