The MTV Movie and TV Awards made history on Sunday night, presenting the first major gender-neutral acting awards to Emma Watson and Millie Bobby Brown.
Watson won Best Actor in a Movie for her performance as Belle in Beauty and the Beast, receiving the award from Billions star Asia Kate Dillon. Dillon identifies as non-binary and recently made headlines after contacting The Television Academy to discuss whether to submit to the best actor or actress category for the Emmys.
Watson called the new MTV awards “very meaningful”.
“The first acting award in history that doesn’t separate nominees based on their sex says something about how we perceive the human experience,” she said.
“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 in someone else’s shoes and that doesn’t need to be separated into two different categories.”
She added that her character in Beauty and the Beast was an example of someone looking beyond the boundaries others had tried to impose on her.
“I think I’m being given this award because of who Belle is and what she represents.
“The villagers in our fairytale wanted to make Belle believe the world was smaller than the way that she saw it, with fewer opportunities for her. I love playing someone who didn’t listen to any of that.”
Fellow Brit Millie Bobby Brown accepted her gender-neutral award for Best Actor in a Show, thanks to her mesmerising turn as the enigmatic and powerful young girl known only as Eleven in Netflix hit Stranger Things.
She ended an emotional speech by thanking the show’s creators the Duffer Brothers for her “badass” character.
“They have created a badass, female, iconic character that I’ve got the honour to play.”
Full list of winners
Movie of the Year – Beauty And The Beast
Best Actor in a Movie – Emma Watson, Beauty and the Beast
Show of the Year – Stranger Things
Best Actor in a Show – Millie Bobby Brown, Stranger Things
Best Kiss – Ashton Sanders and Jharrel Jerome, Moonlight
Best Villain – Jeffrey Dean Morgan, The Walking Dead
Best Host – Trevor Noah, The Daily Show
Best Documentary – 13TH
Best Reality Competition – RuPaul’s Drag Race
Best Comedic Performance – Lil Rel Howery, Get Out
Best Hero – Taraji P Henson, Hidden Figures
Tearjerker – This Is Us, Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Randall (Lonnie Chavis) at karate
Next Generation – Daniel Kaluuya
Best Duo – Hugh Jackman and Dafne Keen, Logan
Best American Story – Blackish
Best Fight Against the System – Hidden Figures
Trending – Run The World (Girls), Channing Tatum and Beyonce, Lip Sync Battle
Best Musical Moment – You’re The One That I Want, Grease: Live