History was made last night at the MTV Movie & TV Awards. Now there’s a sentence I thought I’d never say.
Emma Watson accepted the award for Best Actor in a Movie, in the award show’s first “genderless” or “gender-neutral” >acting with men and women represented in the same category.
Billions actor Asia Kate Dillon presented the award with pride. Asia is the first openly non-binary actor to play a non-binary character on a major television show. They explained the importance of distributing awards for talent and performance, not gender identification.
After accepting the award for her performance in Beauty and the Beast, Emma used her time to praise the show’s decision. She explained,
“MTV’s move to create a genderless award for acting will mean something different to everyone but to me, it indicates that acting is about the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. And that doesn’t need to be separated into two, different categories.”
She then went on to praise Asia, stating,
“This is very meaningful to me, both to be winning the award and to be receiving it from you, Asia. Thank you for educating me in such an inclusive, patient and loving way. Thank you so much.”
We think MTV’s step towards gender-equality is fantastic. It’s recognition that talent goes beyond gender identification is a step in the right direction. But at the same time, is it confusing to anyone else that every nominee in the category is cisgender? In my opinion, what that really indicates is the need for more representation of gender’s fluidity on screen.
That said, trust Asia’s judgment and sense of pride behind the award. I doubt they would be on board with an award that was hypocritical. I am totally on board with what the award represents. Additionally, Emma used her platform well. I think my confusion behind the nominees just indicates the never ending battle of more diversity in roles. But this is a good first step!