9 May 2017

Debate rages over gender neutral awards

From Morning Report, 8:52 am on 9 May 2017

A genderless awards category at the MTV movie awards has received mixed-reactions in Hollywood.

Emma Watson has been awarded the prize for best big-screen actor at the MTV Movie and TV awards.

Beauty and the Beast live action film starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens.

The 'Beauty and the Beast' live-action film stars Emma Watson and Dan Stevens. Photo: Supplied

It's the first gender-neutral prize the ceremony has given out some say it could be time to drop the gender tag altogether.

Ted Johnson, a senior editor at Variety Magazine, says the categories were separated in the first place due to tradition - but some actors are wary about the idea.

He told Morning Report views are split on whether it’s a step forward or back for equality.

“I talked to Geena Davis just a couple of weeks ago and she has long been outspoken about this. Her fear is that if you combine this, actresses will actually get lost in the shuffle.”

He says Davis believes the roles for male actors are much ‘meatier’ than those available to actresses, despite recent advances.

And Johnson is sceptical about whether genderless awards will become the industry norm.

“The MTV movie awards tend to be a little more renegade, among all awards ceremonies. I’d be really surprised if the Oscars were to make that change.”