Hey, did you happen to catch the MTV movie awards? Or Television and Movie Awards or whatever they’re calling it now? No? Me neither. I’d love to, you see, but we just got a new dog a couple of weeks ago and he needed a bath. Only so many hours in the day.
But I did manage to catch up on the big news from the award ceremony, helpfully provided over at Time Magazine. The stars who give the best performances always get top billing, along with the top movies and shows themselves. And this year there was only one lucky winner instead of two. Emma Watson, who most people probably know from the Harry Potter series, walked away with the Best Actor role, and don’t you dare confuse it with Best Actress you bunch of gender conformist haters.
While accepting the award for best actor in a movie, Emma Watson dedicated her speech to celebrating the MTV Movie & TV Awards’ genderless acting categories.
“Firstly, I feel like I have to say something about the award itself,” the He For She founder began, while accepting the golden popcorn for her role as Belle in Beauty and the Beast.
“T he first acting award in history that doesn’t separate nominees by their sex says something about the way we perceive the human experience. MTV’s move to create a genderless award for acting will mean something different to everyone, but for me, it indicates that acting is about the ability to put yourself into someone else’s shoes. And that doesn’t need to be separated into two categories.”
Well, well. She and Asia Kate Dillon (who presented her with the award and is neither a he nor a she according to reliable sources) certainly struck a blow there for… something. Of course, we knew this was all coming well in advance. Back in April I wrote about the proposed changes to the MTV Awards show structure, clearly intended to do away with quaint concepts of biological science and genetics as it relates to gender. Also, it was obviously no coincidence that Asia Kate Dillon was chosen to hand this inaugural, gender free award off, since s/he (is that right?) was the one who raised a stink with the Emmys over the same issue, finally arriving a compromise of calling him/herself an “actor” because it could technically apply to anyone in the profession. Dillon also managed to get the Emmys to concede that while they wouldn’t be going to a single award category, anyone could enter themselves in either category as they saw fit.
Watson’s speech seemed to me to be intentionally vague on the subject, however. Notice how she said, (wait.. she’s still a she, right?) “a genderless award for acting will mean something different to everyone.” She followed that up by insisting that to her it meant the award was about “the ability to put yourself into someone else’s shoes” and that didn’t need to be “separated into two categories.”
Watson needs to watch her step here. That sounds dangerously like she’s saying that acting is a field where both genders (because, you know… there are two of them) can excel equally and women don’t need to compete on a different playing field than men. While such a sentiment veers perilously close to common sense for Tinseltown consumption it could wind up angering the people to whom the genderless categories mean something else entirely. As in… there is no gender distinction in homo sapiens. I expect an apology will be forthcoming fairly soon assuming anyone in the gender bending community notices.
As for me, I once again don’t have any problem with this. Any consenting adult can call themselves he, she or Uncle It as far as I’m concerned. As long as you don’t try to get the government to shove it down everyone else’s throats, you do you and I’ll do me. The only sticking point is the one I brought up in April. If all the awards shows do this you’re going to cut down the number of opportunities for actors of any gender (or none) by half. This time the top honor went to a woman, but what happens if they give it to a white man next year? The wailing and rending of clothes in the progressive quarter will be deafening.