Emma Corrin calls for gender neutral awards: “It’s about everyone being able to feel acknowledged and represented”

The star added they/them pronouns to their Instagram bio earlier this year

Emma Corrin has said that they “hope for a future” where the best actor and best actress categories at major awards are merged into a single gender-neutral category.

Speaking to BBC News, the star, who added they/them pronouns to their Instagram bio earlier this year, argued that the categories aren’t inclusive enough “at the moment”. “It’s about everyone being able to feel acknowledged and represented,” they said.

“It’s difficult for me at the moment trying to justify in my head being non-binary and being nominated in female categories,” Corrin added. They won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Emmy for their performance as the young Princess Diana in season four of The Crown.


They acknowledged the complication that could occur when it comes to non-binary actors playing roles that match the gender they were assigned at birth. “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?” they said.

Emma Corrin as Princess Diana in The Crown
Emma Corrin as Princess Diana in The Crown. Photo: Des Willie/Netflix

“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.”

A BAFTA spokesperson said the organisation was “engaged in proactive and thoughtful consultation on this subject”. The organisation behind the Oscars, the Academy, is also believed to be conducting research and holding discussions on the issue.

There has been a keen debate in the arts world about gender neutral awards categories in the last few years. The BRITs removed gendered categories for the first time this year, while the Grammys have been gender neutral since 2012.


Currently, only a few film awards have introduced gender neutral categories for actors, including the British Independent Film Awards, the Berlin Film Festival, the Gotham Awards and most recently the Independent Spirit Awards.

Corrin is currently starring as the titular character in a stage adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, which opens at London’s Garrick Theatre tonight (November 26) and runs until February 2023. In the story, Orlando is born as a man in the 16th century and later transforms into a woman, ending up in the 20th century.

They have said, however, that they are still willing to play female roles despite being non binary. “My being non-binary is not a rejection of femininity or my femininity in any way. It’s sort of an embrace of that. I still want to play women, my experience on this earth has been a female one – and now it’s sort of a very fluid one.”

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