It's Time For Award Shows To End Gender-Splitting Categories, Once And For All

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Golden Globes

When award show season comes around, it seems as though the conversation for the nominees is always about a lack of women recognition, and rightly so.

With the recent list of nominees having been released for the 2021 Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild Awards, it is clear that there are many women lacking in the categories that share both men and women nominees.

It also seems a bit outdated how there are several categories in these award shows that are split and separated by gender.

If they were to be merged back together, it would create the very definition of equality and it would be following in the steps of other smaller award shows that have merged the male and female categories.

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Having separate male female categories alienates those who identify as non-binary.

The division of male and female categories does not address the growing group of film professionals, actors, and audience members who don’t identify on the gender binary

This was brought to center stage when Billions star, Asia Kate Dillon, was the first openly nonbinary actor to play a nonbinary character on a major TV show. After being nominated for an Emmy for that role, Asia wrote a letter challenging the TV academy on gendered categories, which sparked an industry-wide conversation.

“... If the categories of ‘actor’ and ‘actress’ are in fact supposed to represent the ‘best performance by a person who identifies as a woman’ and ‘best performance by a person who identifies as a man’ then there is no room for my identity within that award system binary,” said Asia.

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Women directors made history as the nominees were announced for the 2021 Golden Globes.

For the first time in history, three women directors were nominated for best director — the first time more than one has been shortlisted in a single year.

Emerald Fennell, Chloe Zhao, and Regina King are up for the award, which had only previously nominated five women since the first show in 1944.

Last year’s Golden Globes show was quite the opposite story, though.

Despite having critically acclaimed and highly anticipated movies directed by women, none were nominated for best director. These critically acclaimed movies included Booksmart, Little Women, and A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.

It is no secret that men — specifically white men — dominate the award shows.

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However, over the past couple of years, that trend has seen a decrease, as more people of color and women are both nominated for more awards and included in the voting members list.

According to the LA Times, in 2012, the Oscar voters were 94% white and 77% male.

Since then, the backlash from the public has positively affected those percentages. They did this by increasing the number of voters on the list. That number went from 6,261 to 8,469, which included many female and Black members.

It's time for a change, once and for all.

As much as it is great to have so many categories and to see so many actors being recognized for their work, it’s about time we merged the gender-split categories and bring some equality to an already unequal industry.

Will we be able to see a shared stage between male and female actors and directors in the near future?

With some award shows already merging the categories separated by gender, we may start to see a trend as more people of color and women become recognized for their talented work on the big screen.

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Tomás Diniz Santos is a writer living in Orlando, Florida. He covers news, entertainment, and pop-culture topics.