- The Washington Times - Monday, May 8, 2017

Rep. Maxine Waters received a standing ovation before presenting the “Best Fight Against the System” award at the MTV Movie & TV Awards Sunday night.

The California Democrat joined “Black-ish” star Tracee Ellis Ross onstage at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles to present MTV’s award honoring social justice activism.

“Thank you. Thank you for your work,” Ms. Ross told Ms. Waters. “Thank you for your voice and how you use it, and thank you for being an extraordinary example for all of us, especially in these times.”

“Artists, actors, singers and citizens have a unique opportunity — the ability to speak out and inspire change,” Ms. Waters said while presenting the award.

“Each of these stories pushes back against the bullies and uses their platform to inspire us all,” the Democrat said to a round of applause.

Theodore Melfi’s 2016 film “Hidden Figures” won the award, with actress Taraji P. Henson accepting it on the cast’s behalf. Also nominated were the films “Get Out” and “Loving,” as well as the TV shows “Luke Cage” and “Mr. Robot.”

MTV added the “Best Fight Against the System” category to its awards ceremony this year in order to reflect “the audience’s increasing awareness and activism around broader social justice issues,” the network announced last month.

Ms. Waters has been front and center in criticizing President Trump, calling him an illegitimate president and vowing to “fight every day” until he is impeached. Last week, she said Mr. Trump should do the country a “favor” and resign. 

This is also the first year that the MTV Movie Awards has been re-dubbed the MTV Movie & TV Awards, ditching its traditional gender-specific categories such as “Best Actor” and “Best Actress” for non-gendered terms.

Emma Watson was the first to accept a genderless award Sunday night for her role as Belle in “Beauty & the Beast.”

MTV’s move to create a genderless award for acting will mean something different to everyone,” she said in her acceptance speech. “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.”

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