MTV is dumping gender-specific categories in its upcoming Movie & TV Awards.
Instead of categories called “Best Actress” and “Best Actor,” the 2017 ceremony will honor a non-gendered “Best Actor in a Movie” and “Best Actor in a Show.”
Awareness of gender issues is impacting awards season in other ways too, with Showtime’s Billions breakout and non-binary actor Asia Kate Dillion being faced with which category to submit themselves in for supporting performance consideration.
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Dillion penned a letter to the TV Academy asking, “I’d like to know if in your eyes ‘actor’ and ‘actress’ denote anatomy or identity and why it is necessary to denote either in the first place? The reason I’m hoping to engage you in a conversation about this is because if the categories of ‘actor’ and ‘actress’ are in fact supposed to represent ‘best performance by a person who identifies as a woman’ and ‘best performance by a person who identifies as a man’ then there is no room for my identity within that award system binary.” The Academy replied to Dillion that any performer can submit into either category for any reason. Dillon elected to enter as supporting actor because “actor is a non-gendered word that I use.”
In 2011, the Grammy Awards also got rid of gender distinctions between male and female singers, collaborations and groups.
MTV Movie & TV Awards (which was renamed this year from the MTV Movie Awards) will be hosted by actor Adam DeVine on May 7.