The 2017 MTV Movie & TV Awards was a gender and genre-bending revolution. The 26th annual iteration was held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on May 9, and hosted by Workaholics star Adam Devine. For the first time, MTV’s celebration of mega-hits included television juggernauts alongside cinematic blockbusters. It also banished gendered categories, a first for American award shows besides the Grammys.
Beginning in 1992, the MTV Movie Awards lit up Hollywood’s award show circuit. Its edgy and unique categories such as Best Kiss became as iconic as the network itself. As an arbiter of youth culture, MTV knows how to adapt to an ever-changing world—and this year’s ceremony was no exception.
Rolling Stone called the network’s decision to omit gender distinctions “a simple but radical switch,” citing Best Actor winner Emma Thompson’s acceptance speech.
“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. “Empathy and the ability to use your imagination should have no limits.”
Here are some of the best moments from this revamped event:
Devine’s take on Beauty and the Beast: The host—along with his Workaholics cast mate Blake Anderson, Hailee Steinfeld, Rebel Wilson, and more—got the night started with a tribute to the nominated films and shows, with a Beauty and the Beast-inspired anthem.
Watch the fiery rendition:
Moonlight stars win Best Kiss: Aston Sanders and Jharrel Jerome from Moonlight took home the Golden Popcorn for their sentimental, same-sex smooch.
In their speech, the actors underlined the importance of young, minority performers to taking risks in their craft.
“I think it is okay to step out of the box and do whatever it takes to tell the story and do whatever it takes to make a change,” said Jerome. “And so this award is for that — for us artists who are out there who need to step out of the box to do whatever it takes to get people to wake up.”
— NewNowNext (@NewNowNext) May 8, 2017
The Human Rights Campaign praised MTV and its fans on their website, underscoring the vote’s significance. “That particular award is entirely voted online by fans, which means that younger viewers voted for the first time for two queer African-American characters to take home the win.”
Watch the Best Kiss acceptance speech below:
A badass acceptance speech from Stranger Things’ Millie Bobby Brown: Stranger Things, Netflix’s 80s-inspired horror-sci-fi-drama series from last summer, was nominated for a total of four awards, including Show of the Year, Best Actor in a Show, Best Villain, and Best Hero. It won two—Show of the Year, and Best Actor, the latter of which went to Millie Bobby Brown, the precocious 13-year-old who played the clairvoyant character, Eleven.
Brown was the youngest star in this category, and triumphed over established actors such as Game Of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke and The Walking Dead’s Jeffrey Dean Morgan. In her tearful acceptance speech, Brown thanked the creators of Stranger Things for making such “a badass, female, iconic character.”
Watch Brown’s full speech below:
Movie of the year: Beauty and the Beast
Best actor in a movie: Emma Watson – Beauty and the Beast
Show of the year: Stranger Things
Best actor in a show: Millie Bobby Brown – Stranger Things
Best kiss: Ashton Sanders and Jharrel Jerome – Moonlight
Best villain: Allison Williams – Get Out
Best host: Trevor Noah – The Daily Show
Best documentary: 13th
Best reality competition: RuPaul’s Drag Race
Best comedic performance: Lil Rel Howery – Get Out
Best hero: Felicity Jones – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Tearjerker: This Is Us – Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Randall (Lonnie Chavis) at karate (WINNER)
Next generation: Daniel Kaluuya
Best duo: Hugh Jackman and Dafne Keen – Logan
Best American story: Blackish
Best fight against the system: Hidden Figures
Trending: Run The World (Girls) Channing Tatum and Beyonce – Lip Sync Battle
Best musical moment: You’re the One That I Want – Ensemble – Grease: Live
Visit MTV.com for more highlights, videos, and the full show.