The Last Of Us star recently responded to a post by Jameela Jamil on the topic


A few weeks ago for a feature with Vanity Fair, Bella Ramsey commented on their discomfort around gendered award categories. This was largely met with backlash on social media as some folks took it as an opportunity to invalidate Bella’s gender identity. However, Bella’s “gay army” came to their defense quickly as this is a debate that does require attention across the awards industry – it is not simply about wanting to win awards, but about non-binary actors deserving to have their community’s existence acknowledged.

In the Vanity Fair interview Bella stated, “I don’t want the limitations in terms of the language in the categories to be a reason that nonbinary actors like me can’t be celebrated”, and many other non-binary actors (like Liv Hewson of Yellowjackets and Emma Corrin of The Crown) have been speaking out about the issue.

Two days ago, Jameela Jamil took to Instagram to raise her thoughts and concerns about restructuring awards categories.

Her main worry was that if gendered categories are reduced to one gender-neutral “Actor” category, the misogyny that is prevalent in the industry might lead to women and non-binary people not being recognised for their work at all.

Many people who identify as non-binary commented on this post – some suggesting that it isn’t her place to publicly discuss this issue, some who believe that the best option is still to have one “Actor” category, and many who feel that a third category solely for non-binary people is invalidating as it misrepresents non-binary identity as a third gender.

All in all, there were very few suggestions as to how awards categories can be inclusive of non-binary people, without misogyny reducing the chances of women and non-binary people being celebrated for their work.

Bella shared their perspective on the debate, “I feel weird about there being a whole new category. I think it’s more about language… I would love the award categories to be “Actress/Non-Binary Performer” and “Actor/Non-Binary Performer” then the performer can be submitted into their preferred category. It’s not a perfect solution, but that’s my take on it. I think it’s more about making us feel seen and included rather than being categorised.”

Bella posted their comment on their Instagram story, and tagged the Academy Awards, the Emmys, the BAFTAs, the Golden Globes, the SAG Awards and the Critics’ Choice Awards, in an effort to open up the conversation.

After Bella’s comment on Jameela’s post, there was speculation that the two were in an argument, but Jameela cleared up these rumours by sharing the following statement on her story: “To anyone who thinks myself and Bella Ramsey are at odds, we are not, we are DMing really lovely messages and just discussing it together as everyone should because we are all in this together. They are lovely and wonderful and I love that they are saying what they think is best. It is so needed. I am deferential to whoever is most qualified to make this decision…”

This is clearly a very complex issue, so let’s hope that awards ceremonies are paying attention to these conversations to come up with solutions.

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