Emmy Awards Take Significant Step To Be More Gender-Neutral

The move gives winners and nominees more freedom in how they want to be recognized.

The Emmy Awards on Monday took a step toward gender-neutral terminology by announcing that actors may opt for “performer” on their winning statuette instead of “actor” or “actress,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“No performer category titled ‘Actor’ or ‘Actress’ has ever had a gender requirement for submissions,” the Television Academy’s Board of Governors wrote. “Now, nominees and (or) winners in any performer category titled ‘Actor’ or ‘Actress’ may request that their nomination certificate and Emmy statuette carry the term ‘Performer’ in place of Actor or Actress.”

To be clear, the award show isn’t scrapping the actor, actress, supporting actor or supporting actress categories, Variety noted. But it is allowing nominees and recipients more choice in how they want to be recognized. The change takes effect for this Emmy Awards season.

The San Sebastian Film Festival announced this week that it is ditching its gendered wording altogether.

Deadline reported that the Berlin Film Festival already switched to nongendered acting prizes, as did the Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critis’ Dorian TV Awards.

The MTV Movie & TV Awards and the Television Critics Association’s Awards already have categories that avoid gender-specific wording, Variety said.

The prime-time Emmy Awards are scheduled for Sept. 19.

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