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Emma Watson Wins MTV Movie & TV Awards First Gender-Neutral Honor

Some call honor blurring the line between actor and actress revolutionary, while others call it overly PC.

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And the best gender-less film award goes to… Emma Watson for her role in Beauty and the Beast.

Watson, who starred as the Disney princess Belle in the live-action movie, won MTV’s Best Actor in a Movie award on Sunday night. But this year’s award was slightly different from previous years’ honor: For the first time ever, both men and women had to compete in one category for the gender-neutral acting award.

Vanessa Whitewolf, co-executive producer of the Movie & TV Awards, said the intent was to eliminate gender barriers and create a level playing field where the acting can shine-not the gender.

“[Young viewers] just love good performances,” Whitewolf told MTV News. “They don’t care if it’s coming from a male or a female. When you think about it being divided by gender, it starts to feel really antiquated.”

Watson, an outspoken feminist, said she was honored to receive the award, and that acting should be more about experience than gender.

“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 during her acceptance speech. “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.”

Watson beat out Hugh Jackman (Logan) and James McAvoy (Split) for the award.

But not everyone was happy about MTV’s gender-neutral stance. Right-leaning British journalist Piers Morgan wrote in his Daily Mail column that the whole thing is “bloody bonkers” and called Watson a “rabid feminist.”

“Things are getting so ridiculous now, it won’t be long before Lady Gaga demands maternity units where it is forbidden to say if you have had a boy or girl because the baby is unable to ‘self-identify’,” he wrote.

Those comments unleashed a back and forth on Twitter from commentators with widely differing views on what the award means.

“Holy cow the triggered broflakes!,” tweeted one critic of the critcs. “Dudes everywhere are flipping out over Emma Watson and MTV’s genderless acting award.”