Beauty and the Beast

Big Wins for the LGBTQ+ Community at the 2017 MTV Movie Awards

The MTV Movie & TV Awards (formerly MTV Movie Awards) aired last night from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles and the night was quite incredible for the LGBTQ+ community. 

Moonlight’s same-sex couple, Chiron and Kevin (played by Ashton Sanders and Jharrel Jerome), took home the MTV award for Best Kiss for their beach-scene kiss in the 2016 groundbreaking film about the coming-of-age story of a black boy struggling to embrace his queer masculinity while growing up in Liberty City, Miami.

“I think it’s safe to say that it’s okay for us young performers, especially for us minority performers, for us to step out of the box … and do whatever it takes to tell the story.”

-       Jharrel Jerome 

“This award is bigger than Jharrel and I. This represents more than a kiss. This is for those who feel like the others. The misfits.”

-       Ashton Sanders

This crowning comes as the fifth-ever same-sex win in the category which was first awarded in 2000 to Cruel Intentions with other notable winners in the years since, such as American Pie 2 (2002) and Brokeback Mountain (2006); however, this isn’t the only win worth celebrating for the LGBTQ+ community as RuPaul’s Drag Race took home the award for Best Reality Competition. The newly branded awards ceremony also instituted gender-neutral awards for the first time allowing female and male nominees to face off against each other.

While emotionally bringing everyone to tears, 13-year-old Mille Bobby Brown accepted the first-ever award for the gender-neutral Best Actor in a Show category for her performance as Eleven in Stranger Things, and Emma Watson took home the first gender-neutral award for Best Actor in a Movie for her lead role as Belle in Disney’s live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast – a film that received a lot of praise and criticism for its inclusion of an LGBTQ+ character (Le Fou). In a particularly special moment, Emma was presented her award by Asia Kate Dillon who plays Taylor – TV’s first ever gender non-binary (all genders others than female/male or woman/man) character – on Billions.

“MTV’s move to create a genderless award for acting will mean something different to everyone. To me, it indicates that acting is about the ability to put yourself into someone else’s shoes and that doesn’t need to be separated into two different categories.”

-       Emma Watson

You can check out her full acceptance speech here:

Congratulations to all of last night’s winners!