Sir Sam Mendes backs calls for gender-neutral awards

Sir Sam Mendes backs calls for gender-neutral awards

Sir Sam Mendes thinks it is "inevitable" that awards shows will move to gender-neutral categories.

The 'Empire of Light' director thinks it is "perfectly reasonable" to scrap separate male and female categories when it comes to giving out honours in order to make the film industry more inclusive.

He told the BBC: “I have total sympathy with it, yeah, and I think it might well be inevitable in the end.

"I think that’s the way it’s moving and I think that it’s perfectly reasonable.”

The 57-year-old filmmaker- who won an Oscar in 2000 for 'American Beauty' and a BAFTA for '1917' in 2020 - insisted awards shows are mainly about "selling" movies and entertaining viewers with a TV show.

He added: “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.

“You know, 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.”

But Sam insisted he wasn't dismissing the accolades he has received in the past.

He continued:

“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 the shop window but they’re not the thing itself.”

Sam's comments come after Emma Corrin - who identifies as non-binary and used gender-neutral pronouns - previously called for gender to be abolished at awards ceremonies.

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

“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?”