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Brit Awards 'to review male and female categories'

Photo: Getty Images

The Brits is reviewing the way it distributes awards for 2021 but has confirmed that male and female awards categories will remain for next year's ceremony.

It comes following reports over the weekend that gendered awards were being axed to accommodate non-binary artists, who do not identify as either male or female.

George Ezra took home the best male solo artist prize at the awards earlier this year, while Jorja Smith was named best female solo artist.

A story in The Sunday Times said organisers are considering abolishing the gendered categories, just days after previous winner Sam Smith asked fans to use the pronouns "they/ them" rather than "he/ him".

"After a lifetime of being at war with my gender I've decided to embrace myself for who I am, inside and out," Smith said in a statement on social media.

"I hope you can see me like I see myself now. Thank you."

The Brits has told Sky News it "100% confirms" there will be male and female awards in the UK and international categories at the 2020 ceremony. However, the groups will be reviewed for 2021 and there will be "significant" changes to the show.

Details of these changes have not been revealed.

Should it decide to go gender neutral, it would not be the first awards ceremony to do so.

The Grammy Awards got rid of male and female categories in 2012 and the MTV Movie Awards scrapped gendered categories in 2017, with Emma Watson becoming the first recipient of its best movie performance prize.

And the National Television Awards changed its best actor and actress categories to best drama performance and best serial drama performance 11 years ago, in 2008.

Emma Watson was the first star to receive MTV's best movie performance award, for her portrayal of Belle in Disney's live-action remake of Beauty And The Beast, in 2017.

"The first acting award in history that doesn't separate nominees based on their sex says something about how we perceive the human experience," Watson said in her acceptance speech.

"MTV's move to create a genderless award for acting will mean something different to everyone, but to me it indicates that 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.

"Empathy and the ability to use your imagination should have no limits. This is very meaningful to me."

Sky News

© Sky News 2019

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