In an interview with BBC News, the 26-year-old non-binary actor — who uses they/them pronouns — spoke about the awards shows becoming more inclusive.
“I hope for a future in which that happens,” they said. “I don’t think the categories are inclusive enough at the moment.”
They continued, “It’s about everyone being able to feel acknowledged and represented.”
Emma’s career took off after their portrayal of Princess Diana in Season 4 of The Crown. They won a 2021 Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress In A Television Series – Drama and received an Emmy nomination for the same role. Emma was not using they/them pronouns at this time.
Today, Emma’s concerned if there’s truly a place for them in the current categories of the major awards shows based on their most recent roles.
“It’s difficult for me at the moment trying to justify in my head being non-binary and being nominated in female categories.”
“When it comes to categories, do we need to make it specific as to whether you’re being nominated for a female role or a male role?” Emma asked. “You can discuss awards and the representation there, but really the conversation needs to be about having more representation in the material itself, in the content that we are seeing for non-binary people, for queer people, for trans people, because then I think that will change a lot.”
They also have become an outspoken celebrity voice for the non-binary community. Earlier this year, Emma opened up about their journey with gender, sexuality, and coming out as queer. “In my mind, gender just isn’t something that feels fixed, and I don’t know if it ever will be; there might always be some fluidity there for me.”
Several film honors, like the British Independent Film Awards and the Gotham Awards, have eliminated gender-specific acting categories. However, the debate is still ongoing for awards shows like BAFTA and the Academy Awards.
But, Emma believes change is around the corner. “When those parts come up, meaning more people and more actors are playing those roles, then I think there will be more of an urgency with which these questions will be addressed.”