Jews in the News:Larry David, Tracee Ellis Ross & Winona Ryder

Award Season Rolls On: The SAG Awards

The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards are being presented on Sunday, Jan. 21, at 8PM on TBS and TNT. Golden Globe winner JAMES FRANCO, 39 (“The Disaster Artist”) is nominated for lead actor in a film, as is TIMOTHéE CHALAMET (“Call Me By My Name”). ALISON BRIE, 35, (“Glow”) is nominated for best actress in a comedy series. LARRY DAVID, 70 (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”) and MARC MARON, 54 (“Glow”) are nominated for best actor in a comedy series.

Real life news aside: Shortly after the Golden Globes ceremony, James Franco was hit with claims by five women that he acted inappropriately. These claims were denied by his attorney. However, he appears to be refraining from public appearances and was a “no-show” at the Critics’ Choice Awards, held on Jan. 11 (he won the Critics’ Choice award for best actor in a comedy film).  Voting for the SAG awards ends on Jan. 19th and most SAG members vote on-line, so late voters may doom Franco’s chances for a SAG award. Expect a spate of news reports about whether Franco appeared at the SAG awards and whether his Oscar nomination chances are now doomed.

Unlike the Globes and Oscars, the SAG gives awards for best ensemble cast (one award for films). The cast of “Lady Bird” is nominated for best film cast award and the nominees include Timothée Chalamet, BEANIE FELDSTEIN, 24, and ODEYA RUSH, 20.

There are two ensemble awards for TV: best comedy series and best drama series. The comedy series cast award nominees include “Curb Your Enthusiasm” (Larry David, SUSIE ESSMAN, 62, and JEFF GARLIN, 55); “Blackish” (TRACEE ELLIS ROSS, 45); “Glow” (Alison Brie, 35, Marc Maron, and JACKIE TOHN, 36, who plays the Jewish character Melanie Rosen); and “Orange is the New Black” (LAURA PREPON, 37, NATASHA LYONNE, 38, and YAEL STONE, 32. Stone is an Australian Jew).

In what may be a first, British Jewish actor ANTON LESSER, 65, is nominated as a cast member in two (best cast) nominated drama series: He plays Qyburn, the evil aide of evil Queen Cersei in “Game of Thrones” and he plays Prime Minister Harold MacMillian in “The Crown.” Competing with these shows is “Stranger Things”, whose cast includes WINONA RYDER, 46, PAUL REISER, 60, and NOAH SCHNAPP, 13. I first became aware of Schnapp when he voiced Charlie Brown in “The Peanuts” movie (2015). He got a big career boost with his now large role as Will Byers in “Stranger Things.” Born in America, Schnapp’s parents are Canadian Jews from Montreal. His mother is of Moroccan Jewish ancestry.

Historical aside: I thought it ironic when I realized it was Anton Lesser playing MacMillian. The only “Jewish-related” thing I knew about MacMillian was an anti-Semitic comment he made when Margaret Thatcher appointed a large number of Jews to her cabinet. He said,” It looks like there are more Old Estonians in the cabinet than Old Etonians.” As to the Jews in the cabinet—it’s much more likely their ancestors were from neighboring Lithuania—but the remark wouldn’t have been as clever in a mean way. MacMillian was saying that establishment WASPs who went to the fancy Eton school were being replaced by “upstart”, mostly Jewish “foreigners.” I looked MacMillian up, and learned he made private anti-Semitic remarks throughout his career. On the other hand, MacMillian, I learned, housed some German Jewish refugees on his estate during the 1930s. MacMillian, I realized, was like so many upper class Britons. They held anti-Semitic views and didn’t like Jews to run important things or be in their clubs—but were horrified by anti-Semitic violence and sometimes did “the right thing” like helping refugees.

So Cute!

Almost everyone praised Seth Meyers for his skillful hosting of the politically charged Golden Globe awards. Meyers appeared on “The Ellen Show” a few days before the Globes and talked about his 2-year old son, ASHE. As I’ve written before, Meyers, who had one Jewish grandfather, wed attorney ALEXI ASHE, 33, in a Jewish ceremony in 2013. I gather they are raising Ashe in his mother’s faith, because Meyers talked about their Hanukkah celebration with Ashe. Ashe isn’t completely fluent in English yet, let alone Hebrew. But, as the video Meyers showed the “Ellen” audience revealed, the toddler tries hard. The video showed Alexi lighting the 8th night Hanukkah candles as Ashe sang the blessing using nonsense syllables that captured the rhythm of the prayer, even if he didn’t really know the words.

See it yourself-- “Seth Meyers' Son Is a Hanukkah Pro”.



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