Sean Penn wins SAG Award for Best Actor in “Milk”

Sean Penn accepting his SAG Award

Tonight the acting community awarded its best and brightest for their work in 2008, and Sean Penn was singled out for one of the biggest awards of the night for playing Harvey Milk in Gus Van Sant’s biopic. His acceptance speech was a plea for equal rights, and his final thanks were to "the counsel of Cleve Jones and the great Harvey Milk". But first, he gave the crowd a healthy dose of humor:

"Something happened to me during the making of this movie. I noticed it tonight that the statues have rather healthy packages … As actors we don’t play gay, straight …we play human beings. (I’m) so appreciative of this acknowledgment. This is a story of equal rights for all human beings. Thanks Gus Van Sant, Lance Black, the counsel of Cleve Jones and the great Harvey Milk."


The men of Milk got plenty of screen time at the awards (including when Josh Brolin goosed James Franco onstage while they and Emile Hirsch were introducing their film), but it wasn’t the only instance of gay visibility at the SAG party, which had "Diversity" stamped all over it. Which is nice.

Here’s my top ten list of gay moments from the event!

10. Sally Field winning for Best Actress in a Drama Series for Brothers & Sisters

9. Alec Baldwin tells the audience that he wants to make out with Tony Hopkins while accepting his statue for Best Actor in a Comedy Series.

8. Out actor Guillermo Diaz rocking his mohawk at the Weeds table.

7. The repeated shots of the Milk table.

6. Heath Ledger‘s win for The Dark Knight. Heath, we’ll never forget you.

5. Van Johnson‘s moments in the montage of actors who passed away last year

4. Out actor Bryan Batt hugs his partner when his Mad Men cast wins Best Comedy Ensemble

3. The "Gays! Gays! Gays!" portion of the movie montage, which featured scenes from Brokeback, Six Feet Under, Ellen, Philadelphia, Milk, and more … and was immediately followed by shots of Phantom of the Opera, Frankenstein, The Elephant Man and Planet of the Apes. Whaaaaah?

2. Josh Brolin pinching James Franco‘s ass while they were at the microphone introducing Milk. Seriously, can you blame him?

1. Sean Penn‘s win for Milk, in which he commented on the enormous package that the statue was sporting and then said, "we don’t play gay or straight, we play human beings."

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