When Emma Watson won the award for “Best Actor in a Movie” for her role in Beauty and the Beast at Sunday night’s MTV Movie & TV Awards, she was proud to be the first to accept a trophy under the show’s new gender-neutral categories.
“The first acting award in history that doesn’t separate nominees based on their sex says something about how we perceive the human experience,” Watson said. “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.”
Nonbinary actor Asia Kate Dillon presented the award to Watson, and used the opportunity to praise MTV’s decision to do away with separating award categories by gender.
“It’s so cool to be here presenting the first acting award ever that celebrates performance, free of any gender distinctions,” Dillon said. “Tonight, we celebrate portrayals of the human experience because the only distinction we should be making when it comes to awards is between each outstanding performance.”
Watson thanked the Billions star during her acceptance speech for helping to teach people about gender-nonbinary issues.
“This is very meaningful to me—both to be winning the award and to be receiving it from you Asia,” Watson said. “Thank you for educating me in such an inclusive, patient and loving way.”