Oscars Organiser Responds To Calls For Gender-Neutral Categories

Past winners and nominees have previously backed the move towards gender inclusivity.
The Oscars recognise the biggest achievements in cinema of the past year
The Oscars recognise the biggest achievements in cinema of the past year
NurPhoto via Getty Images

Oscars organisers are in discussions about introducing gender-neutral categories for its acting awards.

Since the Academy Awards began in 1929, its acting awards have been separated into male and female categories, which has always been the case for both leading and supporting performers, while other prizes including Best Director are gender-neutral.

In more recent history, Oscars bosses have faced calls to merge the male and female shortlists into singlular Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor categories, in a bid to be more inclusive to gender non-conforming performers.

Following her win in 2019, Lady Gaga voiced her hopes for this to happen, while past nominee Elliot Page and The Crown star Emma Corrin, who is non-binary, are among those to also back gender-neutral acting categories.

During a new interview with Variety, Academy CEO Bill Kramer was asked about the possibility of gender-neutral categories, to which he confirmed these conversations are currently ongoing.

“We are exploring this topic with our awards, membership, equity, and inclusion committees and soon with our Board of Governors,” he said.

“It’s in the early exploration stage and one of many conversations about the future of awards and the Oscars. We are still investigating how it could look.”

Academy CEO Bill Kramer in 2022
Academy CEO Bill Kramer in 2022
Daniele Venturelli via Getty Images

Musical awards shows like the Grammys and Brit Awards axed their gendered categories in 2012 and 2022, respectively, while other acting ceremonies, like the MTV Movie & TV Awards and Gotham Awards have also done the same.

Other major ceremonies, including the Golden Globes and Baftas, have retained their gendered categories, although PA reported last year that the latter was also considering moving forward with gender-neutral awards.


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