Ariana DeBose Makes History As First Queer Afro-Latina Actress to Win SAG Award
The actress, who is taking home the award for her role as Anita in the 2021 Steven Speilberg remake of the iconic Stephen Sondheim and Leonard Bernstein musical, is the first Afro-Latina and openly queer woman of color to win the award. She was also the first to ever be nominated as well.
When people ask me about representation, I frequently say, ‘If you can see it, then you can be it.’ I believe in our young people; we need them,” Ariana told Variety after her nominations were announced. “And they need to see themselves in the work that we make. So if I can do that for one or two young people in the world, then it will have been worth it.”
In her speech, Ariana also talked about her experience being a queer Afro-Latina in the industry making her creative dreams come true. And yes, it was just as emotional as you expected.
“Now you see why that Anita says, ‘I want to live in America,’ because, even in this weary world we live in, dreams do come true,” she said. “Lastly, imagine this little girl in the backseat of a white Ford Focus. Look into her eyes [and] you see an openly queer woman of color, an Afro-Latina, who found her strength in life through art. And that’s what I believe we’re here to celebrate