Trends: Genderless Awards Categories

MTV Movie & TV Awards nominees Daniel Kaluuya, Millie Bobby Brown, and Emma Watson (Entertainment Weekly)

MTV Movie & TV Awards nominees Daniel Kaluuya, Millie Bobby Brown, and Emma Watson (Entertainment Weekly)

Last month, MTV announced that its MTV Movie Awards would be no more. Instead, the show would now involve awards for TV, and be called the MTV Movie & TV Awards. But that wasn’t the only new thing the cable network had in store for its new awards show: Certain major categories will be gender┬áneutral.

This new gender neutrality spans the acting categories: Best Actor in a Movie (which includes Emma Watson from “Beauty and the Beast” and Daniel Kaluuya from “Get Out”) and Best Actor in a TV Show (which includes Donald Glover from “Atlanta” and Millie Bobby Brown from “Stranger Things”). Of course, some categories have always been gender-neutral, inkling Best Kiss, Best Villian and Best Hero.

There’s clearly a sea change happening, as mainstream culture has gotten hip and woke to the nuances of gender identity. And the young generation isn’t averse to asking for what they want, particularly in terms of representation. Actor Asia Kate Dillion, known for their role on Showtime’s “Billions” as a non-binary character (and TV’s first one at that!), wrote to┬áthe Television Academy and asked them to reconsider their binary male and female categories. This was a big ask: the Television Academy governs the Emmy Awards. The Television Academy was very receptive to Dillon’s letter, and Dillon decided to submit themselves under Best Supporting Actor

If the Emmys were to do away with gendered categories, the award show would be getting back to its roots. The Emmys enacted separate categories for male and female performers in 1951, its third year.

I hope this new gender consciousness grows until it becomes so commonplace we no longer need to remark on it.

#ThrowbackThursday: “Best Kiss” at the MTV Movie Awards, 2000

Selma Blair and Sarah Michelle Gellar win "Best Kiss" at the MTV Movie Awards, 2000 (IBTimes)

Selma Blair and Sarah Michelle Gellar win “Best Kiss” at the MTV Movie Awards, 2000 (IBTimes)

Let’s take it all the way back to the year 2000. Remember when? I was in middle school, about to go to high school, and the MTV Movie Awards were a big deal. You had to watch them, and see who got awards like “Best Movie,” “Best Hero,” and “Best Villian.”

But the above categories (and all the rest of them) paled in comparison to “Best Kiss.” Each year, we voted to see which of our fave onscreen couples would win, get up onstage and give the audience what we so obviously wanted. And each year would be the same: they’d tease us, before finally going in for the kill. And the crowd went wild!

In 2000, actresses Sarah Michelle Gellar and Selma Blair won for “Best Kiss.” This was based off their now-iconic scene in “Cruel Intentions” (also, watch the whole movie if you haven’t seen it). Their acceptance kiss was light and quick, and both women giggled. But it became a seminal moment in pop culture history.