9 May 2017

Image of Head of Psychology, Ashley Vallance, talks equality and diversity

Equality and diversity have never been higher on the public agenda than they are today, and this week, the MTV Movie & TV Awards brought the subject of gender into high media profile.

With gender and gender identity making up a fundamental component of A Level Psychology, and knowledge of equality and diversity issues being high on the employability scale, our Head of Psychology, Ashley Vallance, addresses the latest move in recognition of gender equality in the film industry:


Earlier this week, non-binary actor, Asia Kate Dillon, presented Emma Watson with a gender neutral MTV Award for Best Actor. This was the first time in awards history there has been a genderless prize given in the category of best actor. Emma Watson bagged the trophy for her role in Disney’s live-action remake of ‘Beauty and The Beast’.

This iconic award is the first to disregard gender distinctions in the USA.

Watson said in her acceptance speech: “To me, it indicates that acting is about the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and that doesn’t need to be separated into two different categories.”

She added: “Empathy and the ability to use your imagination should have no limits.” 

Asia Kate Dillon, who presented the award, has risen to stardom in the TV show ‘Billions’.

At the 2017 Emmy Awards, the Academy asked Asia if she would like to be considered for the supporting actor or actress role; she refused the nomination as it meant that her talent was based primarily upon gender.

This ultimately shows that society is eventually recognising potential discrimination and considering equality and diversity -  the ever-growing necessity for a fairer, more inclusive system of recognition. 

This isn’t the first time that there have been comments on the overt discrimination of awards in the US though. Yet again in February, we were in the unfortunate situation of asking the question: “Why are there so few women and people from ethnic minorities nominated for Oscars?”

This is the second year in a row that every person nominated for an acting award is white and western.

Hopefully, the recent recognition of non-binary achievement will be a step in the right direction for equality and diversity to be at the heart of the celebrated successes, not just in the film industry but within society as a whole. 


Equality & Diversity has long been a recognised and addressed issue at Birkenhead Sixth Form College, with termly meetings attended by both staff and students to bring to light any topics or concerns that anyone may have, and a permanent E&D Officer stationed at the College working to bring awareness to the entire College body.

Posted by The BSFC Blogger

Category: The Expert's Voice

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