(image source: Billboard)
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MTV has released the nominations for the upcoming Video Music Awards, giving eight to Kendrick Lamar, and five to both The Weeknd and Katy Perry. They all had huge years musically, so it wasn’t that shocking that they’d be leading the pack.
However, what did come as a pleasant surprise was that MTV has announced that they are using gender-neutral categories at their annual VMAs.
The award show, which began in 1984, typically honors a best female and male video of the year award (Calvin Harris and Beyoncé took home the last of those in 2016). But this year, they have combined those two into Artist of the Year, of which Bruno Mars, Lamar, Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande, The Weeknd and Lorde will all be competing for. The gender-less category will certainly make competition for the coveted “moon man” statue even tougher when the show airs on August 27.
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The decision to remove gendered categories comes after MTV’s inaugural Movie & TV Awards where they first removed the traditional female and male ones. The May 7 award show saw Emma Watson win in the best movie actor category for “Beauty and The Beast” and Millie Bobby Brown take home the award for best actor in a show for “Stranger Things.”
That show ended up being extremely inclusive: two men won for best kiss in the film “Moonlight,” “RuPaul’s Drag Race” came out on top for best reality competition, and Asia Kate Dillon – who identifies as gender non-binary and uses the pronoun “they” – was a presenter in the top movie acting category.
Shortly following MTV’s news yesterday came an unfortunate statement in the opposite direction. President Trump announced today that “the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.”
It looks like we still have a ways to go when it comes to gender equality and inclusion, but at least MTV is giving us a small reason to celebrate (and tune in)!