Emma Watson delivered a powerful speech on gender while accepting the first award of the evening at the 2017 MTV Awards on Sunday, May 7. The actress took home the first-ever gender-neutral award for Best Actor in Film and TV for her performance in Beauty and the Beast.
“The first acting award in history that doesn’t separate nominees based on their sex says something about how we perceive the human experience,” Watson, who stunned in a black sequined dress, said. “MTV’s move to create a genderless award for acting will mean something different to everyone. But 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.”
The British star, 27, also gave actor Asia Kate Dillon a shout-out while accepting her golden popcorn, thanking her for educating her in an “inclusive and loving” way. She went on to say it’s Belle who is the true winner.
“I think I’m being given this award because of who Belle is and what she represents,” Watson concluded. “The villagers in our fairytale wanted to make Belle believe the world was smaller than the way that she saw it, with fewer opportunities for her … I love playing someone who didn’t listen to any of that.”
Watch the video above.