The Weeknd Is Still Calling the Grammys’ Bluff

The Academy announced some major changes this past weekend, and Abel Tesfaye is still boycotting.

Every year award shows continue to show how antiquated, racist, and otherwise out of touch they are with the reality of the entertainment industry. And so each year they come out with amendments to their programs in order to do some damage control and try to attain some hegemonic credibility. This past weekend, the Grammys—which have endured so much controversy over the past couple years it’s hard to keep track of where their moral compass points—announced the elimination of  “Nominations Review Committees, a reduction in the number of categories in which voters may vote, two Grammy Award category additions, and more.”

Originally, “music peers” voted within their own genres. Now, these “secret committees” are gone, and “Grammy nominations and winners are placed back in the hands of the entire voting membership body, giving further validation to the peer-recognized process.” The Academy also announced that 90 percent of its members will go through a re-qualification before the end of 2021. All these new changes are in preparation for next year’s event, which will take place January 31. To be eligible for 2022 Grammys, submissions take place through September 30, 2021.

Of course these changes aren’t only coming from the Academy’s good-natured desire to continue to do “better.” Most likely, they are appealing to the major backlash from major artists including Justin Bieber, Zayn, and most notably The Weeknd. The latter had an insane 2020 with his excellent album After Hours, which brought him his own Super Bowl halftime show, and he was somehow completely shutout from this year’s Awards. As a result, The Weeknd stated that he will not allow his label to submit to the Grammys anymore, and he will be boycotting the event.

After these new changes were announced, it seems that he’s still sticking to his word. He told the New York Times, “Even though I won’t be submitting my music, the Grammys’ recent admission of corruption will hopefully be a positive move for the future of this plagued award and give the artist community the respect it deserves with a transparent voting process.”

He also commented to Variety, “The trust has been broken for so long between the Grammy organization and artists that it would be unwise to raise a victory flag.” He continued, “I think the industry and public alike need to see the transparent system truly at play for the win to be celebrated, but it’s an important start. I remain uninterested in being a part of the Grammys, especially with their own admission of corruption for all these decades. I will not be submitting in the future.”

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