'Billions' star Asia Kate Dillon urges SAG awards to abolish gender-specific categories

Los Angeles, Jun 12 (PTI) 'Billions' star Asia Kate Dillon has written an essay urging SAG awards to abolish its gender-specific categories, arguing that acting performances should not be judged based on an individual's gender.

Dillon, who came out as non-binary in 2016, said the SAG Awards’ current categories are exclusionary to non-binary people.

“Separating people based on their assigned sex, and/or their gender identity, is not only irrelevant when it comes to how an acting performance should be judged, it is also a form of discrimination,” Dillon said in the essay, published by Variety.

“Not only do your current categories erase non-binary identities by limiting performers to identifying as male or female / man or womxn ( which not all SAG members, like myself, do), they also serve as an endorsement of the gender binary at large, which actively upholds other forms of discrimination, including racism, the patriarchy, and gender violence,' Dillon wrote.

The open letter was addressed to SAG-AFRTA’s SAG Awards committee members JoBeth Williams, Daryl Anderson, Jason George, Elizabeth McLaughlin, and Woody Schultz as they have been selected to serve on the 27th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards Motion Picture Nominating Committee.

Citing the example of the gender-neutral trophy won by Emma Watson at the MTV Movie & TV Awards in 2017, the 'Billions' star said making additional award categories for actors from underrepresented backgrounds is insufficient.

“In fact, Black, POC, indigenous, trans, and disabled womxn are still the most underrepresented groups at any awards show,” Dillon said in the essay.

“And yet, if SAG, or the Academy, or the Emmys, or the Critics Choice Awards, decided to combat that underrepresentation by creating Best Black/POC/Indigenous actress in a leading/supporting role, that action would resoundingly read as what it was: racist and discriminatory,” the actor added. PTI BK BK BK