Emma Watson wins first-ever genderless acting award

LOS ANGELES — Emma Watson had high praise for MTV’s move to remove gender qualifiers for its Movie and TV Awards.

In accepting the award for her role as Belle in Disney’s live-action version of “Beauty and the Beast” on Sunday night, Watson said “empathy and the ability to use your imagination should have no limits.”

The comments from the British actress won praise from many on social media, but drew a rebuke from Piers Morgan, the former CNN talk show host who now hosts “Good Morning Britain” on ITV.

Morgan said he couldn’t think of a better recipient than Watson, who he called a “flag bearer for all things gender neutral.” He says the genderless categories mean women will probably win fewer awards because “there’s more male actors.”

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