The Weeknd Blackballs the Grammys Over Secret Committees and Vows To Stop Submitting Music



In 2019, I wrote ARTISTS SHOULD BLACKBALL THE GRAMMYS as a possible solution to the on-going issues between the Grammys and Black artists. Well, it looks like The Weeknd has decided to do just that after being shut out of this year's Grammy awards. In a statement to the New York Times, The Weeknd announced that he will boycott the Grammys due to the "secret committees" and will no longer allow his label to submit his music for Grammy consideration.

We have heard of artists boycotting the Grammys before, but that only meant they will not show up to their boring show to help with ratings. These artists still submitted their work for Grammy consideration which defeats the purpose of a "boycott."

By The Weeknd no longer participating in the submission process and being a major artist, this could start a domino effect that could lead to the changes needed within the whole Recording Academy.



Now, while I am excited about the possibility of the Grammys being put under a new microscope, it is disturbing that this may come because artists' egos were bruised, not because of the devastating allegation made by former and ousted Recording Academy's first woman president, Deborah Dugan.

Besides lodging her own sexual harassment complaint during her very short tenure as CEO of the Grammys, Dugan alleged that the man she replaced, Neil Portnow, was facing rape allegations from a female recording artist. Portnow denied the allegations, but was there ever a real investigation into those claims?

Also, we all know that if The Weeknd continued to benefit from the "Boys Club" of the Recording Academy, he would be their biggest supporter today. However, before he got his feelings hurt, Dugan also revealed that she found "instances of racial discrimination" and described the nomination and voting processes as "ripe with corruption."


Grammy nomination process infographic


Dugan spoke about the irregularities she found pertaining to the 2019 Grammys "secret committees":

  • Some committee members represent or have relationships with the nominated artists and push them

Cardi B wins Grammy for best rap album. Is it payola?

onto the ballot

  • The board can arbitrarily nominate people who did not even make the longlist

  • The board "manipulates the nominations process to ensure that certain songs or albums are nominated when the producer of the Grammys wants a particular song performed during the show"

  • The committee reviewing nominations for the 2019 song of the year award chose as one of its eight final nominees a song that had initially ranked 18th out of 20. Dugan alleges the artist behind the song was allowed to sit on the committee

Rolling Stone, who also made their own inquiries into these "secret committees," confirmed from multiple sources that there are members on the review committees who've advocated for certain artists due to personal or professional bias. This practice is known to industry insiders.

An insider revealed, "I have engaged in financial lobbying for votes during the nomination process. "It's like baseball and steroids — if other people are taking them, I'm going to have to as well."


I understand that doing a thorough investigation into the Grammys may topple a house of cards within the industry, particularly female rap, but if the cards must fall...let'em fall.


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