Asia Kate Dillon, a performer best known for their roles as the Adjudicator in the action film John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, Brandy Epps in Orange is the New Black and Taylor Mason in Billions, has asked the Screen Actors Guild to remove the gendered categories from its various awards.
When the organization asked Dillion to partake in their next nominating committee, the performer said they would do so only if this request was honored. In an interview with Variety, Dillion said how, upon receiving SAG’s invitation, they penned a lengthy reply explaining their position.
“Separating people based on their assigned sex,” they wrote, “and/or their gender identity, is not only irrelevant when it comes to how an acting performance should be judged, it is also a form of discrimination.”
Dillon, who began identifying as non-binary some years ago, went on to say the gendered categories that the organization currently maintains do not accommodate for performers who do not identify as either male or female, and also serve to disenfranchise actors of color.
By endorsing a traditional understanding of gender, Dillon went on to say SAG “actively upholds other forms of discrimination” such as racism, the patriarchy and gender violence. Before ending the reply, Dillion also noted that these binary categories have provided difficulty for performers who are trans or have a disability from receiving recognition for their work.
This is not the first time Dillon has entered dialogue with the awards industry. When Showtime wanted to nominate them for an Emmy in 2017, Dillion reached out to the committee to discuss the possibility of making their categories gender-neutral.
As frustrated as the Billions star is with the deeply-entrenched traditions of Hollywood, they ended their letter on a hopeful note. Reflecting on the time they presented the first gender-neutral award to Emma Watson some years ago, Asia Kate Dillion reminds readers that they’re paving the road to a new and more inclusive future.