The Talker: Are award show actor and actress categories sexist? - New York News

The Talker: Are award show actor and actress categories sexist?

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

If you've ever watched the Oscars, the SAG awards, or the Golden Globes, you know two of the big moments are when the winners for "Best Actor" and "Best Actress" are announced, but here's an interesting question: is it sexist to have the men and women in separate categories?

Some in Hollywood say yes and they're pushing to combine the categories. At the Golden Globes, Jessica Chastain earned "Best Actress" for her performance in "Zero Dark Thirty." Daniel Day Lewis won "Best Actor for his work in "Lincoln." But, under a revised system, only one of them would win.

It makes sense on a number of levels. Women and men are certainly both capable of being equally amazing at acting. There are no separate Nobel Prize awards for men and women and even within the film industry, the behind-the-scenes categories like directing and screen writing are combined. So, why not acting too?

There's actually a compelling argument for why not. Sally Field and Naomi Watts have pointed it out. They say men get so many more of the starting roles in Hollywood that if the categories were combined, women would hardly ever win, if at all.

There's research to back up their point. One study looked at the top 100 money-making films of 2011. It found that all of the anchors in all of the movies--about two-thirds of them--were men. Just about one-third were women. The award for "Best Director" has been around since 1929, but a woman never won it until 2010, when Kathryn Bigelow won for "The Hurt Locker."

One Hollywood observer said the categories will never be combined. He said award shows are looking to add categories in order to get more glamour and glitz on television. Nicki Minaj of "American Idol" thinks the current system is just more fun. She said, "you see all those divas in the audience looking pretty and they all want to beat each other out. It's entertainment."

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