The Emmy Awards announces stars can now request to be recognized as ‘Performer’ 

The Emmys have announced stars nominated in Actor or Actress categories can now request to be recognized as ‘Performer’ at future ceremonies. 

The change, which begins with the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards in September, will see the ‘Performer’ title reflected in both the certificate and trophy for categories including Best Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress.

Debate has raged for some time over how to recognise non-binary performers in ‘outdated’ gendered categories after non-binary Billions star Asia Kate Dillon, 36, called for the changes to be made back in 2017. 

The announcement follows other award shows, including MTV Movie & TV Awards, scrapping separate prizes for men and women in favor of gender neutral awards. 

New changes: The Emmy Awards have announced stars nominated for a trophy in the Actor or Actress categories can now request to be recognized as 'Performer' at future ceremonies

New changes: The Emmy Awards have announced stars nominated for a trophy in the Actor or Actress categories can now request to be recognized as 'Performer' at future ceremonies

New changes: The Emmy Awards have announced stars nominated for a trophy in the Actor or Actress categories can now request to be recognized as ‘Performer’ at future ceremonies

On Monday, The Television Academy’s Board of Governors announced on its website: ‘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.’ 

The Emmys’ recognition of non-binary stars has long-been discussed since Asia Kate lobbied the academy in 2017 after they were subject to award murmers, yet were left uncomfortable with the prospect of being in the actor or actress category. 

In their open letter to Award show bosses and the panel, Asia Kate penned: ‘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?… 

Updates: 'No performer category titled "Actor" or "Actress" has ever had a gender requirement for submissions,' The Television Academy's Board of Governors announced on their website

Updates: 'No performer category titled "Actor" or "Actress" has ever had a gender requirement for submissions,' The Television Academy's Board of Governors announced on their website

Updates: ‘No performer category titled “Actor” or “Actress” has ever had a gender requirement for submissions,’ The Television Academy’s Board of Governors announced on their website

Demand: Debate has raged for some time over how to recognise non-binary performers in 'outdated' gendered categories after non-binary Billions star Asia Kate Dillon, 36, called for the changes to be made back in 2017 (pictured, last year)

Demand: Debate has raged for some time over how to recognise non-binary performers in 'outdated' gendered categories after non-binary Billions star Asia Kate Dillon, 36, called for the changes to be made back in 2017 (pictured, last year)

Demand: Debate has raged for some time over how to recognise non-binary performers in ‘outdated’ gendered categories after non-binary Billions star Asia Kate Dillon, 36, called for the changes to be made back in 2017 (pictured, last year)

‘The reason I’m hoping to engage you in a conversation about this is because if the categories of ‘actor’ and ‘actress’ are in fact supposed to represent ‘best performance by a person who identifies as a woman’…

‘And ‘best performance by a person who identifies as a man’ then there is no room for my identity within that award system binary… Furthermore, if the categories of ‘actor’ and ‘actress’ are meant to denote assigned sex I ask, respectfully, why is that necessary?”  

Gender-neutral categories have already been implemented at the MTV Movie and TV Awards, which scrapped Best Male and Female categories for a Best Actor prize in 2017 while the Grammy Awards went gender-neutral in 2012. 

Last year, the Berlin International Film Festival announced it would be eliminating separate prizes for women and men for gender neutral awards.

Going on the gold: The new change, which begins with the 2021 Emmy Awards Season, will see the 'Performer' title reflected in both the nomination certificate and trophy

Going on the gold: The new change, which begins with the 2021 Emmy Awards Season, will see the 'Performer' title reflected in both the nomination certificate and trophy

Going on the gold: The new change, which begins with the 2021 Emmy Awards Season, will see the ‘Performer’ title reflected in both the nomination certificate and trophy

The ceremony’s Best Actor and Best Actress award will be replaced with a Silver Bear for Best Leading Performance and a Silver Bear for Best Supporting Performance.

In a statement, the co-heads of the festival, Mariette Rissenbeek and Carlo Chatrian, said ‘not separating the awards in the acting field according to gender comprises a signal for a more gender-sensitive awareness in the film industry.’

In other changes to The Emmys, The Television Academy also announced any documentary placed on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences viewing platform will not be allowed to compete in the show.

The new rule, which will begin in 2022, is listed on the website as: ‘Any film placed on the AMPAS viewing platform will be deemed a theatrical motion picture and thus ineligible for the Emmy competition.’

Previously: The Grammy Awards went gender-neutral in 2012

Previously: The Grammy Awards went gender-neutral in 2012

Previously: The Grammy Awards went gender-neutral in 2012

In March, non-binary singer Sam Smith spoke out on the Brit Awards keeping gender-specific categories. They took to Instagram where they told their followers they look forward to ‘a time where awards can be reflective of the society we live in’.

According to The Sun, bosses wanted to talk to Sam ahead of voting to ensure they’re happy with the category they appeared in for the May ceremony.

Sam penned on Instagram: ‘The Brits have been an important part of my career, one of my earliest achievements was winning Critics Choice in 2014. Music for me has always been about unification not division.

‘I look forward to a time where awards shows can be reflective of the society we live in. Let’s celebrate everybody, regardless of gender, race, age, ability, sexuality and class.’

Gender-neutral categories have already been implemented at the MTV Movie and TV Awards

Gender-neutral categories have already been implemented at the MTV Movie and TV Awards

Gender-neutral categories have already been implemented at the MTV Movie and TV Awards

Their say: In March, non-binary singer Sam Smith spoke out on the Brit Awards keeping gender-specific categories. They took to Instagram where they told their followers they look forward to 'a time where awards can be reflective of the society we live in'

Their say: In March, non-binary singer Sam Smith spoke out on the Brit Awards keeping gender-specific categories. They took to Instagram where they told their followers they look forward to 'a time where awards can be reflective of the society we live in'

Their say: In March, non-binary singer Sam Smith spoke out on the Brit Awards keeping gender-specific categories. They took to Instagram where they told their followers they look forward to ‘a time where awards can be reflective of the society we live in’

A representative for the BRITs later told MailOnline: ‘The BRITs love Sam. Sam won our Critics’ Choice Award (now Rising Star) in 2014 and went on to enjoy incredible international stardom, winning more BRIT Awards and nominations along the way as well as giving us some of the most memorable performances ever.

‘Sam is an extraordinary British artist and we agree with what they have said today. The BRITs are committed to evolving the show and the gendered categories are very much under review.

‘But any changes made to be more inclusive need to be just that – if a change unintentionally leads to less inclusion then it risks being counter productive to diversity and equality. We need to consult more widely before changes are made to make sure we get it right.’

A source had previously said: ‘The concern is that looking at the artists who have released this year — with all of the restrictions and problems — scrapping separate male and female awards categories might actually have had more of a negative impact across the board.

‘It’s definitely something that is going to be looked at again in subsequent years.’

Breaking silence: Sam penned on Instagram: 'Let's celebrate everybody, regardless of gender, race, age, ability, sexuality and class'

Breaking silence: Sam penned on Instagram: 'Let's celebrate everybody, regardless of gender, race, age, ability, sexuality and class'

Breaking silence: Sam penned on Instagram: ‘Let’s celebrate everybody, regardless of gender, race, age, ability, sexuality and class’

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