Anyone who thinks cancel culture is ruining the careers of misfortunate white men, let the 2022 Grammy nominations snap you back to reality.
The 2022 Grammy nominations were announced this week, and while we love to discuss and celebrate the world in music this year, we can’t help but remember how the awards are actually pretty shit.
With this year’s nominees including the likes of Marilyn Manson, and Louis C.K., it’s hard to reconcile that in 2022 we will still be rewarding, celebrating, and providing a platform for shitty men who continuously do really shitty things.
The Grammys are kind of shit
Recording Academy president and CEO Harvey Mason, Jr. has addressed the issue, stating:
“We won’t restrict the people who can submit their material for consideration. We won’t look back at people’s history, we won’t look at their criminal record, we won’t look at anything other than the legality within our rules of, is this recording for this work eligible based on date and other criteria. If it is, they can submit for consideration.”
He continued: “What we will control is our stages, our shows, our events, our red carpets. We’ll take a look at anyone who is asking to be a part of that, asking to be in attendance, and we’ll make our decisions at that point. But we’re not going to be in the business of restricting people from submitting their work for our voters to decide on.”
The question of whether the Academy should have the faculty to police who is and isn’t nominated for awards has been controversial for a while, with public opinion pushing for more justice and accountability to be upheld. Mason has made it clear that this will remain outside of their purview.
Basically, nobody wants to hold anyone accountable for their actions. Unheard of.
Marilyn Manson and Louis CK were both nominated for Grammies today. A long time ago I used to keep a running document of all the accolades and new jobs that were given to men who had been publicly accused of sexual abuse, but it got too long and became corrosive to my soul. 🙃
— Moira Donegan (@MoiraDonegan) November 23, 2021
Manson is currently facing numerous allegations, and three lawsuits, surrounding the alleged sexual, emotional, and physical abuse of previous partners.
He has also received nominations for Album of the Year and Best Rap Song for his contributions to Kanye West’s Donda and Jail. Why are we awarding someone who has such serious accusations against them? Make it make sense.
Louis C.K. was the centre of numerous sexual misconduct allegations raised following the #MeToo movement. He’s now been nominated for Best Comedy Album at the 2022 Grammys. You love to see it.
Only last year did the Grammys face the exact same criticisms, after Dr Luke (Lukasz Gottwald), received a nomination for Record of the Year for his work under the pseudonym Tyson Trax on Doja Cat’s Say So. Dr. Luke is the music producer tangled up in allegations of emotional, sexual and physical abuse against Kesha.
We aren’t talking about people who made one silly little mistake and deserve forgiveness, we’re talking about abusive men who have caused severe and ongoing harm to their victims.
And if you’re in a position to restrict the reach, and praise received for these people, isn’t it an obvious decision?
On top of everything else, the Grammys just seem a little out of touch, nominating Glass Animals for Best New Artist after the band has been around for over a decade.
…and have been for a while
According to the Academy, earlier this year, the Grammys were planning to shake things up with changes to the nomination process designed to “reflect … [an] ongoing commitment to evolve with the musical landscape.”
It has been a couple of years now that the Grammys has received criticism of its lack of diversity. Many high profile artists like The Weeknd, Lil Wayne, Ellie Goulding, Drake, and Tyler, The Creator have called out the award ceremony for being a corrupt system.
Between the “secret voting committees”, lack of diversity and questionable category titles, it’s no surprise that the Grammys are in hot water again. All the way back in 2018 a report was done by the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative finding that only 9.3% of nominees from the 2013 to 2018 Grammy Awards were female. And who can forget that it was only in 2020 that the Academy finally ditched the ‘Urban’ category and replaced it with ‘Progressive R&B’ after many requests to do so?
In May this year, Ruby Marchand, The Chief Industry Officer at the Recording Academy, commented on the supposedly drastic changes to the Grammys:
“The latest changes to the GRAMMY Awards process are prime examples of the Recording Academy’s commitment to authentically represent all music creators and ensure our practices are in lock-step with the ever-changing musical environment.”
Do better Grammys, do better.