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Franklin Graham blasts MTV’s first gender-neutral acting awards

Donald Trump with evangelist Franklin Graham. Trump tapped Graham, right, to be one of six faith leaders offering prayers or reading Bible passages at his presidential inauguration.
Donald Trump with evangelist Franklin Graham. Trump tapped Graham, right, to be one of six faith leaders offering prayers or reading Bible passages at his presidential inauguration. Charlotte Observer file photo

Evangelist Franklin Graham lashed out on Twitter Monday night at MTV’s first gender-neutral acting awards.

“Why do some people want to totally delete gender from existence, as if it’s a bad thing?” Graham asked in one Tweet.

Graham is president of the Charlotte-based Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Boone-based Samaritan’s Purse

In a followup tweet, he said: “No matter how much some want to redefine it, they’re never going to change the fact that God made us male & female.”

The cable network eliminated gender classifications for its Movie & TV Awards that were given Sunday night in Los Angeles.

Emma Watson won MTV’s best actor in a movie award for her role as Belle in “Beauty and the Beast.”

“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 after accepting the award from “Billions” star Asia Kate Dillon, who identifies as non-binary, CBS News reported.

“MTV’s move to create a genderless award for acting will mean something different to everyone,” Watson said. “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.”

“This is very meaningful to me,” she said. “Both to be winning the award and to be receiving it from you, Asia. Thank you for educating me in such an inclusive, patient and loving way.”

CBS News reported that while Watson’s win and the gender-neutral categories generally drew praise, some took issue with it -- including former CNN personality Piers Morgan.

“Gender-neutral awards – just what the world was craving,” Morgan said Monday on “Good Morning Britain,” CBS News reported. “I can’t think of a better recipient than Emma Watson, a great flag bearer of all things gender neutral.”

“Women will now win a lot less awards because they’ve made them gender-neutral and there are more male actors, so actually in trying to get equality, you end up with more inequality,” Morgan said. “It’s a masterpiece.”

Out of the seven gender-neutral categories with solo winners at MTV’s gala Sunday night, women won three – best actor in a movie (Watson), best actor in a show (Millie Bobbie Brown) and best hero (Taraji P. Henson), CBS News reported.

Graham has made headlines with tweets before, including about Muslims, LGBTQ persons and former President Barack Obama.

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067, @jmarusak

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