Emma Corrin, who played Princess Diana in The Crown, calls on the Oscars to follow the Grammys and BRIT Awards and give out gender-neutral awards.
The Crown star Emma Corrin, who won the award for her portrayal of the late Princess Diana of Wales, has called on the Oscars to make the Best Actor and Best Actress categories gender-neutral in order to be more "inclusive". Emma Corrin, who identifies as non-binary and uses the pronouns 'he' and 'she', made the comments as BAFTA and the Oscar Academy said they were debating the issue online. The BRIT Awards have adopted gender-neutral categories this year.
Speaking to the BBC about the possibility of gender-neutral categories in the major film awards, Emma Corrin said: "I hope for a future in which that happens. I don't think the categories are inclusive enough at the moment. It's about everyone being able to feel recognised and represented." Reflecting on the fact that she plays predominantly female roles, Emma Corrin, who will soon be starring in Lady Chaterley's Lover with Jack O'Connell, wondered, "Should it be made clear whether you're nominated for a female or male role?"
The Grammy Awards have been gender neutral since 2012
The decision has been divisive, however. Earlier this year, Adele received the BRIT Award for Best Artist – the first time since the abandonment of separate categories for best male and female performers. In her speech, she said: "I understand why the name of the award has changed, but I really like being a woman and a female artist. I really like it, I really like it. I'm really proud of us. I really, really am."
A BAFTA spokesperson told the BBC that the organisation was "engaged in a proactive and thoughtful consultation on this issue". The organisation behind the Oscars, the Academy, is also expected to conduct research and discussions on the issue. The debate on gender-neutral categories is gaining momentum: the Grammy Awards moved to gender-neutral awards as early as 2012, before the BRITs merged their male and female solo categories.
Emma Corrin, who stars in My Policeman, also called for greater representation in the industry itself, saying, "We can talk about awards and representation, but the conversation really needs to be about greater representation in the material itself, in the content we see for non-binary people, for queer people, for trans people, because I think that will change a lot. When those roles come out, which is when more people and actors are playing those roles, I think there will be more urgency to address those issues."
Emma Corrin will next star in a stage adaptation of Virginia Woolf's Orlando, a novel about a poet's long life as a sex changer. The play runs at the Garrick Theatre for three months from 26 November.
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