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Last night, actors Ashton Sanders and Jharrel Jerome won the 2017 MTV Movie and TV Award for Best Kiss. Anyone who watched their Academy Award winning film Moonlight remembers the mid-movie kiss between the film’s main character Chiron (Sanders) and his best friend Kevin (Jerome).
If you missed it, here its is, compliments of a pirated YouTube clip:
Their kiss wasn’t just a timid peck on the lips: the two young men were people of color who smoked a joint beforehand and then immediately moved into a full-on handjob. That is, it wasn’t just a kiss scene, it was a drug-inspired sex scene — pretty revolutionary and transgressive when you think about it (though it really shouldn’t be in the 21st century).
“On a real note,” Jerome said while accepting the award, “I think it is safe to say that it is okay for us young performers, especially us minority performers, to step out of the box. It’s okay for us to step out of the box and do whatever it take to tell the story and whatever it takes to make the change. This award is for that. It’s for us artists who are out there, who need to do whatever it takes to get people to wake up.”
Another big first occurred at this year’s awards: MTV officially removed gender from their acting categories, and the first non-gendered acting award was given by gender non-binary actor Asia Kate Dillon from the show Billions. Emma Watson won the award for her portrayal of Belle in Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast. During her acceptance speech, Watson said:
The first acting award in history that doesn’t separate nominees based on their sex says something about how we perceive the human experience. MTV’s move to create a genderless award for acting will mean something different to everyone. But 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.
You can watch her speech below:
Also during the awards, RuPaul’s Drag Race won the award for Best Reality Show (though the win reportedly wasn’t televised).
Other same-sex kisses have won the MTV Movie and TV Award for Best Kiss in the past, including Sarah Michelle Gellar and Selma Blair for Cruel Intentions, Jason Biggs and Seann William Scott for American Pie 2, Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger for Brokeback Mountain and Will Ferrell and Sacha Baron Cohen for Talladega Nights.
While we’re at it, why don’t we just re-live all of those kisses below, eh?