Emma Watson took home the first Golden Popcorn of the evening with a win for Best Actor in a Movie at the MTV Movie & TV Awards on Sunday night. Watson won the award for her performance as Belle in Beauty and the Beast, and the actor and activist chose to use her acceptance speech to praise MTV for making the acting category genderless. Emma Watson's MTV Movie & TV Awards acceptance speech is already one of the best moments of the show — and it's just gotten started.
For the first time in MTV history, the category for Best Actor was not separated by gender — Watson was nominated alongside Taraji P. Henson (Hidden Figures), Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out), Hugh Jackman (Logan), James McAvoy (Split), and Hailee Steinfeld (The Edge of Seventeen). This gender-inclusive category meant a lot to Watson, a known feminist activist, who made it a focal point of her speech. "Firstly, I feel I have to say something about the award itself. 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. "Acting is about the ability to put yourself into someone else's shoes, and that doesn't have to be separated into two different categories."
"Empathy, and the ability to use your imagination, should have no limits," Watson added. Watson also gave a quick thank you to presenter Asia Kate Dillon, an actor who identifies as non-binary and plays a groundbreaking non-binary character on Billions. Finally, Watson paid tribute to her character, Belle. "I'm so proud to be a part of a film that celebrates diversity, literacy, inclusion, joy, and love the way that this one does," she said.
The night was big for Watson, who also helped Beauty and the Beast accept the golden popcorn for Movie of the Year. Congrats to the talented star!