Washington [US], June 23: The Emmy Awards are giving nominees the option to be more gender-inclusive with their statues by replacing 'actor' and 'actress' statues with 'Performer' at the winner or nominee's request.
According to Fox News, the Television Academy's Board of Governors announced on Monday that it has approved rule changes that will allow nominees an option to request that their nomination certificate and possible Emmy statuette use the term 'Performer' rather than 'Actor' or 'Actress'.
The move answers recent calls from gender non-conforming stars to make the awards system less dependent on pronouns and gendered casting.
"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 Television Academy wrote on Tuesday, as reported by Deadline.
The outlet reported that the option will take effect beginning with the current 2021 Emmy Awards season, just ahead of the Primetime Emmy Awards, which will be named on July 13.
Another news outlet reported that the Academy made sure to state that the Emmys will not change the way the actor and actress categories are selected or voted on. This change merely allows for stars to have a preference on their nominations and wins.
'Billions' star Asia Kate Dillon, who identifies as nonbinary, was one of the loudest voices championing gender-neutral change. Variety reported that the 36-year-old sent a letter to the Television Academy in 2017.
The 2021 Primetime Emmys are currently scheduled to take place on September 19. It is unclear as of now who the nominees are and therefore it is unknown whether or not any Hollywood TV stars plan to be the first to take the Academy up on its gender-neutral option.