Talent beyond boundaries

Talent knows no boundaries, so why should awards for outstanding acting performances be confined to specific gender identities? That’s the question that Asia Kate Dillon posed in a recent letter to the Television Academy.

According to Women in the World, Dillon — the non-binary star of the Showtime hit series, “Billions” — wrote a letter to the Television Academy after network executives, wanting to submit their performance for Emmy award consideration, asked which category they wanted to be included in.

That’s when Dillon composed a letter to the Academy, says Women in the World, asking “whether the terms ‘actor’ and ‘actress’ were meant to ‘denote anatomy or identity.'”

“The reason I’m hoping to engage you in a conversation about this is because if the categories of ‘actor’ and ‘actress’ are in fact supposed to represent ‘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,” Dillon wrote, according to Women in the World. “Furthermore, if the categories of ‘actor’ and ‘actress’ are meant to denote assigned sex I ask, respectfully, why is that necessary?”

The response from the Academy offered that their guidelines allow for anyone to submit their work to any category, and that’s exactly what Dillon did, says Women in the World, choosing to enter the category of ‘best actor’ — a term Dillon found to have a non-gendered history dating back to the 1500s.

Here’s hoping Dillon’s actions are the first of many more inclusive moves to come.

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