MTV Awards go gender neutral: Emma Watson to battle Hugh Jackman for Best Actor gong

Alex Taylor
Gender neutral toilet

Entertainment brand MTV has announced plans to scrap male and female categories at this year's film and television awards, in favour of gender-neutral language.

The change means prizes will no longer be awarded for Best Actor and Best Actress, but instead credited from a communal category.

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Under the new rules, Beauty and the Beast star Emma Watson will see her performance as Belle measured against Hugh Jackman's turn as Wolverine in X-Men blockbuster Logan, while Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown will join female contenders challenging The Walking Dead's Jeffrey Dean Morgan for small screen honours.

The move comes after Billions star Asia Kate Dillon, who was born female but identifies as gender non-binary, highlighted the issue of category divisions at award ceremonies.

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Asia Kate Dillon

Writing to the Television Academy after receiving an Emmy award nomination for their role of Taylor, an ambitious intern who is also TV's first non-binary character, the actor questioned why there was a need to "denote anatomy or identity" at such events.

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Organisers wrote back explaining "anyone can submit under either category for any reason," and gave Dillon the option to choose her preferred category.

The rising star chose to considered under the banner of best supporting actor, arguing "actor" is generally considered a non-gendered word.

Sky News report that according to recent statistics, around 0.4% of the population (one in every 250 people in the UK) identify themselves as gender non-binary.

Alongside the gender shift, MTV has also introduced five new gongs this year: best American story; tearjerker; best host; best reality competition and best fight against the system.

Comedian Adam Devine will host the MTV Movie and TV Awards in Los Angeles on 7 May.

Emma Watson

MTV Awards 2017 nominees

MOVIE OF THE YEAR (Presented by Toyota C-HR)

  • Beauty and the Beast (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
  • Get Out (Universal Pictures)
  • Logan (20th Century Fox)
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
  • The Edge of Seventeen (STX Entertainment)


  • Daniel Kaluuya – Get Out (Universal Pictures)
  • Emma Watson – Beauty and the Beast (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
  • Hailee Steinfeld – The Edge of Seventeen (STX Entertainment)
  • Hugh Jackman – Logan (20th Century Fox)
  • James McAvoy – Split (Universal Pictures)
  • Taraji P Henson – Hidden Figures (20th Century Fox)


  • Atlanta (FX)
  • Game of Thrones (HBO)
  • Insecure (HBO)
  • Pretty Little Liars (Freeform)
  • Stranger Things (Netflix)
  • This Is Us (NBC)


  • Donald Glover – Atlanta (FX)
  • Emilia Clarke – Game of Thrones (HBO)
  • Gina Rodriguez – Jane the Virgin (The CW)
  • Jeffrey Dean Morgan – The Walking Dead (AMC)
  • Mandy Moore – This Is Us (NBC)
  • Millie Bobby Brown – Stranger Things (Netflix)


  • Ashton Sanders & Jharrel Jerome – Moonlight (A24)
  • Emma Stone & Ryan Gosling – La La Land (Summit Entertainment)
  • Emma Watson & Dan Stevens – Beauty and the Beast (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
  • Taraji P. Henson & Terrence Howard – Empire (FOX)
  • Zac Efron & Anna Kendrick – Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates (20th Century Fox)


  • Allison Williams – Get Out (Universal Pictures)
  • Demogorgon – Stranger Things (Netflix)
  • Jared Leto – Suicide Squad (Warner Bros. Pictures)
  • Jeffrey Dean Morgan – The Walking Dead (AMC)
  • Wes Bentley – American Horror Story (FX)


  • Ellen DeGeneres – The Ellen DeGeneres Show (NBC)
  • John Oliver – Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
  • RuPaul – RuPaul's Drag Race (VH1)
  • Samantha Bee – Full Frontal with Samantha Bee (TBS)
  • Trevor Noah – The Daily Show (Comedy Central)


  • 13th (Netflix)
  • I Am Not Your Negro (Magnolia Pictures)
  • OJ: Made in America (ESPN Films)
  • This is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous (YouTube|Red)
  • Time: The Kalief Browder Story (Spike)


  • America's Got Talent (NBC)
  • MasterChef Junior (FOX)
  • RuPaul's Drag Race (VH1)
  • The Bachelor (ABC)
  • The Voice (NBC)


  • Adam Devine – Workaholics (Comedy Central)
  • Ilana Glazer & Abbi Jacobson – Broad City (Comedy Central)
  • Lil Rel Howery – Get Out (Universal Pictures)
  • Seth MacFarlane – Family Guy (FOX)
  • Seth Rogen – Sausage Party (Sony)
  • Will Arnett – The LEGO Batman Movie (Warner Bros. Pictures)


  • Felicity Jones – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
  • Grant Gustin – The Flash (The CW)
  • Mike Colter – Luke Cage (Netflix)
  • Millie Bobby Brown – Stranger Things (Netflix)
  • Stephen Amell – Arrow (The CW)
  • Taraji P Henson – Hidden Figures (20th Century Fox)


  • Game of Thrones – Hodor's (Kristian Nairn) Death (HBO)
  • Grey's Anatomy – Meredith tells her children about Derek's death (Ellen Pompeo) (ABC)
  • Me Before You – Will (Sam Claflin) tells Louisa (Emilia Clarke) he can't stay with her (Warner Bros. Pictures)
  • Moonlight – Paula (Naomie Harris) tells Chiron (Trevante Rhodes) that she loves him (A24)
  • This Is Us – Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Randall (Lonnie Chavis) at karate (NBC)


  • Chrissy Metz
  • Daniel Kaluuya
  • Issa Rae
  • Riz Ahmed
  • Yara Shahidi


  • Adam Levine & Blake Shelton – The Voice (NBC)
  • Daniel Kaluuya & Lil Rel Howery – Get Out (Universal Pictures)
  • Brian Tyree Henry & Lakeith Stanfield – Atlanta (FX)
  • Hugh Jackman & Dafne Keen – Logan (20th Century Fox)
  • Josh Gad & Luke Evans – Beauty and the Beast (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
  • Martha Stewart & Snoop Dogg – Martha & Snoop's Potluck Dinner Party (VH1)


  • Blackish (ABC)
  • Fresh Off the Boat (ABC)
  • Jane the Virgin (The CW)
  • Moonlight (A24)
  • Transparent (Amazon)


  • Get Out (Universal Pictures)
  • Hidden Figures (20th Century Fox)
  • Loving (Focus Features)
  • Luke Cage (Netflix)
  • Mr. Robot (USA)

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