The 63rd annual Grammys were arguably the most controversial yet, with scores of musicians calling out the ceremony for its lack of transparency around nominations. Well, it looks like organisers of the Grammys have listened, and are now scrapping their anonymous voting committees.
Artists like The Weeknd, Zayn Malik and Halsey all spoke out this year, describing the voting process as “corrupt” and about “knowing the right people.” The award show has also been criticised for allowing favouritism, racism and politics to overshadow the music itself.
“The Grammys are an elusive process,”Halsey said on her Instagram stories.
“It can often be about behind the scenes private performances, knowing the right people, campaigning though the grapevine, with the right handshakes and ‘bribes’ that can be just ambiguous enough to pass as ‘not-bribes’”
The Weeknd, in particular, has been very vocal about the voting process of the Grammys. After his HUGE, record-breaking track ‘Blinding Lights’ was snubbed in this year’s nominations The Weeknd told The New York Times that he is boycotting future awards.
“Because of the secret committees,” The Weeknd said in the statement.
“I will no longer allow my label to submit my music to the Grammys.”
The Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency…
— Abel Tesfaye (@theweeknd) November 25, 2020
Now, instead of anonymous voting committees, the selection process will be placed back into the hands of the Recording Academy’s voting membership, according to the BBC.
Previously, the Grammy voting procedure involved voting committees made up of 15-30 “highly-skilled music peers” who would have the final say in 72 categories. Regular members would also be involved in the process, but their votes were often overruled by the voting committee.
Fuck the grammys and everyone associated. Unless you shake hands and send gifts, there’s no nomination considerations. Next year I’ll send you a basket of confectionary.
— zayn (@zaynmalik) March 9, 2021
My tweet was not personal or about eligibility but was about the need for inclusion and the lack of transparency of the nomination process and the space that creates and allows favoritism, racism, and netwokring politics to influence the voting process
— zayn (@zaynmalik) March 10, 2021
The organisation’s regular voting members run into the thousands, but 90% will need to go through a requalification process to ensure the voting body “is actively engaged in music creation.”
This comes after movements like Time’s Up and #MeToo paved the way for race and gender-based discussions at award ceremonies, like the Golden Globes, Oscars etc. There really is no excuse for a lack of diversity at award shows anymore. It’s about time the Grammys caught up too.