September 21, 2021

Gotham Award

“There are so many talented nonbinary individuals, and it’s not fair to force them into male and female boxes,” said Jeffrey Sharp, the executive director of the Gotham Film and Media Institute in New York. “We have a really proud history of inclusivity. It’s part of our DNA. But it was time for us to evolve, too.”

Will other significant ceremonies follow?

“We can only speak for ourselves, but we do have a history of leading the conversation,” Mr. Sharp said, referring to the position the Gotham Awards has as the first significant ceremony of Hollywood’s prize-collecting season.

The influential Berlin Film Festival went gender neutral with its performance awards in the spring. Although not taken seriously as markers of artistic achievement, the MTV Movie TV Awards stopped separating acting prizes by gender in 2017, along with MTV’s Video Music Awards. The Grammys did away with the division in 2012.

But none of the organizations behind the most prestigious acting awards — Oscars, BAFTAs, Tonys and Emmys — have indicated that they will take the same action. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which manages the Oscars, has perhaps gone the furthest, telling The New York Times in 2019 that, while it planned to keep its current structure in place, it would “continue to be sensitive to the evolving conversation.” The Academy Awards for best actress and best actor were first presented in 1929.

The Screen Actors Guild Awards, Independent Spirit Awards and Golden Globes also have male and female acting categories.

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