The Weeknd Says He Will Boycott The Grammys Going Forward
The Weeknd, like many other people this year, is pissed at the Grammys. After getting snubbed completely in the nominations, despite the huge success of his After Hours album and its song “Blinding Lights” in particular, Abel Tesfaye publicly accused the Recording Academy of corruption. And now, in a new statement to The New York Times, the Weeknd has announced that he will boycott the awards entirely from now on. “Because of the secret committees,” he says, “I will no longer allow my label to submit my music to the Grammys.”
The “secret committees” he’s talking about are the anonymous “expert committees” selected by the Recording Academy that review the initial nomination choices shortlisted by the Academy’s voting membership and have the final say about who makes the cut. According to official Grammy rules, they can also add names not selected by voters in all but the top four categories.
Harvey Mason Jr., the Grammys’ interim chief executive, says that the committees were established in 1989 “to eliminate the potential for a general-awareness bias that might favor artists who enjoy greater name recognition over emerging artists, independent music and late-year releases” and are kept anonymous to protect them from industrial lobbying and fan attacks. The voting process, he adds, “is 100 percent peer-driven.”
“We’re all disappointed when anyone is upset,” Mason says in response to the Weeknd’s statement. “But I will say that we are constantly evolving. And this year, as in past years, we are going to take a hard look at how to improve our awards process, including the nomination review committees.” In a statement of his own, Wassim Slaiby, the Weeknd’s manager, tells The New York Times, “The Grammys should handle their legacy and clean it up to raise the bar to a level where everyone could be proud to hold up that award. This is Harvey’s chance to step up and have his legacy be the guy who got the Grammys finally right.”