Grammys CEO Addresses Marilyn Manson, Louis CK Nominations: “We Won’t Look Back At People’s History”
Yesterday, the Recording Academy unveiled the nominations for next year’s Grammys. They were weird, in the way that Grammy nominations are always weird. ABBA and Sun Ra Arkestra were nominated for the first time ever. Taylor Swift and Kanye West are up against each other for Album Of The Year. Late Show bandleader Jon Batiste somehow led the field with 11 nominations. But people noted two nominees in particular: Marilyn Manson and Louis CK.
In the past year, many women have come forward to accuse Marilyn Manson of sexual abuse, and a number of them are suing him over it. Yesterday, Manson was nominated for two Grammys for his work with Kanye West, who trollishly included Manson on his Donda album. Donda is up for Album Of The Year, and West’s “Jail,” which features Manson, is up for Best Rap Song. He’s included in those nominations because of a recent change in eligibility rules.
Louis CK is another story. In 2017, a number of women accused the comedian of sexual harassment and misconduct, and CK admitted that those allegations were correct. This year, Louis CK’s Sincerely Louis CK, his first special since those allegations, is up for Best Comedy Album.
Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr., who ascended to a permanent leadership role this year after a period of intra-Academy chaos and failed reforms, recently addressed those specific nominations while talking to the Wrap. Discussing those nominations, Mason trotted out the old art-not-the-artist talking point:
We won’t restrict the people who can submit their material for consideration. We won’t look back at people’s history, we won’t look at their criminal record, we won’t look at anything other than the legality within our rules of, is this recording for this work eligible based on date and other criteria. If it is, they can submit for consideration…
What we will control is our stages, our shows, our events, our red carpets. We’ll take a look at anyone who is asking to be a part of that, asking to be in attendance, and we’ll make our decisions at that point. But we’re not going to be in the business of restricting people from submitting their work for our voters to decide on.
So there you have it. The Recording Academy will continue to nominate Marilyn Manson whenever it pleases.