Sam Mendes is opening up about how he feels about gender-neutral awards and what he thinks about award shows in general.

During a recent interview, the Empire of Light director was asked about Emma Corrin’s call to eliminate gender from award shows.

“I have total sympathy with it, yeah, and I think it might well be inevitable in the end,” he said in the BBC interview. “I think that’s the way it’s moving and I think that it’s perfectly reasonable.”

Mendes who won an Oscar in the year 2000 for his directorial work on American Beauty and a BAFTA Award for 1917, has a practical look at what the real purpose of awards are for.

“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,” he continued. “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.”

When the BBC reporter said he was seemingly dismissing the accolades he had received in the past, Mendes 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 the shop window but they’re not the thing itself.”

Corrin, who identifies as non-binary and uses they/them pronouns, plays Diana, Princess of Wales, in The Crown. She is nominated for a Golden Globe award for her work on The Policeman in the Best Actress — Television Series Drama category. Corrin told BBC News that she hoped for a future where gender-neutral awards were prevalent.

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

At the time of her nomination for the Golden Globes, Corrin had not come out yet and still accepted she/her pronouns.

“It’s difficult for me at the moment trying to justify in my head being non-binary and being nominated in female categories,” Corrin added. “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?”


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