The Last of Us star Bella Ramsey “uncomfortable” with gendered awards categories

Ellie (Bella Ramsey) in The Last of Us Episode 9. Photograph by Liane Hentscher/HBO
Ellie (Bella Ramsey) in The Last of Us Episode 9. Photograph by Liane Hentscher/HBO /

Bella Ramsey broke out as the fierce Lady Lyanna Mormont on Game of Thrones, but it wasn’t until she starred as Ellie in HBO’s zombie drama The Last of Us that she became something of a household name. She was fantastic, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see her among the contenders when Emmy nominations are announced in July.

Ramsey has submitted herself in the “Best Actress” category, which is a bit of a sticky situation for her because she is a nonbinary actor who uses both “she/her” and “they/them” pronouns. “The categories at the moment feel extremely gendered with the language around them,” Ramsey told Vanity Fair for a story about a movement to remake awards categories.

Ramsey said that she considered following the example of Yellowjackets star Liv Hewson and withdrawing her name from consideration, but ultimately decided against it. “I don’t want the limitations in terms of the language in the categories to be a reason that nonbinary actors like me can’t be celebrated,” Ramsey said.  “And it can open up a conversation about how it feels – as long as I’m aware of the fact that it’s not ideal, but also that finding alternatives is really complex.”

Bella Ramsey wants to start a conversation about reshaping awards categories

Personally, I’ve thought for years that awards shows should just have “Best Actor” categories that include men, women, and nonbinary people; I don’t see how the acting work of men and women is so different that it requires separate categories. If nothing else, it would make some of these infamously long awards shows a little more bearable in terms of time management.

“For [nonbinary and nonconforming people] to have a say and be part of those discussions and those conversations, that’s really important,” Ramsey continued. “I just hope there’s more space for nonbinary people to be recognized within [future] categories.”

Nominations for this year’s Emmys will be announced on July 12. The ceremony itself will air on September 18.

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h/t Digital Spy