Showtime’s “Yellowjackets” features a large cast of Emmy-notable actors, from established stars like Melanie Lynskey and Christina Ricci to up-and-comers like Jasmin Savoy Brown and Sophie Nélisse playing their younger counterparts. But one cast member, Liv Hewson, ruled herself out of the running because of the gender categories at the Television Academy Awards.
Hewson, a non-binary Australian actor known for his work on Netflix’s “Santa Clarita Diet.” Species that they decided not to submit to the Emmys. Hewson opted out of the submission because it would be in either the Supporting Actor or Supporting Actress category for a drama, since all Emmy categories are split between male and female honorees.
“I have no place in the acting categories,” Hewson told Variety. “It would be inaccurate to sign myself as an actress. It doesn’t make sense for me to be among the boys. It’s pretty easy and not that loaded. I cannot submit to this because there is no place for me.”
Showtime previously planned to submit Hewson, who plays a cisgender female character in the series, in the drama category for supporting actress. However, in a meeting with the network and members of the show’s production, Hewson shared their decision not to apply, saying that their cast mates and crew were “incredibly supportive” of the decision.
Gendered acting categories have become somewhat of a contentious issue in recent years as the number of openly non-binary actors in Hollywood has increased. In 2020, “Billions” star Asia Kate Dillon published an open letter asking the Screen Actor Guild Awards Committee to consider removing gender categories from the ceremony; the organization eventually declined. Several awards bodies, such as the 2021 Gotham Awards and the 2022 Independent Spirit Awards, have moved toward gender-neutral acting categories in recent years, adding 10 nominees to the field.
Hewson also told Variety that some are concerned that the gendered acting categories will result in less recognition for female performers as male actors dominate the nominations. Hewson argued against the lack of gender categories for directors or other behind-the-scenes positions.
“There is an implicit fatalism here, suggesting that we all agree that equality is impossible. And that’s sad,” Hewson said. “We are not going to start awarding the best female and male director, or female or male cinematographer. “Because we all understand that would be implicitly offensive. You can keep things as they are – I’m just not involved.