Emma Watson received the first award of the night at the MTV Movie & TV Awards — Best Actor in a Movie — for playing Belle in Beauty and the Beast. But the big win had way more significance than you might think.
You may notice that the award is Best ACTOR in a Movie (not Best Actress), and that's very intentional. This is the first award show ever to give out completely gender-neutral awards.
This was especially meaningful because Emma was presented her award by Asia Kate Dillon, who plays Taylor on Billions — TV's first ever gender-nonbinary character.
Read Emma's super-sweet speech about the history-making award here:
Firstly I feel I have to say something about the award itself — the first acting award in history that doesn't separate nominees based on their sex. It says something about how we perceive the human experience. MTV's move to create a genderless award for acting will mean something different for 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. Empathy and the ability to use your imagination should have no limits. This is very meaningful for 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.
Slay, Emma! Slaaaaaaaaaaaaaay.
While the MTV Movie & TV Awards are the first to replace the major categories of Best Actor and Best Actress with non-gendered Best Actor in a Movie and Best Actor in a Show, other award shows have had genderless categories before. The Critics' Choice Awards has given out the gender-neutral Young Performer Prize and the Television Critics Association Awards also give out a gender-neutral Achievement Award.