Yellowjackets may be one of the more popular series to hit screens of late, but as awards season approaches, non-binary actor Liv Hewson is choosing to sit out the Emmys.
The 27-year-old actor currently has a starring role in the hit Showtime drama Yellowjackets, alongside veteran actresses Christina Ricci and Juliette Lewis.
Set in the 90s, the psychological thriller/horror series focuses on the stories of a group of female high school soccer players who survive a plane crash in the Canadian wilderness.
The series oscillates between showing the girls’ dramatic descent into cannibalistic clans following the crash, as well as showing the survivors’ lives 20 years afterward.
Hewson portrays the teenage version of Vanessa Palmer – known as Van to her friends – in the series.
In a recent interview with Variety, however, they revealed to the outlet that they’ve decided to sit this year’s Emmys out – and won’t be submitting themselves for an award despite being eligible in the main acting races – because of the Television Academy’s separation of acting categories into male and female.
“There’s not a place for me in the acting categories,” Hewson – who also starred alongside Drew Barrymore in the Santa Clarita Diet – told the outlet. “It would be inaccurate for me to submit myself as an actress. It neither makes sense for me to be lumped in with the boys.
“It’s quite straightforward and not that loaded. I can’t submit myself for this because there’s no space for me.”
While many celebrities have advocated for non-gendered categories, some have argued that if they do become the norm, cisgender white men will be the biggest beneficiaries, rolling back the gains made since #OscarsSoWhite in 2016.
Hewson, however, clearly doesn’t want to succumb to those fears, stating: “There is an implied fatalism there, which suggests that we’ve all agreed that equality is impossible. And that’s sad. We’re not going to start awarding best female and male director, or female or male cinematographer. Because we all understand that implicitly would be insulting. You can keep things as they are right now – I just won’t be participating.”
Following their decision, Hewson says their Yellowjackets co-stars have been incredibly supportive of them – especially after they had top surgery before filming the second season.
The Australian actor also explains that they want their choice to be meaningful, and to aid in encouraging the industry to be more open about these big questions. “It’s worth talking about. And I very gently and respectfully ask that people get their gears turning a little,” Hewson says.