Emmys will now allow an actor or actress to be identified simply as a ‘performer’

An Emmys statuette
Emmys statuettes — as well as nominee certificates — will offer the option of a nongendered label, “performer,” starting with the 2021 awards.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

The Television Academy is making a move toward gender inclusivity — and documentary exclusivity.

The organization behind the Primetime Emmy Awards announced a couple of rule changes Monday, including one applying to its various actor and actress categories. The nominees and winners in those categories can now choose to be identified as “performer” on their nomination certificate and on any Emmy statuette that might follow.

In other words, the categories will stay the same, but individuals will have more flexibility on self-identification within those categories, starting with the 2021 honors.


In contrast to the Emmys, the Screen Actors Guild Awards already refers to all of its nominees as actors, adding the words “male” or “female” to establish distinct categories.

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The TV Academy, which will hold its 2021 awards ceremony in September, also announced that starting in 2022, it won’t be interested in Oscars’ cast-off documentaries.

“Any film placed on the AMPAS viewing platform will be deemed a theatrical motion picture and thus ineligible for the Emmy competition,” the academy said in a release.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which stages the Academy Awards each year, opened its Academy Screening Room in 2019. The secure, members-only viewing platform charges filmmakers $12,500 per submission to include their work for awards consideration.

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