Emma Watson wins first gender neutral acting honor at MTV Movie & TV Awards: 'This is very meaningful to me'



Emma Watson made history at the 2017 MTV Movie & TV Awards on Sunday.

The 27-year-old actress won the first gender neutral acting honor at the awards show, winning Best Actor in a Movie for her performance in Beauty and the Beast.

PICS: 2017 MTV Movie & TV Awards: Red Carpet Arrivals

Watson was presented with the award by Billions star Aja Kate Dillon, the first gender non-binary actor to play a non-binary character on a major television show.

"The first acting award in history that doesn't separate nominees based on their sex says something about how we perceive the human experience," Watson said in her emotional acceptance speech. "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."

"Empathy and the ability to use your imagination should have no limits. This is very meaningful to me, both to be winning the award, and to be receiving it from you, Aja," she continued, breaking her speech to hug Dillon. "Thank you for educating me in such an inclusive, patient and loving way. Thank you so much."

EXCLUSIVE: 'Beauty and the Beast' Star Emma Watson Says She's a Lot Sillier Than People Think

Watson went on to state that though she won the award for acting, she felt like the honor was given to her "because of who Belle is, and what she represents."

"The villagers in our fairy tale wanted to make Belle believe that her world was smaller than the way she saw it, with fewer opportunities for her, that her curiosity and passion for knowledge and desire for more in life were grounds for alienation. I loved playing someone who didn't listen to any of that," she said. "I am so proud to be a part of a film that celebrates diversity, literacy, inclusion, joy and love the way that this one does."

"I want to thank every single person who voted for me. Thank you so much. Taraji [P. Henson], I can't see you, but Daniel [Kaluuya], James [McAvoy], Hailee [Steinfeld], all of you, it's a privilege to have been nominated alongside you," she shared. "Lastly, I want to thank anyone and everyone who had anything to do with giving me this opportunity and supporting me on this journey. You know who you are, and I can't thank you enough. Thank you so, so much."

WATCH: Emma Watson Explains Why She Never Talks About Her Boyfriend, How She Made 'Beauty and the Beast' Feminist

PHOTOS: MTV Movie and TV Awards red carpet arrivals

63 PHOTOS
MTV Movie & Video Awards 2017: Red carpet arrivals
See Gallery
MTV Movie & Video Awards 2017: Red carpet arrivals
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 07: Actor Taraji P. Henson attends the 2017 MTV Movie And TV Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on May 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 07: Actor Taraji P. Henson attends the 2017 MTV Movie And TV Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on May 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 07: Actor Michelle Mitchenor attends the 2017 MTV Movie And TV Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on May 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 07: Model Jourdan Dunn poses in the press room at the 2017 MTV Movie and TV Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on May 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 07: Actress Yara Shahidi poses in the press room at the 2017 MTV Movie and TV Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on May 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 07: DJ Khaled poses in the press room at the 2017 MTV Movie and TV Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on May 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 07: Actors Hugh Jackman (L) and Dafne Keen pose in the press room at the 2017 MTV Movie and TV Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on May 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 07: Actress Shay Mitchell poses in the press room at the 2017 MTV Movie and TV Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on May 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 07: Actor-recording artist Tyrese Gibson attends the 2017 MTV Movie And TV Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on May 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 07: Actress Alexandra Daddario poses in the press room at the 2017 MTV Movie and TV Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on May 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 07: TV personalities Vanessa Grimaldi (L) and Nick Viall attend the 2017 MTV Movie And TV Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on May 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 07: Actor Diego Boneta attends the 2017 MTV Movie And TV Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on May 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 07: Actor Miles Heizer attends the 2017 MTV Movie And TV Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on May 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 07: TV personality Trevor Noah (L) and recording artist Jordyn Taylor attend the 2017 MTV Movie And TV Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on May 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 07: Actor Amy Landecker attends the 2017 MTV Movie And TV Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on May 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

Emma Watson, winner of Best Actor in a Movie award for 'Beauty and the Beast', dazzled in a sequined black frock with some Forevermark diamonds to top off her look.

(Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 07: Singer Bea Miller attends the 2017 MTV Movie and TV Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on May 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 07: Actor Trace Lysette attends the 2017 MTV Movie and TV Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on May 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 07: Actor Jaeden Lieberher attends the 2017 MTV Movie And TV Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on May 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 07: Tito Ortiz and Amber Nicole Miller attend the 2017 MTV Movie And TV Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on May 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 07: Actor Yvonne Orji attends the 2017 MTV Movie And TV Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on May 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 07: Cara Delevingne poses in the press room at the 2017 MTV Movie and TV Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on May 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 07: Singer Camila Cabello attends the 2017 MTV Movie and TV Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on May 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 07: Actor Peyton List attends the 2017 MTV Movie And TV Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on May 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 07: Model Gigi Gorgeous attends the 2017 MTV Movie And TV Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on May 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 07: Actor Tracee Ellis Ross attends the 2017 MTV Movie And TV Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on May 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 07: Model Amber Rose attends the 2017 MTV Movie And TV Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on May 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 07: Actor Allison Williams attends the 2017 MTV Movie and TV Awards at The Shrine Auditorium wearing a Galia Lahav dress. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 07: Actor/recording artist Zendaya attends the 2017 MTV Movie And TV Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on May 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 07: Actor Ross Butler hit the show in a leather jacket, jeans and Aquatalia shoes. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 07: Actor Devin Druid attends the 2017 MTV Movie And TV Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on May 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 07: Actor Milo Ventimiglia attends the 2017 MTV Movie And TV Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on May 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 07: Actor Jay Ellis attends the 2017 MTV Movie And TV Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on May 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 07: LL Cool J attends the 2017 MTV Movie and TV Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on May 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 07: Actor Lonnie Chavis attends the 2017 MTV Movie And TV Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on May 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 07: Actor Jasmine Sanders attends the 2017 MTV Movie And TV Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on May 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 07: Actor Jharrel Jerome attends the 2017 MTV Movie And TV Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on May 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

Way too cute! Millie Bobby Brown wore all white -- opting for a long-sleeve shift dress and cowboy boots to match.

(Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

Smoke show! Jasmine Tookes stole the show in a risqué lace dress with a dramatic train that flashed her undergarments.

(Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

Isabela Moner kept it simple in a white high-low dress with some lace detailing on the sides.

(Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Storm Reid caused quite a commotion in a black lace dress with some fancy heels to show off her perfect pins.

(Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Trevor Holmes didn't hop on the pattern bandwagon, opting for a simple black suit and trousers combo with a white button-down shirt underneath.

(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Debby Ryan opted for a more PG version of the beloved see-through trend, but added some spice to the outfit with a sexy slit on her multi-colored skirt.

(Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

Andy Devine looked dapper (and ready to take on his hosting duties) in a grey patterned suit with matching trousers. 

(Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

Issa Rae looked gorgeous in a blue ensemble with some white stilettos to match.

(Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

Rebecca Black proved she can slay no matter what day of the week! The "Friday" hitmaker looked oh-so-sporty in a black crop top sweater with some bright red pants with vertical strips along the edges.

(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

NFL player Victor Cruz made a statement in a jacket and trousers combo by Todd Snyder. He paired it with snazzy shoes of a similar hue.

(Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)

Katherine Castro proved you can never go wrong in black -- but she kept it trendy with a sexy thigh-high slit.

(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Farrah Abraham made heads turn in a traditional sari. The "Teen Mom" star definitely added some color to the red carpet.

(Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

Shannon Purser's colorful, geometric ensemble looked like a total work of art, don't you think?!

(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Chanel West Coast channeled Barbie in a pink sequined dress that showed off her toned pins.

(Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

Woah baby! Anastasia Karanikolaou, one of Kylie Jenner's best friends, turned up the heat in a head-to-toe black outfit -- a sexy crop top and some tight high-waisted trousers to match.

(Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 07: Actor Holland Roden attends the 2017 MTV Movie and TV Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on May 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)

Kat Graham looked gorgeous as always in a silk one-shoulder jumpsuit, but the excess fabric may have been too overwhelming for her teeny figure.

 (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Amandla Stenberg took a risk with a striped mini dress with billowy sleeves and red platform wedges, but it was her bold blue lipstick that had everyone talking!

(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Jess Bauer turned heads in a blush-hued off-the-shoulder dress with a sexy leg slit.

(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Bombshell in blue! Mary Elizabeth Winstead looked stunning in a frock with many shades of blue. The best part about her look may have to be the fringed detailing on the bottom. Looks like a winner to us!

(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Gabriel Conte looked totally sporty in some fancy grey trousers (that low-key look like sweats!) and a black tee under his white jacket.

(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Khylin Rhambo looked super casual as he rocked a sleek black-and-white outfit. Rhambo paired a classic bomber jacket with some dark denim.

(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Those are some shoes! Teala Dunn stole the show in a pink mini dress and rainbow colored platform wedges.

(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Alex Hudgens took the plunge in a black dress that hits just above her ankles with a deep-V neckline.

(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 07: Model Cara Delevingne attends the 2017 MTV Movie and TV Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on May 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Read Full Story

Sign up for Entertainment Insider by AOL to get the hottest pop culture news delivered straight to your inbox!

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.