AceShowbiz - The Emmy Awards nominees and winners will now have the option to use the gender-neutral term "performer."
America's Television Academy's Board of Governors has confirmed nominees in the Best Actress or Best Actor awards can choose to be called a "performer" rather than an actor or an actress when the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards take place in September (21) this year.
They said in a statement on their website, "No performer category titled 'Actor' or 'Actress' has ever had a gender requirement for submissions. Now, nominees and (or) winners in any performer category titled 'Actor' or 'Actress' may request that their nomination certificate and Emmy statuette carry the term 'Performer' in place of Actor or Actress."
The move comes amid a years-long debate over how to accommodate gender-neutral performers at awards shows.
In 2017, actor Asia Kate Dillon, who is non-binary, asked the TV Academy to clarify its gender distinctions.
The star of drama "Billions" later decided to be entered into the supporting actor category at the Emmys.
And in March, British singer Sam Smith, who is also non-binary, said they looked forward to a time when awards shows were "reflective of the society we live in" after the Brit Awards decided not to scrap gendered categories for the 2021 ceremony despite facing pressure to do away with its male and female-specific awards.
The MTV Movie & TV Awards went gender-neutral in 2017.
Meanwhile, the academy also announced that, from 2022, films entered into the best documentary feature or best documentary short category at the Oscars will be ineligible at the Emmys.
Nominations for the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards will be announced on 13 July, with the ceremony on 19 September (21).