The Television Academy’s Board of Governors has approved a couple of changes.
The first, starting with the 2021 Emmy Awards season, recognizes nonbinary performers. “No performer category titled ‘Actor’ or ‘Actress’ has ever had a gender requirement for submissions,” according to the Television Academy. “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.”
In 2017, Billions‘ Asia Kate Dillon wrote in a letter to the Television Academy, “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? 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.”
At the time, the Television Academy said Emmy contenders could choose under which category to submit themselves. Dillon chose Supporting Actor because “given the choice between actor and actress, actor is a non-gendered word that I use.”
The MTV Movie & TV Awards, the Television Critics Association’s TCA Awards, and the Grammys have all made the switch to non-gendered categories. Is it time for the Emmys to do the same? Vote in the poll below.
The Television Academy’s Board of Governors also approved an amendment that will be put into effect beginning in 2022 and affects documentaries eligible for Oscars: “Any film placed on the AMPAS [Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences] viewing platform will be deemed a theatrical motion picture and thus ineligible for the Emmy competition.”
73rd Emmy Awards, Sunday, September 19, 8/7c, CBS