There were many firsts for the network’s awards show, one of them being that the title and criteria itself had changed: Up until this year, the awards show was only for movies. With the addition of TV shows, and a push to defy gender stereotypes, the evening’s show was packed with inspiring and tear-jerking moments. While the competition was fierce, a few titles doubled up on the awards: Beauty and the Beast was awarded best movie and Emma Watson was honoured with the Best Actor title for her role as Belle; Stranger Things won Show of the year while star Millie Bobby Brown took home Best Actor in a Show; and Hidden Figures won the Best Fight Against the System Award while one of its stars Taraji P. Henson was crowned Best Hero. But beyond the wins, there were some moments that stood out more than the rest. For those, you’ll have to watch and read on below.
Emma Watson Wins First Non-Gendered Award for her role as Belle
For the first time ever, the MTV Movie and TV Awards did not separate the best actor category by males and females, opting for one non-gendered category. Up against Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out), Hailee Steinfeld (The Edge of Seventeen), Hugh Jackman (Logan), James McAvoy (Split) and Taraji P. Henson (Hidden Figures), Watson took home the prize of best actor. Upon receiving the award by Billions star Asia Kate Dillon, who identifies as gender nonbinary, Watson accepted the award with gratitude: “This is very meaningful to me. Both to be winning the award and to be receiving it from you, Asia [Kate Dillon]. Thank you for educating me in such—in such an inclusive, patient, and loving way,” she said. (Get the full speech on Time.com) “I’m so proud to be a part of a film that celebrates diversity, literacy, inclusion, joy and love the way that this one does.” She credited the award to Belle herself, whom would not be limited by the confines others imposed upon her.
Adam DeVine Plays Beast in Opening Number
On theme with the forthcoming big win of the night (read: Emma Watson’s Best Actor award), host Adam DeVine literally lit the stage on fire with his satirical Beauty and the Beast. Dressed as Beast, he sang the titular song with guest performances by Hailee Steinfeld, as Belle, and Rebel Wilson, as Mrs. Potts, among others. See a few clips of what went down in the video below.
Camila Cabello Takes to the Stage
In her third performance since her split from Fifth Harmony, Camila Cabello confidently took the stage alongside Pitbull and J Balvin to perform “Hey Ma,” a sexy track that has lots of equally sexy dance moves to go along with it. Cabello made her way to the stage via the air but quickly grounded herself and got to work.
The Best Kiss Award Goes to Moonlight
For years we’ve been gushing over the best kissing scenes, but practically all of those moments have been between heterosexual couples. In another game-changing move from MTV, Moonlight stars Jharrel Jerome and Ashton Sanders won the award for their lip-locking moment on the big screen. “I think it is safe to say that it is OK, especially for us young minority performers, to step out of the box…and do whatever it takes to tell the story and whatever it takes to make a change,” said Jerome. To finish off their acceptance speech, Sanders added: “This award is bigger than Jharrel and I. This represents more than a kiss, this is for those who feel like the others, the misfits. This represents us….”
Taraji P. Henson is Inspiring AF—as per usual
Henson accepted the Best Fight Against the System award on behalf of her Hidden Figures colleagues, and her passion for the cause could be felt by everyone—behind screens or IRL. “…No one ever told me that girls couldn’t do math and science, but there was an understanding. There was an understanding that it was for boys,” she said. “I remember getting this script and being very upset, because it felt like a dream was stolen from me. And it became my mission, and everyone’s mission who was involved with this film, to dispel that myth.” Henson, who also won the award for Best Hero, was met onstage by presenters Tracee Ellis Ross and congresswoman Maxine Waters.
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