There is a new trend in Hollywood that has the entertainment industry triggered in both a good and bad way. Awards organisations are stripping away gender-specific categories.
The category change follows the Grammy Awards’ 2011 decision to dump gender distinctions between male and female singers, collaborations and groups. They did what?! I know... though it's been 6 years, most people may not have noticed the change until it was pointed out to them.
Personally, I think this is great. A good performance is a good perform regardless of gender. I think pitting performers against each other on equal footing can only be a great cache booster for female performers who are often paid less than their male counterpart.
With that, my vote on this is; YES! I hope the trend becomes a norm and we can see the Oscars, Emmys and other awards do the same.
This month, Billions star Asia Kate Dillon, who identifies as gender non-binary, submitted for Emmy consideration under Best Supporting Actor, because the Television Academy allows anyone to submit under either Actor or Actress categories.
Will it happen in Mzansi? Actually, I think it would help trim down the enormous list of nominees at the SAFTAs and make the awards a bit more interesting. But I doubt it will be adopted by the National Video and Film Foundation (NFVF).
The counter argument on this is that merging the genders limits the number of performers that can be nominated for each category and thus closes off the door for unknown stars to get a shot at being given a platform to shine through the nomination process. To which, I agree and say; there is no rule to say you can't nominate 5/5 or 8/2. Can you imagine having 7 females nominated against 3 males for Best Actor at the Oscars or SAFTAs — that'd be so amazing.
Anyway, I think it's cool and shows progress in the industry. I'd be happy to know your thoughts on this so hit me up on Twitter, I am @philmphela.