Ayushmann Khurrana Lauds Berlin Film Festival For Introducing Gender-Neutral Awards, Says Indian Award Shows Should Follow Suit!
It is understood that money is one of the biggest motivators in life. And when it’s the kind that puts stars in your eyes, people tend to go above and beyond to put in their best. And if there is anything that comes close to channeling that kind of enthusiasm and desire to be better, it is recognition. Often urging people to go that extra mile, when they know their talent could win them a reward for all of their hardwork and passion, perhaps that is the reason why award shows are always and still a hit among people, especially in the Bollywood industry.
Not just a stage to come and perform on to the latest numbers, but a platform where you run with the big dogs, but also where your performance is pitched against the best in the business, and these award shows are one of the biggest validations celebrities take away for their work. And for decades, every category has awarded two people for great work in their field- for each gender. Something Badhaai Ho actor Ayushmann Khurrana seeks to bring down.
He said, “Gender-neutral awards should become the norm. I wholeheartedly laud the Berlin Film Festival’s decision to award gender-neutral recognitions and I hope all film festivals across the world and India follow suit.” A strong suggestion that not only makes sense, but the entire process of recognising and admiring a person for their talent, whatever their gender is so much more egalitarian.
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He further went on to say, “We are all actors at the end of the day and gender divisions only highlight the long prevalent divisive nature of societies. Thus, it is important that gender-neutral awards should become the norm when it comes to adjudicating the best work in a year.”
Continuing further he went on, “Gender divisions are too deep rooted and the film industry can really do their bit to champion change. Gendered awards, according to me, are totally outdated and should be scrapped. I seriously hope all award functions in India take a step in the right direction and do what is the most obvious thing towards having a more progressive society. For me, good performances are good performances and they should be seen without the gender lens.” And we couldn’t help but nod in agreement, because at the end of the day, actors need to be remembered for their work and not their gender.
Ayushmann was also not the first one to suggest gender-neutral awards, many actors and actresses in the west have too come forward to voice their opinion for change, trying to bring down these unnecessary gender walls. Billions star, Kate Dillon said, “What I learned through my research is that the word ‘actor,’ specifically in reference to those who performed in plays, came about in the late 1500s as a non-gendered word. It applied to all people, regardless of anatomical sex or gender identity,” and if today we can seek to promote and celebrate performances, why must we do it based on the sex of someone?
Having opened a bigger dialogue, we hope that the Andhadhun actor’s two cents are taken seriously to quash the deep-rooted fetish people have with gender.