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MTV Gave Their First Gender-Neutral Acting Award to Emma Watson

MTV has made big changes to their annual awards show over the years! What used to be the MTV Movie Awards now encompasses movie and television, and this year they made history by combining the best actor and actress categories into one. MTV now has a single best actor award for both movies and TV shows, and in year one, women swept.

Emma Watson took the award for best actor in a movie for playing Belle in Beauty and the Beast (we’re not sure what the eligibility period is for these awards, but that’s cutting it close!), while Millie Bobby Brown won for her role as Eleven on the first season of Stranger Things.

Watson had competition from two other women — Taraji P. Henson of Hidden Figures and Hailee Steinfeld of The Edge of Seventeen and three men — Daniel Kaluuya of Get Out, Hugh Jackman of Logan, and James McAvoy of Split. Brown beat a field including Emilia Clarke as Daenerys on Game of Thrones and Jeffrey Dean Morgan as as Negan on The Walking Dead.

Watson, who has been a vocal feminist in recent years, spoke about the honor of receiving the first genderless acting award, saying, “to me, it indicates that acting is about the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. And that doesn’t need to be separated into two different categories.”

For her part, 13-year-old Millie Bobby Brown thanked family, friends, and cast before specifically shouting out the Duffer Brothers (the creators of Stranger Things) for creating “a badass female iconic character that I’ve got the honor to play.”