Ever since the 2017 MTV and TV Awards announced they were switching to strictly non-gender specific categories, history was guaranteed to be made.
Emma Watson’s award for Best Actor in a Movie at the 2017 MTV Awards marks the first time someone has been awarded a major, non-gender specific acting award.
Watson, 27, was fully aware of the momentous occasion while accepting the award for her role as Bella in “Beauty and the Beast”. She said the occasion “says something about how we perceive the human experience.”
“MTV’s move to create a gender-less award for acting will mean something different to everyone,” she continued. “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.”
And the significance of gender non-binary actor Asia Kate Dillon presenting the award to Watson was not lost on the actress: “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.”
“I think I’m being given this award because of who Belle is and what she represents,” she explained. “The villagers in our fairy tale wanted to make belle believe that the world was smaller than the way she saw it with fewer opportunities for her, that her curiosity and passion for knowledge and her desire fore more in life were grounds for alienation.”
“I loved playing someone who didn’t listen to any of that. I’m so proud to be a part of a film that celebrates diversity, literacy, inclusion, joy, and love the way that this one does.”
Following the history-making honour, Watson took to social media to offer her thanks. “Thank you @MTV for a wonderful evening,” she tweeted, “and thank you to everyone who voted for me!”