Reserve your opinion about deserving an award, because this is less about the reel and a lot more about the real. Emma Watson, who played the role of Belle in Beauty And The Beast, was graced with the gender neutral award for best actor in the MTV Awards 2017.
And that marks an important and great thing to have happened in a Hollywood award show. An award for an actor – a totally non-binary, gender neutral term is a historical point of acceptance for people on what they do, with no segregation on the basis of gender. It’s also a point of acceptance for those identify as gender-neutral, with no gender being forced on anyone. Also noteworthy is that the award was presented to her by Asia Kate Dillon who plays Taylor on Billions. Her’s is the first ever gender non-binary role to be played on TV.
Emma Watson’s acceptance speech was a moment of poignancy in the entire show. She said,
Firstly I feel I have to say something about the award itself—the first acting award in history that doesn’t separate nominees based on their sex. It says something about how we perceive the human experience. MTV’s move to create a genderless award for acting will mean something different for 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. Empathy and the ability to use your imagination should have no limits. This is very meaningful for 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.
May we dare hope for equality everywhere else?