At Sunday’s 2023 Screen Actors Guild Awards, Sally Field was honored with the SAG Life Achievement Award, acknowledging her decades-long career that has included two Academy Award wins and three Emmys. She accepted the award from Andrew Garfield, whom she acted alongside in The Amazing Spider-Man and its sequel.
While the actress’ acceptance speech began as you would expect with her recalling some of her early film roles, including Gidget, and how she found her love of stage and screen, it soon took a virtual signaling turn. On Monday’s show, Megyn was joined by Adam Carolla, host of The Adam Carolla Show podcast, and Dr. Drew Pinsky, host of Ask Dr. Drew, to discuss the bizarre moment.
Sally Field’s SAG Speech
For much of her time at the podium, Field reminisced about her accomplished career and considered the barriers she broke as a woman in Hollywood. Towards the end of the speech, however, it took a turn as she seemed to apologize for being a white woman:
“Struggling to climb my way out of the box of situation comedy in the ’60s and ’70s took on a fierceness I didn’t know I had. But honestly, I was a little white girl with a pug nose born in Pasadena, CA. And when I look around this room tonight, I know my fight – as hard as it was – was lightweight compared to some of yours. I thank you and I applaud you.”– Sally Field, 2023 SAG Awards
Megyn took issue with the pandering. “I guess [she’s] sorry that she was raised a little white girl and she wasn’t of a different race with a bigger struggle because – newsflash – white girls in America don’t have any troubles that are worth remembering when you’re in front of a group that has a lot of people of color,” she lamented. “It’s such pathetic, obvious virtue signaling.”
Instead of apologizing for her skin color and “diminishing” the lives of the people of color in the room by “assuming they’re all oppressed,” Megyn drafted a different speech the Steel Magnolias actress could have given: “Sally Field could get up there and say, ‘I came up with the industry where the casting couch was alive and well. That’s why we produced people like Harvey Weinstein and too many women from Marilyn Monroe forward have had to be subjected to that nonsense in order to get on the big screen. So, I’m grateful for the opportunities that I created for myself.’”
Virtue Signaling in Hollywood
Carolla agreed that the tone of the speech was “condescending,” but he said cancel culture is to blame. “Actors need employment, and, as we’ve seen over the last few years, we can cancel anybody and they’ll never come back,” he explained. As a result, these people are desperate to be liked. “Giving speeches about systemic racism makes you more employable,” he said. “They’re trying to make themselves more employable in a town where jobs are really hard to come by.”
Even so, it’s all talk and no action. “They don’t seem to be interested in doing anything for people that they’re so concerned about,” Dr. Drew noted. “You can care all day, but if you don’t do anything to help people you’re concerned about, your caring is not worth a damn.”
Megyn, however, had an idea for how these stars could actually do some good. “Maybe you could help by stopping the continuation of dividing us all so much in some weird hierarchy,” she said. “Just say, ‘thank you, it’s my honor,’ and sit down instead of trying to say something that you think is going to be unifying and the weird far-lefties who comment on you in the media are gonna be like, ‘go girl’ – which has happened – but really it’s divisive in its nature.”
You can check out Megyn’s full show with Adam Carolla and Dr. Drew by tuning in to episode 501 on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen. And don’t forget that you can catch The Megyn Kelly Show live on SiriusXM’s Triumph (channel 111) weekdays from 12pm to 2pm ET.