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April 10 2017

MTV Is Going Gender-Neutral With Its Movie and TV Awards

via Heat Street
by Jillian Kay Melchior

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.

Now, Daniel Kaluuya, Emma Watson, Hailee Steinfeld, Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy and Taraji P. Henson will compete for Best Actor in a Movie. The Best Actor in a Show category includes Donald Glover, Emilia Clarke, Gina Rodriguez, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Mandy Moore and Millie Bobby Brown.
 
In a further attempt to accommodate a generation preoccupied with social justice, the network also introduced a “Best Fight Against the System” award category, which will replace the “Best Fight” category MTV has had for the past 20 years. Up for consideration: Get Out, Hidden Figures, Loving, Luke Cage and Mr. Robot.

“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.”

A new Harris Poll survey, released last week on behalf of the activist organization GLAAD, suggested that one in five millennials are LGBTQ. Gender played a big role in the Harris Poll report’s findings, with 12 percent of millennials saying they were either transgender or gender non-conforming. The survey’s estimates for LGBTQ people under 35 were nearly three times higher than what Gallup reported in January.

— Jillian Kay Melchior writes for Heat Street and is a fellow for the Steamboat Institute and the Independent Women’s Forum.

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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