MTV has scraped separate awards categories for men and women for its upcoming Movie & TV awards.
This year’s awards will see gender-neutral prizes for the first time – meaning that Emma Watson will compete against Hugh Jackman for the Best Actor accolade.
Many have been calling for the removal of gender specific awards for a number of years. Many supporters argue that there is no need to differentiate between male and female actors, as with other categories such as Best Director which aren’t gender specific.
The debate has taken further prominence after it was revealed the Billions actor Asia Kate Dillon was asked to choose which category to be considered for at the Emmys. Dillon, who doesn’t identify as a male or female, chose to be added to the actor category, arguing that “actor” is seen as a non-gendered word.
In a letter Dillon wrote to the Academy, she said, “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 academy assured Dillon that the rules state, “anyone can submit under either category for any reason.”
While the Grammys has never had separate awards, the move follows the National Television Awards’ decision to remove gender specific awards, dropping separate categories for male and female actors.
A spokesperson at the time said, “It felt right for the National Television Awards to make the change.”
“A great performance is great regardless of gender and we think that dropping the male/female division has made the drama performance category more exciting.”
It is hoped that other award ceremonies will now follow suit including the Baftas and the Oscars.