Gender-neutral Oscars now 'inevitable' claims top film director Sam Mendes

Sam Mendes told the BBC that he thinks gender-neutral categories at awards are 'inevitable'
Sam Mendes told the BBC that he thinks gender-neutral categories at awards are 'inevitable'

Film director Sam Mendes says gender-neutral award categories are ‘inevitable’

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Sam Mendes has said he believes that it’s “inevitable” that awards such as the Oscars and Baftas will move to gender-neutral categories in the future.

Mr Mendes, whose work includes the James Bond films Skyfall and Spectre, admitted that it’s “perfectly reasonable” to remove gendered categories.

He told the BBC: “I have totally sympathy with it, yeah, and I think it might well be inevitable in the end. Because I think that’s the way it’s moving, and I think it’s perfectly reasonable.”

The director went on to explain how award shows are mostly about “selling” movies in a TV show style programme.

Director Sam Mendes says it's 'perfectly reasonable' for awards to scrap gender categories
Director Sam Mendes says it's 'perfectly reasonable' for awards to scrap gender categories

He continued: “For me, people forget with awards, I think this happens all the time, they use it as a bellwether for the industry, but the truth is awards are a TV show.

“Awards are there to promote films. If that film wins an award, I’m more likely to go and see it, and that’s what you’re doing there.

“It's not about yourself, it's not about the art or craft of the industry, especially, it's about selling films.”

The Empire of Light director, who won an Oscar in 2000 for American Beauty insisted that he wasn’t disregarding the awards he has won previously.

He added: “I’m not dismissing the importance of them but I’m saying they were there to promote films and the craft and art of films. They’re a shop window but they’re not the thing itself.”

The Crown actor Emma Corrin, who identifies as non-binary, previously called for gender categories to be abolished in a bid to make award shows more inclusive of performers who don’t identify as female or male.

Sam Mendes won an Oscar in 2000 for American Beauty
Sam Mendes won an Oscar in 2000 for American Beauty

She said: “I hope for a future in which that happens. I don’t think the categories are inclusive enough at the moment.

“It’s about everyone being able to feel acknowledged and represented.

“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?"