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Opinion: And The Award Goes To… Sexism And Racism At The Grammy’s

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An awards ceremony with no artists – sounds bizarre, but that’s where the Grammy Awards are heading after several artists have refused to attend the show due to the institutional corruption and lack of diversity.

Just recently the nominations list was released for the 64th Grammy’s which will take place on the 31st January 2022.

After years of controversy, the awards ceremony chose to use an inclusion rider addendum for the 2022 recruitment process.

The rider is meant to offer representation to marginalised groups such as “Black, Indigenous, Asian American & Pacific Islander, and other Non-Black people of color, those of Hispanic or Latino/a/x descent,women of all backgrounds and identities, people with disabilities, people over the age of 40, people from certain religious minorities, and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, or Queer (“LGBTQ+”) people,”

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However, this new push for diversity could be too little too late, as it was announced earlier this week that Drake has pulled his two Grammy nominations. He joins a growing list of artists such as Frank Ocean, Halsey, The Weekend, Nicki Minaj, and Zayn Malikwho have all refused to attend the ceremony.

Although Drake is yet to confirm his reason for ditching The Grammy’s, it’s known that the artist has had a controversial relationship with the awards ceremony for a while. When speaking to Beats 1 radio show in 2018, the singer claimed “that he believed [his] award was the result of racial profiling”.

Drake is just one among many black artists who feel misrepresented and used within the awards industry. The Grammys may claim to be diverse this year with the introduction of the ‘inclusion rider’, however, it all becomes a smoke screen when these ‘minority’ groups do not win any awards.

How is it in the last sixty three years, only ten black artists have won Album of The Year? (Via Insider) That does not sound like diversity to me.

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I believe awards ceremonies, like The Grammys are undeniably out of touch with the real world. The categories are outdated and horrendously plagued with ignorance, sexism, and racism.

Just three years ago, when asked about the pitiful outcome of the ceremony which saw only eleven female winners, out of the possible eighty four awards, Neil Portnow, the record academy president, replied in a statement saying “[women need] to step up” (Via @Variety).

As if women have not been stepping up for years, as if we even need to step up in the first place. The industry should think about opening up to women, particularly black women and minority groups ¬ it should be uplifting usually silenced voices and awarding them rightfully so.

However, with The Grammys admitting to corruption just earlier this year, and their announcement to remove all secret voting committees, is it ever going to be possible for diversity to be celebrated when the people in charge are predominantly, white, heterosexual, males?

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Hashtags such as #GrammysSoMale and #GrammysSoWhite have ripped through social media over the past few years and it will be interesting to see what the 2022 awards ceremony has to offer with their disingenuous attempt at diversity, I will assume very little.

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