April 10 2017
MTV will do away with its male and female movie and TV awards, instead introducing gender-neutral prize categories, the network announced Friday.
“This audience actually doesn’t see male-female dividing lines, so we said, ‘Let’s just take that down,’” explained the network’s president, Chris McCarthy, in an interview with Vulture.
MTV’s target audience is under 25—a demographic that is increasingly skeptical of traditional notions about gender. Recent surveys show a rising number of LGBT millennials, though estimates vary widely.
“Young people are rising and forcing change. … and we’re seeing a voice of activism that’s just so different and so refreshing,” the network’s top exec explained. “We wanted to support that, and so the idea of a best actual fight was almost an antiquated idea. We thought it was much more celebratory to honor stories and characters that have fought against the system that they thought was oppressing them.”
MTV’s announcement came as awards shows are under increasing scrutiny. Earlier this week, Showtime said Asia Kate Dillon, who identifies as gender non-binary, could choose which Emmy category was most appropriate.
The Billions star chose opted to compete as an “actor,” saying it was historically a “non-gendered word… [that] applied to all people, regardless of anatomical sex or gender identity.”
— Jillian Kay Melchior writes for Heat Street and is a fellow for the Steamboat Institute and the Independent Women’s Forum.