Bye, Ken Ehrlich
The Grammys producer is stepping down. (Thank u, next.)
The Grammys’ head of ceremony Ken Ehrlich has announced that he’s producing his fortieth and final show in 2020—and after that, he’s stepping down. Ehrlich is seventy-six, thus one hopes his successor, the significantly younger Ben Winston (another white guy, admittedly) will breathe some new life into the Grammys’ somewhat tired schtick.
Winston is, in fact, the youngest producer of a Late Night show in America; he’s co-executive producer on The Late Late Show with James Corden, helping implement beloved segments “Carpool Karaoke” and “Drop the Mic.” Don’t lie, you like those.
Ehrlich has been on the Grammys production beat since 1980, and he’s had some difficulty getting along with performing artists on the show. In 2013, Frank Ocean enacted what he would later admit was an “absolute shit” performance on the Grammys stage, and Ehrlich threw him under the bus by publicly stating that he’d told Ocean not to do it, but the rapper defied him. Ocean went on to remove his work from Grammy eligibility altogether, and rejected an offer for a 2017 Grammys performance, then posted a rant on Tumblr about how out of touch Ehrlich was.
More recently, Lorde came to metaphorical blows with Sir Ehrlich. Last year, she was the sole female nominated in the Album of the Year category (a blasphemous fact in its own right) and she was also the only nominee not offered a performance slot during the Grammys broadcast. She did get an offer to perform a Tom Petty medley, which she understandably declined.
Of the lack of Lorde, Ehrlich said, “We have a box and it gets full. She had a great album. There’s no way we can really deal with everybody.” Strangely, the box wasn’t so full that any male nominees couldn’t fit inside it.
Finally, this year Ehrlich had beef with pop queen Ariana Grande, after stating publicly that she backed out of a Grammy performance because she didn’t feel like she had enough time to put on a good show. “I can pull together a performance over night and you know that, Ken,” Grande tweeted in response.
i’ve kept my mouth shut but now you’re lying about me. i can pull together a performance over night and you know that, Ken. it was when my creativity & self expression was stifled by you, that i decided not to attend. i hope the show is exactly what you want it to be and more. 🖤
— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) February 7, 2019
Shots fired. Grande went on to explain that Ehrlich didn’t approve any of her song choices, and refused to collaborate with her in a way she deemed creatively fulfilling.
Anyway, after Grammys 2020, it’s sayonara to Ken. Thank u, next.