“Yellowjackets’ Nonbinary Star Liv Hewson Chooses Not to Submit for Emmys”


Liv Hewson , the nonbinary actor who plays Van Palmer on Showtime’s ” Yellowjackets ,” has opted out of this year’s Primetime Emmy Awards despite being eligible for the main acting races

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. In an exclusive interview with Variety, Hewson explained that the Television Academy’s separation of acting categories into male and female made it impossible for them to submit themselves for the awards.

Hewson said that it would be inaccurate to submit themselves as an actress and that there was no place for them in the acting categories.

Hewson is an integral part of the “Yellowjackets” ensemble, which includes Emmy-nominated actors Melanie Lynskey and Christina Ricci. Although Hewson is a long shot for Emmy acting recognition, their character Van has been a highlight of the sophomore season.

LGBTQ activists and allies have been advocating for gender-neutral acting categories at major awards ceremonies for years. Asia Kate Dillon, the first nonbinary performer to play a nonbinary character on a major TV show, asked the TV Academy to clarify its gender classifications in 2017. Other actors who identify as nonbinary, such as Emma D’Arcy and Carl Clemons-Hopkins, have also weighed in on the issue. The Gotham Awards and the Independent Spirit Awards have recently stopped defining their categories by gender, while the Grammys have been completely gender-neutral for a decade.

However, inclusion advocates fear that if nongendered categories become the norm, cisgender white men will be the biggest beneficiaries, rolling back the gains made since #OscarsSoWhite in 2016. Hewson does not share this concern, saying that there is an implied fatalism in that view that suggests that equality is impossible.

Hewson’s decision not to submit themselves for the Emmys puts nonbinary actors in an uncomfortable position. J. Harrison Ghee, a nonbinary actor on Fox’s “Accused,” will submit themselves for lead actor in a limited series Emmy consideration. Ghee will also be vying for a Tony nomination for lead actor (musical) for the revival of “Some Like It Hot.”


Despite the difficult decision they have had to make, Hewson has been supported by Showtime and their fellow cast members. They hope that their stand will be meaningful and that Hollywood will continue to discuss the complexities of gender and awards categories.






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