As fans patiently await the arrival of MTV's annual Video Music Awards on Sunday, Aug. 27, many may be wondering exactly why the network decided to change the "Moonman" trophy to "Moon Person." The award modification comes as part of MTV's ongoing push for inclusion within the entertainment industry. During a recent interview with the New York Times, MTV president, Chris McCarthy shed light on the reason for the astronaut trophy's gender neutral update and explained,
“Why should it be a man? It could be a man, it could be a woman, it could be transgender, it could be nonconformist.”
The change follows MTV's elimination of gender-specific categories at the 2017 MTV Movie and TV Awards — an initiative that will also roll over into the upcoming 2017 MTV VMAs, which will be hosted by Katy Perry. Over the years, the trophy has remained an ubiquitous aspect of the ceremony and has, in turn, become somewhat synonymous with the yearly event since the Video Music Awards' inception in 1984.
The metallic statuette, which MTV indicates was designed to complement the network's moon landing theme that was broadcasted during its birth back in 1981, features a silver astronaut balancing on one leg with a footprint beneath the figurine's raised limb. The impression was added as an homage to Neil Armstrong's famous quote, “One giant step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” according to a previous MTV interview with one of the statue's inventors, Pat Gorman.
As the revolutionary network continues this inclusive effort, Billboard reported that McCarthy also announced MTV's plan to introduce a new reality series about a group of gender-nonconforming teenagers entitled We Are They in the near future.
And with MTV continuing to make strides in terms of breaking down gender barriers within the realm of entertainment and awards ceremonies, it's easy to see that the VMAs' revamped "Moon Person" will become the new symbol of the network's embodiment of real world diversity.