LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (MAY 7, 2017) (MTV) – Diversity and inclusion took center stage at the MTV Movie and TV awards on Sunday (May 7), with non-gendered acting categories, speeches about social and political issues and the Best Kiss prize going to an on-screen smooch between two teenaged boys.
MTV did away with the Best Actor and Best Actress categories this year for its fan-voted awards, and both prizes were won by women. “Beauty and the Beast” star Emma Watson took best actor in a movie, which was presented by non-binary actor Asia Kate Dillon.
“Acting is about the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and that doesn’t need to be separated into two different categories,” Watson said.
“Stranger Things” newcomer Millie Bobby Brown, 13, won best actor in a show and thanked Matt Duffer and Ross Duffer, the twin brothers behind the show, for creating a “badass female iconic character.”
MTV’s annual fan-voted, youth-orientated awards show has been known in the past for its irreverent moments, explicit jokes and unconventional award categories. But this year’s show saw presenters and winners get passionate about issues on stage.
U.S. Representative Maxine Waters presented the award for Best Fight Against the System with actress Tracee Ellis Ross. Ross thanked the congresswoman for her work.
“Thank you for your voice and how you use it and thank you for being an extraordinary example for all of us, especially in these times,” she said.
The award went to “Hidden Figures,” the story of three black female NASA mathematicians.
“The message of the movie is togetherness. Like, I hate the separatism, I hate that it’s man versus woman, black versus white, gay versus straight. Whatever, we’re all humans, right?” said actress Taraji P. Henson, accepting the award.
The Best Kiss award went to a tender moment between two teenage boys played by Ashton Sanders and Jharrel Jerome in the Oscar-winning film “Moonlight,” and Sanders dedicated the win to “those who feel like the others, the misfits.”
Comedian Trevor Noah took the Best Host award and jokingly thanked President Donald Trump for “the comedy.” He also thanked the French people for choosing centrist Emmanuel Macron over the far-right Marine Le Pen in the country’s presidential election.
Streaming platform Netflix enjoyed the night’s biggest spotlight when its 1980s sci-fi series “Stranger Things” won the inaugural Show of the Year award.
“Thank you to Netflix, where would we be without Netflix?” “Stranger Things” star Caleb McLaughlin said on stage.
Disney’s live-action fairytale “Beauty and the Beast” won Best Movie and director Bill Condon thanked the female audience, saying “women have proven that they are huge and powerful audience and it’s going to change the movie business.”
“Logan” stars Hugh Jackman and newcomer Dafne Keen won Best Duo, “Get Out” star Daniel Kaluuya won the Next Generation award, while NBC family drama “This is Us” won Best Tearjerker.
The MTV Generation Award went to the “Fast and Furious” action franchise and star Vin Diesel thanked “a generation that was willing to accept this multicultural franchise where it didn’t matter what color your skin was or what country you’re from – when you’re family, you’re family.”