Emma Watson, Millie Bobby Brown win big at gender-neutral MTV Movie & TV Awards

Beauty and the Beast, Stranger Things and the Fast and the Furious franchise were honoured at MTV's revamped Movie & TV Awards show, which broke down barriers with gender-neutral acting categories and featured a diverse slate of presenters and winners.

Irreverent ceremony featured diverse slate of presenters and winners

Millie Bobby Brown, left, and Emma Watson are seen after winning best actor trophies for the streaming drama Stranger Things and movie musical Beauty and the Beast, respectively, at the 2017 MTV Movie & TV Awards on Sunday. The Los Angeles awards show broke down barriers with gender-neutral acting categories and featured a diverse slate of presenters and winners. (Associated Press)

Film hit Beauty and the Beast and Netflix newcomer Stranger Things were the night's big winners with two trophies apiece as MTV partied with its Movie & TV Awards show.

For this, the 26th edition of what was formerly known as the MTV Movie Awards, TV was added to the mix. Stranger Things was decreed the Show of the Year, and its cast member, Millie Bobby Brown, was named Best Actor in a Show.

Stranger Things was honoured as show of the year. (Chris Pizzello/Invision/Associated Press)

Beauty and the Beast was the Movie of the Year, with its star, Emma Watson, the Best Actor in a Movie.

But the awards had another trick up its sleeve, introducing a policy of breaking down gender barriers, as men and women competed jointly in the acting categories.

Billions actor Asia Kate Dillion, who is the first openly non-binary actor to play an openly non-binary role on a major TV show, helped explain MTV's new policy of men and women competing jointly in the acting categories. (Chris Pizzello/Invision/Associated Press)

The policy was put into practice at the top of the show by presenter Asia Kate Dillion, who proudly touted breaking down gender barriers as "the first openly non-binary actor to play an openly non-binary role on a major TV show," Showtime's drama series Billions. (A non-binary person is someone who doesn't identify with either gender.) Then Dillion presented the award to Watson.

"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," Watson said in receiving her trophy.

Emma Watson, left, won best actor in a movie and also took the stage with co-star Josh Gad to accept the movie of the year crown for their film Beauty and the Beast. (Chris Pizzello/Invision/Associated Press)

Despite glowering skies and dime-size hailstones, MTV was heralding the start of the summer viewing season with its annual shindig. The red carpet outside Los Angeles' Shrine Auditorium became a swamp as luminaries made their water-logged arrival for the shindig.

But inside, it was dry (except for flowing cocktails among audience members) as Adam Devine hosted the proceedings.

Tongue-in-cheek, Devine described himself as a progressive personality fully equal to the night's high-minded theme.

Adam Devine hosted the Los Angeles ceremony, held at the Shrine Auditorium. (Chris Pizzello/Associated Press)

As the caption "Adam Gets It" flashed on the screen, Devine declared, "I love Hugh Jackman. But I call him Hugh Jack-PERSON."

And turning to Beauty and the Beast, he said, "I call it 'Multidimensional woman with her own dynamic traits, and the Beast.'"

The show maintained its traditional irreverence with awards recognizing the best duo (Jackman and Dafne Keen of the film Logan), best villain (Jeffrey Dean Morgan, The Walking Dead), best tearjerker (hit TV drama This Is Us), and best kiss (Ashton Sanders and Jharrel Jerone of Moonlight).

That last award was presented by co-stars of the film smash Get Out: a very blond Allison Williams in shimmering miniskirt, alongside a nervous-looking Lil Rey Howery.

Get Out co-stars Allison Williams, left, and Lil Rel Howery present the award for best kiss at the MTV Movie and TV Awards. (Chris Pizzello/Invision/Associated Press)

"Are you scared of me?" Williams asked him.

"I'm AFRAID — that's the word I'm gonna use," Howery said.

"Ever since the movie came out," said Williams, "for the last couple of months — "

"— Black dudes don't mess with you," said Howery, whose character in the film has good reason to be scared of hers.

Taraji P. Henson accepted a new honour: the best fight against the system award for the film Hidden Figures. (Richard Shotwell/Invision/Associated Press)

A new award, Best Fight Against the System, went to the film Hidden Figures, which tells the story of a team of African-American women mathematicians who served a vital role at NASA during the space program's early years.

The mission of the filmmakers, said one of its stars, Taraji P. Henson, was to dispel a certain deep-seated social myth "so another young girl wouldn't grow up thinking that her mind wasn't capable of grasping math and science."

Vin Diesel, left, poses with The Fast and the Furious series co-stars Jordana Brewster and Tyrese Gibson after winning the Generation award. (Richard Shotwell/Invision/Associated Press)

The cast of the Fast and Furious franchise received the Generation Award, accepted by Vin Diesel, who thanked a generation of fans "willing to accept this multicultural franchise, where it didn't matter what colour your skin was or what country you are from — when you're family, you're family."

Trevor Noah of Comedy Central's The Daily Show was named Best Host.

"There is one person I aspire to be every single day," he said, "and that is my mom: a powerful, strong black woman who never listened when people told her she couldn't be more."

Then, among his thanks, he voiced gratitude to President Donald Trump "for the comedy."

The Daily Show's Trevor Noah, seen at left accepting the best host award from presenters Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart thanked his mother: 'a powerful, strong black woman who never listened when people told her she couldn't be more.' (Chris Pizzello/Invision/Associated Press)

Even one of the night's biggest awards couldn't escape a bit of mischief-making. Presenting Movie of the Year, Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn comically bobbled the title (à la the Oscars), first announcing La La Light, then Moonland

Then they got it right: Beauty and the Beast.

Amy Schumer, left, and Goldie Hawn harkened to the Oscars best-picture fiasco as they presented the MTV award for movie of the year. (Chris Pizzello/Invision/Associated Press)