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TV Academy to Allow Acting Nominees to Opt for Non-Gendered Description, Bans All Oscar-Eligible Docs – The Hollywood Reporter


In response to calls from some quarters to eliminate gendered acting categories in recognition of wider spectrum of genders beyond males and females, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences said on Monday that, beginning with this year’s Emmy nominations, it will invite people who are nominated for acting awards to opt to be recognized as a “performer,” rather than an “actor” or “actress.”

In other words, the categories themselves will not be changing names, but the description of the nominees will become a bit more malleable.

“No performer category titled ‘Actor’ or ‘Actress’ has ever had a gender requirement for submissions,” the Academy said in a statement, somewhat confusingly. “Now, nominees and (or) winners in any performer category titled ‘Actor’ or ‘Actress’ may request that their nomination certificate and Emmy statuette carry the term ‘Performer’ in place of Actor or Actress.”

Additionally and unrelatedly, the TV Academy has declared that any film that is even entered for the best documentary feature or best documentary short Oscars will, starting next Emmy season, be ineligible for Emmy recognition. This appears to be a response to criticisms raised by yours truly in 2020 and in 2021, namely, that the organization’s decision — announced in May 2020 and taking effect in 2021 — to refuse to consider docs that were nominated for an Oscar, but to still consider docs that pursued an Oscar nomination but were not nominated, made no sense. Why would the Emmys want the Oscars’ leftovers?

Monday’s statement reads, “Any film placed on the AMPAS viewing platform will be deemed a theatrical motion picture and thus ineligible for the Emmy competition.”