The MTV Movie & TV Awards just happened this Sunday and one of the biggest moments in the ceremony was when Emma Watson snagged the honors for Best Actor in a movie. This is the very first time MTV has made the award gender neutral so that both male and female actors competed against one another.
Watson was given the golden popcorn for her role as Belle in the hit remake of Beauty and the Beast. She took to the stage and said, “I feel I had to say something about the award itself — the first acting award in history that doesn’t separate nominees based on their sex — says something about how we perceive the human experience.”
“MTV’s move to create a genderless award for acting will mean something different to everyone, but to me, it indicates that acting is about the ability to put yourself into somebody 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.”
“This is very meaningful to 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. Thank you so much.”
She also said, “I think I am being given this award because of who Belle is and what she represents. The villages in our fairy tale wanted to make made Belle believe that the world was smaller than the way that she saw it with fewer opportunities for her, that her curiosity and passion for knowledge and her desire for 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.”
Watson was competing against Daniel Kaluuya for Get Out, Hailee Steinfeld for The Edge of Seventeen, Hugh Jackman for Logan, James McAvoy forSplit, and Taraji P. Henson for Hidden Figures.
Asia Kate Dillon who stars in Orange is the New Black was the one to present Watson with the award, which was very fitting as she has portrayed the first non-binary actor in a hit TV show.
Before presenting, Dillon made her own speech and said, “I am the first non-binary actor to play a non-binary character on a major television show. And now it’s so cool to be here presenting the first acting award ever that is free of any gender distinctions.”