‘Parasite’ wins top SAG award. Hollywood has ‘never been more receptive’ to diverse stories

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Park So-dam and Choi Woo-sik in "Parasite." Photo courtesy of NEON / CJ Entertainment.

“Parasite” tells the story of two families who come from different sides of the tracks — and the power struggle between them. It’s the first foreign language film to win Best Performance by a Cast at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. That honor could increase their chances of being the first non-English language film to win the Oscar for Best Picture. 

The film’s success could signal a shift in the industry to allow for more diverse stories. But as past award show honorees have shown, change in Hollywood can be slow. 

Rebecca Sun, a senior reporter at The Hollywood Reporter, says that “Parasite” winning is a huge milestone: “For the Screen Actors Guild to honor an entire ensemble of actors who are acting in a foreign language, it certainly opens the door. It's slow, but because there has been zero progress for so long ... I would say that in my years of covering this, and in my even longer span of being an Asian person in America, it's never been more receptive that in this very moment.”

Sun says that even though she isn’t sure if this will usher commercial success for foreign language films, she’s optimistic. 

“As Director Bong mentioned in his Golden Globes acceptance speech, there is a one inch barrier of subtitles where there is sort of a conventional wisdom that Americans are very loathe to read,” she says.  “On the other hand, closed captioning is wildly popular, and people don't seem to have a problem with that. … I hope that we're underestimating general audience members a bit.” 

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