On the night that the Spirit Awards took place in their first ceremony with gender-neutral categories, Saturday Night Live took on the topic on the Weekend Update segment.
“As this year’s award season gets underway there’s growing movement to get rid of the gendered categories of Best Actor and Best Actress,” Colin Jost said before delivering the punchline adding, “And instead call them Best Actor and Best Actor Who Got Paid Less.”
Although SNL made light of the category names, the conversation around gender-neutral categories at award shows is real. Earlier this year, director Sam Mendes said that it’s something that is “inevitable.”
“I have total sympathy with it, yeah, and I think it might well be inevitable in the end,” he said in a BBC interview. “I think that’s the way it’s moving and I think that it’s perfectly reasonable.”
Mendes added, “For me, people forget with awards, I think this happens all the time, they use it as a bellwether for the industry but the truth is awards are a TV show,” he continued. “You know, awards are there to promote films. If that film wins an award, I’m more likely to go and see it and that’s what you’re doing there. It’s not about yourself, it’s not about the art or craft of the industry, especially, it’s about selling films.”
Emma Corrin, who identifies as non-binary and uses they/them pronouns, is hoping that award shows get rid of gendered categories.
“I hope for a future in which that happens,” they told BBC News in Nov. 2022. “I don’t think the categories are inclusive enough at the moment.”
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