Last night MTV presented Emma Watson with their first gender-neutral award. Watson won the prize for MTV Movie and TV award for her role in Beauty and the Beast.
MTV declared the Gender Neutral Award categories after actress Asia Kate Dillon pointed it out at the Emmys. The Emmys had contacted Dillon to ask her what she would like to be addressed as in the ceremony and the category she preferred to be nominated for – actor or actress?
In response, Dillon sent a letter to the organizers questioning why it was important to identify as either to be able to be nominated for her talent as an actor.
The Emmys explained their policy saying that anyone can be nominated under their preferred category for whatever reason.
Dillon was pleased with the response, “I found them to be 100% supportive,” she said.
At the time Dillon opted but the Best Actor category, claiming that the term ‘actor’ was more gender neutral than ‘actress’. Dillon was also the one to present Watson with her award.
MTV decided to take it a step further and dropped the separate gender categories completely.
This isn’t the first time award organizers have gone down this route; back in 2008, the National Television Awards removed the best actor/actress categories altogether and based categories on genre instead.
Watson competed with top actors like Logan actor Hugh Jackman and James McAvoy. Her movie Beauty and the Beast won big at the MTV awards, winning the Movie of the Year Award as well.
She happily accepted the award saying, that to her it “indicates that acting is about the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes,” and that gender is irrelevant.
Watson credited the award to her character, Belle, who, like her, is an intelligent, strong woman who dreams big and is not bound by the ways of her village.