The Emmy Awards to recognise non-binary actors with gender-neutral option

22 June 2021, 17:44 | Updated: 22 June 2021, 17:54

Emmy statuette in 2019
The Emmys have announced a gender-neutral option for their awards ceremony. Picture: ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images
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By Radio X

The prestigious awards ceremony has announced their move to recognise actors who identify as non-binary by allowing them to choose the non-gendered "performer" option.

The Emmy Awards is giving stars the choice to go gender neutral going forward.

The Television Academy's Board of Governors has confirmed that nominees in the Best Actress or Best Actor awards categories can choose to be called a "performer" when the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards take place in September this year.

They wrote in a statement on their website: "The Television Academy's Board of Governors has approved the following rules change beginning with the 2021 Emmy Awards Season.

"Nominated Actors or Actresses can be recognised as "Performers":

"No performer category titled "Actor" or "Actress" has ever had a gender requirement for submissions. 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."

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The move towards a gender-neutral awards was led by the Billions star Asia Kate Dillion, who is considered to be the first non-binary performer to play a non-binary character in a major TV series.

2017 saw the actor pen an impassioned letter to the Academy highlighting their concern that there seemed to be “no room for (their) identity” at the awards ceremony.

Dillion asked at the time: "I’d like to know if in your eyes ‘actor’ and ‘actress’ denote anatomy or identity and why it is necessary to denote either in the first place?”

Asia Kate Dillion and Paul Giamatti in 2018
Asia Kate Dillion and Paul Giamatti in 2018. Picture: Rob Kim/Getty Images for SHOWTIME

The 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards saw Schitt's Creek sweep the board, taking home all seven awards in the comedy categories including the prestigious Outstanding Comedy Series accolade, for which it was shortlisted alongside Curb Your Enthusiasm, Dead to Me, The Good Place, Insecure, The Kominsky Method, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and What We Do in the Shadows.

There were wins in the Lead Actor and Actress in a comedy series categories for co-creator Eugenie Levy and Catherine O'Hara, and in the Supporting Actor and Actress categories for Dan Levy - who also won for writing and directing - and Annie Murphy.

Accepting his acting prize, his third of the evening, Dan quipped: "Come on! Oh no! OK, the internet's about to turn on me. I'm so sorry."

Other winner at the times included Euphoria star Zendaya for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, Mark Ruffalo, who took Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for his work on I Know This Much Is True, and Billy Crudup and Julia Garner, who took the Outstanding Supporting Actor and Actress in a Drama Series honours respectively for The Morning Show and Ozark,

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