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‘The Crown’ Star Calls for Change to Acting Awards

Emma Corrin in 'The Crown'

The Crown star Emma Corrin, who played Princess Diana in the third and fourth seasons of Netflix’s royal drama, has called for the best actor and best actress categories at major film awards to be merged into a single, gender-free one.

“I hope for a future in which that happens,” Corrin told BBC News. “I don’t think the categories are inclusive enough at the moment.”

As a non-binary actor themselves, Corrin continued that it’s important that everyone should be “able to feel acknowledge and represented”. The 26-year-old has previously won a Golden Globe and an Emmy nomination for their work in The Crown Season 4, but at a time when they were still accepting she/her pronouns.

The organisations behind the Baftas and Oscars have indicated they are engaged in discussions about gender-neutral awards. This echoes change in the music industry, with the Grammys going gender-neutral in 2012 and the Brit Awards merging their male and female solo categories into an artist of the year category in 2022.

Speaking about their appearance in two high-profile films this year, My Policeman and Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Corrin said that “it’s difficult for me at the moment trying to justify in my head being non-binary and being nominated in female categories”.

“When it comes to categories, do we need to make it specific as to whether you’re being nominated for a female role or a male role?” Corrin questioned. “You can discuss awards and the representation there, but really the conversation needs to be about having more representation in the material itself, in the content that we are seeing for non-binary people, for queer people, for trans people, because then I think that will change a lot.

“When those parts come up, meaning more people and more actors are playing those roles then I think there will be more of an urgency with which these questions will be addressed.”

Rhaenyra Targaryen in final shot of 'House of the Dragon'

Corrin is not the only actor for whom this may be a problem. House of the Dragon star, Emma D’Arcy, also uses they/they pronouns and is non-binary, but was nominated for lead actress after the storming success of their first season as Rhaenyra Targaryen.

While D’Arcy hasn’t voiced any complaints about being entered in the female category, it does beg the question of whether the time has come for gender-neutral awards inn more fields.

Indeed, a Bafta spokesperson said the organisation was “engaged in proactive and thoughtful consultation on this subject”. Similarly, the Academy is reportedly also looking into whether changes should be made to the Oscars.

(featured image: Netflix)

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