Harry Styles acknowledged his “privilege” in his acceptance speech at the BRIT Awards, which certainly looks like damage control after his poorly received “people like me” comment at the Grammys. For once, his PR has done something right.
Harry won Artist of the Year at the BRIT awards on Sunday, solidifying his winning streak as he becomes one of the most decorated pop stars in the world right now.
During his acceptance speech, he not only thanked his ex-One Direction band mates (my heart!!!!), but also acknowledged the gender bias in this year’s BRIT awards.
The BRITs abolished male and female categories in 2021 for Artist of the Year to apparently create inclusivity so non-binary stars like Sam Smith could be nominated. However, and predictably, this all backfired because every artist nominated for the award this year was a man. Fkn classic.
“I’m really, really grateful for this and I’m very aware of my privilege up here tonight so this award is for Rina, Charlie, Florence, Mabel and Becky,” Harry said in his acceptance speech, acknowledging artists Rina Sawayama, Charli XCX, Florence Welch, Mabel and Becky Hill who weren’t nominated for the award but absolutely should have been.
“I want to thank Niall, Louis, Liam and Zayn because I wouldn’t be here without them either,” he said as the crowd went off.
ICYMI, Harry Styles caused a bit of a stir at the Grammys earthier this month when he won Album of the Year for Harry’s House, over Beyoncé‘s critically acclaimed Renaissance.
Beyoncé is the most decorated Grammys winner of all time, but not one of the awards she has won has been for best album. Even though she’s been nominated for that award four times. In fact, only three Black women have won Album of the Year in the last 65 years.
Hecklers booed and called for Beyoncé to win during Harry’s acceptance speech (which was actually very shitty behaviour), but things only became worse when he uttered this line to the audience: “This doesn’t happen to people like me very often.”
Harry styles said “this doesn’t happen to people like me very often” and I gotta be honest I can’t think of a type of people this happens for more
— hey man nice tweet (@jazz_inmypants) February 6, 2023
People like who, Harry? White British men? You were literally nominated in the same category as Beyoncé, Lizzo and Kendrick Lamar. Pretty sure we know who this actually doesn’t happen to.
Saying “this doesn’t happen to people like me very often” when a Black woman hasn’t won that award since 1999 is crazy lol
— Ashley K. (@AshleyKSmalls) February 6, 2023
harry styles’ album wasn’t bad but winning album of the year over beyoncé, adele, kendrick lamar, and bad bunny is ridiculous to me lmao. grammys really manage to do this every year
— SK⚡️ (@raptalksk) February 6, 2023
Listen. I like Harry. But him saying that after all the build up around Beyonce was just wild.
— Zach Stafford (@ZachStafford) February 6, 2023
Don’t get me wrong, it appeared the stars who were nominated alongside Harry Styles at the Grammys were happy for him, and I don’t think he meant harm. But still, read the room my man.
While Harry is from a small town in the UK and grew up in a single parent household (so did Adele), he certainly doesn’t face the racial and gender hurdles other artists do and it shows in this win.
The man’s been on an upward trajectory since he started and there’s no sign of it slowing down. Much of that is due to his talent, but you can’t deny a huge part of it is also that he’s an attractive white man.
Harry has starred in two movies in the last year despite his mediocre-at-best acting, he has a cosmetics line, and his shows sell out instantly. Yer really fkn successful, ‘Arry. And he certainly was not a minority group in that category.
like I think he means someone from a small, working class town with no connections becoming one of the biggest artists in the world, bc he said that after selling out Wembley, too but like… no one is gonna hear it that way?? 😭
— Cat Cardenas (@catrcardenas) February 6, 2023
It’s not the first time Harry has said something ridiculous and left everyone with the ick, either.
He was dragged by the internet last year when he was asked what he loved about Don’t Worry Darling at the film’s premiere at the Venice Film Festival. Mind you, this was his first lead role in a film, and it was directed by his girlfriend Olivia Wilde.
Yet, for some reason, the only thing he could think to say about it was that it “feels like a movie”. It was truly the most painful interview I have ever watched.
Harry also starred in My Policeman, in which he played a closeted cop caught in between his male lover and his wife.
In an interview with Rolling Stone for that film, Harry said: “So much of gay sex in film is two guys going at it, and it kind of removes the tenderness from it.”
He was called out for this comment too, because the implication that two guys “going at it” isn’t intimate or tender is heteronormative and essentially implies that gay sex is only romantic if it’s done the way traditionally romantic straight sex is.
Plus, it also makes you wonder how many queer movies he’s actually seen. If anything, gay sex scenes have to be more intimate and tender than heterosexual scenes, purely because that is what it takes to overcome taboo and get them on the big screen. Gay romance has always been creative and groundbreaking in the way it depicts love with such emotion and tenderness, let’s not get it wrong.
harry styles didn’t mean anything when he said “this doesn’t happen to people like me very often” because i don’t think he’s ever had a thought inside that head
— mount bellyache (@mountbellyache) February 6, 2023
Honestly, I think the thing with Harry Styles is that he just cannot be trusted to speak on the fly. The man is an incredible performer and talented artist, but as can be seen at the Grammys, clearly speeches and interviews are not his strong suit.
However, it looks like his PR team has given him a proper schooling and actually prepped him for the BRITs win, and for that we’re grateful.